World AM News Briefs For Friday, 12 February 2016
Good Morning Australia!! - Is NATO copying the Australian model on handling asylum seekers? - An Iranian official says President Obama's domestic rivals tried to sabotage a prisoner swap - A rough day for SA President Jacob Zuma - And more in your CareerSpot Global News Briefs:
A battle between two rival gangs in a Mexican prison claimed 52 lives and left at least another dozen people injured. Authorities say the situation at the Topo Chico jail in Nuevo Leon state is now under control. Governor Jaime Rodriguez said says the prisoners fought with "sharp weapons, bats, and sticks". Huge crowds of inmates' relatives blocked the roads outside the facility demanding information. This comes just days before Pope Francis is to visit the country.
An Iranian official says "Republican rivals of the current US administration" attempted to stall last month's prisoner swap between the US and Iran until the eve of the US Presidential election. But, "We acted upon our independent resolve and moved the process forward," said Ali Shamkhani, the secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council, during a speech made on Thursday. The US negotiated the swap parallel to Iran nuclear deal, and included the release of Washington Post journalist Jason Rezaian and three other Americans in Iran, in exchange for the release of seven Iranians.
NATO is deploying warships to the Aegean Sea to counter human traffickers responsible for packing throngs of would-be immigrants onto flimsy boats in Turkey for often ill-fated voyages to Greece's eastern islands. More than 400 people have drowned in the Aegean Sea so far this year when their overcrowded boats gave out or otherwise ran into trouble in the notoriously choppy waters. NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg said the mission would not be about "stopping or pushing back refugee boats", but UK Defense Secretary Michael Fallon said migrants "will not be taken back to Greece. The aim of the group is to have them taken back to Turkey".
Turkey has commenced the trial of two people-smugglers in the case of Alan Kurdi, the Syrian toddler whose drowned body was photographed face down on a Turkish beach and became the iconic image of the horrors of the refugee crisis. Mufawaka Alabash and Asem Alfrhad are Syrian nationals. They're being tried in the same Turkish seaside city where little Alan's body washed up. Each faces up to 35 years in prison if convicted of causing the deaths of five people "through deliberate negligence".
South African opposition lawmakers relentlessly heckled President Jacob Zuma's state of the nation address, and stormed out of the Parliament chamber. It was supposed to be a crucial moment for Zuma to restore trust after agreeing to pay back millions of dollars to the state for ridiculous upgrades to his family estate, such as a swimming pool and private amphitheater. But the Far Left Economic Freedom Fighters party (EFF) used the occasion to kick up some dust: "Zuma is no longer a president that deserves the respect from anyone," yelled EFF leader Julius Malema, "He has stolen from us, he has corrupted the economy of South Africa, he has made this country a joke and after that, he has laughed at us."
Police in Dublin are warning journalists about threats against them from rival criminal gangs. It's linked to that deadly shooting at a boxing match weigh-in a week ago, which was followed by a second, apparently retaliatory murder on Monday. Earlier, anonymous tips attempted to link the shooting to a dissident Irish Republican group, but that turned out to be crap. The Irish Gardai are forming a permanent armed unit to deal with the gangland unrest.
Police in Myanmar formed a special unit to provide protection to Aung San Suu Kyi after a threat was made on her life, apparently related to reported negotiations to change the constitution and allow her to become president. It's more than a little ironic, as Suu Kyi spent 15 years under house arrest during the rule of Myanmar's previous junta. Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy party won a landslide in Myanmar's first free elections in November.
Everyone loves Baby Sumatran Tiger Cubs at the Australia Zoo in Queensland.