World AM News Briefs For Friday, 12 July 2018
Good Morning Australia!! - Trump says one thing, all other NATO members agree to something else - A viral video costs a cop his job - Syria takes back the cradle of the revolution - And more in your CareerSpot Global News Briefs:
French President Emmanuel Macron quickly poured cold water all over Donald Trump's untrue claim that he influenced leaders at the NATO summit to increase military spending. Throughout the two-day meeting in Brussels, Trump pushed NATO allies to increase their spending on defense to as much as four percent of GDP - which would be ludicrous for many members. At an unscheduled news conference afterwards, Trump claimed that because of him leaders "agreed to substantially up their commitment", and added: "They're going to up it at levels that they never thought of before." But that was not true. "The communique is clear," Macron said, noting the final statement from the summit that says the original, pre-Trump agreement for all NATO members to boost military spending to two percent of GDP is still the goal: "It reaffirms a commitment to two percent in 2024. That is all."
Lots of people in the UK protested Trump's visit. Prime Minister Theresa May didn't get to host the state dinner she promised, but threw enough pomp and ceremony into it so world leaders can feel important.
Donald Trump claimed that under his agreement with Kim Jong-un, North Korea is returning the remains of US service members who died in the Korean war. That claim was proven false on Thursday, when the North Korea delegation didn't even bother to show up at previously scheduled working-level talks on the matter at the inter-Korean border truce village of Panmunjom on Thursday. Pyongyang is now calling for the matter to be moderated by the United Nations Command Military Armistice Commission. North Korea earlier this week accused the US of acting like like a "gangster" in pressuring the country to denuclearize.
Syrian government forces with Russian military help are retaking control of Deraa, almost a month after beginning an assault on the formerly rebel-held province. It's the birthplace of the revolt against President Bashar al-Assad, although the civil war was quickly hijacked by rival factions and jihadist groups. The remaining rebels in Deraa are trying to negotiate their way out, agreeing to give up fighting in exchange for passage to the rebel-held north or flat-out amnesty.
The human rights campaigner Amnesty International is calling for an investigation into a network of secret detention and torture chambers allegedly run by Yemeni government forces and allied militias. At least 51 cases of enforced disappearance took place between March 2016 and May 2018, and the group says several people are still missing. Amnesty is also calling on the US to stop intelligence sharing with the Yemeni authorities. The country has been torn asunder by three years of civil war, with the US and Saudi Arabia backing the government, Iran backing Shiite rebels, and various jihadist group running amok in the chaos.
Activists are planning more anti-government rallies in Nicaragua this weekend, even as the death toll from clashes with security forces reaches 263 lives lost since March. The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights on Wednesday said more than 1,800 people had been injured. Embattled Leftist president Daniel Ortega is resisting calls for early elections.
Recovery crews are not battling Japan's nasty summertime heat and humidity as they continue to dig out villages that were buried in last weekend's killer floods and mudslides. The death toll is now more than 200 lives lost. "The critical 72 hours have passed," said Okayama prefecture rescue official Mutsunari Imawaka, "But we will continue our search believing there are still survivors." Around 7,000 people are stuck in temporary shelters in school gymnasiums and community centers, and almost a quarter million homes do not have water service.
Prosecutors in Chicago have filed felony hate crime charges against a man caught on video racially harassing a Puerto Rican woman for wearing a t-shirt with the flag of her home US territory. Seemingly unaware that Puerto Rico is part of the US, the racist acts in a threatening manner in a forest pavilion she had rented for a picnic - all while a Forest Preserve Police Officer stands by, doing nothing. The video went viral, and consequences came: The tree cop, Patrick Connor, resigned the night before a disciplinary tribunal that likely would have sacked him. The racist, 62-year old Timothy Trybus, now faces two felony charges at a time when he should be putting in for his social security benefits. "There should be consequences. People have to learn there are consequences, especially in the era of Trump," said Chicago's US Congressman Luis Gutierrez, "I really do believe there are people who say to themselves, 'If Trump can do it, I can do it. Why can't I go out there and say the things the president says?'"