World AM News Briefs For Friday, 13 Sep 2019
Good Morning Australia!! - Did Boris Johnson lie to the Queen? - When allies spy on each other - Congress steps up impeachment investigations of Trump - And more in your CareerSpot Global News Briefs:
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson spent his day denying that he had lied to the Queen about the reason for asking her to prorogue, or suspend, Parliament. Johnson has claimed that he legitimately requested a Queen's speech about legislative priorities and that he suspended the body as standard operating procedure before such an event. But Scotland's highest civil court ruled on Wednesday the shutdown was unlawful and that Johnson was clearly suspended Parliament to limit debate on a no-deal Brexit on 31 October - something that Johnson's critics have charged all along. The Supreme Court in London will tackle the issue next week.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is flatly denying spying on his ally the US with devices called mobile subscriber identity-catchers (IMSI catchers) that were found positioned near the White House. The gadgets trick passing cellular phones into giving up their data, allowing the surreptitious monitoring of who is coming and going from the US executive compound. Politico reports that the intelligence community believes Israel is behind the spying, and agents are angry at the Trump administration from not bothering to chastise Netanyahu - or even acknowledge that it happened.
Meanwhile, Facebook suspended Benjamin Netanyahu's official page for a day, after a post called on voters to oppose a government composed of "Arabs who want to destroy us all - women, children and men." Netanyahu suggested the post was the work of an aide.
Twitter for some reason has suspended the accounts of several government officials, journalists from state-run media, and even the daughter of former President Raul Castro. The social media giant cited violations of its policies, but a spokesman was unable to cite any examples. This vagueness actually allowed a Communist country with state-run media to claim the high road on censorship: "This act of cybernetic warfare, clearly planned, that aims to limit the freedom of expression of Cuban institutions and citizens and to silence the leaders of the revolution," said the Cuban journalists' union. Twitter chief Jack Dorsey had recently traveled to Cuba, and Havana is demanding an explanation from him.
US Congressional Democrats announced the House Judiciary Committee will proceed with a impeachment investigation against Donald Trump, and hopes to recommend full impeachment at the end of the year - right before the crucial 2020 election season. Referring to Trump's alleged obstruction of justice, abuse of power, and defiance of subpoenas, Judiciary Committee head Rep. Jerry Nadler said, "The conduct under investigation poses a threat to our democracy. We have an obligation to respond to this threat. And we are doing so."
The US National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) says the crew of that diving boat that burned off of California earlier this month was asleep as the flame broke out, and did not have a required one crewmember on watch. The NTSB's preliminary report on the blaze that killed 34 people on a holiday scuba diving adventure described how the crew, once awakened, say they attempted to reach the entryways to the passenger compartment - but their way was blocked by fire. An attorney representing the boat's owner said the crew "acted heroically and did all in their power to try and save the lives of the passengers and their fellow crew member". The brother of one of the victims says the captain must be held responsible.
The family of the late Zimbabwe president Robert Mugabe has confused and angered supporters with plans to bury him in a private grave, rather than in the National Heroes Acre. The shrine is on the northeast outskits of the capital. Thousands of mourners filed past Mugabe's body in an open wooden casket at Harare's Rufaro Sports Stadium to pay their last respects - the situation is often tense and chaotic, and five people were hurt in a mini-stampede. Mugabe died earlier this month at a hospital in Singapore at age 95, two years after being deposed from a lengthy and brutal rule.