World AM News Briefs For Friday, 14 June 2019
Good Morning Australia!! - The US Stokes war fires in the Middle East - Marriage equality expands in South America - Russian cops lose their jobs after arresting a journalist - And more in your CareerSpot Gobal News Briefs:
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo accused Iran of attacking two tanker ships in the Gulf of Oman. A senior official in Tehran said "Iran has no connection" with the explosions. Iran also helped US forces in the area evacuate crew members from the tankers, owned by Japan and Norway. Pompeo offered no evidence to back up his claim, other than to say the determination was made "based on intelligence, the weapons used, the level of expertise need to execute the operation, recent similar Iranian attacks on shipping" - which are also unconfirmed, BTW. The US has a powerful military presence in the area, including an aircraft carrier, and this Pompeo's is suggesting that Iran somehow pulled off this attack right under its nose.
A federal agency is recommending that White House adviser Kellyanne Conway be removed from federal service. The US Office of Special Counsel said Ms. Conway violated a law known as the Hatch Act which prevents the politicization of public offices - specifically, she made "disparaging Democratic presidential candidates while speaking in her official capacity during television interviews and on social media". Special Counsel Henry Kerner wrote Donald Trump to inform him that "Conway's violations, if left unpunished, would send a message to all federal employees that they need not abide by the Hatch Act's restrictions. Her actions thus erode the principal foundation of our democratic system - the rule of law". Trump, of course has not acted on the letter. Separately, the White House announced spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders will be leaving the job at the end of June.
Trump got harpooned on social media with one of his morning bathroom tweet-storms, claiming he had met with "with the Queen of England (U.K.), the Prince of Whales". Yep, misspelled with that unnecessary "h". Most folks stuck with the cetacean angle, and didn't notice the context in which Trump apparently believes the UK royal family is somehow involved in government.
Ecuador's top court ruled that the government was wrong to deny marriage to same sex couples, making the South American country the 27th to legalize marriage equality. It comes a day after Botswana decriminalized gay sex, defying a wave of homophobia in Africa, and Taiwan became the first country in Asia to allow same sex marriage. "We're witnessing an important moment in history as these victories will send out positive shockwaves across the world and inspire more activists to continue their fight for LGBT rights," said Matthias Wasik, director of programs at international LGBT rights group All Out.
The five-year old boy in Uganda who was diagnosed with Ebola has died, and so has his grandmother. They were part of a family group that broke quarantine and crossed over the border from the DR Congo, where the outbreak has sickened 2,084 and killed 1,405 since last August. The family had contact with 27 people, and the Ugandan Health Ministry remains under "an Ebola response mode".
Indian anti-terror authorities arrested a man who was Facebook friends with the suicide bomber who planned Sri Lanka's deadly Easter Sunday attacks. The arrest of 32-year old Mohammad Azharuddin came after raids on a suspected IS militant cell in the southern Indian city of Coimbatore. More than 250 were killed and more than 500 were injured in the Easter Sunday attacks in Sri Lanka.
Boris Johnson came out way ahead in the UK Tory MPs first ballot to select a new leader, and thus a new prime minister. Johnson got 114 out of 313 votes cast, Jeremy Hunt came second with 43, Michael Gove was third with 37. Outgoing PM Theresa May didn't reveal her choice.
Vladimir Putin knows when to follow the crowd. The Russian president sacked two high-ranking Moscow police officials after the outcry that followed the arrest of journalist Ivan Golunov. Moscow cops accused Golunov of drug dealing last week, only to back down in the local and international backlash which included Moscow newspapers running headlines reading, "We are Golunov". Putin has carefully avoided publicly commenting on the matter.