World AM News Briefs For Friday, 18 Oct 2019
Good Morning Australia!! - A Trump deputy admits the criminal quid pro quo - A new agreement is setting up the next Brexit battle - Turkey will stop attacking the Kurds for a few days - And more in your CareerSpot Global News Briefs:
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson is certain Parliament will approve the Brexit deal he struck with the European Union to ease the UK's divorce from the Continental alliance. But his own coalition partner the DUP of Northern Ireland already opposes his deal, and accuses Mr. Johnson of being "too eager by far to get a deal at any cost". To win Parliamentary approval, Johnson has to count on the votes of 23 former Tories, including the 21 that he personally kicked out of the party. Labour also opposes his plan, saying it "paves the way for a decade of deregulation" and will give the Conservatives "licence to slash" worker, environment, and consumer protections.
A former Anglican Dean of Newcastle, NSW is now Australia's second-highest ranking religious figure after Cardinal George Pell to be convicted of and jailed for child sexual abuse. The court found that Graeme Lawrence in 1991 lured a 15-year old boy to his home and raped him. Lawrence is 77 years old - the judge sentenced him to spend a maximum of eight years in jail, and he'll be eligible for parole in four and a half years.
And now, the debasement of the United States:
White House Acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney has stunned Donald Trump's legal team, essentially admitting felony quid pro quo in Trump's infamous 25 July phone call with the president of Ukraine. Mulvaney appeared before reporters saying that did indeed threaten to withhold military aid until Ukraine came up with information to damage Trump's 2020 presidential rival former Vice President Joe Biden. "Get over it," Mulvaney said. "There's going to be political influence in foreign policy. That is going to happen. Elections have consequences." After this stunning admission of a crime, Trump's chief legal consul Jay Sekulow told CNN that no one approved Mulvaney's remarks - which completely undercut Trump's repeated attempts to claim there was "no quid pro quo". To be clear, it is illegal for Trump to solicit a foreign government to interfere with an American election, and even worse to use aid that had already been approved of by Congress as a cudgel.
In day-long testimony, US Ambassador to the EU Gordon Sondland told US House impeachment investigators that Trump ordered US diplomats to go through his personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani - but he claimed he didn't know that Trump wanted to make the Ukrainian president's access to the White House dependent on launching investigations into Trump's political opponents. "We were also disappointed by (Trump's) direction that we involve Mr. Giuliani," Sondland told congressional investigators. Sondland claimed he didn't know about the quid pro quo until later.
Trump awarded next year's Group of Seven (G7) summit to himself - specifically, the Trump Doral resort in Florida. And if you're thinking, "Crikey, that can't be legal," you'd be right - it is completely illegal for a US government official to personally enrich himself by steering government contracts to his own business. Fox News legal analyst Judge Andrew Napolitano said, "(Trump) has bought himself an enormous headache now with the choice of this," adding, "This is about as direct and profound a violation of the emoluments clause as one could create."
Turkey is denying that a US-brokered deal to temporarily halt fighting in northern Syria is a cease-fire, referring to it only as a "halt". Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo flew to Ankara to secure the deal with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan - but the deal is even less than the agreement that was already in place several months ago, because at least the Kurds got to keep their homes. Now, the Kurds were given 120 hours to abandon the region where they have lived for generations; which had been invaded by Erdogan's troops and allied jihadist groups when Trump in effect gave permission. And Trump is strutting around like the proverbial pigeon on a chess board, claiming the deal to clean up a mess that he created is a "great thing for civilization". The Kurds weren't even a party to the discussions.
The lawyer for a 93-year old former nazi prison guard says he feels regret for his actions. Prosecutors accuse Bruno Dey of contributing to the killings of 5,230 prisoners at the Stutthof death camp outside Gdansk in what is now northern Poland. "He had compassion for (the inmates)," the attorney said, "But he did not see himself in a position to free them." Given the age of the World War II generation, observers believe this will be one of the last trials of a death camp guard, if not the last.
Security guards hauled out eleven members of the opposition in Hong Kong's parliament after that shouted and jeered at leader Carrie Lam for a second day. Ms. Lam was forced to abandon a major policy major yesterday because of the heckling, and give the speech via video link from a remote location in the building.
Venezuela has won a seat on the United Nations Human Rights Council, despite Western allegations against the human rights record of President Nicolas Maduro who they claim ordered the jailing, torture, and arrests of opposition figures. These same countries back opposition leader Juan Guaido's claim to the presidency, despite never having won or even run in an election for the job. Russia, China, and Cuba support Mr. Maduro, whose past elections have been certified by international poll watching bodies.