World AM News Briefs For Friday, 24 May 2019
Good Morning Australia!! - US prosecutors pile on a new set of charges against Julian Assange - Australia's role in bustong a pedophile ring - Modi's re-elected, but May's swan song is imminent - The hate growing into America's biggest threat - And more in your CareerSpot Global News Briefs:
The US Justice Department has filed 17 new counts against Wikileaks founder Julian Assange for his role in an alleged conspiracy with former Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning to solicit and publish classified government information. Ms. Manning is in jail again for refusing to testify against Assange. "The department takes seriously the role of journalists in our democracy and we thank you for it. It has not and never has been the department’s policy to target them for reporting. But Julian Assange is no journalist," said John Demers, the head of the Justice Department’s National Security Division.
Authorities busted an international pedophile ring with one of the alleged organizers caught here in Australia - and many more arrests are expected. Interpol's Operation Blackwrist started with the child pornography on a darkweb site; US investigators traced its IP address, which led to last week's conviction and sentencing of South Australia's worst pedophile Ruecha Tokputza to 40 years and three months in jail with a non-parole period of 28 years. Now, with 50 children rescued and nine arrests, authorities are hinting at another round of arrests - possibly involving people in the US currently in public positions of trust.
Despite widening economic problems, voters overwhelmingly returned Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to a second term with an even greater parliamentary majority than his first win in 2014. The results of the world's biggest Democratic election show Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and its allies are expected to take more than 350 seats in the 543 seat Parliament. "This election was fought not by politicians but the people of this country - but it's the people of this country who have emerged victorious," Modi told supporters in Delhi, "We will never give up our ideals, our humility and our culture." The election was seen as a referendum on Modi's Hindu nationalism, not on increasing unemployment, lower farm income, and decreasing industrial output. The once-powerful Congress Party, still run by the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty, is expected to wind up with fewer than 60 seats.
Voting is underway in the European Parliament elections - except for many EU residents in the UK, who complain about being turned away from polling places. The rules state that EU citizens can vote in the country they live in by simply filling out a form, but many local authorities are claiming they did not receive the completed forms in time. Theresa May's government announced on 7 May that the UK would be taking part in the European elections, and her spokesman acknowledged that there was "frustration".
The UK has postponed a fourth Parliament vote on the Brexit and will instead go straight to figuring out who will be Prime Minister after Theresa May, who is expected to announce her imminent departure from office. British newspapers reported that she will stay on while 125,000 Conservative Party members choose her replacement. The Brexit plan will not be published on 3 June as previously planned, and the process of leaving the European Union will be delayed.. again.
A federal prison in Terre Haute, Indiana released John Walker Lindh, also known as "The American Taliban" after he was captured in Afghanistan in 2001 fighting for the people sheltering Osama bin Laden. Lindh served 17 years of a 20-year sentence and was released early for "good behavior", despite officials knowing that the "unrepentant" jihadist got on the internet a few years ago to check out terrorist websites and proclaim his approval of the so-called Islamic State. Few people are happy about this, least of all the parents of a CIA officer killed in a riot in the Afghanistan prison where Lindh was discovered.
But Islamist terror isn't America's biggest worry at the moment: The US FBI has seen a significant rise in white supremacist terror in recent months, most notoriously in Charlottesville, Virginia where a Trump-inspired rally of racists resulted in chaos and the murder of a counterprotester. Acting Department of Homeland Security Kevin McAleenan told a congressional hearing that "white supremacist extremist violence" is a "huge issue" and called it an "evolving and increasingly concerning threat".