World AM News Briefs For Friday, 3 August 2018
Good Morning Australia!! - An African heatwave is roasting Europe - Trump attempts to slow automobile fuel economy and emissions standards - Pope Francis changes a key church policy - And more in your CareerSpot Global News Briefs:
Europe is bracing for a Saharan heatwave coming up across the Mediterranean Sea which could shatter high temperature records. The current European record is 48 C degrees set in Athens in July 1977 - but highs of 47 C degrees are forecast for Spain and Portugal putting new records within the realm of possibility. Thousands of British are on the Iberian Peninsula for school and other holidays, and that could be a problem: "These sorts of temperatures are not only exceptional for the locals but people from the UK will never really have experienced them,” said meteorologist Luke Miall of the UK Met Office. But heading north isn't an escape either, as temperature in Poland pushed to 34 C degrees. This would just be the latest in a string of global warming-induced high temperatures reached in the northern hemisphere's summer of 2018.
California is vowing to fight the Trump Administration's most brazen attempt to unravel the US government's best weapon against global warming, automobile emissions standards. Trump wants to freeze fuel economy and greenhouse has emission targets for six years from 2020 - taking things way off former President barack Obama's target of achieving more than 52 miles per gallon by 2025. Trump also wants to end California's authority to set its own standards. Because California's are more stringent, automakers usually sell vehicles to meet that benchmark across the country. "For Trump to now destroy a law first enacted at the request of Ronald Reagan five decades ago is a betrayal and an assault on the health of Americans everywhere," said Governor Jerry Brown. "Under his reckless scheme, motorists will pay more at the pump, get worse gas mileage and breathe dirtier air."
US Security officials held a news conference to accuse Russia of "pervasive meddling" in the upcoming 2018 and 2020 elections. "We continue to see a pervasive messaging campaign by Russia to weaken and divide the US," said Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats, who was joined at the White House news conference by four other top officials. What they didn't do was explain what they're going to do about it. The soiree was reportedly urged by Donald Trump, who is under intense scrutiny for doing nothing to prevent future election meddling after benefiting from it in 2016.
Pope Francis has changed Roman Catholic teachings to oppose the death penalty in all cases. The church's catechism previously allowed for capital punishment in the most extreme cases, but that's now gone. The new rule reads, "The death penalty is inadmissible because it is an attack on the inviolability and dignity of the person and she works with determination for its abolition worldwide." The head of the Vatican's doctrine office said the change was meant to "give energy" to the anti-death penalty movement, and is already being welcomed by groups such as Amnesty International.
A strike by Eiffel Tower workers has closed the Paris landmark to tourists for two days.
The high court of Antigua and Barbuda has halted hurricane recovery work on the latter Caribbean island because of damage to the largely unspoiled ecosystem. Locals who were forced to evacuate from category five storm Hurricane Irma last year returned to find large tracts of forest cleared to make way for an ironically-themed "eco-resort" owned in part by actor Robert DeNiro, and they filed a legal challenge. Prime Minister Gaston Browne lashed out at what he called "economic terrorists" who he claimed wanted to "block investment" and "keep our people unemployed", without offering a shred of evidence to back up the allegation. The locals counter that it is the wealthy's desire for more money that is endangering the island's sustainable habits.
The death toll in Zimbabwe's post-election violence has grown to six lives lost. The opposition took to the streets, accusing the governing party of trying to steal the election through stalling the vote count; government troops responded with live ammunition. The official vote count with one province outstanding indicates that Zimbabwe's President Emmerson Mnangagwa leads with nine of ten provinces announced. So, the opposition probably isn't happy about that.
The Bank of England has raised the interest rate by a quarter of a percentage point, from 0.5 percent to 0.75 percent. It's highest level since March 2009, and only the second rate hike in a decade. UK savers will welcome the results, but around 3.5 million people with variable or tracker mortgages will pay more.