World AM News Briefs For Friday, 30 November 2018
Good Morning Australia!! - The rocky road to the G20 - 170 German cops raid Trump's favorite banker - The terrorist group going high tech - And more in your CareerSpot Global News Briefs:
G20 leaders are arriving in Buenos Aires, Argentina for their summit, but work on a final communique is already being called "difficult". Looming over th summit are disagreements on major issues: "After two and a half days of talks and very short nights, some two-thirds of the paragraphs have been okayed," said a G20 official quoted by the Reuters news agency, "Now, trade, climate, migrants, refugees, multilateralism, steel - which are really the thorny issues - remain without agreement." The US trade war with China in particular will be under the eyes of the world, as Donald Trump meets with Chinese President Xi Jinping. China said it is hoping for progress is solving the multi-billion dollars tariff war; Trump will bring into this meeting his hardline economic advisor Peter Navarro.
Ukraine is asking NATO to send warships into the Sea of Azov, where Russia captured some of its boats and crewmembers earlier this week. But while German Chancellor Angela Merkel did condemn Russia's actions, she would not respond directly to Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko's pleas in the German news media to "provide security". Donald Trump waited until mid-flight to cancel his planned sidebar with Russian President Vladimir Putin over the matter; but given Trump's relationship with the Russians, we'll see. Poroshenko accuses Russia of wanting "nothing less than to occupy the sea."
While Trump was preparing to get on the plane to Argentina, a couple of interesting things happened on the peripheries of Trump world. First, his former lawyer Michael Cohen was back in court to plead guilty to lying to Congress about Trump's knowledge of a proposed Trump Tower project in Moscow, a project whose timing intersected with the midst of the 2016 presidential campaign in which Moscow interfered to help elect him. It raises the question of whether the Kremlin had or has leverage over Trump. Second, Feds raided the office of Chicago Alderman Ed Burke; little known outside Chicago, the politically-connected lawyer apparently did work to lower the tax bill on the Chicago Trump Tower. Burke ended that relationship recently citing "irreconcilable differences".
And then there was the German police raid on the headquarters of Donald Trump's biggest lender Deutsche Bank in Frankfurt. Authorities are focused on an alleged money laundering operation that may have involved as much as US$350 Million and was exposed with the 2015 release of the Panama Papers. Deutsche Bank holds the mortgages on some of Trump's most prized properties, such as his Doral golf resort and the Washington, DC luxury hotel. Trump didn't divest his business interests when he took office in 2017, so he's still on the hook to Deutsche Bank.
A Philippine court sentenced three cops to up to 40 years in prison each for the killing of 17-year-old Kian Delos Santos in 2017. It's the first high profile trial out of President Rodrigo Duterte's so-called "war on drugs" in which he gave police, paramilitaries, and vigilantes the green light to kill pretty much anyone they wanted as long as the targets are "drug dealers". No one believed that Kian was a "drug dealer" and the family's plight gained much sympathy throughout the country because she learned about her son's killing while she was working as a maid in Saudi Arabia. More than 5,000 people accused of being "drug dealers" have been summarily executed in the Philippines since Duterte's edict.
South Korea's Supreme Court deepened the spat with Japan, ruling that Mitsubishi Heavy Industries must pay up to US$134,000 to each of five plaintiffs who had sued over being forced to work for a military factory during the 1910-1945 Japanese occupation of the Korean peninsula. Tokyo is condemning the ruling, pointing out that the cases were settled by the 1965 treaty that established diplomatic relations between the two sides — a pact that came with a $300 Million pay out.
Nigeria's military says Boko Haram is reconstituting itself and getting more sophisticated. Once pushed back to the swamps in the country's northeast, the jihadist terrorist group is reportedly swelling its ranks with foreign fighters. The military is also finally confirming earlier reports of the "increased use of drones against our defensive positions" to garner intelligence on the movement of government troops. Boko Haram wants to carve out an 11th Century Islamic Caliphate for itself out of northeastern Nigeria.