World AM News Briefs For Monday, 16 April 2018
Good Morning Australia!! - Putin threatens "Chaos in international relations" - Boris Johnson seems to split from the US Syrian air strikes - Shocking results in Brazil's presidential poll - And more in your CareerSpot Global News Briefs:
The US is cooking up fresh economic sanctions against Russia for its support of Syria, which is accused of using chemical weapons on its own people earlier this month, killing dozens. US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley said the sanctions will "go directly to any sort of companies that were dealing with equipment" related to Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad and his chemical weapons. The US, UK, and France launched more than 100 missiles at suspected chemical weapons sites in Syria on Saturday morning. The Kremlin said Russian President Vladimir Putin threatened that if there were to be another round of Allied air strikes, it would "inevitably lead to chaos in international relations".
UK Foreign Minister Boris Johnson indicated the missile strikes were a one-off move with "no proposal on the table" for further strikes and "the rest of the Syrian war must proceed as it will". Not only did this undercut the US claim that the US remains "locked and loaded" to strike Syria again should it violate international laws against the use of chemical weapons; but it also seemed a tacit admission that Syrian President Bashir al-Assad would be allowed to "butcher his way" to victory. UK Prime Minister Theresa May due to face critics in Parliament on Monday, and seems less likely to seek a mandate for a wider intervention. The same issue helped sink her predecessor David Cameron in 2013.
Although the orange clown Donald Trump declared "Mission Accomplished", Russia and Syria are disputing the allied missile strike's effectiveness. "Yesterday we saw American aggression. And we were able to repel it with Soviet missiles from the '70s," said Syrian President Assad to Russian Lawmaker Dmitry Sablin, part of a group of visiting officials from Moscow. The Russian military claimed Syria's air defense system had intercepted 71 of the 105 American, British, and French missiles. The US Pentagon insisted, "None of our aircraft or missiles involved in this operation were successfully engaged by Syrian air defenses."
Barbara Bush, wife of one US President and mother to another, is in "failing health" and refusing further medical treatment, according to a statement from the family in Houston. It didn't say what her medical problem might be, but it is known that she has been treated for Graves' Disease for several decades: "She is surrounded by a family she adores and appreciates the many kind messages and especially the prayers she is receiving." Her husband, the 41st US President George H.W. Bush is 93 years old, and son George W. Bush, 43rd president, is 71 years old.
If Brazil's presidential election were held today, Lula would win. The new Datafohla poll is the first since the Leftist former president began serving a 12-year prison term for supposed corruption, charges denied as trumped up and politically-motivated by Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and his supporters. If Lula is unable to run from behind bars, environmentalist Marina Silva and right wing politician Jair Bolsonaro would be leading candidates. The vote takes place in October.
Catalan separatists were back out on the streets of Barcelona in the hundreds of thousands, calling for their leaders to be released from pre-trial detention. Even police, who usually play down the size of protests, had to admit that at least 315,000 people took part. The two main independence groups, whose leaders are among the nine separatist leaders jailed, organized the massive rally with labor unions. "The majority of Catalans, regardless of their political position, agree that pre-trial jail is not justified," said regional UGT union leader Camil Ros, "What we as labor unions are asking for now is dialogue."