World AM News Briefs For Monday, 16 Sep 2019
Good Morning Australia!! - The US blames Iran for the attack on a Saudi oil field - Trump's Supreme Court judge is accused of another act of sexual abuse - The gruesome discovery in a well - Does anyone miss a despot? - And more in your CareerSpot Global News Briefs:
Iran is accusing the US of "deceit" after Secretary of State Mike Pompeo blamed Iran for the drone attack on two key Saudi Aramco oil facilities. Yemen's Houthi rebels claimed responsibility for the weekend attack which damaged the Abqaiq processing plant and the Khurais oilfield so badly that some estimates claim it will take five percent of the world's crude oil supply off the market until repairs are complete. Iran's Foreign Minister Javad Zarif said that "blaming Iran won't end the disaster" in Yemen, which pits Iran-backed Houthi rebels against the Saudi- and US-supported government.
The New York Times uncovered a previously undisclosed allegation of sexual impropriety against Brett Kavanaugh, who was confirmed to a life-time appointment to the US Supreme Court last year despite other similar allegations. The latest allegation involved Kavanaugh exposing himseld. It was reported to the FBI last year, and agents did not bother to check it out as part of its standard background review - nor did the FBI follow-up with 25 potential witnesses. If the allegation is true, it means that Kavanaugh allegedly lied to Congress during his confirmation hearings last year. Democratic Presidential candidates Kamala Harris, Julian Castro, Beto O'Rourke, and Elizabeth Warren are all demanding he be impeached. Bernie Sanders and one other are calling for an investigation, with Bernie going another step calling for "appropriate constitutional measures". The US constitution allows for the impeachment of federal judge, but it has never been tried on Supreme Court justices before.
Canadian authorities arrested a senior official with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police for allegedly stealing and sensitive information and attempting to share it with a foreign entity. That entity was not disclosed, but the case involved a US$230 Million fraud scheme allegedly run by senior Russian Interior Ministry and tax officials to launder stolen funds. Canada has rarely invoked the Security of Information Act which was written with the protection of information gleaned by top spies, meaning that 47-year old Cameron Ortis faces some serious prison time if convicted. The Five Eyes intelligence alliance - of which Australia is a member - is said to be extremely concerned with the possibility of a top level leak to the Russians.
At least eleven people drowned and numerous others were missing after a sightseeing boat capsized in India. The Royal Vashishta vessel had more than 60 people on board when the accident occurred in the Godavari river, near India's east coast. "Twenty-seven people were either rescued by local fishermen or swam to safety," said an emergency official. The cause is under investigation.
Mexican forensic scientists have managed to identify 44 bodies found stuffed in black plastic bags and thrown down a well in Jalisco state. Residents in the area outside the city of Guadalajara had complained about the smell and investigators found around 119 dismembered bodies a couple of weeks ago. The area is rife with drug gang violence.
With memories of repression and violence still fresh, it probably should not have been a surprise that the official funeral for Zimbabwe's former president Robert Mugabe was sparse. Zimbabwe's national stadium holds about 60,000 people but stood around half-filled at best. Mugabe died at age 95 last week, two years after being deposed by the current government.