World AM News Briefs For Monday, 7 January 2019
Good Morning Australia!! - A young woman hangs in the balance between freedom in Australia and vengeance in Saudi Arabia - Trump backtracks over his Syria announcement - Did a king abdicate for a foreign beauty? - And more in your CareerSpot Global News Briefs:
We got another peak at the behind-the-scenes turmoil in the Pentagon as US National Security Adviser John Bolton contradicted Donald Trump's announcement that the US was pulling troops out of Syria. Now, Bolton says there are conditions including assurances from Turkey that Kurds in northern Syria would be safe. Trump - who initially said that US forces in Syria "coming back now" - now claims he "never said we were doing it that quickly". On top of that, Rear Admiral Kevin Sweeney resigned as Chief of Staff to the Secretary of Defense over the weekend. He's the third top-level US military official to hit the door in the past fortnight.
A young Saudi woman who fled her family was en route to Australia to seek asylum, but she is now trapped at at Bangkok's main airport after having her passport seized by a Saudi official. 18-year old Rahaf Mohammed Mutlaq Alqunun had renounced Islam and said, "I'm afraid, my family WILL kill me," in a series of social media posts that have very quickly gained international attention. The case has sparked fears among human rights workers that Thailand's Ministry of Foreign Affairs isn't helping her at all and is working with the Saudi government to possibly send her back.
The collapse of an illegal gold mine killed at least 30 workers in north-eastern Afghanistan's Badakhshan province. Villagers had apparently dug a poorly planned shaft in a riverbed. This sort of unregulated enterprise is common in a country with dysfunctional leadership: "The villagers have been involved in this business for decades with no government control over them," said Nik Mohammad Nazari, spokesman for the provincial governor.
Malaysia's king Sultan Muhammad V has suddenly and unexpectedly abdicated with immediate effect. No reason was given, but it follows his reported marriage to Russian former beauty queen Oksana Voevodina. It's the first time a Malaysian king has abdicated since the country gained independence from the UK more than 60 years ago.
Despite deploying more than 300 paramilitary police, violence is raging in northeastern Brazil. Authorities blame organized crime groups for torching cars, buses, and entire fueling stations, allegedly in retaliation for plans to impose tighter controls in the state's prisons where the gangs reign supreme.
Nigerian troops raided the offices of a newspaper that printed a story about plans to recapture some towns in the northeast from the Islamist terrorist group Boko Haram. The Nigerian military has been loath to admit it recently lost some territory to the terrorists. In addition to the raid in the capital Abuja, some Daily Trust staffers were planed under arrest in Maidugari, where Boko Haram has been wreaking havoc since 2009.