World AM News Briefs For Monday, 7 October 2019
Hello Australia!! - The odd silence from Trump's cabinet - Americans seem more ready to impeach Trump than in past episodes - What chased China out of Iran? - And more in your CareerSpot Global News Briefs:
The second whistle-blower has stepped forward with "first-hand knowledge" of Donald Trump's arms-for-gossip scheme with Ukraine, according to attorneys representing that whistle-blower. This person - who has reportedly already spoken with Congressional investigators - confirms the allegations made by the first whistle-blower's complaint, which triggered the official impeachment inquiry against Donald Trump in the House of Representatives. But the lawyers are hinting that this could be the beginning of a flood of complaints about Donald Trump allegedly committing impeachable offenses: "I can confirm that my firm and my team represent multiple whistle-blowers in connection to the underlying August 12, 2019, disclosure to the Intelligence Community Inspector General," said attorney Andrew Bakaj with the Compass Rose firm, "No further comment at this time."
No members of the Trump administration appeared on the Sunday morning news shows in America to defend Trump, although some Congressional Republicans showed up to get into screaming matches with the hosts (otherwise known as "dodge and distract"), while one, lone Republican dissident called Trump a "traitor". Over the weekend, Trump changed his story yet again about his phone call to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in which he hinted that pre-approved US military aid would be choked off unless Kiev came up with baseless gossip about Trump's rival former Vice President Joe Biden. You'll recall that Trump at first denied it, then said the call wasn't as reported, and later admitted to doing it but claimed there was nothing illegal. Now, Trump is claiming that the idea came from Energy Secretary Rick Perry - the former Texas governor who couldn't remember his own talking points during a 2011 Republican debate, and later appeared on "Dancing with the Stars". That guy. Who just happens to be planning to resign, according to reports.
Recent polls indicate that public support for impeaching Donald Trump is higher than past polls showed during the impeachment investigations of Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton, at the same point in those cases. Nixon resigned, while Bill Clinton was cleared of the Republican-led scheme by the US Senate. A Monmouth University poll shows 44 percent of those asked want to impeach Trump, and a CNN poll puts it at 47 percent - by comparison, support for the failed and politically-motivated proceedings against Bill Clinton never topped 29 percent support from the US public.
Anti-government protesters in Hong Kong attacked government offices, a metro station and businesses with ties to mainland China, and in one case accidentally lobbing a firebomb into a journalist. Dozens were reportedly injured as police responded with water cannons, tear gas, and truncheons, taking the face masks off of demonstrators who wore them in defiance of the new ban on wearing them. The unrest took another dark turn when a driver mowed down protesters with a taxi cab, and the driver was beaten bloody by a mob.
China has pulled out of a US$5 Billion natural gas project in Iran, possibly in response to the US' tough economic sanctions on Tehran. The South Pars field deal, struck in the wake of Iran's 2015 nuclear deal with world powers, was originally in conjunction with France's Total SA which ended its participation earlier this year. "We have been facing plenty of problems in the field of investment because of the US maximum pressure policy," Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif told a parliamentary committee.
Prime Minister Antonio Costa's Socialists appear to have won Portugal's election over the weekend, although just shy of getting enough seats for an absolute majority So, coalition.
Legendary drummer Ginger Baker of the rock group Cream is dead at age 80, three years after being diagnosed with heart ailments.