World AM News Briefs for Monday, 9 July 2018 (Updated!)
Good Morning Australia!! - Breaking News: Russian Nerve Toxin Kills a British Woman - Four are rescued, nine to go in Thailand - The flooding death toll leaps in Japan - Courts argue over Lula - And more in your CareerSpot Global News Briefs:
Breaking news this Monday morning: The British woman who was poisoned by the Russian spy poison called "Novichok" has died. 44-year old Dawn Sturgis was poisoned along with her partner after handling an object that was contaminated with the nerve agent that is known to be a Soviet invention handed down by legacy to Russia's intelligence service. Neither Ms. Sturgis nor her partner have any links to Russia, but are believed to be "collateral damage" from the attempted assassinations of former Russia double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter in Britain very close to very Sturgis was poisoned. The UK has blamed Russia for both incidents, but now it's murder - the first murder of a British citizen on British soil by a Russian chemical weapon.
Divers have safely recovered four of the boys trapped in a flooded cave in northern Thailand, and are resuming the rescue effort for the remaining eight and their football coach who are still inside. The rescued four were said to be doing "remarkably well" and were quickly transferred to hospital. The operation took nine hours, which was reportedly quicker than anticipated. Oxygen tanks and a guide rope had to be placed along the submerged parts of the route, and those tanks will have to be replaced with refills so the next leg of the rescue can continue.
Officials in western Japan now say that at least 74 people, maybe more than 80 were killed in "unprecedented" flooding and mudslides caused by torrential rain; and with 63 people still missing, the death toll could surpass the 77 lives lost in the flooding and mudslides in Hiroshima prefecture in 2014. This time around, the worst of it is in Kurashiki, a town in Okayama prefecture located about midway between Hiroshima and Osaka on the inland sea. Rescuers are busy plucking nearly a thousand people off of rooftops and from the upper storeys of buildings via boat and helicopter - in fact, around 40 helicopters have been flying rescue missions.
A judge in Brazil ordered the release of former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, saying he should he freed while appealing his sketchy corruption conviction. Even though a higher court judge quickly reversed the order, the original judge says his ruling stands and has ordered police to release Lula. The former leader says he is innocent and the case is politically motivated to prevent him from running for president again this year. Lula's first term in office from January 2003 to December 2010 saw the elimination of severe poverty and the expansion of education, healthcare, and opportunity to the favelas. All that progress is on the retreat under the coup government of unelected president Michel Temer, himself facing all sorts of corruption charges.
Ethiopia's Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed arrived in the Eritrean capital Asmara for a bilateral summit aimed at repairing relations between the two countries. It's the first time in twenty years that leaders of the two countries have met face to face. Last month, Mr. Abiy surprised people by accepting a peace deal that ended a two-year border war between the two countries.
Does Turkey even have any public service sector workers left? The country has purged another 18,000 state workers for their alleged ties to the failed coup two years ago. This latest round of the dismissed include soldiers, police and academics. A TV channel and three newspapers have also been closed. More than 125,000 workers have been sacked in the post-coup purge. Turkey did this just before president for life Recep Tayyip Erdogan is to be sworn in for a new term on Monday, following an election that observers condemned as horribly biased against any meaningful competition.
At least ten people were killed in a train derailment in northwest Turkey. The train carrying 360 passengers was en route from the town of Kapikule on the Bulgarian border to Istanbul. Bad weather and a landslide are blamed.