World AM News Briefs For Monday, 9 September 2019
Good Morning Australia!! - Disbelief over Trump's claims about the Taliban and peace talks - Another senior UK government official quits over Brexit - Striking back at the censors - And more in your CareerSpot Global News Briefs:
There is condemnation for Donald Trump's bizarre announcement that he has canceled talks to end the 18-year Afghanistan War with the Taliban at Camp David, allegedly because the terrorist group had killed a US soldier days earlier - talks that were arranged "unbeknownst to anyone", as Trump put it. Few analysts believe that reason, since the Taliban has pretty much been killing Coalition troops all along. Many suggest it could have been because the administration suddenly realized that it was about to host the Taliban at the presidential retreat during the week of the 18th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks - an atrocity the Taliban helped to plan. The Taliban condemned the decision to stop talks, warning that the US has the most to lose by failing to negotiate; the Afghan government says it is focused on the peace process, despite Trump.
But Trump's announcement didn't get much support at home. Democratic Party presidential candidate Julian Castro decried Trump's "erratic behavior" in this "bizarre episode". His rival for his party's 2020 presidential nomination Sen. Amy Klobuchar blasted Trump for "treating foreign policy like it's some kind of game show", warning the Taliban "are terrorists". Across the aisle, Republican Rep. Liz Cheney said the Taliban should never have been invited to the place where her Dick Cheney and the Bush administration planned the response to 9/11; Rep. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois said the Taliban shouldn't be allowed in the country.
The day after she quit the UK Cabinet, Amber Rudd said she could see no evidence that UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson is actually working on getting a deal from the European Union to ease the trauma of the impending Brexit. Ms. Rudd, in her resignation latter, criticized Johnson for the "political vandalism" of kicking 21 rebel MPs out of the Conservative Party, describing them as "moderates" who just wanted a good Brexit deal. Parliament last week passed a bill to force Johnson to delay the Brexit by three months and prevent him from taking the UK out of the EU without deals to prevent economic chaos; interestingly, justice secretary Robert Buckland says he still supports Johnson but warned him to obey the rule of law.
France may not even want to grant Johnson the three month extension that Parliament demands of him. French foreign minister Jean-Yves Le Drian cited the dearth of realistic proposals being put forward by Downing Street as an alternative to the Irish backstop, which would ensure the free flow of people and goods over the fenceless frontier separating the Republic of Ireland and the six counties in the north held by the Brits. "It's very worrying," said Le Drian, "The British must tell us what they want." Similarly, Irish Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said he expects no progress in Monday's meetings with Boris Johnson in Dublin.
Brazil's biggest newspaper struck back at an attempt to censor a comic book over depicting two (fully clothed) male characters kissing. Folha de Sao Paulo put the image above the fold on the front page of Sunday's election. Last week, Rio de Janeiro Mayor Marcello Crivella - an evangelical bishop - tried to ban sale of the Marvel comic book at a book fair. Newspaper editor Sergio Davila said the point was to call attention to "censorship threats", which Crivella's critics have likened to that during the US-backed fascist dictatorship which ended in 1985. The case had worked its way through the courts, and on Sunday the Supreme court threw out a lower court ruling that endorsed Crivella's actions.
Human skeletons have been found buried beneath the bathroom at the former home of Paraguay's fascist dictator Alfredo Stroessner. He had at least 423 political opponents killed or disappeared during his 35-year rule, although rights groups caution the true toll could be much higher. Stroessner was ousted in 1989, and his home in Ciudad del Este is occupied by squatters who've been digging the place up in search of buried treasure - finding the four skeletons instead.
Iran says the tanker that was detained by the UK before courts ordered its release has now delivered its cargo, which Western officials suspect was oil for Syria in violation of international trade sanctions.
India's space agency says its lunar orbiter has discovered the location where the Vikram lunar lander was lost last week. It apparently experienced "a hard landing", according to the space agency's director. That's how scientists say, "it crashed."