World AM News Briefs For Thursday, 12 Sep 2019
Hello Australia!! - A hint at how bad the Bahamas death toll could turn out - The UK Government released its Brexit nightmare scenario - An amazing discovery in deep space - And more in your CareerSpot Global News Briefs:
Around 2,500 people are missing in the Bahamas after Hurricane Dorian, according to emergency officials. "This list has not yet been checked against government records of who is staying in shelters or who have been evacuated," said Carl Smith, a spokesman for the country's National Emergency Management Agency. But it bolsters fears that the official death toll, which stands at 50 lives lost so far, is going to get a lot worse. The Category Five hurricane did the most damage on Grand Bahama Island and the Abaco group slightly to the east.
But the Trump Administration told NBC News that it will not grant temporary protected status to people from the Bahamas displaced by Hurricane Dorian. Such a thing would have enabled America's Bahamian neighbors to work and live in the US until it is deemed safe to return home. More than 300,000 people from ten countries are legally living in the US under similar arrangements, including the victims of Haiti’s 2010 earthquake.
Scotland's highest court has ruled that UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson's suspension of Parliament is unlawful. The panel of three judges at the Court of Session sided with the cross-bench group of politicians who filed a challenge to Johnson's move, agreeing that he was attempting to prevent Parliament holding the government to account ahead of Brexit. Johnson's Appeal against the ruling will be heard by the Supreme Court in London next week.
The UK Government released its "Operation Yellowhammer" document (.pdf link), detailing fears of riots, rises in food prices, and reduced medical supplies because of trade disruptions if the UK leaves the EU on 31 October without a deal. "While some products can be stockpiled, others cannot due to short shelf lives," it reads, adding: "Certain types of fresh food supply will decrease," and "critical dependencies for the food supply chain may be in short supply". Officials claim it's a view of a "reasonable worst-case scenario" and not a "prediction". But, Brexit Minister Michael Gove has so far refused to release internal communications between aides about Johnson's suspension of Parliament, which was also mandated in the bill passed by MPs.
Canadian PM Justin Trudeau has called an election for 21 October, and it could be a tough election for him. The issues before voters will be climate change and the economy specifically the high cost of living. Conservatives will seek to blunt the Liberal PM's drive for a second term by hammering on an ethics scandal that saw a couple of his ministers quit out of protest. The two major parties are running on about 30 percent support each - although the Left-wing New Democrats and the Greens add up to another 30, which could give Trudeau the majority he needs for a coalition and a second term.
Fiji Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama begins a five day visit to Australia today, the first time he has been here since calling Scott Morrison "insulting and condescending" at the Pacific Islands Forum in August. Australia's smaller island neighbors are pretty disappointed over the government's view of climate change and rising seas - especially when it comes to coal. At the time, Bainimarama said: "I thought Morrison was a good friend of mine, apparently not," cautioning, "China never insults the Pacific." Morrison has apparently been working to repair the relationship and insists the two can work together on "illegal fishing and climate change, opportunities for increased trade, investment and labor mobility, as well as strengthening our cooperation on defense and security".
When it comes to climate change, there is no "planet B". But there is a planet out there that scientists now believe has water vapor in its atmosphere. According to the report in the journal Nature Astronomy, planet K2-18b orbits in the habitable zone around a red dwarf star - meaning that the surface temperature could sustain life as we know it. They found the water vapor by analyzing data taken by the Hubble Space Telescope as the planet passed in front of its sun - different ingredients in the atmosphere such as water produces tell-tale "fingerprints" in the result wavelengths of light. "Finding water in a potentially habitable world other than Earth is incredibly exciting," said the study's lead author Angelos Tsiaras of University College London. One problem: All we have to do to pour a glass is to invent a space ship that can travel 110 light years to the constellation of Leo in a reasonable amount of time. And if we had one - like the NCC-1701d USS Enterprise from TV (because I'm a nerd) - it'd still take 80 days at Warp 8.