World AM News Briefs For Thursday, 15 November 2018
Good Morning Australia!! - The Brexit deal appears to pass a crucial step - Morrison eases Jokowi's concerns - The French strike back at Trump - Precipitating a health care crisis in Brazil - And more in your CareerSpot Global News Briefs:
UK Prime Minister Theresa May's cabinet has approved her 585-page (.pdf link) plan to extract the country from the European Union, clearing another hurdle on the way to the Brexit. Defending the plan as the best and only choice between a "hard" Brexit that could cause economic chaos and simply remaining in the EU, Ms. May predicted there would be "difficult days" for her and her government trying to sell this thing to Parliament. Indeed, a hard Brexiteer group within her Tory party is already circulating a letter to reject the plan. May will present the plan to the House of Commons tomorrow, while the leaders of the 27 EU countries will also begin going through the proposal. The EU's chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier defended the deal and insisted, "The United Kingdom will remain our friend, our partner, and our ally."
Israel's really, really hawkish defence minister Avigdor Lieberman quit over the cabinet's decision to accept a ceasefire ending two days of fighting with Palestinian militants in Gaza, claiming that it's "surrendering to terrorism". He's also pulling his far-right Yisrael Beiteinu party out of the governing coalition, which could lead to an early election. At least eight people, mainly Palestinians, are dead after a purported Israeli commando raid into Gaza led to Israel and Hamas trading rockets and air strikes.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison has told Indonesian President Joko Widodo that the chance of Australia actually moving its Israel embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem is "less than 5 percent", according to a report in Fairfax Media. This would placate the concerns of the Muslim country to our north and clear the way for a diplomatic retreat to seal that $16.5 Billion free trade agreement. Indonesia has made clear that it favors a two-state solution to end difficulties between the Palestinians and Israel; most Middle East experts have agreed that moving embassies from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem is counterproductive because it removes a crucial incentive for Israel to push forward with the peace process. Morrison publicly toyed with the idea after Donald Trump announced the US would do so.
A French government spokesman said Donald Trump's tweets mocking French President Emmanuel Macron were inappropriate and showed a lack of "common decency". Trump attacked Mr. Macron over nationalism, plans for a European army, and the French leader's ratings. But spokesman Benjamin Griveaux pointed out that Trump's salvo came as "we were marking the murder of 130 of our people", referring to the anniversary of the 2015 terror attack in Paris. "So I will reply in English: 'common decency' would have been the appropriate thing," Griveaux told reporters.
More than a dozen of America's major news organizations are backing up CNN's lawsuit against the White House over the banning of reporter Jim Acosta. Fox News shocked the bunch by signing on and declaring that White House press passes should never be "weaponized". After several contentious exchanges between Mr. Acosta versus White House spokespeople and Donald Trump himself, the administration yanked his credentials. But CNN and the rest argue that cutting off a reporter and banning him from the White House because officials didn't like what he reported is a flagrant violation of the First Amendment of the US Constitution which explicitly protect the free press.
Despite first lady Melania Trump's office calling for the ouster of deputy national security adviser Mira Ricardel, a White House official confirmed Wednesday that Ricardel is still employed there. Apparently, this has ratcheted up pressure on Donald Trump who the Los Angeles Times reports is growing more isolated by the day, reportedly berating aides over recent missteps or just berating them. Trump was reportedly blindsided by Melania's Lannister-esque demands, complaining it made him look like a hen-pecked husband.
Cuba announced it would pull its 11,200 doctors doing the work that Brazil's for-profit medicos won't do in poor and remote parts of the country. This is after Brazil's far-right president-elect Jair Bolsonaro demanded to change the country's contract with Cuba so that Brazil pays the doctors directly - instead of through their employer, the Cuban health ministry - and the doctors' families move to Brazil. Havana rejected Bolsonaro's scheme as "contemptuous and threatening to the presence of our doctors". More than 700 municipal districts never had a doctor before 2013 when Leftist then-President Dilma Rousseff started the "More Doctors" program with Cuba to rescue poor Brazilians from from the free market free-for-all that restricts healthcare only to those who can pay.
Japan's economy shrank in the third quarter under pressure from a series of natural disasters, including one of its, an earthquake, and a deadly typhoon. Preliminary figures showed the world's third-largest economy contracted by an annualised 1.2 percent between July and September. And there's more trouble for Tokyo on the horizon, as rising trade tensions and protectionism threaten to disrupt future exports of electronics and auto parts.