World AM News Briefs For Thursday, 7 September 2016
Good Morning Australia!! - Does Myanmar's Suu Kyi really deserve that Nobel Prize as reports of atrocities mount under her rule? - A Killer storm is heading across the Caribbean's band of resort islands and right towards Florida - Trump strikes an odd deal - And more in your CareerSpot Global News Briefs:
Aung San Suu Kyi has broken her silence on the deadly violence in Myanmar that has driven thousands and thousands of Rohingya over the border into refugee camps in Bangladesh, and it is not good. Myanmar's de facto leader denounced "terrorism" for "misinformation" about what's happened in northeastern Rakhine state, and claimed the military had "already started defending all the people.. in the best way possible". The truth - what Suu Kyi claims is "misinformation" - is that more than 123,000 Rohingya have fled, there are reports of Myanmar's military committing heinous atrocities such as beheading children and burning people alive, and entire villages have been razed. And now, the Myanmar military is reportedly laying landmines near the border with Bangladesh so that the Rohingya cannot return to their homes.
Did Suu Kyi con the world? She spent a decade under house arrest and was awarded a Nobel Peace Prize in 1991 for her resolute defiance of the military dictatorship that preceded the long-sought free elections that gave her party the most seats in Parliament. But soon after that happened in 2015, reports of crimes against humanity began coming from Rakhine state, and a UN Human Rights report from earlier this year (.pdf link) detailed mass rapes and ethnic cleansing. Amnesty International published a similar dossier last year.
Suu Kyi responded by bristling to an interview with a Muslim reporter, accusing victims of lying about mass rapes, and upholding the 1982 Citizenship Law which denied citizenship and human rights for the Rohingya Muslims - the world's most-oppressed minority, according to the UN. In recent weeks, her government has prevented aid agencies from distributing food, water and medicines to the Rohingya, and refused to allow human rights investigators into Rakine state - some of them the same people who stood up for her rights when she was the world's most-famous political prisoner. Reactions from the Muslim world are growing more stern: Turkey has called for an end to "genocide", Pakistani lawmakers are demanding past awards to Suu Kyi be revoked, Malaysia is calling for calm among its own angered Muslim base, thousands have protested in Indonesia.
Hurricane Irma has grown into a monstrous Category Five cyclone, bigger in size than Tasmania, and the strongest storm even recorded in the Atlantic Ocean. And it has already caused two deaths and massive destruction Saint Martin and Saint Bart's, two French resort territories in the Leeward Islands on the edge of the Caribbean Sea. French Interior Minister Gerard Collomb said the four of the "most solid" buildings on the island are destroyed. Significant damage is also being reported in the Dutch section of St. Martin, known as Sint-Maarten. All communication has been lost with Barbuda. The eye of the storm is forecast to follow a track just to the north of those islands until it gets to Cuba, when it is expected to make a right turn and head to Florida. Tens of millions of people could be in the storm's path with sustained wind of 185 miles an hour (295 kilometers per hour) and gusts up to 225 mph.
Because Hurricane Irma could cause a storm surge of six to eight meters, evacuations are already underway in Miami, Florida even though the storm isn't going to get there until the end of the week. Gas stations are running out of fuel as gas lines stretch down southern Florida streets; stores are out of or running out of bottled water. The Florida Keys are under a mandatory evacuation order, and both Miami's Mayor and Florida's governor are urging people to voluntarily evacuate before the order comes down later this week. The US Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) says it can deal with the new hurricane in Florida simultaneously with the killer flooding from Hurricane Harvey around Houston, Texas.
When a country gets two once-in-a-lifetime storms in a couple of weeks, isn't it time to admit that CLIMATE CHANGE IS REAL? Well, how about warmer-than-average temperatures in the usually cool and damp Pacific Northwest worsening forest fires near Portland, Oregon?
Washington has been thrown for a loop after Donald Trump bucked his own party and Treasury Secretary and struck a deal with congressional Democrats. They agreed to fund the government and raise the debt ceiling through 15 December, and pass aid for Texans impacted by Hurricane Harvey. Trump reached this deal with House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi and Senator Chuck Schumer while GOP House Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell were sitting there in the same room. "The nation can breathe a sigh of relief," Senator Schumer told reporters afterwards, "We've avoided default, we've avoided a government shutdown." Seriously, WTH is happening? The Republicans were also annoyed by first daughter Ivanka Trump who barged into the meeting to make small talk with the congressional leaders. Not only are far-right lawmakers chafing at this, but the timing throws the GOP legislative agenda for the rest of the year into question.
Brazilian police have seized more than US$16 Million in cash an apartment allegedly used by one of President Michel Temer's former cabinet members. That former minister Geddel Vieira Lima is under house arrest, and President Temer is fighting corruption allegations.
Thousands of protesters marched in Togo's capital Lome to demand an end to President Faure Gnassingbe's "dynasty". Gnassingbe assumed the presidency in 2005, replacing his father who ruled for 38 years. An offer to introduce a two-term limit on the presidency failed to dissuade the protesters.
India's Supreme Court has given permission to a 13-year-old rape victim to terminate her pregnancy. The Mumbai girl's lawyer say the termination is scheduled to take place on Friday. The alleged rapist - a colleague of the girls' father - is under arrest.
North Korea's test of a hydrogen bomb last weekend caused numerous landslides around the Punggye-ri nuclear test site, according to the monitoring blog 38 North. The blast triggered senors in seismology labs around the world, reaching magnitude 6.3.
Hungary and Slovakia opposed European Union measures to relocate thousands of migrants across member nations, a deal drawn up at the height of the crisis in 2015. On Wednesday, The European Court of Justice overruled their objections. Hungary's foreign minister angrily reacted, "The real fight starts now!"
A wonderful woman in Texas got arrested for shiplifting; she slipped out of her handcuffs and stole the police SUV, leading cops on a 100 miles an hour chase. Such a lovely day!