World AM News Briefs For Thursday, 9 August 2018
Good Morning Australia!! - An Australian connection in a US political scandal - Emma Husar will step aside - Who picks a fight with Canada? - And more in your CareerSpot Global News Briefs:
US Federal Prosecutors arrested and charged one of Donald Trump's first congressional boosters, New York Republican Rep. Christopher Collins, for lying about alleged insider trading involving stock of an Australian pharmaceutical company. One of the wealthiest men in the US Congress, authorities say Collins was a board member of Sydney-based Innate Immunotherapeutics Limited; through this, he received confidential information about negative clinical trial results for the company's multiple sclerosis drug. Prosecutors alleged in great detail how Collins passed that information on to his son, who in turn told his future father-in-law. All three men are indicted, and prosecutors say they avoided more than "US$768,000 in losses that they would have otherwise incurred" had they sold their stock after the information was made public. Collins' didn't trade his own stock because he was already under investigation and surveillance in another matter.
Labor MP Emma Husar will not re-contest the western Sydney seat of Lindsay at the next election. "It's a really sad day," she said in a statement. Former staff accused her of bullying and misconduct, allegations Ms. Husar described as "malicious" and "vicious and baseless smears". She said the bad publicity led to "threats to my personal safety, the trolling of my children online, and media parked outside my house around the clock".
Malaysia's former prime minister Najib Razak pleaded not guilty top three new corruption counts against him. The money laundering charges are related to the looting of the state-run investment fund 1MDB, allegedly by Najib and his associates. He denies the charges and accuses the new government of political vengeance.
Saudi Arabia is escalating its extremely odd row with Canada: The oil kingdom ordered Saudi students out of Canada, and is forbidding Saudi citizens from seeking healthcare at Canadian hospitals. It already expelled the Canadian ambassador and froze trade ties, all because Canada urged it to release jailed human rights activists, especially Women's activist Samar Badawi who has ties to Western leaders. For some reason, that really stuck a burr under Prince Muhammad's saddle. Saudi Arabia is rejecting mediation to resolve what most other nations see as an inexplicable overreaction. That's okay (not okay), because their mutual friend the US isn't offering to help.
The US State Department announced sanctions against Russia over the chemical agent attack against former Russian double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Yulia, in the UK in March. The Skripals were hospitalized for months but later made a full recovery. However, a UK woman died after coming into contact with the Russian-made poison Novichok, which investigators say was used on the Skripals.
In Peru, ten people are dead after eating a meat stew that was contaminated with insecticide. Local hospitals say 21 people are in a serious condition. The ghastly meal was served at the wake of a man in the southern Ayacucho region. Investigators will determine how the poison got into the stew.
Bolivia arrested a soldier after the presidential sash and gold medallion were stolen from the soldier's car, which was parked in a red light district. The items are only brought out for special occasions, and President Evo Morales was supposed to have worn them at a military review. The items are more than two centuries old, and the medal was once presented to South American independence hero Simon Bolivar. Former Bolivian President Carlos Mesa compared the crime to "the theft of the crown of Queen Elizabeth II of England".