World AM News Briefs For Tuesday, 10 September 2019
Howdy Australia!! - Bullying hurricane victims, forcing scientists to lie, giving away intelligence.. it's another day with the Trump administration - Parliament pens in Johnson - An elephant got tired of being a decoration - And more in your CareerSpot Global News Briefs:
I hardly even know where to begin with the insanity flowing out of Washington at this point of the day. But we can start with the egregious stuff.
Donald Trump is banning most hurricane refugees from the Bahamas from coming to the US while their nation recovers from Hurricane Dorian, a Category Five that parked itself over the archipelago for more than two days last week. Without providing any evidence whatsoever, Trump slandered the victims: "The Bahamas had some tremendous problems with people going to the Bahamas that weren't supposed to be there," who were allegedly, "very bad people and some very bad gang members and some very very bad drug dealers." And then he had the audacity to say, "Most areas of the Bahamas were not hit." With most homes and personal belongings destroyed, of course few people have their travel documents - leading to authorities marching hundreds of paperless people off of the ferries bringing refugees to the US. The death toll in the Bahamas is more than 44 lives lost and 70,000 people are homeless.
US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross threatened to fire the head of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration unless he put out a statement supporting Donald Trump's false claim that Hurricane Dorian was heading to Alabama. The New York Times reports that this happened two days after Trump infamously displayed a bogus Hurricane Forecast that had been crudely and childishly altered with a Sharpie pen to include Alabama in Dorian's forecast trajectory. Trump did this days after the Birmingham, Alabama office of the National Weather Service very publicly contradicted what then could have been written off as an innocent mistake when he cautioned people in the state to prepare for a hurricane that wasn't actually coming. After Ross's call, an unsigned statement popped up on the NOAA website criticizing the Birmingham office for "speaking in absolute terms". It is believed to be the first time that US weather officials were forced to lie in order to prop up a politician's ego.
The US hurriedly extracted one of its highest level covert sources embedded inside the Russian government in 2017, because Trump and his administration repeatedly mishandled intelligence regarding Russia. This bombshell report from CNN says the extraction happened just after Trump's infamous meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and then-Russian Ambassador to the US Sergey Kislyak in the oval office, in which intelligence officials fears that he improperly discussed highly classified material with the Russians. CNN goes on to report that weeks after the extraction, Trump met with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Munich where officials again feared he spilled the beans. BTW, just last week Trump tweeted a classified photo of a failed Iranian missile launch, betraying the existence of the specific spy satellite. You'd think that other members of the "Five Eyes" intelligence alliance would be a little concerned?
All of this chaos took the attention off of Trump's ill-planned meeting with the Afghanistan Taliban at Camp David. That meeting was cancelled, but apparently not for fact that it was a bad idea, or looked bad at a certain time. The New York Times reported that the Taliban wanted a deal ending the 18 year US war in Afghanistan be signed first; but Trump wanted the deal to be signed at the presidential retreat, providing a made-for-TV event serving as a showcase for his purported negotiating skills. The Taliban balked and Trump pulled the plug, the deal is now dead. Republicans and Democrats spent Monday morning blasting the idea that Trump could actually have hosted the co-planners of the 9/11 attacks during the week of their 18th anniversary.
And now to London..
The bill to stop a no-deal Brexit has been granted Royal Ascent and is now law. Known as the Benn-Bill, it would extend the Brexit deadline until 31 January 2020 if there is no agreement in place by 19 October to ease the UK's divorce from the European Union. But that is not stopping Prime Minister Boris Johnson from suspending Parliament until the middle of October, a process known as proroguing, and it is feared that he will use that time to try and find a loophole to get out of seeking another Brexit delay - saying that he'd rather be "dead in a ditch".
Before they go, Commons dealt Johnson another setback: The opposition joined by rebel Conservatives ordered Johnson to hand over private messages sent by senior aides plotting the prorogation of parliament, as well as secret papers detailing preparations for a no-deal Brexit. This includes anything sent over social media platforms such as Facebook or Whatsapp. This is because of allegations that Johnson bullied members of his own party to go along with his drive for a do-or-die Brexit on 31 October, going as far as to kick more than 20 top Tories out of the party.
With Johnson and Parliament limited in what they can do, House Speaker John Bercow - the guy who says, "Order!" in a legato baritone voice - says he will stand down from the role immediately if MPs vote for a general election, or on 31 October if they don't.
Outrage in Germany, after a neo-nazi was elected to lead a village council - mostly because no one else wanted the job. Waldsiedlung council members from the main parties, including Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democrats and the coalition partner Social Democrats, voted for Stefan Jagsch of the National Democratic party (NDP). But the national parties are now stepping up and demanding the council vote be vacated.
The US coast guard rescued four crewmembers from an overturned freighter off the coast of Georgia by cutting through the now-exposed bottom of the boat, just like "The Poseidon Adventure". Okay, that's a really old film reference, but it happened. The freighter was carrying 4,000 automobiles.
Nigeria is repatriating around 600 South Africans amid the growing row between the two countries. It's the latest reaction to a wave of xenophobic violence in which South African mobs targeted foreign-owned businesses in and around Johannesburg. South Africa is a destination for migrants in Africa because it has one of the continent's biggest and most developed economies, but that has sparked resentment among the locals who feel their jobs are in danger from the newcomers.
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