World AM News Briefs For Tuesday, 12 December 2017
Good Morning Australia!! - A bomb disrupts Manhattan's morning commute - How much did a Chinese billionaire pay to eat with Bill Shorten? - Trump's Jerusalem declaration finds no allies - And more in your CareerSpot Global News Briefs:
New Yorkers didn't even flinch at the failed terrorist attack this morning. Police have a suspect under arrest for detonating a pipe bomb or similar improvised explosive device in a passenger tunnel at the Port Authority terminal. 27-year old Bangladeshi immigrant Akayed Ullah is seriously wounded and under police guard. But other than closing the streets to allow people to get out of the area more easily, New York City moved on - and officials hope to have the train station open before the afternoon rush hour.
A Chinese billionaire paid $55,000 to have lunch with Labor leader Bill Shorten, according to a report by the ABC. Huang Xiangmo's donation in October was reported to the Australian Electoral Commission. It came amidst debate over Labor's opposition to the Labor's opposition to the China-Australia trade deal; one day after the lunch, the ABC says Shorten announced he had changed his mind and would support the "speedy passage" of the trade deal after securing "satisfactory legal protections that were not previously disclosed".
European Union foreign ministers told Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that they will not follow Donald Trump's lead and recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel until after the peace process with Palestinians has been concluded. "We believe that the only realistic solution to the conflict between Israel and Palestine is based on two states, with Jerusalem as the capital of both the state of Israel and the state of Palestine," said European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini. Netanyahu is visiting Europe to drum up support. But even his closest EU allies such as the Czech Republic are warning Trump's Jerusalem move is just making everything worse.
Senior Palestinian political leader Hanan Ashrawi says Trump's move "totally" disqualifies itself from the peace process. "We will not engage in any peace process where the Americans are in control," she told the ABC's The World Today, and warns the Palestinians will take Israel to the World Court. Trump's declaration sparked demonstrations throughout the Islamic world, most violently in the Mideast.
Russian President Vladimir Putin made an unannounced visit to his troops in Syria to tell them they'd soon be going home. Russia recently declared victory over the so-called Islamic State, and Iraq followed suit a few days after that. But it's a multiple victory for Putin, as he also managed to keep a key ally in power in Syria, keep Russia's only Mediterranean post, and thwart US efforts to project its power into Syria. It's also timed pretty well, coming less than a week after he announced he would run for reelection.
Opposition groups are launching nationwide strikes in protest of the election chaos in Honduras, which hasn't been able to come up with a winner of the 26 November presidential election, despite numerous recounts and blatantly fudged vote totals. Thousands of supporters of the Opposition Alliance filled the streets, and erected roadblocks around the capital's main highways preventing traffic from continuing. Even if President Juan Orlando Hernandez is able to hold onto power - in violation of the Honduran constitution's ban on consecutive terms - "He won't be able to govern because the protest will be permanent," said former president Manuel Zelaya Rosales. Opposition leader Salvador Nasralla insists he is the winner of the election.
Campaigners are disgusted, "but unsurprised" at Tanzanian President John Magufuli's pardon of two celebrity child molesters. Singer Nguza Viking and his son Johnson Nguza - known as Babu Seya and Papii Kocha - were convicted of raping ten elementary school girls, and had served 13 years of their life sentences before being released from prison. Magufuli has been accused of having a "lack of understanding about violence against children"; such cases rarely make it to court in the African nation.
Ultra-conservatives are likely to form a coalition to form Austria's next government, and the first thing they're going after is breathable non-stinky air. The Freedom Party and the People's Party will scrap the current government's plans to outlaw smoking in bars and restaurants by May 2018. "Overturning the total ban on smoking in the restaurant industry is an enormous step backwards on health policy," Outgoing Health Minister Pamela Rendi-Wagner said. Restaurants and bars will still be required to relegate smokers to specific areas, and the age at which a person can buy cigarettes will still be raised to 18.