World AM News Briefs For Tuesday, 12 September 2017
Good Morning Australia!! - Myanmar anti-Rohingya violence is "textbook ethnic cleansing", says the UN - Flooding moves up the US East Coast from Storm Irma - Yes, there really are a lot more Kangaroos out there recently - And more in your CareerSpot Global News Briefs:
The UN High Commissioner on Human Rights says Myanmar's "brutal security operation" against the Rohingya minority amounts to "a textbook example of ethnic cleansing" in Rakhine state. "I call on the government to end its current cruel military operation, with accountability for all violations that have occurred and to reverse the pattern of severe and widespread discrimination against the Rohingya population," said Zeid Raad Al Hussein addressing the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva. The latest reports say more than 313,000 Rohingya - a stateless, mostly-Muslim minority of Myanmar - have fled to refugee camps in Bangladesh to escape atrocities committed by security forces and nationalist mobs in Rakhine.
Tens of thousands of Catalonians filled streets in Barcelona for the regional "Diada de Catalunya", turning the holiday into a gigantic rally for the independence referendum scheduled for 1 October. The Madrid government insists the vote is illegal, but Catalonia has passed a bill to secede from Spain if the vote is "Yes". The economy in the Catalonia region in Spain's northeast is doing much better than the rest of the country, and many in Catalonia - which has its own language and customs - are upset about paying more in taxes to Madrid than the government provides in services to the region.
Cuba says ten people were killed by Hurricane Irma, which spent a full day tearing up the north coast over the weekend. Seven people died in Havana, mainly from building collapses. President Raul Castro said there was extensive damage to seaside resorts, one of Cuba's main sources of income; but Cuba has the resources and manpower to get back to normal before the start of the high season and in a front-page column in Gramna he urged "combative people" to unify and help rebuild. State media also says important crash crops like sugar were damaged. "This was a big one but we are used to it," said one Havana resident.
Forecasters downgraded Hurricane Irma into a tropical storm, but it's still doing plenty of damage in the US. Savannah, Georgia and Charleston, South Carolina issued a flash flood warnings as the storm widens out and moves north. Jacksonville, Florida, in the northeast part of that hard-hit state, has widespread flooding. Seven people died in Florida as powerful wind and drenching rain combined to with global warming to create high storm surges that played havoc with coastal areas. More than six million are without power.
Flooding had not subsided in many parts of the Florida Keys, a string of very low-lying islands connected by 180 kilometers of causeways - a road that is still cut off because of the storm. It's believed as many as 10,000 people did not heed to the order to evacuate, and the fates of those trapped in their homes as the Florida Strait covered entire islands are unknown. Aid convoys are ready to go, but "there is no fuel, electricity, running water, or cell service. For many people, supplies are running low and anxiety is running high," read a statement from local officials. "Once the roads are cleared, and the bridges are inspected for use, aid and relief can start to move as it is flown in."
But so far, the Florida death toll is lower than a football party in Texas, and America's mass media just about ignored this story because no one blinks an eye at gun violence anymore: A gunman shot and killed seven people at a game-watching party in the Dallas suburb of Plano, and police responded to shoot and kill the suspect. Neighbors heard more than 30 shots fired. The massacre is believed to have stemmed from a domestic dispute.
The US marked 16 years since the 9/11 Attacks, with memorials at the World Trade Center, Pentagon, and the Pennsylvania field where one of the hijacked flights crashed. Islamist militants also marked their calendars: The so-called Islamic State claimed responsibility for an attack on Egyptian forces in Sinai that killed 18 people; Al Shabaab is blamed for attacked a Somali military base and police station near the border with Kenya, killing eight soldiers.
Violent protesters marked the 44th anniversary of the first 9/11, the fascist coup in Chile in which US-backed militarists overthrew the Democratically-election government of Socialist Salvador Allende. Police used water cannon and fired tear gas at demonstrators who responded by throwing rocks, bottles and other projectiles. Thousands were killed in 17 years of fascist rule by Augusto Pinochet.
There are now two kangaroos for every Australian (.pdf link). The latest government figures show almost 45 million kangaroos in 2016, which is about twice the human population, and an incredibly doubling since 2010 when there were only 27 million jumpy things. The experts say it's not their fault - more rain has resulted in more vegetation to eat. More food, more 'roos.