World AM News Briefs For Tuesday, 15 May 2018
Good Morning Australia!! - Blood in the desert as the US opens a divisive embassy - Melania Trump undergoes surgery - The walls are starting to close in on Malaysia's ex-PM - And more in your CareerSpot Global News Briefs:
Israel has killed at least 55 Palestinians at the Gaza border, and injured more than 2,400 people. It's the deadliest day of violence since the 2014 Gaza War. The border protests have been going on for weeks, but have taken on new intensity as the US opens its new embassy in Jerusalem. Some of the protesters threw stones and hurled molotovs under cover of thick black smoke from burning tyres; the IDF responded with sniper fire. The Gaza health ministry says children are among the dead.
Germany said Israel had the right to defend itself but should have done so proportionately to the protests. The European Union called for restraint with foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini stating, "We expect all to act with utmost restraint to avoid further loss of life." UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein strongly condemned Israel disproportionate response: "Those responsible for outrageous human rights violations must be held to account," he tweeted, "The (international) community needs to ensure justice for victims." The protests are expected to be even bigger on Tuesday on what the Palestinians call the "Nakba", or the "catastrophe" that followed the formation of Israel 70 years ago.
While dozens were killed and thousands were hurt, the US threw a party at the new embassy in Jerusalem, focused on red meat for a very narrow band of rural, southern, ultra-conservative voters. Two preachers known for bizarre,anti-Semitic views spoke. "Pastor" John Hagee, the founder of Christians United for Israel, delivered the benediction; he once called Hitler "a hunter" sent by God. Hagee was followed by "Pastor" Robert Jeffress, who is even worse: Jeffress says Jews can't be "saved" in his religion; he called Islam and Mormonism heresies "from the pit of hell"; he suggested that the Catholic church was Satanic; he accused then-President Barack Obama of "paving the way" for the Antichrist; and he spread false statistics about the prevalence of HIV among gays, who he said live a "miserable" and "filthy" lifestyle. Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu welcomed these two preachers who support his nation because they think the end of the world is coming and will be played out there.
Back in Washington, Trump's wife Melania underwent kidney surgery at Walter Reed Hospital. The White House said the procedure was to treat a "benign" condition and there were no complications. It's not clear if this was scheduled or an emergency. She'll be in the hospital for a week. Good thing she has the White House healthcare plan, because that stuff is expensive without a decent and humane national healthcare plan. Since her husband and his fellow republicans have been hacking away at the US Affordable Care Act (colloquially known as "Obamacare"), more than 3.2 million Americans lost their healthcare coverage, with a total of 12.2 percent of all American adults now lacking health insurance.
Actor Margot Kidder is dead at 69, passing in her sleep at her home in Montana. She's best known for playing Lois Lane opposite Christopher Reeve in the four Superman films from 1978 to 1987. Kidder was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and suffered some career setbacks after a public breakdown in 1996, but turned that around to become a tireless advocate for mental health treatment.
A white farmer and his family in South Africa have been hauled before the "equality court" for forcing a black worker to drink fecal sewage, attempting to drown him in a septic tank, and racially abusing the man. Harry Leicester, along with his wife Maria and son Chris, say they are innocent. The South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) initiated court proceedings after hearing the victim Joseph Mona's story. Mr. Mona is seeking about AU$10,000 compensation and a public apology; police are conducting a parallel criminal investigation.
Ousted Malaysian leader Najib Razak is now accused of personally obstructing the investigation into the US$3.2 Billion 1MDB scandal. Former director of Malaysia's anti-corruption Abdul Razak Idris lodged a formal complaint, alleging that Najib and sycophantic civil servants prevented a full investigation into the missing billions. Newly-elected prime minister Mahathir Mohamad put one of those officials - the attorney general - on leave pending an investigation.