World AM News Briefs For Tuesday, 17 September 2019 *UPDATED!
Howdy Australia!! - The US claims it has evidence Iran attacked Saudi Arabia - Abortion divides the NSW Liberals - Aussie intel could have been compromised by a Canadian leaker - Remembering Ric Ocasek of The Cars - And more in your CareerSpot Global News Briefs:
Canada on Monday admitted that the top cop arrested for allegedly leaking top secret intelligence could have compromised information from Australia and New Zealand, both members of the Five Eyes intelligence alliance of anglophone countries. Cameron Ortis, a director general with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police's intelligence unit, had "access to information the Canadian intelligence community possessed," according to RCMP Commissioner Brenda Luck: "He also had access to intelligence coming from our allies both domestically and internationally," she added. Ortis was arrested for allegedly leaking information about a Russian money laundering and tax avoidance scheme, although the recipient has not yet been disclosed.
Three anti-abortion Liberal MPs in the New South Wales parliament were going to move a spill motion against Premier Gladys Berejiklian. But then they changed their minds, like 3 and a half minutes after I hit the "save" button on the earlier version of this story.
And now, a quick look at some jokers trying to start World War III..
Donald Trump says it is "certainly looking" like Iran was behind the drone attack on two Saudi oil facilities over the weekend, and the Saudi-led coalition in the Yemen Proxy War also blames Iran. But Yemen's Houthi rebels already claimed responsibility for the attack as self-defense for Saudi Arabia's role in the Yemen War, and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani backs that: "Yemen is the target of daily bombings," Rouhani said in a news conference in Ankara, flanked by Turkish host Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Russian President Vladimir Putin; "The people of Yemen have been forced to respond, they are only defending themselves," he added. Iran backs the Houthi, Saudi Arabia and its pals back the Yemen government.
The Houthi scenario maintains: The drones came from Yemen southwest of Saudi Arabia; flew hundreds of kilometers through Saudi Arabia past the rebels's previously-known capabilities, past several US Airbases with sophisticated radar, to an area close to the Persian Gulf in the Northeast; and hit the northwest side of each target with better than 66 percent accuracy. Okay, that's a little odd. CNN is reporting that the US told at least one ally in the Middle East that they have intelligence showing that the drones "likely" came from staging grounds in Iran, but they have not shared that intelligence yet. "It is one thing to tell us, it is another thing to show us," said a diplomat from the region.
SO, we'll all probably pay more for gasoline later in the year. Oil prices initially spiked nearly 20 in initial trading, but leveled off to a 14.5 percent hike in US trading Monday. That's the biggest one-day move since February, 2016. Brent Crude was trading at US$68.45 per barrel in late trading. Analysts said if the Saudi production outage is extended by more than several weeks, Brent crude could reach $75; if there is a military response or more attacks, it could hit $85. "What the market is pricing is geopolitical risk premium and tail risk. Something like this has never happened before," said Amarpreet Singh, Barclays energy analyst, in an interview with CNBC. "Something like this to Saudi supply has absolutely never happened, even during the Gulf War.
Shoulda gotten a $#^@&!! Prius...
New York State prosecutors subpoenaed eight years of Donald Trump's personal and corporate tax returns. The New York Times reports that it's part of the investigation into whether he issued hush money payments to porn star Stormy Daniels over their alleged affair to protect his 2016 presidential campaign. If so, that'd be a felony campaign finance violence, and the US President cannot pardon himself or anyone else from charges in individual states.
British PM Boris Johnson walked away from his own outdoor news conference in Luxembourg about the Brexit as boisterous hecklers called him out from a distance. But then, Luxembourg PM Xavier Bettel took over the event and railed in exasperation against Johnson for not putting together any credible plan to the Brexit to take place on 31 October. This was in direct contradiction with Johnson's repeated claim that "there's been a lot of work" and "papers have been shared". Bettel and other European leaders have expressed doubt on granting the UK another extension, and added, "We need written proposals and the time is ticking so stop speaking and act."
Ric Ocasek is dead at age 75. The songwriter, rhythm guitar player, and lead singer for the 1980s group The Cars was found dead in his townhouse on the east side of Manhattan Sunday - no foul play is suspected. From the band's first hits in 1978 - "Just What I Needed", "My Best Friend's Girl", and their biggest Australian single "Let's Go" the following year - the band effortlessly did the impossible, grafting 1960's pop and earlier Rockabilly with the robotic alienation of "Kraftwerk"-like synthesizers and odd-meter rhythms. Ocasek and The Cars quickly defined the next few years of the burgeoning "New Wave" of rock music and its chief purveyor MTV, staying on the cutting edge of sound and sight with the latest synth technology as well as bold and colorful imagery.
Rescue workers and volunteers have saved six of seven Orcas that became stranded on the beach near Mar Chiquita, Argentina. It's unknown why the whales beached themselves, but local veterinarians will do a necropsy on the seventh whale which didn't make it to try and figure it out.