World AM News Briefs For Wednesday, 12 June 2019
Good Morning Australia!! - Russia backs down - Evidence emerges suggesting that Lula was set up - The EU tells the Tories that the deal is the deal - And more in your CareerSpot Global News Briefs:
Botswana has defied a wave of homophobia in Africa and decriminalized gay sex. In a landmark case, the High Court ruled that people's sexuality is innate and not "a fashion statement" and therefore could not be illegal. Homosexual acts are still banned in most of Africa, with penalties ranging from death in the Islamic north to harsh prison terms in the Christian south. Prior to this ruling, the penalty in Botswana was seven years in prison. LGBTQ activists and the High Court justices cited a comment from President Mokgweetsi Masisi: "There are also many people of same-sex relationships in this country who have been violated and have also suffered in silence for fear of being discriminated. Just like other citizens, they deserve to have their rights protected."
German Health Minister Jens Spahn is moving to ban so-called "conversion therapy" that aims to change a child's sexuality from gay to straight. "Homosexuality is not an illness, which is why it does not need to be treated," said Spahn, "I would very much like to have a bill this year that could then be presented to parliament." Australia has yet to ban the harmful pseudoscience, and although the Senate last year unanimously passed a motion expressing opposition, PM Morrison believes it's a matter for states and territories.
After an angry outcry from within its borders and around the world, Russia has dropped phony-baloney drug charges against journalist Ivan Golunov. Supporters say authorities framed the 36-year old reporter on serious drug charges in retaliation for reporting on corruption in Moscow's city hall for the Latvian website Meduza. Russian media does not often speak out against the government, not even independent media - but many stood up for Mr. Golunov despite the dangers. The Putin government is under increasing pressure from the Russian people over declining living standards.
Brazil's Justice Minister Sergio Moro is facing new calls to step down after The Intercept revealed a trove of documents showed he had engaged in "improper and unethical plotting" designed to ensure that former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva would go to prison, and therefore be unable to run in the 2018 presidential election. This cleared the way for racist, sexist, fascist, homophobic Jair Bolsonaro to win. Lula has consistently denied the corruption charges, and Moro is now denying the evidence against him as sensationalist smears. But it includes private admissions of doubt from prosecutors about whether there was sufficient evidence to prove Lula's guilt. At the time, he was a judge leading the investigation and was supposed to have been impartial - and thus it raised many eyebrows when he accepted the gig in the far-right Bolsonaro government.
European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said the Brexit deal negotiated with outgoing Prime Minister Theresa May is the final offer, and the next occupant of Number 10 should forget about renegotiating it. Several Tories are looking to succeed Ms. May as leader of the Conservative Party and take over as Prime Minister. But Mr. Juncker told an audience in Brussels the deal "has to be respected by whomsoever will be the next British prime minister". Some of those trying to replace May are favoring a no-deal Brexit in October, but Labour launched an effort to line up cross bench support for a measure preventing that.
Salvage crews lifted the wreck of the Mermaid tourist boat off the bottom of the Danube River at Budapest, where it was slammed by a much larger river cruise ship last week. Four bodies were found in side along with a number of unused flotation jackets. The Mermaid's Hungarian captain went down with the ship; the body of a six-year old girl was also found. But only seven of the 35 people on board are believed to have survived the disaster, and many bodies may have been lost to the Danube which was running higher and faster than usual.