World AM News Briefs For Wednesday, 13 March 2019
Hello Australia!! - May's latest major defeat makes the Brexit even more chaotic - Trump's America won't ground the 737 MAX 8, but Australia did - Two cops are arrested in a notorious murder - And more in your CareerSpot Global News Briefs:
UK Prime Minister Theresa May has suffered yet another stinging defeat, with Parliament voting down her barely amended Brexit deal 391-242. The scant amount of tinkering to the agreement offered by European Commission President Jean Claude Juncker did little to dislodge lawmakers from the opinions they've held for months. The difference of 149 votes wasn't as bad as December's rejection of 230, but it's still a massive defeat by any Westminster standard. Despite losing not one but two crucial votes by the widest margins, May didn't resign - an anomaly by any Westminster standard. Hoarse and dejected, Ms. May explained that the next steps would be votes on taking a "No Deal Brexit" off the table, followed by delaying the Brexit.
India and the European Union have joined Australia and eight other nations in grounding the Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft, after the deadly crashes of two flights just five months apart in Indonesia and Ethiopia. There is considerable frustration in the US, where the FAA has so far failed to take any action and appeared to back Boeing's claim that the jet is safe. Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren - a Democratic presidential candidate - called on the FAA "to get these planes out of the sky". California Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein also said the jets should be grounded during the investigation into the most recent crash near Addis Ababa that killed 157 people: "This aircraft model represents only a small fraction of the domestic fleet, and several other countries have already taken this important step, including China and Indonesia." Boeing says it will issue an upgrade to the plane's control software in the coming weeks.
US prosecutors have charged more than 40 people in a scheme to get applicants into some of America's top universities by faking credentials and achievements. The most recognizable names include actors Felicity Huffman of "Desperate Housewives" and Lori Loughlin of "Full House", but the vast majority of defendants are wealthy CEOs of major companies, executives and investors, as well as celebrity fashion and interior designers. They paid huge sums to 58-year old William "Rick" Singer and his company Edge College & Career Network, which did incredibly knuckle-headed stuff such as photo-shopping the faces of the rich peoples' kids onto pictures of athletes, and then claiming they had sports backgrounds. Some university coaches were also charged. But the schools themselves - Yale, Harvard, University of Southern California, Stanford, George Washington University, and others - are not charged with any crimes.
Two ex-cops are under arrest in the murder of Marielle Franco, the Rio De Janeiro councilor and progressive political icon who many considered to possible future president of Brazil.
Ms. Franco was gunned down with her bodyguard following an event encouraging black women's empowerment in central Rio on 14 March 2018. The murder sparked numerous protests, and even this year's Carnival in Rio features many tributes to her. Prosecutors say the ex-cops Elcio Vieira de Queiroz and Ronnie Lessa meticulously plotted the cowardly assassination for several months. Prosecutors said, "It is incontestable that Marielle Franco was summarily executed for her political activity in the defence of the causes she defended," which included speaking out against police brutality in the favelas.
Venezuela's Chief Prosecutor Tarek Saab is moving to investigate US-backed opposition leader and self-proclaimed "interim president" Juan Guaido for allegedly sabotaging the country's electrical system. The country has been dealing with unexplained, widespread blackouts since last Thursday. Guaido has blamed them on the government's mismanagement, but democratically-elected President Nicolas Maduro has alleged that American software was used to interrupt the power grid's normal operations.
A United Nations investigation says at least 500 people died in violence between armed groups in the Democratic Republic of Congo last year. An Early report put the death toll above 890, so the body count might be even worse. Crimes against humanity include entire families burned to death in their homes, and a two year old toddler thrown into a septic pool. Violence in the DRC is also hampering the country's efforts to stop an Ebola outbreak that has killed 584 people out of more than 860 confirmed infections.