World AM News Briefs For Wednesday, 22 May 2019
Good Morning Australia!! - US Democrats demand their leadership look into impeaching Trump - May's attempt to sweeten her Brexit deal gets the cold shoulder - Canada's Zoo of horrors - And more in your CareerSpot Global News Briefs:
UK Prime Minister Theresa May is opening the door to a second referendum on withdrawing from the European Union as a way to get a fourth Commons vote on her Brexit plan. Speaking at big, giant financial behemoth PricewaterhouseCoopers, May said, "I say with conviction to every MP or every party: I have compromised, now I ask you to compromise." Tory Brexiteers said the deal was worse than the one they rejected three times before, and Labour dismissed it as a "rehash" of existing Brexit plans.
The US is essentially claiming all of its recent saber-rattling has somehow diminished the likelihood of Iran attacking US positions in the Mideast. "That doesn't mean that the threats that we've previously identified have gone away," claimed acting US Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan, "Our prudent response, I think, has given the Iranians time to recalculate." The White House ordered a US Navy Carrier group from the Mediterranean to the Strait of Hormuz after claiming Iran was plotting to attack US troops in the Mideast either directly or through proxies; Iran denied it all along, and the Trump administration offered absolutely no evidence to back it up.
Former White House counsel Don McGahn has defied a US Congressional subpoena to testify before the House Judiciary Committee about Russian influence in the 2016 presidential election and Donald Trump's campaign. The White House is claiming a broad and novel form of executive privilege from the investigation which most experts say violates the US Constitution's very specific layout of three co-equal branches of government - the Executive, the Legislative, and the Judicial. Committee chairman Rep. Jerry Nadler vowed that McGahn will testify "even if we have to go to court" and that Donald Trump will be held accountable "one way or the other" - and he issued another round of subpoenas for even more former White House staffers.
Meanwhile, Congressional Democrats are growing increasingly frustrated at their leadership's step-by-step approach to dealing with the White House's illegal stonewalling and obfuscation of facts in the Mueller Report, which also looked into Russian influence over the Trump campaign. More and more are calling on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to call impeachment hearings to possibly kick Trump out of office. Pelosi fears such a move would fail in the Republican-controlled Senate, potentially making Trump into a sympathetic figure in the 2020 election. Critics say impeachment shouldn't be based on whether its politically feasible, but rather on whether Trump obstructed justice as claimed in the Mueller Report.
Indonesia's Joko Widodo has officially been declared the winner of the presidential election.
A week-long crackdown on drug gangs in the UK resulted in 586 arrests, AU$579,000 in cash, and drugs with a street value reaching in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. Investigators also say they uncovered hundreds of children being used as drug mules to move product from town to town, many forced to take part against the will.
A zoo owner in Canada has been arrested and charged with animal cruelty, the first time that's happened in the country. Inspectors found animals in poor health living in deplorable conditions - no food, no water. This includes lions, tigers, zebras, bears, wolves, kangaroos. and primates at the run-down St-Edouard Zoo outside Montreal in French-speaking Quebec. Prosecutors say Norman Trahan "willfully caused the animals and birds in captivity pain, suffering and unnecessary injury" and "willfully neglected or omitted to provide food, water, shelter, and sufficient care" and he could face up to five years in prison. The Montreal SPCA says it will take a "number of weeks" to move all of the animals to new facilities.
The trial of former Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner got underway in Buenos Aires. She denies allegations of taking bribes in exchange for lucrative construction contracts, and characterizes the charges as the current conservative government's retaliation against her Left-leaning populist government.
Burkina Faso is rejecting an offer from its exiled ex-president Blaise Compaore to help negotiate a peace deal with armed groups. The country is trying Compaore in absentia for corruption during his almost three-decade rule that ended with a popular revolt in 2014. Compaore took power in a coup in the 1980s that saw the killing of the country's leader Thomas Sankara, the great visionary who was called "the Che Guevara of Africa" for his plans to: ease inequality; promote women's rights by outlawing female genital mutilation, forced marriages, and polygamy; and bring healthcare and schools to every village. Compaore put and end to that.