World AM News Briefs For Wednesday, 23 Oct 2019
Howdy Australia!! - Trump's impeachment seems more inevitable after damaging testimony - Boris's Brexit will almost certainly be delayed now - The betrayal of the Kurds is complete - And more in your CareerSpot Global News Briefs:
The impeachment of Donald Trump might have been thrown into overdrive on Tuesday when the top diplomat in Ukraine, Bill Taylor, confirmed the illegal Quid Pro Quo in closed-door testified to US House impeachment investigators. Taylor told lawmakers that Trump indeed held up pre-approved military aid to Ukraine until its president agreed to investigate Trump's political rival Joe Biden and Biden's son. That confirms the quid pro quo demand on the part of the White House. Taylor also confirmed the existence of a shadow foreign policy apparatus run by Trump's personal attorney Rudy Giuliani.
Trump provoked critics by claiming the impeachment proceedings against him was the same as a lynching, forcing allies to defend (or not) an abhorrent and false statement. Not all would do so, however, as former Republican party chairman Michael Steele - a rare African-American man in America's conservative movement - tweeted a photo of a real lynching of a black man in the US and blasted Trump for making such a comparison, saying "it's pathetic that you act like you're such a victim".
The UK House of Commons approved Boris Johnson's Brexit deal in principle, sending it to the next level of consideration that could see a bunch of amendments attached - but MPs rejected his three-day time-table for getting it done. Johnson groused that because of the delay the UK "now faced further uncertainty"; but Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn brushed that off, calling Johnson the "author of his own misfortune". Johnson threatened Parliament if it "decides to delay everything until January or possibly longer", he would seek an election.
Russia's Vladimir Putin and Turkey's Recep Tayyip Erdogan are meeting in the former's Sochi resort on the Black Sea, essentially carving up Syria in the absence of US and Western influence because of Donald Trump's capitulation and withdrawal of US troops, which instead of coming home are being reassigned to Saudi oil fields or Iraq. The Kurds, betrayed by Trump, have been given another 150 hours to clear out of a 130-kilometer long, 32 kilometer deep strip of Syria that borders Turkey that will now be considered Erdogan's "Safe Zone". After that, the region will be subject to joint Turkish-Russian patrols.
With the death toll from recent unrest now at 15 lives lost, Chilean President Sebastian Pinera will meet with protest leaders to discuss their concerns. A 30 cent fare hike on the Santiago subway system was the last straw for people living on the wrong side of a widening economic chasm and sparked days of rage in and out of the capital that continue today. Whereas Pinera at first met the protests with belligerence, talking of a "war with an implacable enemy", he now claims his goal is "progress towards a social contract which will allow us to together find better solutions to the problems afflicting Chileans". The Socialist party says it is boycotting any talks until key civil society groups are invited to participate.
But military troops and helicopters still patrol areas of Chile afflicted with the unrest for the first time since the Pinochet fascist dictatorship, and citizens are furious with the rough treatment being dished out. People describe being bundled off of the streets and viciously beaten bloody by troops or private militias, without any real proof that they were even involved with the protests. "The dictatorship is over. Our generation is not afraid. But now the military are using the same strategy that they used during the dictatorship, they are shooting," said a 31-year old woman, "We have to keep fighting until this is resolved for all, not just for a sector of the society. Not for the privileged. Not for the businessmen."
Japan's Emperor Naruhito formally took the throne in an austere, ancient ceremony at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo. He actually became emperor a few months ago but this was the official ceremony. The UK's Prince Charles was in attendance.