World AM News Briefs For Wednesday, 4 July 2018
Good Morning Australia!! - Thailand found the cave kids, but a rescue plan is more elusive - Malaysia finally arrests Najib - Merkel hangs on - A key Trump ally is accused of ignoring sex abuse going on under his nose - A shout out to our American friends who are celebrating their version of Australia Day today or tomorrow or something - And more in your CareerSpot Global News Briefs:
Ecuador's National Court of Justice ordered the arrest former president Rafael Correa for failing to appear before an inquiry into alleged links to the kidnapping of an opponent in Colombia. The order has been sent to Interpol, because Mr. Correa lives with his wife in her native Belgium. Ecuadorean lawmakers are calling for a march to support Correa, who literally faced down a right-wing police plot to overthrow his democratically-elected presidency during his service from 2007 to 2017. That march is scheduled to take place in the capital Quito on Thursday.
Medics with food and fresh water have reached the twelve boys and their adult football coach trapped deep inside a cave in northern Thailand, as rescuers plot their next move. They are considering ways to get the boys out of their with all due speed, keeping in mind that the kids are weakened from being trapped in the dry chamber for more than a week without food until now. "They have been fed with easy-to-digest, high-energy food with vitamins and minerals, under the supervision of a doctor," said Rear Admiral Apagorn Youkonggaew. Thai officials are are considering a plan to have two Navy Seal divers assist each boy through the rapidly moving, muddy water rushing through the flooded portions of the cave.
British police arrested a healthcare professional on suspicion of murder in the deaths of eight babies at the Countess of Chester Hospital in Chester, which is south of Liverpool. More charges could be coming - the investigation covers the deaths of a total of 17 newborns at the hospital's neonatal unit between March 2015 and July 2016, plus 15 "non-fatal collapses", which is when the infant's health takes a turn for the worse but the kid survives. Detectives say they are keeping the families involves in the latest developments in the investigation.
Malaysian anti-corruption cops arrested former prime minister Najib Razak for allegedly pocketing US$700 Million from the 1MDB development fund. Billions of dollars have gone missing from the fund, which Najib himself established. Video posted on Twitter, he appealed to the public not to believe the reports, saying that not all of the accusations were true. "I have not had a chance to defend myself," he said. Formal charges will be filed on Wednesday.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel survived with her government intact after cutting a last-ditch compromise on migration policy with Interior Minister Horst Seehofer. Stability in Berlin is seen as the backbone of stability in Europe, but Seehofer threatened to quit the coalition unless Merkel tightened immigration controls. The deal calls for establishing transit centers at the border where migrants will be held until they can be deported back to the EU country they first registered in. In other words, if they arrive in Italy or Greece but try to go north to claim asylum in Germany, they're going back to the south. The deal was crisis in politics only, as the number of migrants flowing into Europe is down 95 percent since the crisis a few years ago.
Hubris: US Environmental Protection Agency chief Scott Pruitt, himself under at least 15 different corruption investigations, has directly asked the orange clown Donald Trump to fire Attorney General Jeff Sessions and move him into the AG position. I don't know if this is closer to "House of Cards" or "Game of Thrones". Trump reportedly likes Sessions because of his anti-immigration policies, which included the separation of children from their asylum seeking parents on the southern border. But Trump is also cross with Sessions because he recused himself from the Russian Corruption Investigation led by special prosecutor Robert Mueller, a Pruitt would probably fire Mueller. On the other hand, Trump and Washington DC conservatives like Pruitt in the EPA slot because he is overseeing the dismantling of countless environmental regulations in favor of corporate impunity.
The US Senate Intelligence Committee is backing up the US intelligence community in its new report, concluding that Russia did indeed meddle with the 2016 presidential elections to help Trump and that Kremlin potentate Vladimir Putin himself ordered the interference. The report is a direct repudiation of the committee's much-more partisan counterpart in the lower House; both are led by Republicans, but the House is openly pro-Trump. In yet another contradiction to the specious claims of Trump's allies, the Senate panel also found that a piece of Democratic-funded opposition research known as the Steele dossier (also known as the Pee tape) did not "in any way" influence America's intelligence agencies.
One of Trump's top allies in Congress is denying allegations that he knew about rampant sexual harassment of college wrestlers by their team doctor. This goes back 20 years to when GOP Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio was an assistant wrestling coach at Ohio State University. Former wrestlers say Trump's ally Jordan knew all about the serial ball-grabbing, uninvited fondling, and other sexual abuse by the team's doctor, but Jordan refused to do anything about it. Dr. Rochard Strauss died in 2005, but the university didn't open its investigation until April of this year. One of the wrestlers called Jordan as a courtesy to say he was going public; Jordan reported groused, "Keep my name out of it."