World AM News Briefs For Wednesday, 4 September 2019
Hello Australia!! - Boris loses his first battle as PM - High schoolers were among those on board the ship that burned off of Southern California - Huge sections of the Bahamas are underwater - And more in your CareerSpot Global News Briefs:
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson tried to rally all of his troops and threatened hellfire and brimstone against anyone who would rebel - but several Conservative MPs bucked the new boss to vote in favor of a debate and vote tomorrow on a measure to stop a no-deal Brexit. Johnson had threatened to withdraw support for the rebels should it come to a snap election (more on that in a moment), including the grandson of his personal hero Winston Churchill, MP Nicholas Soames - it didn't work. Commons voted by 328 to 301 for the motion put forward by the opposition parties and rebel Tories that would force the PM to ask the European Union to put off the Brexit again, from 31 October to 31 January.
Johnson says he finds that measure unacceptable - and if it passes he is likely to roll the dice and call for a snap election, which could be as soon as 14 October. That is just days before the PM is to go to the European Union one last time and present some sort of deal that is acceptable to both sides that will lead to the divorce of the UK from the EU. But European leaders have repeatedly said that the package negotiated by the UK's former prime minister Theresa May is the only deal on the table. So, it could be Johnson and the EU confronting each other with competing "take it or leave it" plans, which will lead to the "no-deal Brexit" that will cause economic chaos for many. Of, if a snap election is called and Labour's Jeremy Corbyn wins, the UK will probably get another extension.
The Tory bleeding started earlier in the day with the very public defection of now-former Conservative MP Phillip Lee to the Liberal Democrats. Mr. Lee crossed the room as Johnson was speaking, a well-staged event marking the end of Johnson's majority. Lee then put out a statement accusing Johnson of "aggressively pursuing a damaging Brexit in unprincipled ways" that is "putting lives and livelihoods at risk" and "undermining our country's economy, democracy and role in the world".
The search has been called off and all 34 passengers aboard a chartered dive boat that burned off the California coast near Los Angeles are presumed dead. The remains found so far are so badly burned that it will take DNA tests to attempt to identify them. And the worst part of this story was confirmed when officials from a college prep high school a couple of hundred miles north in Santa Cruz confirmed several students were on board the vessel. The majority of passengers were from the area of Silicon Valley and over the hill in Santa Cruz. The "Conception" caught fire early on Monday morning, the flames likely fed by oxygen tanks and boat fuel, blocking the only two escape routes from the lower berths where the passengers were sleeping.
Large areas of the northern Bahamas have been completely inundated by the storm surge from Hurricane Dorian - according to before-and-after satellite imagery - and the damage is deep and widespread. The death toll stands at five lives lost, but it is clear that the powerful storm caused unprecedented devastation, downing trees, buildings, and power-lines, and stripping entire areas of vegetation. Dorian has lost some intensity, becoming a Category Two storm as it turns north towards the US state of Georgia and the Carolinas. But it has widened, meaning that even if it stays off shore as current modeling predicts, it will still lash the states with rain, wind, and a storm surge that could cause major flooding.
France has announced a wave of measures in response to an uptick in violence against women, and you'd think that more countries would be doing that. Just saying. Prime Minister Edouard Philippe saysFrance will create a thousand additional shelter spaces for women to get away from abusive relationships, will streamline the process of filing abuse complaints, and will have police remove abusive partners from homes more quickly. Legislation is also being drafted to require those convicted of domestic violence or under a retraining order to wear an electronic bracelet to protect women from further violence.
Hong Kong's Carrie Lam says she is not considering stepping down as leader, despite a secret audio released yesterday in which she is heard telling business leaders that she's like to quit because of the protests - but suggest she can't because of Beijing.
A United Nations report says the the US, UK, France, and Iran could be held responsible for their roles directing the proxy war in Yemen after numerous reports of war crimes and civilian casualties. Iran backs the Houthi Rebels, while the Western powers and Saudi Arabia back the government; added to the chaos are various jihadist groups running their own agendas. Noting the amount of foreign kit used in the killings of civilians, the report states: "The legality of arms transfers by France, the United Kingdom, the United States and other states remains questionable, and is the subject of various domestic court proceedings."
The giant US retail store Walmart says it will stop selling handgun and assault weapon ammunition, end handgun sales in the last state where its stores has them (Alaska), and ask customers in open-carry states to leave their guns somewhere else. This comes after last month's massacre at an El Paso, Texas Walmart store in which a far-right racist shot and killed 22 people, targeting people he perceived to be from Mexico.