World AM News Briefs For Wednesday, 9 January 2019
Hello Australia!! - Trump will reveal his border plans in an address to the US - Drones shut down another airport - A far-right politician is beaten and hospitalized - And more in your CareerSpot Global News Briefs:
Donald Trump has reportedly decided against declaring a national emergency at the southern border to get his proposed border wall built, at least according to some White House insiders quoted by CNN. But predicting Trump hasn't exactly been an exact science, so who knows what's going to happen in his first Oval Office address, which will be covered by all of the major networks. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer will give the rebuttal for the opposition Democrats. Trump has refused to sign a government funding bill until he gets US$5.6 Billion to start the project, and the Democrats aren't going to give it to him. The administration has made its case worse by repeatedly claiming that 4,000 terrorists had been intercepted at the southern border even as pols, pundits, and journalists continually report that statistic is a lie - the true number is only six.
US Federal prosecutors have filed charges against a Russian lawyer who in 2016 famously attended a meeting with top Trump campaign aides including Donald Trump, Junior; the new charges involve a separate case. The meeting in which Natalya Veselnitskaya purportedly discusses trading information about the elder Trump's election rival Hillary Clinton has been a focal point for investigators and journalists.
Trump's National Security Advisor John Bolton's mission to Turkey appears to have been a complete failure. Bolton went to convince President Recep Tayyip Erdogan not to act against the Kurds in Syria, who have helped the West contain the so-called Islamic State - but who Erdogan considers to be terrorists. Erdogan refused to receive Bolton, and angrily says he could not "accept and swallow" Bolton's position that the US would not pull troops out of Syria as long as Turkey remains poised at the border to attack the Kurds.
While the US sours its relations with NATO ally Turkey, it's also pretty much insulting the European Union: The Trump State Department downgraded the EU's diplomatic status without informing Brussels of the change. Prior to this, it was US practice to treat the EU as an equal nation; now, it will be considered an international observer. This comes after the US and EU were on the verge of a an all-out trade war last year, and this year is trying to convince Trump not to slap a 20 percent import tariff on cars made in the EU.
A leader of the far-right xenophobic Alternative for Germany (AfD) party is recovering in hospital after being beaten into unconsciousness after he exited a party office near Bremen. Party officials say 66-year old Frank Magnitz sustained injuries to his head and upper body but they expect a full recovery. While mainstream politicians are making clear there is no place for violence in German politics, the AfD is claiming victimhood and blaming the media and other parties for speaking against it. In 2015 and 2017, two German mayors were stabbed by far right extremists for their welcoming attitude towards immigrants.
A painting stolen by the nazis in World War II has been returned to the heirs of a Jewish French politician and resistance figure. Portrait of a Seated Young Woman by Thomas Couture belonged to Georges Mandel before he was executed. It turned up in the cache of "lost" artworks of a Bavarian man whose father was a nazi soldier - most of the paintings are believed to have been stolen from European Jews during the Holocaust, but the process of returning them has been slow.
The UK's Heathrow Airport was shut down for about an hour following the reported sighting of drone aircraft. Similar claims shut down Gatwick for three days in the heavy travel week before Christmas, forcing the cancellation of 1,000 flights which impacted as many as 140,000 travelers.
The 18-year-old Saudi woman who fled her religious fundamentalist family over the weekend and wound up in Thailand is repeating her plea for asylum in Canada, the United States, Australia, or the UK. Not sure why New Zealand was left out, but whatever, right? Rahaf Mohammed al-Qunun is now staying at a Thai government shelter; her father and brother - who she says have threatened to murder her for renouncing Islam - have arrived in Thailand, but she is refusing to see them.
Three dead, 300 injured in a train collision and derailment at Pretoria, South Africa.