World News Briefs For Friday, 22 November 2019
Hello Australia!! - An Israeli prosecutor decides on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu - Yet another Latin American country puts pressure on its leader - An impeachment witness warns US Republicans - And more in your CareerSpot Global News Briefs:
It's another dangerous days of bushfires in Australia, and here are the links to click for the latest information: South Australia Country Fire Service; Victoria Country Fire Authority; click through for the Queensland Rural Fire Service; And the New South Wales Rural Fire Service also has relevant maps and information. Stay safe out there.
There is a health crisis in the DR Congo that the big news services seem to be missing: The United Nations World Health Organization (WHO) says that Measles has killed nearly 5,000 people this year and has spread to every province in the country. A quarter million people have been infected this year alone. The Measles epidemic has killed twice as many people as the simultaneous Ebola outbreak, which has logged 3,298 infections in 15 months, 2,196 of them fatal. A government effort to get the Measles vaccine to 800,000 kids has been bogged down by attacks on health care workers in areas where armed groups are fighting, a general lack of access to healthcare, and the country's poor infrastructure.
What's going on with all this unrest in South America?
Hundreds of thousands of Colombians hit the streets in a general strike to oppose the deeply unpopular government of conservative president Ivan Duque, the latest South American country to have second thoughts after electing a US-backed blowhard whose approval rating has plunged to 26 percent. Pensioners, students, teachers and union members joined marches across the country as police helicopter whirled over head and riot cops fired teargas and shot water cannons into the crowds. They want a return to the peace process with Leftist rebels, which Duque opposed. Other accuse Duque of failing to protect social leaders and indigenous people, who are being murdered at alarming rates since he took office last year.
Protests continue against right-wing Chilean President Sebastian Pinera; Indigenous groups in Bolivia are braving deadly police violence to oppose the coup that forced President Evo Morales; Argentina's new Leftist President Alberto Fernandez takes the reigns on 10 December after voters there rejected their IMF-friendly, austerity-loving incumbant Mauricio Macri after just one term. Protesters secured big concessions from Ecuador's government earlier this year. But the most recent US-backed coup attempt in Venezuela is still dead in the water. It's almost as if there's a theme going on there. Tick tock, Jair Bolsonaro, tick tock.
Benjamin Netanyahu has become the first Israeli Prime Minister to be charged in office, in his case with bribery, fraud, and breach of trust in three corruption cases. Prosecutors allege Netanyahu allegedly took gifts from wealthy businessmen and dispensed favors to try to get more positive press coverage. Netanyahu angrily denounced the charges as an "attempted coup", blaming them on a "tainted" process. But Attorney General Avichai Mendelblit said he made the decision to indict the prime minister "with a heavy heart, but wholeheartedly", and defended witnesses who have been attacked by the Netanyahu government: "These people acted out of proper motives."
Testimony at the US House Intelligence Committee looking into Donald Trump's quid pro quo in Ukraine began with a stinging rebuke from one of the witnesses: Former White House official Fiona Hill, one of the world's foremost experts on Eastern Europe, took aim at Republicans trying to spread a "false political narrative" that it was Ukraine that interfered in the 2016 presidential election and not Russia: "I would ask that you please not promote politically driven falsehoods that so clearly advance Russian interests," she said. Ms. Hill testified that she heard the now-infamous phone conversation in which Trump asked Ambassador Gordon Sondland if Ukraine was going to investigate his political rival Joe Biden which she referred to as a "domestic political errand".
Also, the counselor for political affairs at the US embassy in Ukraine David Holmes testified that the embassy's work "became overshadowed by a political agenda being promoted by former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani and a cadre of officials operating with a direct channel to the White House." Late in the day, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff indicated that the Democrats are getting ready to move from "investigation" to "impeachment".
While a jury of US citizens acquitted a border activist whom the Feds wanted to jail for giving water to thirsty people in the desert, a judge in the same state of Arizona decided there'd be no jail time for the US Border Patrol agent who deliberately struck an immigrant with his truck and then lied about it in paperwork. Instead, 39-year old Matthew Bowen will get three years probation and will likely have to pay more than US$8,000 restitution to Antolin Rolando Lopez-Aguilar, a Guatemalan undocumented migrant, who is unable to pay for needed physical therapy for injuries to his hands, knees, and back due to lack of money.
French authorities are performing DNA tests on 67 hunting dogs to determine which ones attacked a 29-year old pregnant woman, mauling her to death. Prosecutors say Elisa Pilarski phoned her partner shortly before the attack to complain about "threatening dogs" in the Retz forest northeast of Paris. Hunting associations have denied they could be to blame - but if the DNA matches an owner's dogs, prosecutors could charge that person with manslaughter due to carelessness or negligence.