World News Briefs For Friday, 8 March 2019
Hello Australia!! - Another top Roman Catholic official falls in the sex abuse scandal - Trudeau tries to stamp on spreading flames - Is Russia regressing? - And more in your CareerSpot Global News Briefs:
France's high-ranking Roman Catholic Cardinal Philippe Barbarin is sending his resignation to Pope Francis after being convicted of failing to report a priest's sexual abuse of a boy scout. Some of the crimes had lapsed past the statue of limitations, and prosecutors hadn't asked for a prison term partially out of the expectation they'd lose the case. But the criminal court in Lyon, France sentenced Barbarin to a six-month suspended sentence. He's yet another high-ranking Roman Catholic Church official to be sentenced in the worldwide clergy sex abuse scandal. Australia's Cardinal George Pell is in jail awaiting his sentence for molesting choirboys.
Canada's PM Justin Trudeau is acknowledging an "erosion of trust" in his government in the scandal over whether pressure was put on official to not prosecute one of the country's biggest firms. Two top ministers resigned, claiming they were urged to go easy on the engineering firm SNC-Lavalin, which is facing allegations of paying bribes to win contracts in Libya under Muammar Gaddafi's regime. Trudeau insists that his government has done nothing wrong. Polling suggests that confidence in his government has taken a hit before the October elections.
Thailand has banned the political party that tried to name the King's sister as its candidate for Prime Minister in the 24 March election. A court also banned the party's executive board members from politics for a decade. The party had been associated with Thaksin and Yingluck Sinawatra, the brother and sister Prime Ministers who were ousted by separate military coups.
Russia's parliament has passed a bill outlawing "blatant disrespect" of the government and its officials. Repeat offenders face up to 15 days in jail. Another bill would ban sharing "false information of public interest, shared under the guise of fake news". Journalists, human rights campaigners, and opposition ministers say the laws will have a chilling effect on independent news that publish stories critical of the Putin government.
El Salvador's Supreme Court has freed three women wrongly convicted of having abortions. Alba Rodriguez, Maria del Transito, and Cinthia Rodriguez suffered miscarriages but were convicted under the conservative Roman Catholic country's draconian laws against women's reproductive rights. They served nine, nine, and eleven years in prison, respectively. The court found that the women were serving "disproportionate and immoral" sentences and that their families had been negatively impacted by their imprisonment. Amnesty International says El Salvador is one of the most dangerous countries to be a woman.