World News Briefs For Friday, 8 November 2019
Hello Australia!! - Has Macron had enough of Trump? - The world asks the US to cancel its Cuba embargo - Is the far-right behind death threats to an elderly Holocaust survivor - And more in your CareerSpot Global News Briefs:
French President Emmanuel Macron says that American indifference - meaning "Donald Trump" - is causing the "brain death" of the trans-Atlantic military alliance. The last straw for Macron was Trump's sudden and irrational decision to pull US troops out of northern Syria last month without consulting his NATO allies, and back-stabbing the Kurds who Macron supports. "You have partners together in the same part of the world, and you have no coordination whatsoever of strategic decision-making between the United States and its NATO allies," Macron told the Economist. After the 9/11 attacks, the US was the only NATO member to invoke Article 5 of the Charter, which calls for collective self-defense; Macron now says that Trump's US "shows signs of turning its back on us".
Potentially catastrophic strife among NATO members would be the cherry atop the sundae for Russian President Vladimir Putin, whom Western intelligence agencies believe has spent a lot of time and money on weakening Western institutions by funding far-right illiberal politicians and nihilistic internet trolling to shake public confidence. Thus, NATO officials did not welcome Macron's remarks: "Any attempt to distance Europe from North America risks weakening the alliance - the transatlantic bond - but also to divide Europe," said NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg. "I welcome European unity. I welcome efforts to strengthen European defense. But European unity cannot replace transatlantic unity," he added. Likewise, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said, "The French President has found a rather drastic word to express his view," and, "I don't think such a sweeping judgement is appropriate."
For the 28th consecutive year, the United Nations General Assembly has voted overwhelmingly to pass a resolution to condemn and call for the end of the US economic embargo on Cuba. The vote was 187-to-3 with two countries abstaining. The US and Israel for the first time was joined by Brazil is defending the embargo, a move that triggered criticism of Brazil's right-wing president Jair Bolsonaro from within and without his country: "Under the Bolsonaro administration, our Foreign Affairs Ministry acts as a branch of the US Department of State," said the news outlet Brazil 24/7, "Nevertheless, even acting as a colony, Brazil has obtained no economic gains (from the US), quite the opposite." Cuba's Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez points out that the "United States government does not have the slightest moral authority to criticize Cuba or any other country when it comes to human rights".
The International Criminal Court (ICC) sentenced former Congolese rebel leader to 30 years, the toughest sentence handed down by the ICC. Bosco Ntaganda, nicknamed "Terminator", was convicted on 18 counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity including murder, rape, sexual slavery and using child soldiers.
Italy has assigned police bodyguards to an 89-year old Holocaust survivor who the far-right has targeted with hundreds of deaths threats every day. Liliana Segre is a "Life Senator" who called for parliament to establish a committee to combat hate. The motion passed, but the far-right parties - Forza Italia, La Liga (the former Northern League), and Brother of Italy - all abstained from the vote. She said the ominous silence from the far right made her feel "like a Martian in the Senate". And just like that, the death threats started filling Ms. Segre's inbox. The Milan public prosecutor's office opened an investigation and calling for Italy's anti-terror police to get involved.
South Korea has sent two North Korean fishermen who confessed to murdering 16 of their crewmates back to Pyongyang's custody. The two crossed the maritime border on Saturday, later admitting to South Korean authorities that they killed their crew mates in late October because they objected to the plan to defect to the South. With that, the South decided not to treat the two men in their 20s like the other 1,100+ defectors that cross the border every year.