World News Briefs For Monday, 25 November 2019
Hello Australia!! - How hapless White House staffers strain to cover for Trump - Another billionaire piles on the US Presidential race - China's "job training" camps laid bare - And more in your CareerSpot Global News Briefs:
The Washington Post is reporting that confidential White House review came up with hundreds of documents from officials trying to reverse-engineer a justification for Donald Trump withholding pre-approved military aid to Ukraine in July. The current impeachment proceedings are investigating Trump's attempt to use the aid to extort Ukraine into manufacturing false political dirt on his Democratic Party opponent former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter. The White House ordered the review in response to the hearings before the US House Intelligence Committee. These documents include emails between acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney and the Office of Management and Budget. White House lawyers are concerned the review has turned up information that - at the very, very least - is "embarrassing" to Trump. In other words, they knew Trump's actions were wrong and they needed to make-up an excuse.
Former New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg for some reason is getting into the race for the Democratic Party presidential nomination. Bloomberg, who once left the Dems to become a Republican and then an independent, is an actual billionaire media magnate with practically bottomless pockets to finance a head-to-head race against Trump should he get the nomination. He has recently expressed his "regret" over the NYPD's "stop and frisk" policy which wrongly targeted minorities for police harassment, a move which has not impressed progressive activists. The field of candidates is already extremely crowded and there's no shortage of centrists, with Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren being the only two progressives in the bunch.
Queen Elizabeth has canceled public celebrations of Prince Andrew's 60th birthday, opting for a small family dinner instead. This is the latest step taken after Andrew's disastrous BBC interview in which he fumbled the explanation of why he remained friends with millionaire pedophile Jeffrey Epstein even after Epstein was convicted of child sex offenses; he also claimed he couldn't remember then then-17 year old girl whom he is pictured with his hand around her waist, and who is now accusing his of sex abuse. Andrew's office was also kicked out of Buckingham Palace last week, and the royals announce he was stepping out of public life pretty much altogether.
K-Pop star Goo Hara is dead of apparent suicide at age 28. She had survived an earlier attempt in May of this year, and is the second K-Pop star to tak her own life this year, following Sulli last month. The young women were reportedly close friends and were being cyber-bulled; in Goo Hara's case, an old boyfriend Choi Jong-bum was recently convicted of surreptitiously making a sex tape with her and attempting to blackmail her with it; he's on probation. The case is already sparking concern over the high-pressure world of Korean Pop, which was already rife with accusations of coerced prostitution, rape, and abuse, leading to suicides of people who weren't as famous as Goo Hara or Sulli.
A trove of leaked top-secret documents say that China's so-called "voluntary job training" centers in far western Xinjiang are actually mass re-education camps designed to "brainwash" Uighurs, a predominantly Muslim ethnic group in the region, and other rebellious minorities. The "China Cables" were leaked to the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, which says they show a incredible system of mass surveillance on millions of people using the "Zapya" app; an algorithm determines which ones were to be picked up and confined in the centers. Yep, scary "big brother"-type stuff. Millions of people have been processed through these centers, which drill inmates on the Mandarin language of far-off Beijing, government ideology, and even how to wipe thei-- even how to use the bathroom and toilet like they do in the capital.
A passenger plane crashed into a row of houses in the city of Goma in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, killing at least 27 people. Reports indicate that nine of the dead were members of one family in one of the homes.