World News Briefs For Saturday, 13 January 2018
Hello Australia!! - Trump's big money Payment to a Porn star - America reels at the vulgar racism in the White House - Merkel gets closer to restoring stability in Germany - And more in your CareerSpot Global News Briefs:
And it gets sleazier: Donald Trump made a US$130,000 hush money payment to a porn star who goes by the name "Stormy Daniels" just before the 2016 US Presidential election, according to the bombshell of the hour which is reported in the Wall Street Journal. The Murdoch-owned newspaper reported that sources familiar with the matter claim that Trump lawyer Michael Cohen negotiated the price in exchange for the woman's silence about a 2006 sexual encounter - which allegedly happened roughly a year and a half after he married his third and current wife Melania Trump. In statements sent to The Wall Street Journal, both the White House and Cohen strongly denied any such incident, but made no reference to a payment to Ms. Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford.
The US Ambassador to Panama has resigned after the orange clown Donald Trump's idiotic and racist remarks about Central American, Haiti, and African countries being "shitholes". Career diplomat and former marine helicopter pilot John Feeley wrote to the US State Department, "I signed an oath to serve faithfully the president and his administration in an apolitical fashion, even when I might not agree with certain policies," adding, "My instructors made clear that if I believed I could not do that, I would be honor bound to resign. That time has come." It's yet another empty seat as a disinterested and incompetent Trump has failed to appoint ambassadors to more than half of the US diplomatic corps.
Illinois US Senator Dick Durbin has confirmed that the orange clown did use the word "shithole" and other racist vulgarities during Thursday's ill-fated White House meeting on immigration, saying, "It was vile, it was hateful, it was racist." The account from Durbin, a Democrat, was later tacitly seconded by another witness Republican Senator Lyndsay Graham of South Carolina who insisted that he rebuked Trump's language during the meeting. Arkansas Senator Tom Cotton, who was in the room at the time, claimed he didn't hear Trump make the racist comments - which would imply Cotton has severe cognitive or hearing impairments.
US House of Representatives Democrats will introduce a resolution to censure Trump for the "shithole remarks". However, they probably can't count on much support from most other Republican who were either liars and cowards in addressing the situation. Thursday's initial rush by some Republicans - mostly from minority communities themselves, or from districts with changing demographics - to distance themselves from the racist orange clown's confirmed comments did not grow into a wave of GOP condemnation on Friday. Senate leader Mitch McConnell didn't say a word. House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wisconsin told an audience in Milwaukee that Trump's comments were "very unfortunate, unhelpful" but quickly changed the subject.
Lies, incompetence, cowardice, racism, what could Trump do to top this? More complete stupidity, of course. The orange clown cancelled his planned visit to the UK over fears for his safety in a country where few approve of his world-wrecking policies. But then, Trump tried to ret-con his reasons, and claimed he cancelled because he was dissatisfied with the sale of the former US Embassy in London and and the opening of a new one in a different location - blaming it on her predecessor President Barack Obama, even though all of the decisions were made in 2008 during the administration of George W. Bush. So, Trump lied and lied about the lie, as usual. The UK must be relieved - it is widely accepted that Prime Minister Theresa May overstepped her authority in extending a state visit invitation to Trump, which is usually the purview of the royals (who are believed to loathe him).
Satisfied he has disappointed and/or horrified most of the world with his other antics, Trump extended US participation in the international deal to keep Iran from developing nuclear weapons.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel reached a preliminary deal with the Social Democrats on forming a coalition government. "We have realized that the world isn't waiting for us," Merkel said as she emerged from an all-night meeting with SDU leader Martin Schultz, "We are convinced that Europe needs a fresh start and have developed the right ideas to go with it." The next stage of talks are still weeks off, and is dependent on members of both parties approving the results of this week's negotiations.
Students, union members, and human rights activists marched in Peru's capital Lima against the pardon of former dictator Alberto Fujimori. They want the pardon quashed, Fujimori back in prison, and President Pablo Kuczynski - who granted the pardon a week after Fujimori's congressman son blocked his impeachment on corruption charges - to resign. Fujimori was serving 25 years in prison for crimes against humanity including running political death squads and forcibly or otherwise coercing indigenous women into sterilization.
China sacked a university professor after a former student accused him of sexual harassment - believed to be the country's first successful case in the #MeToo movement against such offenses. Luo Xixi now lives in the US, and says Hollywood's fight against sexual harassment gave her the courage to speak up. Beihang University in Beijing investigated, and determined that Professor Chen Xiaowu had sexually harassed other students as well.