World News Briefs For Saturday, 13 May 2017
Hello Australia!! - Shocking allegations against Australia's Cardinal Pell - Trump seems to be trying to look like Nixon - Online ne'er-do-wells launch a global ransomware attack - And more in your CareerSpot Global News Briefs:
So, not only did Donald Trump start his day by threatening his former FBI director, but he appears to have confessed to taping White House conversations. Before dawn, Trump tweeted: "James Comey better hope that there are no "tapes" of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press!" BTW, threatening potential witnesses in criminal matters is against the law. Later, White House spokeshobbit Sean Spicer refused to deny that Trump taped meetings with his former FBI director - or that the president may be recording other conversations in the Oval Office. NBC News reported that Comey believes he has nothing to fear from any recording and would welcome the release of any such evidence.
Trump fired Comey earlier this week, with the White House's justification for the controversial move is shifting every 15 minutes or so. But the possibility for ulterior motives grew with word that Trump and Comey had dinner recently, with the orange clown asking for the FBI Director's "loyalty" during the meeting. Comey was taken aback, and only promised that he could be honest. That raises ethical red flags, since the FBI is not supposed to be "loyal" to one person but rather to the rule of law and the United States Constitution. In the same conversation, Trump apparently asked Comey if he is being investigated, which is also completely inappropriate. Earlier, it came out that Comey had asked the US Justice Department for more money and more manpower for the investigation into Russian connections to Trump's campaign.
A new book is hurling child sex abuse accusations at the most senior figure in the Australian Catholic church. "Cardinal: The Rise and Fall of George Pell" claims that he sexually abused two choirboys at St Patrick's cathedral after becoming archbishop of Melbourne in the 1990s. The same allegations were the subject of an ABC report last year, which Pell labelled a "scandalous smear campaign". Pell has refused to return to Australia from Rome, claiming health concerns.
A ransomware attack has hit thousands computers around the world, and it appears to be coordinated. Users are greeted with an ominous red screen demanding payment in Bitcoins worth AU$400. Hospitals seem to be prime targets, and the UK's National Health has been forced to shut down entire wards in its hospitals because the computers are locked out. It's not just in the US, UK, and the West - institutions in Russia and China are also impacted.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared an Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo. At least one person has died. "It is in a very remote zone, very forested, so we are a little lucky. But we always take this very seriously," WHO Congo spokesman Eric Kabambi. The last Ebola outbreak in the DRC killed 40 people - but it ran consecutively with the West African Ebola Epidemic which killed more than 11,000 people.
Brazil has declared an end to the Zika outbreak. Carried by mosquitoes, the virus has been linked to microcephaly in newborn infants - a condition that is characterized by abnormally small skulls and brain damage. After peaking during the 2016 Olympics, the number of cases dropped 95 percent between January and April, compared to the same period a year ago.
Melissa McCarthy was seen in her Sean Spicer costume on the streets of New York City, filming a bit for this weekend's episode of Saturday Night Live