World News Briefs For Saturday, 14 Sep 2019
Hello Australia!! - Are the US and Brazil scheming to gut the rainforest? - Jail time for a Desperate Housewife - Le Pen in the prosecutors' crosshairs - And more in your CareerSpot Global News Briefs:
The US and Brazil have reached an agreement to promote development in the Amazon rainforest. Brazil's foreign minister Ernesto Araujo - holding talks with his US counterpart Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in Washington - claimed that opening the rainforest to economic development was the only way to protect it. Araujo also defended Brazil's handling of the wildfires devastating the rainforest. Meanwhile, Brazil's National Institute for Space Research reports that this year's total number of wildfires has passed 100,000 - nearly twice as many fires compared to this point last year. Critics say the fires are being set by the big agriculture, ranching, and mining interests allied with Araujo and his boss, far-right president Jair Bolsonaro.
A coalition of more than 20 indigenous, social, and environmental organizations are asking United Nations Secretary-general Antonio Guterres to "condemn" Bolsonaro for his constant attacks on the Amazon rainforests and the 1,000,000 or so Indigenous people who live there. Bolsonaro has a history of racist statements to disparage indigenous groups living in the rainforest as well as climate change denial. Bolsonaro is expected to participate in the 74th session of the UN General Assembly leaders week later this month.
A new tropical depression is forming in the Atlantic Ocean and is forecast to follow the same track as Hurricane Dorian two weeks ago, bringing high wind and drenching rain with it. Carl Smith of the Bahamas National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) fears the storm could hinder the ongoing search for 1,300 missing people, as well as efforts to get essential supplies to Grand Bahama and Great Abaco - the worst hit islands.
Actor Felicity Huffman has been sentenced to 14 days in jail for her role in the US College Admissions Scandal, in which well-off people were caught bribing officials at prestigious universities to admit their kids. The "Desperate Housewives" star admitted to paying US$15,000 to have her daughter's exam answers secretly corrected in 2017. "There are no excuses or justifications for my actions. Period," said a contrite Huffman after the sentencing, "I would like to apologize again to my daughter, my husband, my family, and the educational community for my actions." The sentence for someone who pretty much cooperated in the investigation could be a harbinger of what might happen to some of the people fighting the charges, like actor Lori Laughlin of "Full House".
French prosecutors filed embezzlement charges against the grand-daddy of Europe's current wave of fascism, 91-year old Jean-Marie Le Pen. He had been investigated for misappropriation of European Union funds from the time when he was a MEP from the 1980s until earlier this year, when he lost his parliamentary immunity from being charges. Le Pen is the founder of the Front National party, now called the National Rally and led by his daughter Marine Le Pen - who is already facing similar embezzlement charges.
The family of the late Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe has relented and will allow him to be buried at the "Heroes' Acre" shrine for national anti-colonial leaders outside the capital. Mugabe was ousted from his three-decade-plus rule a couple of years ago, and there were still sore spots with the current government (not as sore as the people who were killed under Mugabe's disastrously mean-spirited and incompetent reign, but sore nonetheless). Mugabe died last week at age 95 in hospital in Singapore (because he left his own country's health care system in a shambles).