World News Briefs For Saturday, 15 February 2020
Hello Australia!! - The bizarre sex scandal that brought down top French official - The murder that was too much for Mexico - Defending tough measures to stop the coronavirus - And more in your CareerSpot Global News Briefs:
A sex scandal has forced a top ally of French President Emmanuel Macron to quit the race for Paris mayor, often a stepping stone to the presidency. Macron's ex-spokesman Benjamin Griveaux apparently had an affair with a Russian woman, and the evidence was released by Russian performance artist Petr Pavlensky - the same guy who fled Russia after extremely dramatic protests against the FSB (secret police), including setting the door to FSB headquarters on fire and infamously nailing his own scrotum to the ground in Red Square.
Let me just emphasize that last point: The guy who blew the whistle on Macron's friend is the same who nailed his own scrotum to the pavement in Moscow's Red Square to protest the secret police. Which is an incredible move. I mean, what were they going to do, punish him? His scrotum was already nailed to the ground. It's not like the FSB was going to top that.
Anyway.. The 42-year old Griveaux said, "No-one should be subjected to such abuse," referring to the impact the revelation has had on his family. The woman who sought to replace as Paris mayor, Socialist incumbent Anne Hidalgo, appealed for respect for people's private lives. But the sordid story has left all sorts of unanswered questions, such as how or why Mr. Pavlensky even came into possession of such video, and if Mr. Griveaux was current or future target of "kompromat" - the practice of Russian spies blackmailing or otherwise controlling Western officials through the possession of compromising material.
Macron and several top French politicians are defending a teenage girl who spoke against Islam in a video that has inflamed emotions. "The law is clear: we have the right to blasphemy, to criticize, to caricature religions," Macron told Le Dauphine Libere newspaper, "The republican order is not a moral order. What is outlawed is to incite hatred and attack dignity." The teen identified only as 16-year old Mila - who identifies as a Lesbian - was doing a make-up video when the comments section (as usual) degenerated into a madhouse of sexual overtures and religious proselytization. Exasperated, the girl announced, "I hate religion. The Quran is a religion of hate." And then came the torrent of death threats as pundits and social critics all got in on what started as a make-up tutorial.
Hundreds of woman protested and splashed Mexico's Presidential palace with red paint in protest to a recent gruesome murder that is bringing attention to the epidemic of violence against women. The murder of 25-year old Ingrid Escamilla in Mexico City stood out among the ten killings of women per day in the country, because the killer had horribly mutilated her corpse and newspapers published graphic photos. "It's not just Ingrid. There are thousands of femicides," said Lilia Florencio Guerrero, whose daughter was murdered in 2017, "It fills us with anger and rage." The protesters and others are demanding President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO) direct more resources into stopping the violence.
World health officials are still recommending against travel bans as a way of protecting against the Covid-19 coronavirus. But at least some Aussie medical officials are satisfied with the Federal Government extending the travel ban on people coming from mainland China. "Right at the start of an outbreak, you can't predict which way it's going to go, and that's why there has been such a strong response," said Professor Mark Walker of the Australian Infectious Disease Research Centre at the University of Queensland. "What everyone is worried about is 1918 – Spanish flu," he told the Guardian newspaper, "Fifty million deaths in a flu season. That was over 100,000 deaths a day."
Barely a month and a half after the novel coronavirus lept from animals to infecting people, China has recorded 5,090 more cases, bringing the global total to 64,435. The death toll from the coronavirus is at least 1,383, including three people outside mainland China.