World News Briefs For Saturday, 2 November 2019
Howdy Australia!! - Satellite sleuthing might have found the cause of an environmental disaster - Diesel erases Aussie environmental gains - A big shake up in the US Presidential race - And more in your CareerSpot Global News Briefs:
The ownership and use of diesel-powered vehicles - cars, utes, trucks - has risen so that those emissions have canceled out the progress in switching from coal to renewable energy. The Australia Institute says the surge in ownership of diesel vehicles is the main reason Australia's emissions from transport increased by more than 10 percent over the decade. In fact, annual carbon dioxide emissions from burning diesel increased by 21.7 million tonnes between 2011 and 2018 according to Dr. Hugh Saddler, a PhD, honorary associate professor at Adelaide University, and generally one of those "smartest people on the planet" types we REALLY need to be listening to. "Focusing purely on reducing electricity emissions while failing to recognize the importance of transport emissions is taking two steps forward, one step back," he said.
For months, Brazilians have been cleaning disgusting tar balls and crude oil slicks off of thousands of kilometers of coastline in the country's northeast, but no one knew where it was coming from - until now. Authorities are blaming a Greek-flagged ship, without naming the vessel. But the Reuters news agency identifies it as the Bouboulina, owned by Greece's Delta Tankers Ltd., which was passing South Africa en route to Asia on Saturday morning. The Marine Time Bulletin reports the Bouboulina went off radar from May through early October - but satellite imagery allegedly shows it picking up crude at Venezuela's Puerto Jose facility and heading southeast to the Cape of Good Hope in South Africa, possibly en route to Singapore. Delta Tankers did not immediately respond to Reuters' request for comment, but Brazilian officials say they will seek recourse for the cost of cleaning up those beaches and the damage to tourism in nine cities.
The Indian capital Delhi's air is so filthy that officials are distributing five million filter masks to students to provide some measure of protection. The latest air pollution emergency has schools closed until Tuesday, at the earliest. Construction and fireworks displays are banned, and on Monday officials will introduce one of those even-odd license plate number schemes to keep half of the cars off the road for a while. With particulate matter running at twenty-times the maximum level set by the World Health Organization (WHO), Delhi's Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal admits the city had been turned into a "gas chamber".
Victoria Police are investigating an officer for wearing a crude and homophobic message over the lens of his body camera while watching protests outside the International Mining and Resources Conference. The SBS reports the message read, "EAD hippy" - urban slang for "eat a d**k". The glaring officer with the offensive message was caught on camera by observers, and the image went viral. "We are still working to ascertain how and why this comment was on his camera," went the statement from Victoria Police, "This behaviour detracts from what was otherwise a professionally-conducted operation and tarnishes the reputation of all of our officers." Earlier, critics pointed out another officer giving the "okay" hand signal that had been co-opted by racists - but Victoria police claim the officer had judged that two protesters appeared to be "unwell" and was hand-signalling to ask, "Are you okay?"
US Congressman and Democratic Party presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke is dropping out of the 2020 race. His team says he is also not running for reelection to his district in El Paso, Texas, nor for the Texas Senate Seat coming up next year.
Meanwhile, Massachusetts Senator and top-tier Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren unveiled a plan to bring Universal Healthcare to Americans, and it will not raise taxes on the middle class by one penny. Naturally, US political pundits keep asking, "bUt HoW aRe YoU gOiNg To PaY fOr It?" even after she provided details on the funding to get the US to the same rational place as Australia, Japan, Canada, and every other advanced country that doesn't allow its people to die unnecessarily.
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson is rejecting Donald Trump's advice to form an "unstoppable force" alliance with large-mouthed Brexiteer Nigel Farage. The Tories insist that only votes for the Conservative Party will bring the Brexit, but Farage has threatened that without an alliance his party - whatever it is this time - will contest every seat, which could split the Brexit vote.