World News Briefs For Saturday, 20 February 2016
Hello Australia!! - A deal has been struck to keep the UK in the European Union - Worries over press freedoms in a country that's supposed to be an advanced Democracy - Two major authors whose work made the world a better place are dead - And more in your CareerSpot World News Briefs:
After weeks and months of shuttle diplomacy and contentious final negotiations that dragged over hours and days, the UK and the European Union have struck a deal to stay together - just not that close. Cameron won key concessions on tightening access to Britain's welfare to migrants, although not as much as he wanted; and the EU recognizes the UK's "special status" that keeps it an arm's length from commitments to further integrate Europe. Declaring victory, Prime Minister David Cameron now returns to the UK to sell the deal to Euroskeptics before a planned referendum, likely in June, on continued membership in the 28 nation continental union.
One of those Cameron may not be able to win over is his close ally and Justice Secretary David Gove, whose decision whether to support is expected to have great influence other important Tories including London Mayor and PM-wannabe Boris Johnson. Senior figures in the "Vote Leave" movement have longstanding and deep ties with Mr. Gove, and No. 10 is said to be fully briefed on his indecision. Should be an interesting few months.
A US air strike in Libya killed at least 41 people whom the Pentagon says were part of an Islamic State cell that was threatening Western interests in the region. Among the intended targets was Tunisian operative Noureddine Chouchane, who is suspected in two major jihadist attacks in Tunisia last year. IS is taking advantage of the chaos to shelter in Libya, a country that is effectively split into three regions ruled by different factions.
A Kurdish splinter group is claiming responsibility for the bombing in Ankara, Turkey that killed 28 people. The Kurdistan Freedom Hawks (TAK), which broke off of the main banned Kurdish opposition group PKK, is based in Turkey and said the bombing was in retaliation for President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's brutal crackdown in Kurdish areas of Turkey's southeast. Earlier, Erdogan claimed the bombing was carried out by Kurdish groups in Syria, which the US is backing in the fight against Islamic state.
Uganda's police detained the presidential candidate to prevent him from announcing his own election results from Thursday's disputed elections. Militarized cops moved in on Kizza Besigye at his party's headquarters in the capital, Kampala, following the vote. President Yoweri Museveni is seeking to extend his 30-year-rule. The US is urging him to "rein in his police".
Kenyan wildlife officials say four Lions that got out of a nature preserve and wandered around a residential area returned to their homes in Nairobi national park, on the edge of Kenya's sprawling and growing capital. People in Nairobi woke up to warnings not to try to capture the mother, cub, and two other lions by themselves. You know, because they're freaking lions. It's the latest in a number of incidents in which country meets town,and luckily there have been no major injuries.
There is anger over the shocking dismissals of three major Japanese TV news presenters, apparently under pressure from the government of trust-fund baby conservative Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. Most surprising is the sacking of internationally-respected journalist Hiroko Kuniya from NHK's flagship show Close-Up Gendai, allegedly because she asked an unscripted follow-up question of the chief cabinet secretary during a live interview. "It was not their decision to leave," said Sanae Fujita of the Human Rights Center at Essex University. Political science professor Koichi Nakano of Tokyo's Sophia University accuses, "The ongoing attack on media freedom in Japan by the government and its right-wing associates is not about being on the right or the left - it is about destroying the foundations of a liberal democracy."
The literary world lost two important figures: The novelist and intellectual Umberto Eco died at age 84; he is perhaps best known for his 1980 novel "The Name of the Rose", a murder mystery set in an Italian monastery in the High Middle Ages. And, "To Kill a Mockingbird" is one of only two novels credited to US author Harper Lee, who passed at age 89; but it is widely considered to be a classic that dealt with rape and racism in the southern US. In 2006, British Librarians declared it the number one book that everyone should read before they die.