World News Briefs For Saturday, 4 August 2018
Hello Australia!! - The Trump investigation now encompasses a convicted pimp - Europe's heatwave is uncharted territory for the baking continent - How does a mother defend the world's most notorious terrorist? - And more in your CareerSpot Global News Briefs:
The results of Zimbabwe's first presidential election since the ouster of long-time strongman Robert Mugabe give the ruling party the victory, but the opposition doesn't believe that. President Emmerson Mnangagwa got 50.8 percent of the vote; lead opposition candidate Nelson Chamisa came in with 44.3 percent, calling it "fake" and "a coup against the people's will". Mnangagwa said people were free to challenge the result in court, but urged peace and unity.
US Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller has interviewed Kristin Davis, the woman famously known as the "Manhattan Madam", as part of the investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 US presidential election. Davis, who went to jail for running a high-price prostitution ring in New York City, is a long-time associate of Republican Party consultant and Donald Trump associate Roger Stone. It's a sign that Mueller might be zeroing in on Stone, who released a statement claiming Davis "knows nothing about alleged Russian collusion, WikiLeaks collaboration or any other impropriety related to the 2016 election which I thought was the subject of this probe".
The hermit kingdom North Korea is giving a glimpse of the impact of northern hemisphere heatwave. We know 28 people died in the Korean Peninsula heatwave, but information from the North is - as usual - less than complete. The official state newspaper Rodong is warning, "This year's high temperature is an unprecedented natural disaster but it is not an insurmountable difficulty," while the state news agency KCNA said, "Myriads of water carriers, tractors, trucks and other vehicles have been involved in irrigating croplands together with all the available watering equipment and devices." This is creating among international aid agencies of another famine, although not as bad as the one in the 1990s that killed hundreds of thousands of people.
Meanwhile in Europe, the heatwave that threatens to set new record high temperatures this weekend is causing all sorts of problems. The Baltic Sea coast is covered with a toxic algae bloom usually unseen in northern waters, with people in Poland, Lithuania, and Sweden advised not to enter affected waters. Switzerland is relocating sensitive fish from lower lakes and streams to higher, cooler waters because some species can't survive if the water exceeds 25 C degrees. A glacier on Sweden's Kebnekaise mountain is no longer the country's highest point, because four meters of ice melted off during July. And farmers are warning of a Brussels Sprout shortage because the heat could damage this year's crop of what everyone in the world agrees the delicious, easily-roasted and served with a vinaigrette veggie. In fact, everyone loves Brussels Sprouts!
Terrorists dressed in full burkas detonated suicide suicide bombs, killing 29 people at Friday prayers at a Shi'ite mosque in the eastern city of Gardez, Afghanistan. The Taliban has denied it carried out the attack; and while no other group has claimed responsibility, the so-called Islamic State has carried out similar attacks before in Afghanistan and during its reign of terror in Iraq and Syria.
Israeli army fire killed a 25-year old Palestinians and wounded 90 more people at a Hamas-led protest in Gaza. It was the latest in a series of protests along Gaza's perimeter fence with Israel, aimed in part at trying to break an 11-year-old border blockade. Egypt is trying to broker a truce. Friday's death brought to 156 the number of Palestinians killed by Israeli fire since late March, mostly near the Gaza fence.
Osama bin Laden's mother told The Guardian that he was a "good child" who was "brainwashed" by Islamic radicals in the Muslim Brotherhood in college. Um, okay. Bin Laden's been dead for seven years, after US President Barack Obama gave the order to the US Navy Seal Team Six to take out the leader of the 9/11 attacks at his hide-out in Pakistan.
Germany's highest court has thrown out the so-called nazi grandma's appeal of her hate crime conviction. 89-year-old Ursula Haverbeck is a neo-nazi and holocaust denier. The court ruled that free speech laws do not cover her vile activities, for which she is spending the next two years in prison, and that "denying the nazi genocide constitutes 'disturbing the public peace'".
The western US state of Nevada legalized recreational marijuana a year ago, and it's gone better than predicted with sales and tax collections already surpassing year-end projections by 25 percent.