World News Briefs For Sunday, 13 January 2019
Hello Australia!! - Nasty gastro cuts short a crowded Caribbean cruise - The Yellow Vest protests gain strength in France - A brave girl's journey from Saudi Arabia to Canada, where she will learn about things like "boots" and "winter coats" - And more in your CareerSpot Global News:
At least three people are dead in a gas explosion in a bakery in central Paris. At last 46 more people are injured and the build as well as some surrounding facades sustained significant damage. Two of the dead are firefighters who had entered La Boulangerie Hubert to investigate a possible gas leak; witnesses said a hour later, the huge blast disrupted the morning in the lively Paris neighborhood. "I heard one big explosion and then a lot of pressure came at me, a lot of black smoke and glass," said Pedro Goncalves who works across the street. "I had just enough time to get down and cover myself and protect my head," he added. More than 200 more firefighters were called to put out the blaze and rescue people trapped in the rubble.
France's Yellow Vest protests are regaining some swagger. In Paris and other cities, more than 80,000 demonstrators were greeted by police tear gas and water cannons in the ninth straight weekend of protests against President Emmanuel Macron's neo-liberal economic policies. In Serbia, several thousand came out for a sixth weekend of protests against President Aleksandar Vucic, who critics say has created an atmosphere of fear and hate speech against opponents as he seeks to tighten his rule.
Royal Caribbean cut short a cruise after around 500 people were sickened with norovirus, which causes nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. Hundreds of passengers were quarantined in their cabins, and Jamaica refused to allow the "Oasis of the Seas" to dock. Another excursion to Mexico was canceled as the ship steamed back to port in Florida. The website Cruisemapper reports that cruise ship outbreaks hit a multiyear low in 2018, with only 1177 people getting sick on their dream vacations. But prior to that, it was common for thousands of passengers to get infected on ships every year - especially by norovirus, which is easily transmitted from person to person in closed environments such as cruise ships.
A young Saudi woman is beginning her new life in Canada after last week's refugee drama. 18-year old Rahaf Mohammed al-Qunun smiled as she walked through the arrival door at Toronto's airport and was greeted by Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland. Rahaf's dramatic week saw her flee her family while visiting Kuwait and before flying to Bangkok, where she posted a series of social media videos that gained international sympathy. She said her family had threatened to murder her because she had renounced Islam, and the Nations High Commissioner for Refugees found she was indeed fleeing in a dangerous situation. Now, as Ms. Freeland put it, Rahaf is going to learn about living in really cold weather.
Sure is a lot of snow in Europe, from Sweden to Greece but especially the Alps. Up to three meters of snow fell in parts of Austria alone. A big snow storm also hit the American Midwest, as if they weren't used to it. Well, some weren't.
The US FBI opened an investigation into whether Donald Trump was secretly working for Russia, shortly after he sacked FBI director James Comey. And it should be stressed that the FBI generally doesn't think it needs to investigate a sitting president for being a national security threat and possible treason. The bombshell report in the New York Times said the investigation was folded into the work of Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller, who was hired shortly after Comey was sacked. So far, seven Trump associates have been convicted of various offenses related to the investigation into Russian influence over Trump and his 2016 presidential campaign.
Russia's Spektr-R space telescope has hit a glitch. The satellite is still transmitting information back to earth, but scientists at Roscosmos have been unable to control the bird's pitch and attitude since Friday. Another attempt to regain control of the Russian eye in the sky will take place on Sunday.
Police in Suriname say they confiscated more than 2,300 kilograms of cocaine in the largest seizure ever for the South American country. They found the drugs hidden in between containers of rice packed into shipping containers bound for Europe.