World News Briefs For Sunday, 14 July 2019
Howdy Australia!! - Cops battle protesters in Hong Kong - Storm Barry hits the US Gulf Coast - The Trump administration exposes its own human rights abuses - And more in your CareerSpot Global News Briefs:
Tropical Storm Barry briefly strengthened to a Category One Hurricane before finally reaching the shore of Louisiana. It's crawling inland at six miles per hour, picking up a lot of moisture from the Gulf of Mexico that's now being deposited on the state - officials are warning of potentially life-threatening flooding. The bright spot is that the Mississippi River level at New Orleans had dropped and last week's street flooding had already subsided. Coastal areas, however, are having a much harder time with damage from high winds and power outages to at least 100,000 homes and businesses.
Torrential monsoon rains caused flooding and landslides that killed at least 40 people in India, Nepal, and Bangladesh. Most of the trouble is down in the plains - but even Kathmandu got drenched, and three people were killed when a rain-soaked wall collapsed. Last year, 1,200 people died in the monsoon rains.
Hong Kong police clashed with masked demonstrators at the end of a protest against mainland traders coming to town. The protesters accuse the traders of stripping their store shelves bare and of tax avoidance when they come into the city to buy pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, and other goods to sell back in the Beijing-controlled mainland. The protest was not as large as the giant demonstrations against a proposed law that critics said would have allowed political dissidents to be sent to Beijing for trial - but they followed the same pattern of simmering anger over the appointed government of Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam failing to listen to the concerns of Hong Kong.
US Vice President Mike Pence now claims the conditions are "unacceptable" at Border Patrol facilities holding hundreds of immigrants who tried to cross into the US without proper documentation. Pence and Republican party lawmakers were on a tour of the facilities that was supposed to have shown them as controlled and orderly - but the office at Donna, Texas was exactly as horrifying as the Trump administration's critics had warned. Pool reporter Josh Dawsey of the Washington Post wrote, "VP saw 384 men sleeping inside fences, on concrete w(ith) no pillows or mats. They said they hadn't showered in weeks, wanted toothbrushes, food. Stench was overwhelming." Prior to this, the Trump administration spent a lot of time denying it was causing mass human rights abuses.
Pence attempted to blame the deplorable and unnecessarily cruel situation on Democrats, who control only the lower House of Congress while his Republican party which has majorities in the federal courts, the US Senate, and the White House which actually sets immigration policy. Virginia Democratic Congressman Don Beyer said on Twitter that his party is "working to expose and stop human rights violations at the border, but everyone needs to know that Pence and Trump are making these problems much worse on purpose. They separate families and detain asylum seekers in huge numbers for political reasons. They could stop it".
Prime Minister Scott Morrison has accepted an invitation from Donald Trump to visit the White House as the guest of honor at a state dinner. Morrison said, "Australia's relationship with the United States could not be stronger. And it could not be stronger at a more important time for Australia, where we are in our region, where things are at in the world today." The date isn't clear, but it is expected the fandango will happen around the United Nations General Assembly leaders' week in September.