World News Briefs For Sunday, 15 April 2018
Hello Australia!! - Russia condemns Western Air Strikes on its ally Syria - Tens of thousands attend Winnie Mandela's funeral - A court ruling might advance human rights across the Caribbean - And more in your CareerSpot Global News Briefs:
The UN Security Council has rejected Russia's call to condemn the joint air strikes on Syria carried out by the US, UK, and France in retaliation for the chemical weapon attack that killed dozens of Syria's own citizens a week before. The Russian ambassador said the strikes were counter to international law and the UN Charter, but only Russia, China, and Bolivia voted in favor. Eight countries voted against the draft; four abstained. British Ambassador to the UN Karen Pierce said, "It was both right and legal to take military action together with our closest allies to alleviate further humanitarian suffering." US ambassador Nikki Haley warned, "If the Syrian regime uses this poisonous gas again, the United States is locked and loaded."
The three allies utilized ship-based missiles and warplanes, launching more than 100 weapons into Syria. The Russians claim air defenses intercepted 70 missiles, while the Pentagon says none were intercepted: "No Syrian weapon had any effect on Western strikes in Syria," said US Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Joseph Dunford, and France echoed that. The targets were an alleged chemical weapons research center in Damascus' Barzeh district; a weapons storage facility in Homs; and a command post near Homs. Syria's government claims the strikes caused only "material damage" and three injuries: "We had an early warning of the strike from the Russians," said the officials to Reuters, "And all military bases were evacuated a few days ago."
PM Malcolm Turnbull backs the Western strikes as "a calibrated, proportionate and targeted response" to Syria's use of banned chemical weapons in Douma, killing dozens of people and injuring as many as 500. "The use of chemical weapons by anyone, anywhere, under any circumstances is illegal and utterly reprehensible," Malcolm said in a statement, "The Assad regime must not be allowed to commit such crimes with impunity." Australia has sanctions in place against 135 individuals and 42 entities in relation to Syria and its chemical weapons program.
The funeral for Winnie Madikizela-Mandela filled Soweto's Orlando Stadium to capacity as tens of thousands farewelled the veteran anti-apartheid figure and ex-wife of the revered father of modern South Africa Nelson Mandela. Shouts of "Long live Comrade Winnie', "the struggle continues", and "Power to the People" rang out as dignitaries spoke. Entire sections were filled with the red shirts of the Economic Freedom Fighters party, which picked up South Africa's far Left wing mantle as the African National Congress moved into the centrist mainstream, and sees itself as carrying on Winnie's work.
A judge in Trinidad and Tobago has ruled that anti-LGBT laws are unconstitutional, marking what campaigners hope will be the beginning of change in the homophobic Caribbean region. "The judge came down on the right side of history in this case by striking down the buggery law and ruling it as unconstitutional," said Kenita Placide, Caribbean adviser for rights group OutRight Action International. The laws were part of the legacy of British colonial rule which ended in 1976 - the UK moved on while the former territories often did not. In this case, campaigners expect the government to appeal the ruling.
An Indian court has ordered the arrest of a Hindu ruling party politician accused of gang-raping a Muslim teenager and beating her father to death. The crime has sparked days of unrest over the heinous crime and the apparent disinterest of the police. Protesters were also angry with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, a staunch Hindu nationalist, for refusing to comment until Friday evening. Modi then said the crimes "cannot be part of a civilized society".
Mayor Pyotr Lazarev of Volokolamsk, Russia suspects police raided his home because he approved of a protest march against a toxic landfill that's making residents ill. The rally was larger than expected: People have been growing more and more angry since children were rushed to hospitals with symptoms of gas poisoning on 21 March. The Volokomansk landfill takes in the waste of Moscow.
Thousands of Hungarians rallied in Budapest against what they believe was the rigged election that returned far right-wing Prime Minister Viktor Orban to power for a third term with about two-thirds of the seats in Parliament. "We want to live in a state of law, where checks and balances are present," said organizer Viktor Gyetvai, "We want to live in a real democracy." Denouncing the "Vik-tator" and calling for a free media, disgruntled youth were especially prevalent in the crowd, as opposed to the middle-aged and elderly crab-arses who usually show up for Orban's anti-immigration rallies. International election observers also expressed reservations about the 8 April election as being filled with "intimidating and xenophobic rhetoric, media bias, and opaque campaign financing."