World News Briefs For Sunday, 18 June 2017
Hello Australia!! - Prosecutors vow another attempt to convict comedian Bill Cosby - The death toll nearly doubles in the Grenfell Tower fire - Seven US Sailors are missing after a destroys collided with a freighter - And more in your CareerSpot Global News Briefs:
A Pennsylvania judge declared a mistrial in the sex assault case against comedian Bill Cosby after jurors said they were hopelessly deadlocked after six days of deliberations. Cosby faced three charged related to the alleged drugging and raping of Andrea Constand in his Philadelphia home in 2004. The ruling means that the 79-year old actor and comedian is neither guilty nor not guilty - the prosecutor tweeted he will retry the case within 120 days, and said the accuser is "courageous". Some 60 women have accused Cosby of similar behavior, but most of their cases cannot be tried due to statues of limitations.
London Police for the first time attempted to put a number on how many people died in last week's high-rise fire in public housing tower - the figure of 58 missing and presumed dead includes the 30 bodies located in the charred Grenfell Tower in the Tory-run Kensington and Chelsea Borough. The Met warns that number can still rise. NHS England said 19 people were still being treated in hospital, including 10 in critical care.
And still, there is absolutely no sign of anyone from the council or government at the scene attempting to help the survivors or coordinate efforts to identify the missing or dead - it's all volunteers on the ground doing the hard work outside the tower. Officials brought a few surviving residents to 10 Downing Street to meet with Prime Minister Theresa May, who admitted the government's support for families "who needed help or basic information" after the disaster "was not good enough". Later, she announced an AU$8 Million fund for Grenfell survivors "so people can buy clothes, food and other essentials. If more funding is required, it will be provided". This came the day after Ms. May's disastrous and "robotic" appearance on BBC Newsnight, which viewers criticized "inhuman and uncaring" as she coldly stonewalled questions a 2013 safety report and years of resident complaints that, in the eyes of many, predicted a human tragedy of this scope would occur.
Protests over the government's handling of the Grenfell Tower disaster broke out around London and other UK cities. They carried signs reading "Austerity Kills" and "Cuts Costs Lives", referring to the Tory penny pinching that led to the decision to save a measly few thousand Pounds by flammable cladding installed on the tower instead of fire-proof panels. Outside Downing Street, a demonstration converged with another protest over PM May's decision to seek a coalition with the ultra-right wing Democratic Unionist Party of Northern Ireland, which was organized by Labour supporter and Guardian columnist Owen Jones. "A disgraced Theresa May is trying to cling on to power with an alliance with the Democratic Unionist Party, the most extreme party in Parliament," Mr. Jones wrote, "They are anti-gay. They are anti-choice. They are climate change deniers. And they have a history of links to and sympathies for Northern Irish loyalist terrorism - after smearing Labour and Jeremy Corbyn over terrorism."
US and Japanese Naval vessels are searching waters south of Tokyo for seven sailors still missing after a cargo freighter slammed into the destroyer USS Fitzgerald, which sustained heavy damage in the unwanted encounter. Both the Fitz and the Philippine-flagged container ship made it back to the US Naval base at Yokosuka and Tokyo's Oi cargo wharf, respectively. The shipping lane is an incredibly busy place, but it's not clear why the two ships with all of their high tech radar and positioning gadgetry ever got close to each other.
An Afghan soldier attacked US troops in an "insider attack", wounding seven. This happened at Camp Shaheen, in Mazar-e Sharif city in northern Balkh province. One Afghan was killed, and the Pentagon is dismissing reports any Americans died.
Vanuatu President Baldwin Lonsdale died of a heart attack early Saturday morning. The 67-year old had been leader of the Pacific archipelago since September 2014. This short time in office was consumed by rebuilding of parts of Vanuatu after Cyclone Pam left an estimated 75,000 people homeless in March 2015.