World News Briefs For Sunday, 21 February 2016
Hello Australia!! - A powerful cyclone tears through Fiji - A note to pop singers and politicians: If you think it's okay to mention race, it's probably NOT - German cops are caught on video allowing racists to terrorize refugees - And more in your CareerSpot Global News Briefs:
Fiji reports that Category Five Tropical Cyclone Winston destroyed entire villages and killed at least one person before heading back out to sea. "The scale of the destruction is absolutely massive and it's still far too early to tell just how many people's homes and livelihoods have been devastated by this storm," said Australian Red Cross aid worker Susan Slattery, on scene in Suva. The strongest storm ever to hit those island made landfall on the main island yesterday. Winston is a more powerful storm than it might have been in any other year - but this is an El Nino Year, which has warmed the seas around 1.5 degrees C above average. This heat serves as the "engine room" for Winston's sustained winds, which was measured at 230 kilometers per hour with gusts of up to 325 kph on Fiji.
Matchbox 20 lead singer Rob Thomas is apologizing for cracking a racist joke onstage at a solo gig in Melbourne. Thomas said he beat jetlag by drinking "until I think I’m Australian, and I keep drinking until I think I’m a black Australian". WTH, Rob? A pretty strange choice of humor from a guy who was pretty good on supporting Marriage Equality around the world and health care reform in his native US. He later apologized over social media, saying that he was unaware "there is a polarizing social issue happening right now involving indigenous people and alcohol", and "I feel like a fool and apologize to all Australians".
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe rebuked a member of his ruling LDP party after the lawmaker said that US President Barack Obama has "the blood of slaves". Despite being totally inaccurate (Mr. Obama's father was a black man from Kenya, and his mother was a white girl from Kansas) as well as wholly inappropriate, Kazuya Maruyama apparently was trying to say that the US is a dynamic country that evolved into a world superpower. Opposition lawmakers demanded a resignation from Maruyama, who apologized. But it comes at a bad time for Abe, whose economic program isn't working and is dealing with a party jostled by sex scandals and bribery investigations.
German cops are defending their "response" to a shameful incident in the eastern village of Clausnitz, south of Dresden. A hundred or so racist, xenophobic scum were captured on video surrounding a bus carrying refugee women and children, and refusing to allow it to move for a couple of hours. Police are seen doing absolutely nothing to stop the angry rabble - not even calling for reinforcements - but were rough in handling the migrants. Regional police chief Uwe Reissmann claimed one of the migrants flipped the finger at the unreasonable mob.
Serbia plans to send an official protest to Washington, DC after a US airstrike in Libya killed two Serb diplomatic workers who were kidnapped in November and were being held by jihadists. The Pentagon had earlier boasted that the airstrike killed a wanted terrorist who staged earlier attacks in Tunisia, and information gleaned by the Libyan prosecutors office seemed to indicate the building in question was a hive of plotters against other targets. The US says it is aware of the deaths of the two Serbians, but cannot confirm how they were killed.
North Korea fired several artillery rounds into the sea near a disputed island off the west coast of the Korean Peninsula. This is amid rising tensions caused by the North's detonation of a a nuclear weapon and launch of a missile. Baengnyeong Island is held by the South, and sits about 20 kilometers off the North's shore.
Uganda President Yoweri Museveni has won a fifth term as president, extending his 30 years in office. The opposition, whose leader is under house arrest, says the election results are a sham and is calling on the international community to reject them.