World News Briefs For Sunday, 5 August 2018
Hello Australia!! - Is Trump's next Twitter war going to be with Melania? - Wildfires dot Europe in the heatwave - Brazil voters defy authorities - And more in your CareerSpot Global News Briefs:
Well that's awkward. Melania Trump took NBA superstar LeBron James' side after her husband Donald Trump insulted him in a twitter outburst. The sequence goes as follows: Last week, LeBron opened a school in a low-income neighborhood in his home town of Akron for at-risk kids: The "I Promise School" offers free tuition, uniforms, meals and snacks, and college tuition for all students who get to that point. Talking about it on CNN, he accused Trump of using race-baiting to divide Sport and the country, and said he'd never sit at a table with the current White House resident.
Never one to let something like that roll off, Trump fired off one of his tweets about Mr. James and the CNN interviewer Don Lemon, both of whom are black: "Lebron James was just interviewed by the dumbest man on television, Don Lemon," Trump said, "He made Lebron look smart, which isn't easy to do." This follows a pattern of Trump insulting the intelligence of Black athletes and lawmakers, which even a handful of members of his own Republican party condemn as race-baiting. "I like Mike," Trump ended, referring to retired basketball great Michael Jordan, late of the Chicago Bulls. US sport lovers like to debate who is a better player, Jordan or James.
But that's where the chasm between the White House East and West Wings became visible. On Saturday, Melania Trump's spokesperson announced her public denunciation of Trump's insults: "It looks like LeBron James is working to do good things on behalf of our next generation," and said Melania was offering a goodwill visit to the "I Promise School". But it didn't end there. The other man Trump referenced weighed in: "I support LJ," said Michael Jordan, now owner of the Charlotte Hornets, "He's doing an amazing job for his community." LeBron James served his response cold; he made no reference to Trump while tweeting photos of happy kids getting a chance at a better education through his school. Late on Saturday, Trump headed off to a campaign rally in Ohio, alone; Melania stayed at the White House.
While Trump gets attention for Twitter wars (that even his own wife can't support), his administration is dismantling environmental protection policies willy-nilly. The latest came from the US Fish and Wildlife Service, which is reversing a ban on neonicotinoid pesticides linked to declining bee populations and genetically modified crops in US national wildlife refuges. Jenny Keating of the group Defenders of Wildlife said, "Industrial agriculture has no place on refuges dedicated to wildlife conservation and protection of some of the most vital and vulnerable species."
Brazil's Workers Party nominated former president Luis Inacio Lula da Silva in the October presidential election. This is even though he is jailed on what supporters say are highly questionable corruption charges and may technically be unable to run. Despite this, Lula frequently tops presidential polls among voters sickened by the corruption of unelected right-wing President Michael Temer.
Portugal didn't break the European record high temperature on Saturday, but soared up to 46 C degrees - and that made it very hard on firies battling a major wildfire in southern Portugal's Algarve region. In fact, wildfires and drought are reported from Greece to Sweden, and at least three deaths in Spain are attributable to the heat wave. Researchers said global warming doubled this year's chances of a killer heatwave.
All of the 18 people on board a Russian MI-8 helicopter were killed when it crashed in Siberia. This happened about 180 kilometers outside the town of Igarka in Krasnoyarsk Territory. The copter was ferrying oil workers when its blades struck the cargo being lifted by another helicopter.
Nobel Peace Prize laureate Malala Yousafzai is calling for the rebuilding of eleven schools torched by suspected Islamic extremists in northern Pakistan. These arson attacks happened on Friday morning before the buildings opened. Police claim they are working with intelligence agencies and questioning individuals with links to militant groups. Pakistan's likely next prime minister Imran Kahn denounced the attacks.
Rhino attacks a car at a wildlife park in Mexico.