Hello Australia!! - A church splits in two - How long until America buckles under the government shut-down? - The cops who allegedly left two women to die in a flood - And more in your CareerSpot Global News Briefs:

The greatest schism in Christianity in centuries became official today, as the head of the global Orthodox Church Patriarch Bartholomew in Istanbul granted Ukraine's orthodox church's independence from the Moscow Patriarchate.  That provoked an angry response from the Russian Orthodox Church, which is closely aligned with the Kremlin and sees the move as a geopolitical slap in the face.  The Russian church broke off ties with the main church, effectively splitting the Eastern Orthodox Church's membership of 250 to 300 million in half, with 150 million people following Moscow out the door.

Poland is ordering all "escape room" attractions to make sure there's a safe way out aside from the usual series of puzzles that customers have to "solve" to escape.  This is after the shocking deaths of five teenage girls who perished when a fire broke out in an escape room business in the city of Koszalin.  The girls were celebrating one of their birthdays.  Prosecutors say leaking gas cylinders started a fire in an adjacent waiting room, and the girls were asphyxiated.  There were only seven escape room business in Poland a few years ago; today there are more than a thousand.

And now..

Americans are starting to feel more of their government's partial shutdown as Federal security workers at airports calling sick because they're not getting paid.  Transportation Security Administration (TSA) workers are among the 400,000 who are required to show up for work every day even if squabbling politicians are holding up their paychecks.  So - longer lines, delayed flights.  Donald Trump is refusing to sign off on a budget unless he gets US$5.6 Billion to start building a wall on the Mexican border, Democrats who now control the House of Representatives aren't going to give it to him because it's a racist idea and projections show it would be ineffective at curbing illegal immigration. 

The pilots' and air traffic controllers union are urging a fast end to the government shutdown:  "The nation's airspace system is a complex transportation network that involves government and industry partnerships to function properly, and the disruptions being caused by the shutdown are threatening the safe operations of this network," the Air Line Pilots Association wrote in a letter to Donald Trump.  But on Saturday morning, his response was to repeat the fallacy that claims most government workers are Democrats, his political rivals. 


The Democratic Republic of Congo announced there will be a delay in announcing the results of the presidential election, apparently because fewer than half of the votes had arrived at the electoral commission for counting.  "It is not possible to publish the results on Sunday. We are making progress, but we do not have everything yet," said commission head Corneille Nangaa.  The Roman Catholic Church, which had hundreds of observers monitor the election, said there was a clear winner and the government needs to announce the result to avoid unrest.  That prompted the government of outgoing strongman Joseph Kabila to accuse the church of preparing for "revolution".

Protests, we got protests.  Thousands braved snow and freezing temperatures for a fifth week of protests in Belgrade against populist Serbian President President Aleksandar Vucic; the demonstrations began after thugs beat up an opposition leader.  Meanwhile, 10,000 people protested outside Hungary's parliament against the reviled "slave law" which allows employers to force workers to put in hundreds of hours of overtime and delay payment for years; union leaders called for a strike on 19 January.  And in Paris, the Yellow Vests were out again to oppose President Emmanuel Macron's neoliberal economic reforms.. despite persistent media reports that the movement is dwindling, they've been out there every week, breaking stuff and setting stuff on fire.

Two American cops are charged with manslaughter for abandoning two women in a van as it was swamped by floodwater.  This happened when Hurricane Florence slammed into South Carolina, USA in September.  Prosecutors say Horry County sheriff's deputies Stephen Flood and Joshua Bishop drove directly into harm's war knowing the flood risks; they left mental health patients 43-year old Nicolette Green and 45-year old Wendy Newton locked in the back of the van with no way to escape.  "These people are finally being held accountable," said Green's sister as the shackled, orange jumpsuit-clad former deputies were brought into court.