World News Briefs For Sunday, 9 Feb 2020
Howdy Australia!! - Australians who were trapped in China are now en route to Darwin - A soldier massacres 20 at a mall - Heads roll after Germany's far right scandal - And more in your CareerSpot Global News Briefs:
An American and a Japanese are the first foreigners to die in China of the 2019-nCoV Wuhan Coronavirus outbreak. Both were in their 60s and both were being cared for in medical facilities in Wuhan City, China, where the coronavirus had the jump from animals to humans sometime in December. That means the global death toll has risen to at least 724, and confirmed cases in Mainland China are more than 34,500. The UN World Health Organization (WHO) is warning that the outbreak is far from over.
A second group of Australians trapped in the Wuhan and Hubei province lockdown left China by a Qantas flight en route to Darwin this morning. Passengers had to have their temperatures checked before getting on board: "The Chinese authorities consider 37.3 degrees temperature as the point you will require medical assistance," read an email from DFAT to potential passengers, "If a fever is detected at a checkpoint, it is possible they will be directed to a Chinese medical facility and not allowed to board the flight." Passengers on this flight will be quarantined for two weeks at an unused mining camp in the Northern Territory. People on the first flight were taken to Christmas Island, where the ABC reports "it has now been revealed there are fears one evacuee may have coronavirus after presenting with symptoms".
Thailand's police and military are hunting for a soldier who killed his commanding officer and 20 people at a shopping mall in the city of Nakhon Ratchasima (also known as Korat). Video from the scene has people panicking and fleeing as shots ring out. The suspect Jakraphanth Thomma had reportedly posted updates on his massacre on social media. He is believed to be holed up in the Terminal 21 mall, where authorities evacuated hundreds of people, many of them injured. The junior officer's motive is unclear.
At least eight people are dead and dozens are injured in ethnic clashes in southeastern Kazakhstan. At least 45 homes and businesses were destroyed in Masanchi Village as ethnic Kazakhs clashed with members of the Dungan minority and Hui Muslims, a group that migrated from China in the 19th Century.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel has sacked a young minister for tweeting his congratulations to a center-right candidate who was elected a state governor with the help of the far-right, a taboo in Germany's post-war politics. Christian Hirte's congratulatory tweet was met with outrage and derision just on the Left, but in Merkel's Christian Democrats and their Social Democrat coalition partners, and his career is over. At crisis talks in Berlin, Merkel led the three major political parties to release a statement ruling out cooperation with the far-right and xenophobic Alternative For Germany (AfD) at "all levels" across Germany. Back in Thuringia state, the candidate helped by the AfD - Thomas Kemmerich, of the pro-business Free Democratic Party (FDP) - has finally quit after days of desperately trying to find a way to hang on. New state elections are likely.
Exit polls indicate that Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Hindu nationalist BJP going down to a stinging defeat in New Dehli elections. Chief minister Arvind Kejriwal and his Aam Aadmi, or "Common Man's," party won 52 out of 70 seats in what some viewed as a referendum on the Modi government's crackdown in Kashmir, the citizenship bill that discriminates against Muslims from neighboring countries, and recent violent attacks on college campuses by mobs associated with the BJP.