World News Briefs For Thursday, 14 November 2019
Howdy Australia!! - New evidence of Trump's alleged consciousness of guilt - A break for firies today, but things will get more dangerous - Elon snubs Brexit Boris, and it could really hurt the UK - And more in your CareerSpot Global News Briefs:
A bombshell in the first day of public hearings held by the US House committee handling the impeachment of Donald Trump: Ambassador William Taylor revealed a second conversation - previously unknown - in which Trump directly implicated himself in the pressure campaign to force Ukraine to come up with a scandal against Trump's political rival in exchange for US military aid. "The member of my staff could hear President Trump on the phone," Taylor told lawmakers, "asking Ambassador (Gordon) Sondland about 'the investigations'. Ambassador Sondland told President Trump that the Ukrainians were ready to move forward." That didn't come up in Taylor's previous closed-door testimony, but does support a recent New York Times report that Ukraine was on the verge of complying with Trump's demand. The next day of testimony is Friday.
Moist coastal winds will help firefighters in eastern Australia today, but the conditions in Queensland are expected to get much worse tomorrow as the hot, dry westerly winds return. "We would expect to see the maximum temperature quickly return to four-to-eight degrees above the November average on Friday and into the weekend," a Weather Bureau spokeswoman said, as quoted by the SBS. "When we combine that with the dry air, we expect to see elevated fire dangers once again as we head toward the weekend." To keep up with the latest updates on the bushfires in New South Wales, check the NSW RFS website. For information on the bushfires in Queensland, check the QLD RFS website.
As bushfires cause havoc and destruction in Queensland and New South Wales, a coalition of 23 fire and emergency service leaders from around Australia is demanding the Federal Government act now against the "urgent threat" of climate change. Emergency Leaders for Climate Action recognizes that coal, gas, and oil are the "root causes" of the undeniable science of Global Warming, and the government must come up with a plan to phase them out for renewables. This year's wildfires are earlier than usual and harder-to-control: "We are in a new age of unprecedented bushfire danger. Climate change is the key reason why fire seasons are lengthening, fires are harder to control, and access to international firefighting resources like large aircraft is becoming more difficult," said the group's Greg Mullins, a former NSW fire and rescue commissioner; "The government must respond to this urgent threat with an urgent response."
The Mayor of Venice, Italy blames climate change for the flooding that has killed two people in the historic city of canals. Flood levels hit the second-highest point since modern record keeping began in 1923. With more than 85 percent of the city flooded, Mayor Luigi Brugnaro said he would declare a state of emergency: "We ask the government to help us. This is the result of climate change." Saint Mark's square is under more than a meter of water, while the basilica has also flooded for only the the sixth time in 1,200 years - but the fourth in the last two decades. Damage to the city is estimated to be in the hundreds of millions of Euros.
"Berlin rocks!" says Elon Musk as he chose the German capital for Europe first Tesla plant, deliberately skipping over that country that's trying to divorce itself from the continental union: "Brexit made it too risky to put a Gigafactory in the UK," Musk said, while praising German engineering. It's a major embarrassment for UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson who promised his Brexit would create rush of investment in the UK that isn't materializing, at least not yet. Musk's snub will also add to the criticism that Johnson isn't actually doing anything to get the UK to its promise of net-zero carbon emissions by the year 2050.
The woman assuming Bolivia's presidency Jeanine Anez took her "oath" of office on an ostentatiously huge bible, an apparent swipe at deposed President Evo Morales who championed indigenous peoples' rights to their own faith. Anez again claimed she would call elections to pick a new president, but didn't set a date. At least eight people have been killed in right-wing violence against Evo's reelection that led to the coup d'etat over the weekend. Evo has since gone into exile to Mexico to avoid being killed, but still has supporters in La Paz, Sucre, and most of the countryside.