World News Briefs For Thursday, 5 July 2018
Hello Australia!! - Two more Brits are hospitalized because of a Russian poison - Who is left to stop Trump from invading Venezuela? - Justice for Victor Jara - And more in your CareerSpot Global News Briefs:
UK police say a man and a woman were poisoned with the Russian nerve agent "Novichok", the same toxic weapon used on Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter earlier this year. Investigators say there is nothing in the background of Charlie Rowley and Dawn Sturgess to indicate why they might have been targeted, although one friend said they frequented some of the same locations in Salisbury as the Skripals. Rowley and Sturgess were found unresponsive in a home on Saturday, and are now in a critical condition. Precious time in their treatment might have been lost as they were originally thought to have OD'd on drugs.
A judge in Chile has found eight retired soldiers guilty of the 1973 murder of popular folk singer Victor Jara, who was tortured and killed on the day of fascist scum Augusto Pinochet's US-backed coup. Jara was a Communist Party member, friend of President Salvador Allende, and a popular singer/songwriter known for songs such as "The Right to Live in Peace". Witnesses who were detained alongside Jara in the main sports stadium in Santiago say the fascist soldiers crushed his fretting hand and beat him into a pulp. Jara's bullet-ridden body was found a few days later.
A ninth person was convicted of being an accomplive to Jara's murder.
Speaking of US-backed horrors in Latin America: A judge granted bail to US-trained Guatemalan Colonel Ariel Salvador de Leon, who is charged with laudering money for the criminal gang Mara Salvatrucha, or, MS-13. Police say he accumulated more than US$1.8 Million in bribes and other ill-gotten gains over the years, including those in qhich he trained with the US to keep MS13 out of his country from neighboring El Salvador. Where did MS-13 come from? Los Angeles: Originally a small-time street gang formed to protect Salvadoran immigrants to the California metropolis, the US deported its leaders in the 1980s gang panic, only to have them take their US-learned crime skills to San Salvador City and go big - really big. Hmm, it's almost as if the US needs to stop screwing around in Latin America to keep causing so many problems that come back to bite its arse.
But.. The orange clown Donald Trump repeatedly brought up the idea of invading Venezuela to aides and other Latin America leaders who urged him not to do anything so godamned stupid. According to the Associated Press, this happened last August with aides, and twice with then Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos. Here's the problem for Venezuela, Latin America, and the world: The two aides who talked him out of the stupid idea have left the White House, and President Santos has left office, only to be replaced by a hard-right winger with a chip on his shoulder for Venezuela.
Venezuela's Socialist President Nicolas Maduro and his predecessor Hugo Chavez have consistently claimed the US has aggressive goals and wants to take the country's oil for itself. No matter how much evidence that Maduro comes up with to prove his allegations of US tampering with his country's economy, the world corporate media ignores it and refers to him as a dictator, regardless of elections fully certified by international vote monitoring groups. "To create social discontent and violence, to portray a country in flames, which could lead them to justify international isolation and even foreign intervention," Maduro told the Guardian in April.
Speaking of the for right's distaste for the rule of law: Poland's top judge defied the far-right government's demand that she retire, heating up the crisis brought on by the government's attempt to take over the judiciary. 66-year old Chief Justice Malgorzata Gersdorf was surrounded by supporters as she made her way into the Supreme Court building in Warsaw. The ruling PiS party passed a law lowering the mandatory retirement age for judge from 70 to 65, claiming a non-existent need to weed out judges who were appointed during the Communist regime that disappeared in 1989. Judge Gersdorf is a veteran Solidarity Union activist who helped topple the Communists way back then.
The European Union earlier this week launched legal action against the gross over-reach of Poland's right-wing government, saying the law undermined judicial independence. "If there is a systemic threat to the rule of law, we cannot simply turn a blind eye," said European Commission Vice President Valdis Dombrovskis, "We cannot simply say it is a purely national issue." Former Polish President and Solidarity leader Lech Walesa warned, "Sooner or later this may lead to a civil war."
New video shows the boys trapped inside a cave in northern Thailand are in good health, considering their ordeal. Smiling and at times laughing, the twelve and their football coach introduce themselves on video. They got marooned deep inside the cave when heavy rain flooded the entrance. There are still concerns that the rescue could take weeks or months - mostly from TV "experts" on different continents - because more heavy rain is expected and the cave could remain flooded for quite a while.
Former Malaysian prime minister Najib Razak pleaded not guilty to corruption charges and was freed on bail, although he still is not allowed to leave the country. Prosecutors say he pocketed US$700 Million from a state fund he set up, allegedly to enrich himself and his wife.
A Chinese billionaire fell to his death in Provence in southern France. 57-year old Wang Jian of the giant conglomerate HNA climbed onto a tower to take photos in the picturesque village of Bonnieux - but lost his footing and fell 15 meters. Under Wang's leadership, HNA started with regional carrier Hainan Airlines and acquired.