World News Briefs For Thursday, 5 September 2019
Hello Australia!! - With two more losses, is Boris Johnson already a Lame Duck PM? - Hong Kong protesters demand democracy, but are not impressed with Australia's welcome - A big fine for a big internet company - And more in your CareerSpot Global News Briefs:
Two more major defeats for UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson in the House of Commons: MPs voted in favor of the opposition measure to prevent a no-deal Brexit, removing at least a little of the uncertainty surrounding the UK's divorce from the European Union. Rebel Conservative MPs and the Opposition banded together, 327 votes to 299. It forces the PM to request another three month delay to the Brexit, from 31 October to 31 January, if the two sides do not strike a deal to smooth out the transition.
Mr. Johnson then demanded a snap election, but came up more than 130 votes short of the number required to make it happen. For friend and foe alike, allowing Johnson to call an election wasn't an option and because they simply don't trust him to schedule it on 15 October as promised and believe he would put it after 31 October. Some background as to "why" - consider that two Sundays ago, Number Ten denied reports that Johnson was considering suspending Parliament; but days later he did just that. He has repeatedly claimed he does not want an election; but then he castigated the opposition for not agreeing to his demand for one. Johnson has talked about bringing consensus to Commons; but just yesterday he kicked more than twenty of his own MPs out of the Tory Party for going against him. The polarization has gotten worse and worse and the divisions have grown deeper and deeper.
There will have to be a new election at some point, probably sooner rather than later. Johnson has failed his first three votes as PM, the first time that has happened since the 1800s. He is a PM with a mandate and without a majority, unable to deliver his main promise, and that is unsustainable.
Embattled Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam has withdrawn the hated extradition bill that set off weeks of occasionally-violent pro-democracy, anti-Beijing protests in the former British Colony. Activists began protesting against it because they said it could lead to some of them being sent to unfriendly courts in Beijing for trial. But they say that this is not enough, and vow to continue the pro-democracy demonstrations that have seen a million people in the streets at a time. They demand to directly elect Hong Kong's leader, rather have Beijing tell then which candidates make the ballot; they also want investigations into police brutality, amnesty for arrested protesters, and a retraction of classifying protesters as rioters.
Some Hong Kong pro-democracy protesters feel they weren't treated all that much better in Australia. Zoey Leung came to Melbourne for an event earlier this week. But she says the Australian Border Force stopped her in the airport, questioned her for 90 minutes, and went through her cellular phone and social media accounts. "I am angry, because I feel like those police have a political stance towards the Hong Kong movement, and because of that, they seem to restrict my freedom to travel, my freedom of movement," Ms. Leung told the ABC. Australian academic Clive Hamilton, author of "Silent Invasion" about Chinese influence in Australia, said he was "ashamed" because, "Here we have some pro-democracy activists arriving on the shores of Australia, and they're treated as if they're terrorists."
The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is fining Google and YouTube AU$250 Million for collecting children's personal data without their parents' consent. "There's no excuse for YouTube's violations of the law," said FTC chairman Joe Simons. Even though the company presents the popular video-sharing website as intended for people aged 13 years and up, the FTC says YouTube has told the toy maker Mattel, "YouTube is today's leader in reaching children age 6-11 against top TV channels."
With the Iran nuclear deal in tatters after Donald Trump pulled the US out, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said Tehran would from Friday begin developing its own centrifuges to speed up the enrichment of uranium. Two months ago, it announced that it would enrich parts of its uranium supply past the 3.67 percent cap set by the deal. However, a nuclear weapon requires Uranium enriched at least 90 percent, so constructing a fission weapon still appears to be a long-way off.