World News Briefs For Tuesday, 14 January 2020
Hello Australia!! - Is the weather finally coming to Australia's rescue? - The royals tamp down their family battles - The prominent Canadian who blames Trump - And more in your CareerSpot Global News Briefs:
The Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) is forecasting ran in southeastern Australia, which would be welcome news for the firies on the front lines of the country's bushfire crisis. "The best-case scenario, with the ongoing showers and storms from Wednesday onwards, is that they can really impact and help to extinguish some of the fires," said Sarah Scully, BOM's extreme weather forecaster. However, this week's precipitation will likely not be enough to make a dent in Australia's long, long drought (Stanthorpe QLD has officially run out of water).
Queen Elizabeth has pulled the plug on the tabloid's favorite story and given her blessing to Prince Harry and Meghan stepping back from their royal duties and moving to Canada. "My family and I are entirely supportive of Harry and Meghan's desire to create a new life as a young family," the 93-year-old monarch said in a statement after the first day of meetings at her Sandringham estate in eastern England. The tabs, followed by the mainstream media, have been chock full o' stories about royal rifts between Harry and older brother William and Meghan chafing against Buckingham's rigidity. Harry is also keen to protect his family from the vaguely racist British tabloid media.
Speaking of moldy old European institutions, retired Pope Benedict is breaking his promise not to get involved in Roman Catholic Church while his successor Pope Francis tries to do his job. In a new book co-authored with a conservative cardinal, Benedict issued a defense of priestly celibacy, which is being interpreted as an intervention as Francis considers easing a ban on married men serving as priests. The book, titled "From the Depth of Our Hearts: Priesthood, Celibacy and the Crisis of the Catholic Church", also took aim at appointing women as deacons of the church. The Vatican has not commented on the book, which seems to have taken it by surprise. Benedict had pledged to remain "hidden from the world" when he became the first Pope in 600 years to retire instead of die in office.
Iran is denying its security forces used live ammunition on protesters on the third night of anti-government protests following Tehran's admission that it had accidentally shot down the Ukrainian passenger plane last week. Video shows people dropping from bullet wounds, others still able to run leaving trails of blood. The victims of the plane crash included 82 Iranians and 57 Canadians, and came about as Iran was launching missiles at US targets in Iraq, in retaliation for the air strike assassination of Iran Quds force Major general Qassem Soleimani.
One of Canada's top business leaders says Donald Trump has to take responsibility for Iran shooting down Ukrainian International Flight 752. Michael McCain - whose Maple Leaf Foods employs more than 11,000 workers - accused US political leaders of concocting "an ill-conceived plan to divert focus from" Trump's impeachment. The wife and son of one of McCain's executives were killed, which McCain called "the collateral damage of this irresponsible, dangerous, ill-conceived behaviour". PM Justin Trudeau has said Canada "will not rest until there is justice and accountability".
France will send another couple of hundred troops to western Africa as part of a new push to fight the jihadist insurgency there. Emmanuel Macron appeared with his counterparts from Niger, Mali, Burkina Faso, Chad, and Mauritania to announce the new commadn structure, called the "Coalition for the Sahel". Despite the presence of thousands of French troops already there, jihadist attacks on civilians and troops have resulted in rapidly increasing death toll.
Colombia has foiled a plot to assassinate "Timochenko", the former leader of the FARC Marxist rebels. The FARC signed a peace agreement with Colombia a few years ago, and came out of the jungles to form a political party that's also led by Timochenko, whose real name is Rodrigo Londono Echeverri. Authorities, acting on a tip, intercepted two gunmen before they could get onto a farm where Timochenko was staying. The two allegedly were sent by a dissident faction that is operating from a base across the border in Venezuela, led by dissidents who oppose the peace deal.