Hello Australia!! - Troubling News from the BOM - Samoa plans a shut down to deal with the Measles - The strange haul of museum thieves - And more in your CareerSpot Global News Briefs:

Australia's Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) says this Spring has been the driest since record keeping began - only 11.9 millimeters of rain fell across the country in November.  These conditions directly led to this year's devastating bushfires, according to new BOM data released this week.  And the ten months prior to November are the driest since 1902.  The year 2019 will likely be in the ten driest years in Australian history, the only relief coming from Cyclones Trevor and Veronica which hit Queensland and Western Australia respectively.  Forecasters say things are going to get warmer and dryer in the coming weeks.

Around 25,000 people from 200 countries are descending on Madrid this week to attend the COP25 climate change conference, already called the "point of no return" in humanity's fight against climate change by United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres.  "In the crucial 12 months ahead, it is essential that we secure more ambitious national commitments - particularly from the main emitters - to immediately start reducing greenhouse gas emissions at a pace consistent to reaching carbon neutrality by 2050," said Guterres.  Just holding the conference in the midst of the global climate emergency turned out to be an unnecessarily herculean task:  First it was to be hosted by Brazil, but was rejected by the far-right government of president Jair Bolsonaro; then, Chile was planning to host it until widespread protests against conservative president Sebastian Pinera made that impossible, forcing the COP25 to be moved to Spain.

Marshall Islands President Hilda Heine is seeking to draw attention to the plight of her low-lying island nations fighting for survival against rising seas,  Last week, a series of five meter-tall swells washed across and inundated the capital Majuro forcing hundreds of people to abandon their homes.  "Water covers much of our land at one or other point of the year as we fight rising tides," said President Heine, "It's a fight to the death for anyone not prepared to flee.  As a nation we refuse to flee.  But we also refuse to die."  The Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS), which represents low-lying coastal countries and small island nations, lambasted "dithering" and "inadequate action by developed countries" to meet their obligations under the Paris Climate Accord.

The government of Samoa is shutting down on Thursday and Friday so that civil servants can join the fight against the Measles Epidemic that has killed 53 people, mostly very young children.  The government workers will be helping immunize the country's 200,000 or so residents.  Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi said only electricity and water utility workers would work their regular gigs, just so that the country could still function.  And he called on the nation to stand together to contain the outbreak.  "In this time of crisis, and the cruel reality of the measles epidemic, let us reflect on how we can avoid recurrence in the future," PM Malielegaoi said.

Police in Berlin, Germany are reporting a rise in homophobic attacks - during the first nine months of 2019 there were 261 incidents compared with 184 in 2018. That includes insults and threats as well as physical attacks.  Police chief Barbara Slowik warned of "an increasing polarization of society" and an increase in hate crimes in many areas.  The news, which comes alongside of the far-right's electoral success, comes as a shock n tolerant Berlin, which has been at the center of LGBT+ culture for many decades.

A week after thieves stole millions of Euros worth of jewels from the famous Green Vault in a former royal palace in Dresden, burglars struck another German target - with considerably less profitable results.  They stole Cold War-era Communist medals and jewelry from the Stasi Museum in Berlin, housed in the dreaded secret police's former headquarters.  Museum director Jorg Drieselmann said the haul of eight or nine pieces was worth a "few thousands Euros", but the real expense to the museum will be repairing the damage.  Among the medals stolen were a Hero of the Soviet Union, an Order of Karl Marx, and an Order of Lenin.

Hey, I thought it was cyber-Monday!  What were those long lines doing wrapping around stores in the northern US state of Michigan?  It was the first day of legalized cannabis sales in the Wolverine State.