World News Briefs For Tuesday, 5 November 2019
Howdy Australia!! - Australia joins a big new trade deal - Why Ukraine had to warn a US diplomat to "watch her back" - Iran cranks up nuclear production - And more in your CareerSpot Global News Briefs:
US Congressional investigators released the first transcripts of closed-door testimonies from top US diplomats at the center of Donald Trump's Ukraine affair, and it's pretty bad for America's international standing. Former Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch was shocked to learn that Trump's lawyer Rudy Giuliani was running a shadow foreign policy operation and trying to destroy her reputation, and the Trump referred to her as "the woman" and "bad news". Ukrainian officials cautioned Ms. Yovanovitch to "watch her back" because Giuliani was maneuvering to get her fired. A senior adviser to Secretary of State, Mike McKinley, testified that the treatment of Yovanovitch had "raised alarm bells" and that it "had a very serious effect on morale". Trump faces probably impeachment for threatening Ukraine with holding back pre-approved military aid unless it looked for gossip that Trump could use against his Democratic Party opponent Joe Biden.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison, his New Zealand counterpart Jacinda Ardern, and 13 other regional leaders have signed onto the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), a trade deal that knocks down barriers in 15 Asia-Pacific nations. However India has decided not to take part, and thus the deal will cover 29 percent of global trade instead of the expected 32 percent. Leaders are holding the door open for India to join later. The Morrison government claims the RCEP will benefit Australians companies working in health care, education, and professional services such as law and accounting. China was a big backer of the deal, and the US was shut out on the sidelines of the negotiations as more nations rejected the Trumpian protectionism route.
Iran stuck with the international nuclear deal JCPOA before Donald Trump pulled the US out of it more than a year ago. But now Tehran says it has increased its enriched uranium production tenfold. In an announcement timed to coincide with the 40th anniversary of Iran's takeover of the US Embassy in 1979, Tehran's nuclear chief Ali Akbar Salehi said the country is now producing 5 kilograms of enriched uranium per day, up from a daily 450 grams just two months ago. He also said Iran's new centrifuges for enriching nuclear fuel are more powerful and efficient than the ones allowed in the JCPOA, which we can't remind the world enough times that Trump abandoned first.
Vietnam has arrested eight people suspected of connections to the human trafficking organization involved in the deaths of 39 immigrants found in the trailer of a refrigeration truck in Essex, UK last month. Although UK authorities initially believed the immigrants were from China, it turned out they were from Vietnam - mostly from Nghe An and Ha Tinh provinces, areas in the north with poor economies. Vietnamese officials travelled to the UK over the weekend to discuss the latest developments in the investigation.
Meanwhile, Greek police say they have found 41 Afghan migrants alive in a refrigerated truck in the north of the country. Greece is struggling with the highest rate of human trafficking since the 2015 immigration crisis.
Protesters returned to Lebanon's streets after the government failed to act on their concerns in a timely manner, days after police took down the barriers that brought the country to a standstill. The protesters are disgusted with the poor economy, inequality, and the perception that their government is too inept and corrupt to do anything about these concerns.
Protests against economic inequality haven't stopped in Santiago.
Amazing video from the San Francisco Bay Area, where a man fell onto the tracks at the crowded Oakland Coliseum light rail station just seconds before an oncoming train arrived. Luckily, a rail supervisor, John O'Connor, was there to pull him up without a moment to spare. And he was thankful.