World News Briefs For Tuesday, 7 January 2020
Hello Australia!! - Chaos in the Pentagon as a false policy statement leaks out - Harvey Weinstein faces new charges as his New York trial gets underway - Gruesome political violence in Modi's India - And more in your CareerSpot Global News Briefs:
Firefighters are shoring containment lines in the favorable weather before disastrous conditions return to the southeastern bushfire zones at the end of the week. For more information about bushfires in your state, please click through to these sites: For Victoria - VicEmergency; South Australia - SA CFS; New South Wales - NSW RFS; Western Australia - EmergencyWA; and Tasmania - TasFire.
Los Angeles prosecutors charged fallen film mogul Harvey Weinstein with raping one woman and sexually assaulting another in separate incidents over a two-day period in 2013. This, as Weinstein's first trial was just getting underway in New York City. "We believe the evidence will show that the defendant used his power and influence to gain access to his victims and then commit violent crimes against them," said LA district attorney Jackie Lacey, who plans to ask for US$5 Million bail whenever the arraignment happens. Since the beginning of the #MeToo movement to expose institutional sexual harassment and assault in entertainment and business, more than 80 women have accused Weinstein of sexual misconduct including Gwyneth Paltrow and Ashley Judd.
There are a few new details leaking out about how former Nissan boss Carlos Ghosn escaped from Japan, where he was under house arrest pending a trial on corruption charges. Mr. Ghosn apparently slipped out of his home, boarded the Shinkansen "Bullet Train" at Shinagawa - one of the busiest, wide-open stations in Tokyo - and took off for Osaka. Once in the western Japan metropolis, Ghosn took at cab to the airport and boarded a private plane - the Wall Street Journal claims he was smuggled on board in a musical instrument case. From there, it was off to Istanbul and home to Lebanon. Ghosn has vowed to give his own account at a news conference in Beirut this week.
The US military has accidentally sent a letter to the Iraqi government warning that it will "reposition" its forces currently stationed in Iraq. After news broke this morning, Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman General Mark Milley (the guy with the enormous eyebrows) then rushed to tell the media that it is "not true", and that US forces were not bailing out of Iraq as some had reported. But the ridiculous foul-up on its most basic policy comes after the Iraqi parliament angrily voted to expel foreign troops in reaction to last week's US airstrike that killed visiting Iranian Major General Qassem Soleimani. The Iraqi government was already backing off of that, mostly because Donald Trump threatened Iraq with economic sanctions and the demand to repay the US for constructing a military base.
The United Nations world heritage agency UNESCO is reminding the US that it signed several treaties that specifically prohibit the destruction of a nation's cultural assets in the event of war. The treaties include the 1949 Geneva Conventions and the 2017 United Nations Security Council resolution 2347, which "condemns the unlawful destruction of cultural heritage, including the destruction of religious sites and artifacts" and covers museums, libraries, archeological sites, et cetera. All of this is in response to Trump's threat over the weekend to attack Iranian cultural assets if Iran strikes back at the US for the assassination of General Soleimani. Any such strike on cultural assets is already considered a violation of the US military's own wartime code of conduct (.pdf link).
Students protested it cities and at universities all across India after masked right-winger armed with clubs attacked a student hostel at Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), New Dehli's top university named after the country's founder and long seen as a bastion of leftwing politics. It is alleged that the attackers, labelled as "goons" in the local media, are affiliated with a right-wing student organisation linked to Hindu nationalist Narendra Modi’s ruling BJP party. With around 40 or more students and professors suffering head wounds and vicious beatings, witnesses accuse police of allowing the attack to happen. JNU has seen several protests against Modi's new citizenship law which critics say sets the country on a path to relegate Muslims to second-class status.