World News Briefs For Wednesday, 13 Nov 2019
Hello Australia!! - Eastern Australia bakes and Queensland faces a trying day - George Pell gets another chance - Israel takes out a top militant - And more in your CareerSpot Global News Briefs:
The fire danger is far from over in eastern Australia. With more than 60 bushfires going in Queensland, the weather is hot and dry and the wind is changing directions to make things even more challenging for firefighters and residents. "The winds are expected to become more westerly around 8:00 AM or so and [with] that westerly change we are looking at dry air arriving over the fires with humidity dropping to below 10 percent," said the Bureau of Meteorology's (BOM) Garbiel Branescu to the ABC. New South Wales managed to get through what some feared would be the worst day of this week without the bushfire disaster getting even worse, but a state of emergency remains and conditions could change at the drop of a hat.
NSW police are investigating two fire as possible cases of arson: One bushfire at Turramurra threatened homes on on Sydney's upper north shore. And another blaze at the Royal National Park at Loftus, south of Sydney, is being called "suspicious" because the RFS says there were several origin points. The ABC reports NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said arsonists would face the "full force of the law", which means a prison term in excess of ten years. More than 200 homes have been damaged or destroyed during Australia's current bushfire emergency. To keep up with the latest updates on the bushfires in New South Wales, check the NSW RFS website. For information on the bushfires in Queensland, check the QLD RFS website.
Australia's High Court granted disgraced cardinal George Pell one last chance to appeal his child sex crime conviction. Pell is serving a six-year prison term for sexually assaulting two choirboys while he was the archbishop of Melbourne in the mid-1990s. Early Wednesday morning, the High Court granted Australia's highest-ranking Roman Catholic official special leave to challenge the conviction. A hearing on it won't happen until sometime next year.
The DACA case went before the US Supreme Court, and it may not have gone too well for the more than 700,000 undocumented immigrants who were brought to the US as young children by their parents and raised as Americans. The Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program sought to provide a path to citizenship to thousands who were already Americans in heart and soul, but without the right papers. Far-right Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh - both Trump appointees - asked questions clearly favorable to the White House. Left-leaning Ruth Bader Ginsburg noted the Trump administration claimed the DACA policy was illegal without explaining why, while Justice Sonia Sotomayor asked lawyers for the White House whether the decision to cancel it was simply a "choice to ruin people's lives". Chief Justice John Roberts will likely cast the deciding vote. The ruling is expected in 2020, months before the presidential election.
Israel and Gaza militants traded missile and rocket fire, respectively, after Israeli carried out a targeted strike to take out Baha Abu al-Ata - the commander of Palestinian Islamic Jihad, who is believed to have ordered dozens of rocket attacks on Israel. The group says Abu al-Ata's wife was also killed in the blast that ripped through their home in Gaza City's Shejaiya district before dawn. Hamas, which acts administers the Gaza Strip, said Israel "bears full responsibility for all consequences of this escalation", and promised Abu al-Ata's death "will not go unpunished". The winner of the most recent Israeli election Benny Gantz, who is trying to form a coalition to replace the current government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, said he supported the attack that took out Abu al-Ata.
Deposed Bolivian leader Evo Morales has arrived in Mexico, thanking that country's president for "saving his life" and vowing to stay in politics despite the coup d'etat over the weekend. Back in Bolivia, conservative lawmaker Jeanine Anez took temporary control of the Senate and claimed to be next in line for the presidency. Members of Evo's majority party refused to take part, and there was no quorum.
The tiny West African nation of Gambia has gone to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) to accuse Myanmar of genocide for the ethnic cleansing of Rohingya Muslims. While more than 700,000 of the Rohingya were being driven across the border into Bangladesh in 2017, Gambia alleges Myanmar's program included "killing, causing serious bodily and mental harm, inflicting conditions that are calculated to bring about physical destruction, imposing measures to prevent births, and forcible transfers, are genocidal in character because they are intended to destroy the Rohingya group in whole or in part". Myanmar has maintained it did nothing wrong.
Hong Kong police warn the city has been pushed to the "brink of total collapse" after more than five months of pro-democracy protests. A couple of days after video showed apparently protesters setting a government supporter on fire, police police spokesman Kong Wing-cheung said investigators had "countless examples of rioters using random and indiscriminate violence against innocent" people. Cops have shot three people in the the months of protests since June. The protesters want more freedom of speech and autonomy from Beijing.