World News Briefs For Wednesday, 15 January 2019
Howdy Australia!! - Trudeau blames Trump - Australia's climate policies are under a microscope - Israel delays Australian justice again - France's pension reform protests climbed to new heights - And more in your CareerSpot Global News Briefs:
The Jerusalem District Court is yet again delaying the extradition of former Victoria school principal Malka Liefer, who is charged with 74 counts of sexual abuse from her time at an ultra-Orthodox religious school in Melbourne. A judge said Leifer's defense attorneys should have more time to cross-examine members of a psychiatric panel that found the 54-year-old had been faking mental illness to avoid extradition. This ruling comes at great consternation to Liefer's accusers and to the Australian Jewish community whose leaders have said that it is taking too long to send Liefer back to face justice. Just a day earlier, Israel's Justice Ministry claimed it was acting to speed up the process.
Rupert Murdoch's son is blasting the family business for downplaying the undeniable and obvious rile that global warming is playing in Australia's bushfire crisis. James Murdoch and wife Kathryn issued a joint statement directly criticizing the elder Murdoch's newspapers for their "ongoing denial" of global warming's link to the bushfires: "Kathryn and James's views on climate are well-established and their frustration with some of the News Corp and Fox coverage of the topic is also well-known," a spokesperson said, "They are particularly disappointed with the ongoing denial among the news outlets in Australia given obvious evidence to the contrary." James still sits on the board of News Corp.
Asia-Pacific nations are calling on "big brother" Australia to do more about climate change. Delegates from 30 nations are pressing their concerns about rising sea levels, food security and the threat of natural disasters at the 28th Asia-Pacific Parliamentary Forum in Canberra. "We feel that Australia has a strong voice globally - many of us see Australia as a big brother," said Peter Kenilorea Junior of the Solomon Islands, "So we would like to see Australia perhaps stepping up and taking more of a leadership role." He added, "The science is clear - that there is climate change occurring and it is human-induced climate change as well."
Canadian PM Justin Trudeau is assigning at least part of the blame for Iran's downing of a civilian aircraft on Donald Trump. Trudeau said Trump had ratcheted up tensions in the Middle East with its airstrike assassination of Iran's top military general, which led to the Iranian missile strikes on US targets and the mistaken targeting of the Ukrainian International Airlines flight that resulted in all 176 lives lost. More than 60 of those people were Canadians. "This is something that happens when you have conflict and war," Trudeau said, "Innocents bear the brunt of it, and it is a reminder why all of us need to work so hard on de-escalation."
Retired Pope Benedict is asking that his name be taken off as co-author of an upcoming book that deals with the issue of priestly celibacy, calling for a hardline conservative approach just as his successor Pope Francis was looking at ways to loosen the restriction. "It is decided that the author of the book for future publications will be: Cardinal Sarah, with the contribution of Benedict XVI," said Cardinal Sarah, a conservative from Guinea. A French newspaper published excerpts from the book over the weekend, kicking up a lot of dust over Benedict potentially breaking his vow to avoid meddling in Roman Catholic Church affairs during his retirement.
France's "Spiderman" Alain Robert - famous for free-climbing the tallest skyscrapers around the world, with or without permission - dedicated his latest climb in Paris to the protesters trying to stop President Emmanual Macron's government from enacting its loathed pension reform proposals. Despite the government backing down the most contentious element, the raising of the retirement age, most unions across several sectors are hanging tough and continuing an indefinite strike. Teachers are demanding higher salaries, train drivers are demanding their pensions not be rolled into a larger "one size fits all" public fund. The next is general strike is Thursday, 16 January.
Sudan's army clashed with former special forces troops loyal to deposed dictator Omar al-Bashir. Gunfire has rung out through the streets of the capital Khartoum for several hours, and the airport is closed. The government isn't calling this a coup attempt just yet, but there are concerns that the former intelligence chief Salah Gosh of trying to stop the political transition to democracy.
At least 128 people have been killed in avalanches in Pakistan-administered Kashmir and the related areas in Afghanistan and India. "A cold snap, heavy snowfall and rains that started two weeks ago have caused damage," said Afghani disaster official Ahmad Tamim Azimi. The snow has blocked relief and rescue from cut-off villages in all three countries.