WORLD NEWS TODAY


CLERGY ABUSE SURVIVORS PUSH FOR FEDERAL INVESTIGATION INTO CATHOLIC CHURCH
Survivors of clergy sex abuse stood in front of the Vatican embassy in Washington on Thursday and urged two higher powers -- the Pope and the US Department of Justice -- to take concrete steps to prevent more abuses and hold abusers accountable. The Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests (SNAP) and Center for Constitutional Rights have also sent a letter to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein demanding an "investigation and prosecution of high-level officials in the Catholic Church" for sexual crimes and cover-ups.

"It is long past time for the US Department of Justice to initiate a full-scale, nationwide investigation into the systemic rape and sexual violence, and cover-ups in the Catholic Church, and, where appropriate, bring criminal and/or civil proceedings against the hierarchy that enabled the violations," the groups said in the letter.

SNAP's letter demanding a federal investigation is dated August 15, one day after a damning report by a grand jury in Pennsylvania said there is credible evidence that 301 "predator priests" abused more than 1,000 children in six dioceses since 1947.

As the embassy's white and yellow papal flag waved behind them, the abuse survivors also called on Pope Francis to release documents that could shed light on what top Vatican officials knew about Washington's former cardinal, Archbishop Theodore McCarrick, who has been accused of abusing a minor and seminarians.

SOUTH AFRICA VIOLENCE TARGETS SOWETO'S FOREIGN-OWNED SHOPS
Three people have been killed in South Africa during violence on Wednesday targeting foreign-owned businesses in Soweto, police say. Protests broke out after shopkeepers were accused of selling out-of-date and counterfeit produce, local reports say. It is thought the violence escalated after a Somali shopkeeper shot dead a teenager who allegedly tried to rob his store.

Foreign-owned shops were looted, including this one run by an Ethiopian. Some shopkeepers are reported to have fled the area carrying the goods they managed to salvage. Police have arrested 27 people in connection with the looting and violence. This has reminded many in South Africa of the gruesome attacks of May 2008, reports the BBC's Pumza Fihlani. At that time 62 people died, 41 were foreigners and 21 were South Africans.

Officers are investigating who fired the fatal shots in the area and say that more arrests are expected. Security has been stepped up following the protests and violence and shopkeepers were told to temporarily close their businesses.   
CHINA OFFICIALS 'FAKED WATER TESTS WITH BOTTLED WATER’
China is sending investigators to Hunan province after local officials were accused of faking data at a water monitoring station, state media report. The officials are alleged to have placed sensors intended to measure the water quality of Lujiang River inside bottles of mineral water instead. The river, in Zhuzhou, is badly polluted by sewage water, reports say. There is widespread suspicion that some local officials and companies in China ignore environmental policies. The environment ministry says it is investigating in Zhuzhou and "will seriously punish" any "violations".

One monitoring sensor was even placed in a cup of tea instead of the Lujiang River, Xinhua news agency says. Water monitoring currently takes place at 2,050 sites in the country, China Daily reports.The Chinese government has vowed to improve its efforts to monitor and combat pollution - but there continues to be concern about air and water quality in China.

In 2016, one government report said more than 80% of rural wells in the north-east contained water unsafe for drinking. Meanwhile, a separate 2017 government survey found more than 13,000 companies in China failed to meet environmental standards.

ISRAEL THREATENS  'STRONG' ACTION AGAINST IRANIAN FORCES IN SYRIA
Israel renewed its threat to attack Iranian military targets in Syria after Damascus and Tehran reached a new accord on security cooperation.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said during a speech on Wednesday his country would take "strong and determined action against Iran's attempts to station forces and advanced weapons systems in Syria".

"No agreement between Syria and Iran will deter us; neither will any threat deter us," said Netanyahu at a ceremony naming Israel's nuclear facilities after late president Shimon Peres.

Iran's military attache to Damascus said Tuesday his country's military advisers would remain in Syria under the defence agreement signed the previous day.

"Support for Syria's territorial integrity and the independence of Syrian sovereignty were also emphasised in the agreement," Brigadier-General Abolghasem Alinejad said.

Tehran has provided steady political, financial and military backing to President Bashar al-Assad as he fought back against a seven-year uprising.

US ENVOY: RIGHT OF RETURN FOR PALESTINIANS SHOULD BE REVIEWED
US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley has suggested the right of return for Palestinian refugees could be removed from any eventual peace settlement with Israel.

Speaking at an event on Tuesday with the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, a Washington DC-based neoconservative think-tank with pro-Israeli sympathies, Haley was asked whether she agreed with taking the right of return off the table.

"I think we have to look at this in terms of what's happening [with refugees] in Syria, what's happening in Venezuela," she said.

"So I absolutely think we have to look at the right of return."

Palestinians view the right of return, along with the end of the Israeli occupation, as one of the basic tenants in achieving a peace deal with Israel.

Haley also accused the United Nations Relief and Work Agency (UNRWA) of exaggerating the number of Palestinian refugees it currently provides aid to and services for.

"We will be a donor if it [UNRWA] reforms what it does ... if they actually change the number of refugees to an accurate account, we will look back at partnering them," Haley said.

‬AYATOLLAH KHAMENEI: IRAN READY TO ABANDON  NUCLEAR DEAL
Iran's supreme leader warned the country might abandon its nuclear deal with world powers, casting doubt on the ability of European states to save the accord following the US withdrawal.

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said in a meeting with President Hassan Rouhani and his cabinet on Wednesday they "should give up hope on [Europe] over economic issues or the nuclear deal", according to his website.

"The nuclear deal is a means, not the goal, and if we come to this conclusion that it does not serve our national interests, we can abandon it," he was quoted as saying.

Iran would never negotiate with "indecent and confrontational" US officials on a new agreement, Khamenei said.

Following US President Donald Trump's exit from the historic international accord to curb Iran's nuclear ambitions, European powers have scrambled to ensure Tehran continues to receive economic benefits needed to keep it in compliance.

Khamenei set out a series of conditions in May for European powers if they wanted to keep Iran in the deal. They included steps by European banks to safeguard trade with Tehran and guarantee Iranian oil sales.

ARGENTINA ASKS IMF TO RELEASE $50BN LOAN AS CRISIS WORSENS
Argentina's government has unexpectedly asked for the early release of a $50bn (£37.2bn) loan from the IMF amid a growing economic crisis.

President Mauricio Macri said the move was designed to restore confidence in the Argentine economy.

The Argentine peso has lost more than 40% of its value against the US dollar this year and inflation is rampant.

Investors are concerned Argentina may not be able repay its heavy government borrowing and could default.

Correspondents say the decision to speed up the IMF bailout smacks of growing desperation.

When the terms of the loan were agreed in May, President Macri said he expected the economy to recover and did not plan to use the money.

POLITICIANS PAY TRIBUTE TO THE LATE SENATOR IN ARIZONA CEREMONY
The first of five days of memorials honoring the late Sen. John McCain started in his adopted home state of Arizona Wednesday, with his becoming the third person in 40 years to lie in state at the Arizona Capitol in Phoenix.

Some heavy-hitters of Arizona politics gave moving tributes to McCain, who died Saturday, recalling his decades of service and his love of his adopted state.

Gov. Doug Ducey compared McCain to another former Arizona senator, the later Barry Goldwater, whom McCain succeeded, saying that while Goldwater was born in the state, McCain grew attached to it later in life.

"John McCain was Arizona's favorite adopted son," Ducey said, adding that imagining an Arizona without McCain would be like imagining the state without the Grand Canyon. "It's just not natural."

The longtime senator’s casket has been placed above the mosaic seal that shows the state’s motto, "Ditat Deus," or Latin for "God Enriches."

McCain’s casket was at the center of the memorial service Wednesday, which would have been his 82nd birthday, with chairs set up on all sides and a lectern between the U.S. and Arizonan flags.

The private ceremony, which lasted about a half hour, began when McCain’s immediate family entered after the casket, with the procession lined by veterans, members of the military, law enforcement and first responders.

U.S. ASKS FOR MORE TIME  TO DECIDE ON RETRIAL FOR 10 MANAFORT CHARGES
U.S. prosecutors on Wednesday asked for more time to decide whether to retry former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort on 10 criminal charges that a Virginia jury deadlocked on last week.

Special Counsel Robert Mueller had faced a Wednesday deadline to decide whether to retry Manafort on the charges, which include seven counts of bank fraud and three counts of failing to disclose his foreign bank accounts.

“The government does not at this time have sufficient information to make an informed decision on whether it will seek retrial of the remaining counts,” prosecutors wrote in a filing late on Wednesday, adding they would like the deadline extended to one week after the court has ruled on Manafort’s post-trial motions.

TRUMP SAYS HE THINKS  U.S. IS DOING WELL WITH NORTH KOREA
U.S. President Donald Trump, just days after calling off a planned trip to North Korea by his top diplomat, said on Wednesday he thought the United States was “doing well” in its diplomatic efforts with Pyongyang.

“I think we’re doing well with North Korea. We’ll have to see,” Trump told reporters at a White House event as he again pointed the finger at China for making the U.S. effort to get North Korea to denuclearize more difficult.

FBI OFFICIAL DISPUTES TRUMP'S CLAIM THAT HILLARY CLINTON SERVER HACKED BY CHINA
An FBI official is disputing reports, as well as a tweet from President Trump, claiming that Hillary Clinton’s private email server was hacked by China.

The official says the FBI has still found no evidence that the server was compromised by anyone.

Clinton's emails and server have long been a rallying point both for the president and other Republican politicians, who have called for a renewed investigation into the matter.

In a tweet Tuesday night, Trump made the claim about China without providing evidence.


APPLE SELF-DRIVING CAR IN MINOR CRASH
A self-driving car owned by Apple was involved in an accident, California’s road authority has confirmed. The car, a modified Lexus RX450h with autonomous sensors, was rear-ended by a human driver in a Nissan Leaf. Humans were unhurt, but the machines suffered moderate damage. Apple’s car is understood to be part of an ambitious but secretive programme - Project Titan. Apple has not commented on the 24 August collision, understood to be the company's first.

Speculation as to what the project seeks to achieve ranges from a fully-fledged Apple car - or just working with existing car makers to provide autonomous technology. Apple’s self-driving programme had been public knowledge, It was revealed that the company now has 66 such cars on the roads, with 111 drivers registered to operate them.

Like every firm experimenting with autonomy in California, Apple must provide regular reports to the state’s Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), including when a crash occurs. The crash happened just before 15:00 - it was dry, clear and there were no unusual conditions, the DMV said.

MERKEL CONDEMNS 'HATE IN THE STREETS ' AFTER CHEMNITZ FAR-RIGHT PROTESTS
German Chancellor Angela Merkel has condemned violent anti-migrant protests in the state of Saxony, saying "hate in the streets" has no place in the country. German police fired water cannons and used pepper spray in the city of Chemnitz on Monday night during the second day of protests, as 6,000 far-right demonstrators, some chanting neo-Nazi slogans and giving Hitler salutes, clashed with counter-protesters over the fatal stabbing of a 35-year-old German man in a brawl.

Two men -- an Iraqi and a Syrian -- have been arrested in connection with the stabbing. "What we have seen is something which has no place in a constitutional democracy," Merkel said Tuesday in Berlin, during a joint news conference alongside Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic. "We have video recordings of people hunting down others, of unruly assemblies, and hate in the streets, and that has nothing to do with our constitutional state," she said. Merkel also condemned the stabbing, saying it was "a horrible incident." The rallies are the latest examples of division in Germany triggered by the country's intake of refugees and migrants.

Merkel has faced fierce criticism from her political opponents over her 2015 decision to keep the country's doors open to asylum-seekers at the height of the Syrian war, allowing more than a million refugees to enter Germany that year alone. The decision has also given a boost to the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) party and emboldened neo-Nazi and anti-migrant groups.

0 Comments:

Post a Comment


Comment Policy