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Today β€” September 20th 2019Your RSS feeds

Sri Lanka presidential nominee Rajapaksa would restore relations with China: adviser

Sri Lankan presidential nominee Gotabaya Rajapaksa would "restore relations" with the country's top lender China if he wins the Nov. 16 vote and met with a senior Chinese official this week, according to an adviser and his spokesman.

Students begin global climate strike with message for governments: Do your job

Thousands of students took to the streets of Australia and other Asia-Pacific countries on Friday to kick off a global strike demanding world leaders gathering for a UN Climate Action Summit adopt urgent measures to stop an environmental catastrophe.

Taiwan cuts ties with Kiribati amid China tension

Taiwan said on Friday it has cut official ties with the Pacific island nation of Kiribati, losing another ally amid Chinese pressure on nations with diplomatic relations with the self-ruled island.

Iran's Zarif questions U.S. coalition for 'peaceful resolution' in Middle East

Iran's foreign minister on Friday questioned U.S. plans for a coalition for a "peaceful resolution" in the Middle East while listing repeated Iranian diplomatic initiatives.

Kiribati considers switching diplomatic ties to China: senior Taiwan official

The Pacific island nation of Kiribati is considering switching diplomatic relations to China from Taiwan, a senior Taiwan government official said on Friday, amid Chinese pressure on the remaining nations with ties to the self-ruled island.

Amnesty accuses Hong Kong police of abuses, torture of protesters

Amnesty International accused Hong Kong police on Friday of torture and other abuses in their handling of more than three months of pro-democracy protests, but the police say they have shown restraint on the street in the face of increased violence.

Global Climate Strike Protests Kick off in Australia Ahead of U.N. Summit

(CANBERRA, Australia) β€” Thousands of protesters gathered Friday at rallies around Australia as a day of worldwide demonstrations calling for action to guard against climate change began ahead a U.N. summit in New York.

Some of the first rallies in what is being billed as a β€œglobal climate strike” kicked off in Australia’s largest city, Sydney, and the national capital, Canberra. Australian demonstrators called for their nation, which is the world’s largest exporter of coal and liquid natural gas, to take more drastic action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The Global Strike 4 Climate said protests will be staged in 110 towns and cities across Australia on Friday, with organizers demanding government and business commit to a target of net zero carbon emissions by 2030.

Similar rallies were planned Friday in cities around the globe. In the United States more than 800 events were planned Friday, while in Germany more than 400 rallies were expected.

A similar coordinated protest in March that drew crowds around the world.

The protests are partly inspired by the activism of Swedish teenager Greta Thunberg, who has staged weekly demonstrations under the heading β€œFridays for Future” over the past year, calling on world leaders to step up their efforts against climate change. Many who have followed her lead are students, but the movement has since spread to civil society groups.

Australian universities have said they will not penalize students for attending Friday’s rallies, while Australian schools vary on what action, if any, they take against children who skip classes to attend demonstrations.

Siobhan Sutton, a 15-year-old student at Perth Modern School, said she would fail a math exam by attending a protest in the west coast city of Perth.

β€œI have basically been told that because it is not a valid reason to be missing school β€” it is not a medical reason or anything β€” I am going to get a zero on the test if I don’t actually sit it,” she told Australian Broadcasting Corp.

β€œEven though we ourselves aren’t sick, the planet which we live on is, and we are protesting and fighting for it,” she added.

Siobhan said her math teacher had given her an option to sit the exam before Friday, but she was unable to do so because of her commitments as one of the protest organizers.

The demonstrations come as Australia’s center-left opposition mulls abandoning its policy, rejected at May elections, of reducing Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions by 45% below 2005 levels by 2030. Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s conservative coalition won a surprise third term with a commitment to reduce emissions by a more modest 26% to 28% in the same time frame.

Morrison is in the U.S. for a state dinner with President Donald Trump on Friday and has been criticized for failing to include in his New York itinerary the U.N. climate summit on Monday, when leaders will present their long-term plans for curbing greenhouse gas emissions.

Government lawmaker Craig Kelly on Thursday told students who planned to join Friday’s climate strike that β€œyou are being used and manipulated and everything you are told is a lie.”

β€œThe facts are, there is no link between climate change and drought; polar bears are increasing in number,” Kelly told Parliament.

β€œToday’s generation is safer from extreme weather than at any time in human history,” he added.

Some companies are encouraging their employees to join the climate strike.

Australian Council of Trade Unions, which represents labor unions, said it supported employees taking time off work to protest.

The council said in a statement that it β€œmust take a stand for our future when our government will not.”

australia-strike-for-climate-protests

Young climate strikers 'drop dead' at Thai environment ministry

More than 200 young people in Thailand stormed into the environment ministry and dropped to the ground feigning death as they demanded government action on climate change along with thousands of strikers around the world.

Asia-Pacific students kick off global climate strike with message for government: Do your job

Thousands of students took to the streets of Australia and other Asia-Pacific countries on Friday to kick off a global strike demanding world leaders gathering for a UN Climate Action Summit adopt urgent measures to stop an environmental catastrophe.

Stop the police, Philippine minister says, as bounty-seekers track felons

The Philippine justice minister on Friday urged police to abort a manhunt of dozens of potentially dangerous convicts freed in error, fearing possible violence after the president offered big bounties to kill or capture them.

Picture Of The Day

Justin Trudeau, with his face and hands painted brown, poses with others during an "Arabian Nights" party when he was a 29-year-old teacher at the West Point Grey Academy in Vancouver, Canada, in this photo published in the academy s 2000-2001 yearbook. This image, published in The View yearbook, was obtained by Time. Reuters / Thursday, September 19, 2019

WNU Editor: The above picture came form this photo-gallery .... On the Canada election campaign trail (Reuters).

Australian court finds second man guilty of plotting to blow up airliner

An Australian court has found a man guilty of planning to blow up an Etihad Airways flight from Sydney to Abu Dhabi nearly two years ago with a bomb hidden in a meat grinder, a spokeswoman for the New South Wales Supreme Court said on Friday.

Trump to welcome Australia's PM, cementing strong trade, security ties

U.S. President Donald Trump is set to welcome Australia's prime minister on Friday in only the second state visit of his administration, signaling the close bond between the two allies as Washington takes on Beijing and Tehran.

Drowning of U.S.-bound Honduran mother and son underscores plight of migrants

When Delia Hernandez, 44, bade farewell on Aug. 1 to Idalia Herrera, 27, and nearly two-year-old Iker Cordova, she dreamed her daughter and grandson were fleeing the arid fields of southern Honduras for a bright new life in the United States, she said.

North Korea faces lowest crop harvest in five years, widespread food shortages: U.N.

North Korea's crop production this year is expected to drop to its lowest level in five years, bringing serious shortages for 40% of the population, as a dry spell and poor irrigation hit an economy already reeling from sanctions over its weapons programs, the United Nations said on Thursday.

President Trump Responds To Allegations That He Made A Promise To A Foreign Leader During A Phone Call

....Knowing all of this, is anybody dumb enough to believe that I would say something inappropriate with a foreign leader while on such a potentially β€œheavily populated” call. I would only do what is right anyway, and only do good for the USA!
β€” Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 19, 2019

The Age: Is anybody 'dumb enough' to think I would say something inappropriate? Trump fumes

US President Donald Trump on Thursday blasted as "Fake News" a report that he made a promise to a foreign leader during a phone call that a US intelligence official found troubling enough to file a whistleblower complaint.

"Virtually anytime I speak on the phone to a foreign leader, I understand that there may be many people listening from various US agencies, not to mention those from the other country itself," Trump said on Twitter.

"Knowing all of this, is anybody dumb enough to believe that I would say something inappropriate with a foreign leader while on such a potentially 'heavily populated' call," he said.

"I would only do what is right anyway, and only do good for the USA!"

Read more ....

WNU Editor: The President says he is well aware that his conversations are being monitored, and that he would not say anything inappropriate. Maybe so. But It is clear that the White House does not want this complaint to be made public .... Administration blocks β€˜urgent’ whistleblower disclosure (AP).



Amnesty accuses HK police of abuses, torture of protesters

Amnesty International accused Hong Kong police on Friday of torture and other abuses in their handling of more than three months of pro-democracy protests, but the police say they have shown restraint on the street in the face of increased violence.

Australian students kick off global climate strike with message for government: Do your job

Thousands of school students walked out of their classrooms and onto Australian streets on Friday to kick off a global strike demanding world leaders gathering for a UN Climate Action Summit adopt urgent measures to stop an environmental catastrophe.

Huawei unveils Mate 30 phone without Google apps

Huawei is about to find out just how important Google is to its global smartphone business.

Whistleblower Complaint From An Intellgience Official On President Trump Centers On Ukraine





Washington Post: Whistleblower complaint about President Trump involves Ukraine, according to two people familiar with the matter

A whistleblower complaint about President Trump made by an intelligence official centers on Ukraine, according to two people familiar with the matter, which has set off a struggle between Congress and the executive branch.

The complaint involved communications with a foreign leader and a β€œpromise” that Trump made, which was so alarming that a U.S. intelligence official who had worked at the White House went to the inspector general of the intelligence community, two former U.S. officials said.

Two and a half weeks before the complaint was filed, Trump spoke with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, a comedian and political newcomer who was elected in a landslide in May.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: There is a lot of speculation among the media on this story. And among Democrats, anger that they are not been given the details on this whistleblower complaint .... Acting spy chief defies subpoena from Adam Schiff for whistleblower complaint (Washington Examiner). As to what is my take. As I mentioned yesterday, this is a strange story. President Trump can say and do what he wants when he deals with foreign leaders. And he is no different from past U.S. Presidents .... case in point .... President Obama Tells Russian President Medvedev That He Needs More Time On Missile Defense (March 26, 2012). So why the focus and intensity on this story? My guess is that the Democrats are still glued to the Russian collusion conspiracy theory, and they just cannot let it go. And as for Congress not receiving the whistleblower complaint, no surprises there either. House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff has a long history of leaking intel to the media, and it is clear that the acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire does not trust him.

Update #1: I personally would like to know what this intelligence officer felt was important enough for him to lodge a complaint, but it looks like it is not going to happen today .... Administration blocks β€˜urgent’ whistleblower disclosure (AP).

Update #2: My guess is that this whistleblower complaint is about the previous Ukraine government's ties to the Biden family and the Trump's administration's attempt to push Ukraine to investigate these ties. In the meantime the new Ukrainian President is defending his ties with President Trump .... Zelensky defends relationship with US after Trump accused of pushing Ukraine to meddle in 2020 election (The Independent).

More News On The Whistleblower Complaint From An Intelligence Official

Whistle-Blower Complaint Sets Off a Battle Involving Trump -- New York Times
Whistleblower complaint, reportedly on Trump 'promise' to foreign leader, touches off DC firestorm -- FOX News
Trump's communications with a foreign leader sparked whistleblower complaint -- CNN
Russiagate’s last stand? #Resistance works itself up over whistleblower complaint on Trump’s alleged β€˜favor to foreign leader’ -- RT
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