Latest World News Today include: South African President Signs Transparent Party Funding Bill, also: Russia Wheels Out Key Missile. Read more details on iDonsabi
1. Michael Cohen Postpones Hush-Money Testimony after Trump Threaten His Family
Donald Trump’s former lawyer, Michael Cohen has postponed giving evidence to US Congress after the US President threatened him and his family.
The Democratic-led committee is investigating allegations of hush-money payments during Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign made to women Trump had affairs with in a bid to keep them from speaking.
Prosecutors said Trump had directed Cohen to make the hush-payments to wade off the potential scandal it could cause during his campaigns.
Trump had always denied having an affair talk more of making hush-money payments.
2. Nicolas Maduro Expels US Diplomats as Rival Claims Venezuelan Presidency
Venezuela’s president has announced he will break diplomatic ties with the US after Donald Trump recognized the leader of the opposition as Venezuelan interim president.
Opposition leader, Juan Guaido was acknowledged with cheering support after he named himself interim president.
However, within hours he faced diplomatic crisis as Nicolas Maduro expelled US diplomats from Venezuela.
Maduro’s actions follows a leaked video last year in which he was heard asking the US government to provide him with “covert support” to return to power.
3. Nurse Arrested After Woman in Vegetative State Gave Birth
Recall from earlier that a woman, who has been incapacitated for 26 years, gave birth despite care givers not being aware that she was pregnant.
A male nurse has now been arrested as a suspect in the sexual assault case. Phoenix police said they have arrested a male licensed practical nurse on one count of sexual assault and one count of vulnerable adult abuse.
The male nurse was identified as 36-year-old Nathan Sutherland.
According to a Phoenix Police Chief, Jeri Williams, Sutherland worked at the Hacienda Health Care facility on the outskirts of Phoenix, Arizona, where the woman lived, and had been providing her care.
4. Britain Must Pay EU Bill Even in ‘No-Deal’ Brexit
Brussels negotiator Michel Barnier on Wednesday (Jan 23) warned the British government that it will face a multi-billion divorce settlement with the European Union even if it leaves the EU without a deal.
Some anti-Europeans, opposed to a negotiated settlement with Brussels, do not agree with the idea of settling a bill that their own government estimates at £39 billion (S$69 billion) to cover outstanding obligations.
But Negotiator, Barnier in interviews with several European newspapers, said the bill would still be settled at some point, even if London rejects the withdrawal agreement that Britain had signed in November and crashes out on March 29.
5. Uncertainty as US Shutdown Enter Second Month
As the partial shutdown of the U.S. government enters its second month, neither the government nor the opposition Democrats party can tell the long-term political implication.
However, public opinion poll showed that more Americans blame President Donald Trump than opposition party. Some say the standoff between the two parties is already serving as a blueprint for the 2020 presidential election.
“Trump is losing on this, Congress is losing on this, and then federal workers, who are without pay, are losing on this,” said Jim Kessler of Third Way, a center-left public advocacy group in Washington.
President Trump remains adamant about getting funding for his border wall along the southern border. His border wall was a key campaign promise from 2016.
6. Russia Wheels Out Key Missile in Bid to Save US Arms Treaty
Russia on Wednesday unveiled a missile system that Washington claimed was in violation of a key arms control treaty between the countries.
Moscow’s action came in a bid to counter US criticism and save their Soviet-era agreement.
President Donald Trump had earlier threatened to walk away from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces treaty (INF), with Washington alleging that Russia’s 9M729 ground-based missile system violated the deal.
Moscow has repeatedly denied the system is in violation of the treaty and, to prove its point, on Wednesday unveiled the missile at Patriot Park, just outside Moscow.
A Russian defence ministry official detailed the missile’s features to an assembly of foreign media and foreign military officials.
Russian defence and foreign ministry officials insisted the range of the missile system was allowed under an existing arms control treaty.
7. Zimbabwean Afro-Jazz Legend, Tuku Dies
Zimbabwean musician Oliver “Tuku” Mtukudzi, an Afro-jazz star, well known across the continent and beyond, died on Wednesday at the age of 66.
He died in a hospital in Harare, the local press reported. The cause of death, however was not given.
The lanky self-taught guitarist was a legend in the vibrant cross-genre music of Afro-jazz, with more than 60 albumsto his name in a career that spanned over 45 years.
“We’ve lost an icon,” Zimbabwean lawmaker Temba Mliswa said on Twitter.
“I’m writing to the president to make him a national hero for his national contribution to the music, arts and culture industry.”
8. South African President Signs Transparent Party Funding Bill
President Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa has signed into law a bill to regulate public and private funding of political parties as South Africa heads for its elections in May.
Corruption in that regard has always been a key issue in South-Africa’s elections.
The political funding bill, signed on Monday, repeals a 1997 act and obligates parties to disclose all donations received to the Independent Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC).
The legislation is intended to enhance transparency and accountability in the political and electoral system.
9. Over 10,000 Migrants Request Visas as Caravan Hits Mexico
Mexico announced on Wednesday that over 10,000 people have requested visas to cross its southern border as it seeks to grant legal documents to members of an overtly large number of U.S.-bound migrant caravan from Central America.
If the migrants travel together, the convoy could exceed the size of the last such caravan, which became a flash point in U.S.-Mexican relations as President Trump seized on it to argue for funding for a giant border wall
to wall of Mexico.
10. Horse Named ‘Australian of the Year’
In the race to find an Australian role model that has demonstrated hard work, grit and honesty in the last year, one Aussie paper has decided the only one in the running is a horse.
The Daily Telegraph on Thursday named champion thoroughbred Winx – a horse, its own “Australian of the Year”.
The Sydney paper said the horse which has won dozens of races and is also about to retire was the only Australian that met the winning criteria.
The honour was then “bestowed on the horse.