12 Jul 2019

Friday's world news: What's making the headlines?

7:56 pm on 12 July 2019

Catastrophic flooding threatens New Orleans

S Telemachus Street in New Orleans is flooded after flash floods struck the area early on July 10, 2019.

Photo: AFP

Fourteen years after Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans is bracing for what authorities warn could be catastrophic flooding.

Tropical storm Barry could strengthen into a hurricane by the time it's expected to make landfall on Saturday.

It could bring up to 48 hours of continuous rain and a storm surge which could break levees along the Mississippi River.

The river is already running high due to months of record flooding upstream.


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Sudden turbulence sends passengers flying

At least 35 people were injured - some seriously - after an Air Canada flight hit a severe patch of turbulence.

The Boeing 777-200 jet, with 284 people on board was travelling from Vancouver to Sydney but had to be diverted to Hawaii.

Passengers said there was no warning.

They said the plane dropped suddenly sending dozens of people crashing into the ceiling.


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Calls for de-escalation in the Gulf

Britain has called for de-escalation in the Gulf after reports that three Iranian vessels tried to block the passage of a British oil tanker through the Strait of Hormuz.

The Iranian vessels only turned away after the UK naval frigate HMS Montrose intervened, positioning itself between the ships and the British tanker.

During the manoeuvre, it urged the Iranian vessels to leave the area in order to avoid any further action.

Tensions around the Strait of Hormuz have heightened significantly since the US deployed military assets to the area, and stepped up economic sanctions against Tehran.


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Executive order to get citizenship info

US President Donald Trump has abandoned his attempt to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census questionnaire.

The Supreme Court blocked the move last month.

Instead, he will sign an executive order requiring all government agencies and departments to provide information to determine how many citizens, non-citizens and illegal immigrants there are in the US.

Critics said the question was politically-motivated and would lead to fewer immigrant households taking part.

- Reuters

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Keeping it in the family in Brazil

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has invited his son Eduardo to become ambassador to the United States, underscoring his family's influential role in the country's diplomacy and domestic politics.

Eduardo Bolsonaro is a federal congressman and said he would accept the role if nominated.

The appointment would need to be approved by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee before passing to the full upper house for confirmation.

The far-right Brazilian president, who said his campaign last year was inspired by US President Donald Trump, has made friendly overtures to the American leader and made similar use of family members as official advisers.

- Reuters

R. Kelly arrested on federal sex charges

The disgraced R&B singer R. Kelly has been arrested in Chicago on sex trafficking charges, according to reports in the US.

There are reportedly 13 charges against the singer, including child pornography and obstruction of justice.

The 52-year-old was reportedly arrested by New York police and Homeland Security officials.

He is already awaiting trial in Chicago on a raft of state sexual assault and abuse charges which he has pleaded not guilty to.