World News at a Glance
Posted January 1, 2018 9:40 p.m. EST
Kim Jong Un’s Overture Could Drive a Wedge Between South Korea and the US
North Korea’s surprise call on Monday for direct talks with South Korea could drive a wedge into the decades-old alliance between Seoul and Washington, potentially creating a reprieve from tensions but also undercutting President Donald Trump’s tough approach to the nuclear-armed North. Kim Jong Un, the North Korean leader, called for dialogue to discuss improving ties, even as he claimed an ability to strike the mainland U.S. with nuclear missiles. Kim also agreed to a request by President Moon Jae-in of South Korea to send a North Korean delegation to the Winter Olympics in the South next month.
As Iranian Protesters Dig In, Officials Warn of Harsher Response
Ignoring pleas for calm from President Hassan Rouhani, Iranians protesters took to the streets in several cities for the fifth day Monday as pent-up economic and political frustrations boiled over in the broadest display of discontent in years. On Monday, riot police officers were out in full force in Tehran, the capital. The death toll from the clashes was up to at least 12, and in the central province of Esfahan, one police officer was reported killed. The deputy interior minister, Hossein Zolfaghari, told the semiofficial Jamaran website, “From tonight the unrest will be controlled more seriously.”
2 American Families Are Mourned After Plane Crash in Costa Rica
The families had striking similarities: They lived in prosperous suburbs, had children in college, enjoyed exploring other cultures and were strongly involved in Jewish causes. Both families — the Steinbergs, a family of five from Scarsdale, New York, and the Weisses, a family of four from Belleair, Florida — were killed Sunday when the plane they were traveling in crashed into a hill in Costa Rica. An American tour guide also died, as did two crew members. The crash of the Cessna traveling from Punta Islita to San José, the capital, was the deadliest in Costa Rica since 1990.
China’s Ambitious New ‘Port’: Landlocked Kazakhstan
The location of its latest foreign investment has given a curious twist to the expanding ambitions of the China Ocean Shipping Co.: The nearest ocean is more than 1,600 miles away. The Chinese shipping giant became the 49 percent owner this summer of a patch of asphalt bisected by railway tracks and lined with warehouses in landlocked Kazakhstan. The place is a link in China’s $1 trillion infrastructure program known as “One Belt, One Road,” which aims to revive the ancient Silk Road and build up other trading routes between Asia and Europe to pump Chinese products to foreign markets.
Renewal or Gentrification? London Borough Grapples With a Revamp
For Victoria Alvarez, a Colombia native, the Seven Sisters Indoor Market in the north London borough of Tottenham is a second home. Now, Alvarez and other traders say that they are being priced out. The local soccer club, Tottenham Hotspur, is carrying out a $1 billion stadium upgrade. Train and subway stations are being renovated, schools and health services upgraded, and around 10,000 new homes are being added. The market will be rebuilt. The developer acknowledges that some traders’ rents will go up, but insists that they will be more affordable than those on the open market.
Emboldened Israeli Right Presses Moves to Doom 2-State Solution
An emboldened Israeli right wing is moving quickly in the new year to make it far more difficult to create a Palestinian state, signaling its intention to doom hopes for a two-state solution to the conflict. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s party for the first time has urged the annexation of Jewish settlements in the West Bank, and the nation’s top legal officers pressed to extend Israeli law into occupied territory. The Israeli Parliament, meanwhile, was poised early Tuesday to enact stiff new obstacles to any potential land-for-peace deal involving Jerusalem.