World News at a Glance
Posted January 12, 2018 10:33 p.m. EST
Iran Violated Yemen Arms Embargo, U.N. Experts Say
A U.N. panel has concluded that Iran violated an arms embargo imposed on Yemen by failing to prevent the Houthi rebels in that war-ravaged nation from obtaining Iranian missiles, including one fired hundreds of miles into Saudi Arabia two months ago. The findings, in a report given to the U.N. Security Council this week, could add weight to U.S. and Saudi efforts to ostracize Iran with accusations that the Iranians are engaged in destabilizing behavior in the Middle East. More than 10,000 people have been killed in the Yemen conflict, millions have been displaced and are at risk of hunger and malnutrition, and 1 million have been infected with cholera.
Nearly 800 Arrested in Protests in Tunisia
Authorities in Tunisia have arrested nearly 800 people who were protesting tax increases and other government policies after a series of clashes with police. The arrests have alarmed observers of Tunisia, the only country to emerge from the turmoil of the Arab Spring with a semblance of a stable democracy. Although some of those who were arrested were released, the number drew criticism from human rights groups. “Some 778 people we understand have now been arrested since Monday,” Rupert Colville, a spokesman for the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights, said Friday, “and around a third of those arrested were between the ages of 15 and 20.”
Pope Faces Turmoil in Chile Over Indigenous Group and Sex Abuse
Firebombs exploded before dawn Friday at three churches in Santiago, Chile’s capital, an act of violence aimed at Pope Francis, who is to begin a weeklong visit to Chile and Peru on Monday. President Michelle Bachelet appealed for calm. No organization immediately claimed responsibility for the attacks, but pamphlets left at the sites alluded to several issues, including the plight of the Mapuche, an indigenous people who have been battling loggers and farmers. Another source of controversy is the issue of the complicity of Chilean bishops in the case of the Rev. Fernando Karadima, who catered to the elite while abusing teenage boys.
Trump Won’t Visit London to Open Embassy. His UK Critics Say He Got the Message.
President Donald Trump’s cancellation of a visit to London to open a new U.S. Embassy was welcomed by his many critics in Britain on Friday, even as it deepened the diplomatic problems confronting a British government struggling to forge closer ties to Washington without offending opinion at home. The decision averted the risk of public protests that had threatened to embarrass both Trump and Prime Minister Theresa May, who has recently squirmed to distance herself from statements made by a U.S. president seen by many Britons as divisive. While Britons pride themselves on their “special relationship” with the U.S., that does not appear to extend to its president.
As Gay Australians Hear Wedding Bells, Vendors See Dollar Signs
At one of the first legal same-sex weddings held this week in Australia, two men pledged their lives to each other in front of a roomful of friends, relatives — and wedding vendors. More than 20 suppliers — including caterers, florists and planners — donated 40,000 Australian dollars, about $31,470, in services to throw the men, Michael Petchell, 28, and Benjamin Gresham, 29, a wedding just two days after the first same-sex marriages were authorized. Since Parliament approved same-sex marriage in December, analysts have predicted the expected increase in unions will create a 10 percent boom in wedding industry revenues.
Merkel Takes Step Toward New Government for Germany
The leaders of Germany’s main establishment political parties emerged from overnight talks Friday morning with the outline of a possible coalition deal, bringing Europe’s biggest economy one step closer to forming another government led by Chancellor Angela Merkel. But many obstacles remain, not least a vote by members of one of the three parties, many of whom are less than thrilled to see the potential repeat of a coalition that has seen their vote share drop to postwar lows. On Friday, the three leaders presented a detailed 28-page agreement that outlines the path toward another grand coalition. Formal coalition negotiations are to follow.