World News at a Glance
Posted February 4, 2018 9:45 p.m. EST
Ecuador Votes to Bring Back Presidential Term Limits
Ecuadoreans on Sunday voted to overturn a 2015 constitutional amendment that eliminated presidential term limits, a result seen as strengthening President Lenín Moreno’s power while dealing a potentially fatal political blow to former President Rafael Correa. The vote nullifies an amendment put in place after intense prodding by Correa, who was president at the time. Moreno, a former vice president who was once an ally of Correa’s, has become a staunch opponent since assuming office in May. “With this vote, we will be able to work on our fight against corruption,” Moreno said Sunday.
Kenya’s About-Face: Fear for Democracy as Dissent Is Muzzled
Television stations in Kenya are shuttered, and the government has defied a court order to return them to the air. Opposition politicians are under arrest, and journalists have been threatened with jail. The government has designated some opponents “an organized criminal group.” The events in Kenya are a stunning about-face in a country praised mere months ago as a shining example of democracy. But now many Kenyans fear their country is sliding away from democracy. “Kenya hasn’t seen anything like this before — this is unheard-of,” said Ahmednasir Abdullahi, who represented President Uhuru Kenyatta before the Supreme Court last years.
Compulsory Veils? Half of Iranians Say ‘No’ to Pillar of Revolution
The office of Iran’s president Sunday charged into the one of the most contentious debates over the Islamic Republic’s character, releasing a 3-year-old report showing that nearly half of Iranians wanted an end to the requirement that women cover their heads in public. The report’s release comes as dozens of women in recent weeks have protested against being forced to wear the veil. The decision to release the report appears to pit President Hassan Rouhani directly against Iran’s hard-line judiciary. Publishing the 2014 report now suggests the president saw this as a moment to challenge the hard-liners.
Greeks Protest, Claiming Exclusive Right to the Name ‘Macedonia’
More than 100,000 people gathered in the Greek capital Sunday in the biggest demonstration in decades against the inclusion of the word “Macedonia” in the name of a neighboring former Yugoslav republic, saying it implies a territorial claim on a northern Greek region. Greece and the Republic of Macedonia began U.N.-mediated talks last month to try to settle the 25-year name dispute. Many Greeks argue that its neighbor’s use of “Macedonia” suggests an encroachment on the Greek region of that name. The negotiations appear to have stirred patriotic sentiment, as well as stoking tensions, on both sides of the conflict.
Top North Korean Official Will Visit South Korea During Olympics
North Korea plans to send a high-level government delegation to South Korea to attend the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympics this week, South Korean officials said Sunday. The 22-member delegation will be led by Kim Yong Nam, president of the Presidium of North Korean Parliament, the South Korean government announced. The group’s three-day visit will start Friday, when the opening ceremony will be held in the South Korean town of Pyeongchang. Kim is expected to meet President Moon Jae-in of South Korea, whose government has been hoping for a high-level delegation from Pyongyang.
At Least 7 Soldiers Killed in Turkey’s Worst Day Yet in Syria Offensive
Turkey’s military suffered its worst day yet in the two-week offensive in Afrin, Syria, when at least seven soldiers were killed and a tank was destroyed in the fighting, official Turkish news outlets reported Sunday. But the losses may be higher. Mustafa Bali, a spokesman for the Kurdish-led militia defending the city, said its fighters had killed eight Turkish soldiers Saturday. Two tanks were destroyed, he said. An independent monitoring group, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, said two tanks had been destroyed and 19 Turkish soldiers and allied Syrian militiamen had been killed Saturday.