World News at a Glance
Posted February 26, 2018 9:39 p.m. EST
South Korean Leader Urges U.S. and North Korea to Make Talks Possible
South Korea’s president, Moon Jae-in, urged the United States and North Korea on Monday to soften their uncompromising stances so that talks could start on defusing the crisis prompted by the North’s nuclear program and Washington’s threats to stop it with military force. Kim Yong Chol, a senior North Korean official, expressed the North’s willingness to talk to U.S. officials, according to Moon’s office. Given the deep mistrust between both sides, though, that is far from an assurance that negotiations will occur. Moon used the Olympics to lower tensions.
Syria Cease-Fire Must Take Effect Immediately, U.N. Chief Warns
As bombs continued to rain down near Damascus on Monday, U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres demanded that the Syria cease-fire resolution adopted Saturday by the Security Council take effect immediately. Guterres' anger was matched by that of Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein, the U.N.'s top human rights official, who pinned responsibility for the prolonged misery on the five permanent members of the Security Council. The resolution called for a 30-day cease-fire in Syria, but it contained loopholes that allowed bombing and shelling to continue. More than 500 people have died in the rebel-held enclave of eastern Ghouta in the past week.
Slovak Journalist Found Shot to Death at Home
A Slovak journalist who had been investigating corruption has been found shot to death at his home along with his fiancee, officials said Monday. Jan Kuciak, and his fiancee, Martina Kusnirova, both 27, appear to have been killed Thursday in the village of Velka Maca, in western Slovakia, officials said. Kuciak had worked for three years for a Slovak news portal, Aktuality.sk, that is published by Ringier Axel Springer, a joint Swiss-German media company. Police said the killings were most likely connected to Kuciak’s reporting. Investigators were trying to piece together what he had been working on most recently.
Russia Vetoes U.N. Resolution to Pressure Iran Over Yemen Missiles
Russia blocked a resolution at the U.N. Security Council on Monday that would have pressured Iran over the illegal use of Iranian-made missiles by Houthi insurgents in Yemen. The Russian veto drew angry rebukes from the United States and its allies. The resolution also had been intended to renew an expiring U.N. arms embargo against the Houthis and the mandate of a panel of experts that found Iran had violated it. The council then unanimously approved a Russian-drafted resolution that renewed the embargo and the panel’s mandate. That resolution conspicuously avoided the issue of Iranian weapons in Yemen.
Erdogan Tells a Weeping Girl, 6, She’d Receive Honors if Martyred
Video clips of the encounter between President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey and a first-grader, Amine Tiras, ricocheted across the internet over the weekend. From a stage where he led a raucous rally exhorting Turks to support their soldiers in Syria, Erdogan spotted the 6-year-old as she gave a salute. He beckoned her to the stage, but she looked hesitant, and eventually began crying, as the president went on to say that she would be honored if she were killed in combat. While Turkish news agencies focused on the girl’s emotions — portraying her as brave and resolute — some online commentators said she had been used as a political prop and called it inappropriate.
Corbyn, Backing a ‘Soft’ Brexit, Takes Aim at Conservatives
The leader of Britain’s opposition party, Jeremy Corbyn, tried Monday to position Labour as the standard-bearer of a “soft” exit from the European Union, narrowing the maneuvering room for Theresa May, the prime minister. Corbyn proposed that Britain remain in a customs union, which eliminates tariffs and reduces other barriers to trade, with EU member states when it leaves the bloc. He made that position conditional on Britain being able to take part with the European Union in negotiating trade deals with other countries, a notion Brussels has so far steadfastly resisted.