World News at a Glance
Posted April 20, 2018 10:59 p.m. EDT
North Korean Leader Says ‘We No Longer Need’ Nuclear or Missile Tests
North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong Un, announced that his country no longer needed to test nuclear weapons because it had achieved a nuclear deterrent, and it was time to focus on rebuilding the economy. Kim’s announcement came days in advance of a planned summit meeting with South Korea’s President Moon Jae-in and later with President Donald Trump, who welcomed Kim's announcement. "Big progress! Look forward to our Summit," Trump tweeted. Kim made no mention of dismantling the nuclear weapons already built. It was the second time in two days Kim made what appeared to be a significant concession to the United States.
Nicaragua Roiled by Protests Over Social Security Benefits
Extraordinary protests against the government of President Daniel Ortega of Nicaragua extended into a third day Friday as thousands of demonstrators took to the streets in Managua and other cities, clashing with government security forces and barricading neighborhoods in opposition to changes in the social security program. At least three people, including a police officer, have been killed in the protests since Wednesday, according to the authorities, and dozens of people have been wounded. The demonstrations were set off by changes to the social security system that would require employees and employers to contribute more and retirees would see reductions in their pensions.
Gaza Protest Draws Fewer People but Remains Deadly
Palestinians protested for a fourth Friday along the security fence dividing Gaza from Israel, some of them burning tires, hurling rocks or launching kites with flaming tails in the hope of setting ablaze the fields of Israeli rural communities on the other side. The military estimated the number of participants at about 3,000, down from at least 30,000 on March 30, when the protest campaign started. But by evening the Gaza Health Ministry reported four killed by Israeli sniper fire, including one who was identified as 15-year-old boy. The toll brought the total number of fatalities from the start of the campaign to at least 37.
Thousands Evacuated in Berlin After World War II Bomb Is Found
German police officers and firefighters ordered as many 12,000 people out of a 1-mile area of downtown Berlin so bomb experts could remove and defuse a 1,100-pound World War II-era bomb found last Saturday. The 70-year-old bomb, which Berlin police said had mostly likely been dropped by a British bomber during the war, was found during construction in the center of the German capital, just north of the main train station, government buildings and major tourist sites. The city estimated that there are still roughly 3,000 bombs in Berlin; since 1947, 1.8 million ordnances have been found and disposed of in the city.
From Janitor to Chief Justice: Could Joaquim Barbosa be Brazil’s Next President?
Just as former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva was surrendering to serve a 12-year sentence for corruption, Joaquim Barbosa, the country’s first black Supreme Court justice, quietly made his debut as a possible presidential candidate. Barbosa registered with the center-left Brazilian Socialist Party on April 6, one day before the deadline for potential candidates to join a party. A recent poll put Barbosa in third place, a remarkable showing considering he has stayed out of public view. Party leaders now are building a strategy that draws on Barbosa’s biography of overcoming poverty to reach the pinnacle of the legal profession.
Duterte, Who Bristles at Foreign Critics, Has Begun Deporting Them
President Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines, who has chafed at overseas criticism of his strongman style since he was elected in 2016, has overseen the deportation or detention of two foreign critics in recent days, taking personal responsibility for the arrest of a 71-year-old Australian nun. The nun, Patricia Fox, a longtime Philippines resident, has been an activist for many years and has joined rallies against Duterte’s bloody crackdown on drugs, which has left thousands dead. Fox was detained Monday at her house in Manila, held overnight and released Tuesday, but she was expected to face deportation proceedings next week.
Suspects in Attack on Ex-Spy Are in Russia, U.K. Newspaper Reports
The British police have identified suspects in the nerve agent attack on a former Russian spy and his daughter, and the suspects are believed to be in Russia, the newspaper The Daily Telegraph has reported, citing unnamed security officials. Investigators have settled on “persons of interest” by scanning passengers on flights in and out of Britain, the newspaper reported. They have also gathered information from surveillance footage in the town of Salisbury, England, where the crime occurred, by zeroing in on car license plates. A spokeswoman for the Metropolitan Police would not comment on the report.
A French Honor Not Always for the Honorable; Assad Returns His
Lance Armstrong was stripped of his, and Harvey Weinstein will lose his, but Vladimir Putin still has one. On Thursday, Bashar Assad sent his Legion of Honor back, though he was on his way to having it taken away. France’s highest award has been pinned on many of the world’s most esteemed cultural, political, scientific and athletic figures. But alongside them have been some less-revered characters, like Assad, the Syrian president, who has been blamed for a series of atrocities, including the use of chemical weapons. France has been known to honor foreign leaders simply because it suits the government’s purposes at the time.
Kangaroo Pelted With Rocks Dies in Chinese Zoo, and Fury Flies
Visitors to a zoo in southeast China, apparently hoping for a livelier show, pelted kangaroos with rocks, ultimately killing one, injuring another and setting off a wave of public disgust and anger. The 12-year-old female kangaroo died in a zoo in Fuzhou over a month ago but the news surfaced only this week when a local newspaper described zookeepers’ shock at finding it with a smashed foot, hobbled and listless, after at least one visitor apparently threw stones to make it jump. A veterinarian treated the kangaroo’s injured foot, but it later died from profuse internal bleeding.