World News at a Glance
Posted May 22, 2018 9:45 p.m. EDT
Trump Backs Off Demand That Kim Give Up Weapons
President Donald Trump on Tuesday opened the door to a phased dismantling of North Korea’s nuclear weapons program, backing away from his demand that the North’s leader, Kim Jong Un, completely abandon his arsenal without any reciprocal U.S. concessions. The president’s hint of flexibility came after North Korea declared last week that it would never agree to unilaterally surrender its weapons, even threatening to cancel the summit between Kim and Trump scheduled for next month in Singapore. While the gesture may avoid a swift rejection by Kim, it shows that Trump is willing to give up what for months has been his bedrock position in dealing with the North.
Maduro Expels Top U.S. Diplomats from Venezuela
Fresh off his re-election in what critics called a rigged vote, President Nicolás Maduro of Venezuela on Tuesday ordered the top American diplomat and his deputy expelled, describing them as conspirators against his government. In a televised address, Maduro gave the diplomats, Todd D. Robinson, who is the U.S. Embassy’s chargé d’affaires, and Robinson’s No. 2, Brian Naranjo, 48 hours to leave. The State Department said in a statement: “We reject completely the false allegations made by Maduro against Chargé Robinson and Deputy Chief of Mission Naranjo.” Venezuela and the United States have not exchanged ambassadors since 2010.
On Manchester Attack Anniversary, Songs and Silence for Resilient City
With songs and silence, the tolling of bells and the privacy of memory, residents of Manchester, England, on Tuesday marked the anniversary of a terrorist bombing at a rock concert that killed 22 people. On the night of May 22, 2017, Salman Abedi, a British citizen of Libyan descent, detonated explosives packed with nails, bolts and ball bearings at a concert by singer Ariana Grande at the Manchester Arena. The attack was by far the most devastating in the city since a truck bombing by the Irish Republican Army in 1996. "Thinking of you all today,” Grande said on Twitter.
Denmark Minister Calls Fasting Muslims ‘a Danger’ During Ramadan
Denmark’s immigration minister has suggested that Muslims fasting for Ramadan should stay home from work “to avoid negative consequences for the rest of Danish society.” The minister, Inger Stojberg, made the remarks in a newspaper column Monday in which she called adherence to the religious practice “a danger to all of us.” The monthlong Ramadan holiday, which began last week, involves daily fasting from dawn to dusk, a period that in Denmark lasts up to 18 hours a day during the spring and summer. Stojberg pointed in particular to bus drivers and people working in hospitals. Her comments prompted criticism from Muslims and immigration advocates.
Palestinians Ask Hague Court to Open Full Inquiry Into Israel
The Palestinian Authority on Tuesday urged the International Criminal Court to immediately carry out a full investigation into what it described as the successive and continuing Israeli crimes against Palestinians since 2014. Israel quickly assailed the request, which came a week after at least 60 Palestinians were killed by Israeli fire in protests at the Gaza border, calling it “legally invalid.” The Palestinian foreign minister, Riyad al-Malki, arrived at the court’s headquarters in The Hague, Netherlands, to hand over a so-called referral to prosecutors that also calls for the court to investigate Israeli settlement policies in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.
Want to See Your Baby? In China, It Can Cost You
A day after Juliana Brandy Logbo gave birth to twins this month via an emergency cesarean section in a Chinese hospital, she thought the worst was over. Then the demands for money began. First, Logbo said, the hospital told her that she had to pay $630 in hospitalization fees if she wanted to see her girls. Three days later, she said, the amount rose to nearly $800. Logbo, 28, a Liberian living in China on an expired visa, didn’t have the money. In most developed countries, patients who need urgent care are given it first, regardless of ability to pay. That isn’t always the case in China.