World News at a Glance
Posted May 24, 2018 9:42 p.m. EDT
Trump Pulls Out of North Korea Summit Meeting with Kim Jong Un
President Donald Trump on Thursday pulled out of a summit meeting with Kim Jong Un, accusing the North Koreans of bad faith. In a letter to Kim, North Korea’s leader, Trump cited the North’s “tremendous anger and open hostility” in recent public statements. North Korea issued a strikingly conciliatory response, saying it hoped Trump would reconsider. Trump also renewed talk of military action against the North and vowed to keep pressing economic sanctions, guaranteeing that for now, at least, his unlikely courtship of Kim will give way to a more familiar cycle of threats and tension.
Canceling of Trump-Kim Meeting Could Help China
President Donald Trump’s decision Thursday to cancel his planned summit meeting with Kim Jong Un, North Korea’s leader, will disappoint some allies in Asia, hearten others and perhaps put China in the strongest position of all. Trump’s announcement put the brakes on disarmament negotiations; instead, Trump vowed that “our very strong sanctions, by far the strongest in history, and maximum pressure campaign will continue.” But applying that pressure depends in large part on cooperation from China, which may now be able to use any delays in negotiations with North Korea to its advantage in trade talks with the United States.
Russian Military Supplied Missile That Shot Down Malaysian Jet, Prosecutors Say
The Russian military was the source of a missile that shot down a civilian airliner over Ukraine four years ago, killing all 298 people aboard, prosecutors in the Netherlands said Thursday in a finding certain to further sour relations between Russia and the West. The stark determination by prosecutors, supported by video and photographic evidence, set the stage for a diplomatic standoff over how those responsible should be punished. It also increases the likelihood that prosecutors will hand down indictments of Russian military officers and soldiers, setting up a new confrontation with the Russian government.
Pakistan Moves to Extend Rights and Remake Its Tribal Areas
The lower house of Pakistan’s parliament overwhelmingly adopted a constitutional amendment Thursday giving equal rights to millions of people in its restive northwestern tribal regions and ending a much-criticized legacy of British colonial law. The measure also paves the way for the merger of the seven tribal regions, known as the Federally Administered Tribal Areas, with Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province, bringing the regions into the political and legal mainstream of the country. The amendment goes to the upper house on Friday for final approval, but it is not expected to face opposition.
Attempted Murder by Parachute? British Soldier Convicted in Sabotage Case
A British army sergeant was convicted Thursday of trying to murder his wife by tampering with her parachute before a sky-dive as a prelude to life with another woman. Sgt. Emile Cilliers, 38, had pleaded not guilty to two charges of attempted murder, after a jury found that he tried to kill his wife, Victoria, by first causing a gas leak at the couple’s home and then using his experience as a parachute packer to meddle with his wife’s equipment. He offered to pay for the jump in April 2015, purportedly as a treat following the birth of their second child, the prosecution said.
New Ebola Tactics Raise Hope but May Sow Confusion
Although there is optimism that the Ebola outbreak in central Africa can still be quickly contained, the fight is already becoming more complex, health experts said this week. Novel tactics — a new vaccine already in use, and new antibody or drug treatments that may be deployed — raise hopes that the outbreak will be quickly extinguished. Nonetheless, they may sow confusion because the treatments are unfamiliar to a wary and terrified population. There are now 58 confirmed or suspected victims in Congo, of whom 27 have died, the World Health Organization said Wednesday. Three cases were in health care workers.
Burkina Faso Cuts Ties With Taiwan, Dealing It Another Blow
The West African nation of Burkina Faso announced Thursday that it was ending official diplomatic relations with Taiwan, a new challenge to the self-governing democracy as Beijing increasingly tries to isolate it on the global stage. The break leaves Taiwan with only one diplomatic ally in Africa — Swaziland — and formal relations worldwide with 17 other countries, along with the Vatican. China’s Communist Party has been ratcheting up pressure since President Tsai Ing-wen of Taiwan took office two years ago, but Tsai said Taiwan “will not cower at all” in the face of pressure from Beijing.