World News at a Glance
Posted June 19, 2018 9:49 p.m. EDT
Doors for Refugees Close as Displaced Population Soars, U.N. Says
The United Nations refugee agency reported Tuesday that the total number of forcibly displaced people rose by almost 3 million people in 2017, to 68.5 million. It was the sixth consecutive year that the figure hit a post-World War II record. The total figure, contained in the agency’s annual global trends report, includes refugees, asylum-seekers and the internally displaced — people forced from their homes who have not fled their countries. (Refugees accounted for most of the increase.) Syria led with the highest total of displaced people, followed by Colombia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Afghanistan and South Sudan.
As Battle Intensifies for Yemeni Port, Dock Workers Unload Aid
The battle for the Yemeni port city of Hodeida intensified Tuesday as warplanes from a Saudi-led, Western-backed Arab coalition pounded targets citywide in an effort to drive out Iran-allied Houthi rebels. Fighters exchanged fire over mine-infested ground at the disused international airport south of the city. Houthi tanks fired shells to defend a key coastal road. Rebels dug trenches into approach roads, in anticipation of a fight for the city center. Even with all that, the port kept operating: Dock workers hastily unloaded three ships sent by the U.N. World Food Program that contained enough food for 6 million people for one month.
Boy’s Plight Prompts Britain to Review Medicinal Marijuana
Britain’s home secretary, Sajid Javid, ordered a review on Tuesday of the nation’s policy on the medical use of marijuana, days after a 12-year-old’s cannabis-based epilepsy medicine was confiscated at Heathrow Airport, prompting a national discussion as the boy fought life-threatening seizures and politicians procrastinated. The boy, Billy Caldwell, suffers from status epilepticus, a kind of seizure that can last for hours and could be fatal without treatment. Over the weekend, Javid authorized the use of the medicine to treat him. Javid on Tuesday announced that a special license would be granted in another case, that of Alfie Dingley, aged 6.
Kashmir Government Is Left in Turmoil as Three-Year Alliance Breaks Down
India’s governing party ended an alliance with a powerful regional party in the northern state of Jammu and Kashmir on Tuesday, leading to the resignation of a top official and plunging the disputed mountainous territory into fresh turmoil over its leadership. Ram Madhav, the general secretary of the governing party, the Hindu-nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party, said that it was severing a three-year alliance with the top political group in Kashmir, the Muslim-majority Peoples Democratic Party. Shortly after the announcement, Mehbooba Mufti, the top official in Jammu and Kashmir and the head of the Peoples Democratic Party, resigned from her post as chief minister.
Kim in China for 3rd Visit Since March
North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un arrived in China on Tuesday to begin a two-day visit, his third such trip since March. Kim’s trip comes one week after his landmark summit meeting in Singapore with President Donald Trump. Xinhua, China’s official news agency, announced the visit Tuesday amid reports that a special flight of Air Koryo, the North Korean state-run airline, was expected to land in Beijing. Kim’s previous trips to China were not announced until after they were over.
Packed Ferry Sinks in Lake in Indonesia
Rescuers in Indonesia were searching on Tuesday for dozens of people who were reported missing after a ferry sank in a lake during a major holiday, officials and the local news media said. At least one person died when the ferry sank Monday in Lake Toba, a popular sightseeing spot on Sumatra Island, the Jakarta Globe newspaper reported. The Globe said the ferry was carrying 80 passengers, but an official with Indonesia’s National Disaster Management Agency said on Twitter that there may have been anywhere from 70 to 130 people on board.
American Held in Vietnam Apologizes
A U.S. citizen who was arrested at a peaceful demonstration in Vietnam this month said on state television that he regretted breaking the law and that he would not join such protests again. Will Nguyen, 32, an American graduate student in Singapore, has been held since June 10, when he was grabbed and beaten by police at an anti-China protest in Ho Chi Minh City. “I regret that I caused trouble,” Nguyen said in Vietnamese in the televised statement. Vietnamese authorities are known to coerce detainees into making such public confessions. Nguyen’s family has called on the Trump administration to intervene on his behalf.