World News

World News at a Glance

Posted October 30, 2018 9:33 p.m. EDT

As Merkel Eyes Exit, Nervous EU Wonders Who’ll Take the Stage

Angela Merkel has been the poster woman for Europe’s democratic center, but the center is imploding. The prospect of her departure — she announced this week that she will not run for another term as the German chancellor — has created a degree of panic at the core of the European Union. What Europe will do without Merkel is no small question, especially when nationalism is rising and Europe’s politics seem to be reorganized not along the usual left-right spectrum, but rather around who is for Europe, and who is against it.

World War II-Era Reparations Case Roils Asia

South Korea’s top court on Tuesday stirred decades-old resentments that threaten to inflame relations with Japan, ordering a leading Japanese steelmaker to compensate Korean men forced to work as slave laborers during World War II. The ruling, which the Japanese government quickly denounced, laid bare the resilient bitterness over Imperial Japan’s occupation of Asian neighbors even 73 years after the surrender to allied powers. Despite postwar agreements that — in Japan’s view at least — settled claims for damages sought by the country’s former colonial conquests, debate over compensation and reparations has not subsided.

Senior Saudi Prince Returns to Kingdom as Royals Confront Khashoggi Crisis

A senior member of the Saudi royal family, who had feared returning to the kingdom after criticizing the crown prince, flew back to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, from London, three Saudis close to him said Tuesday. The return of Prince Ahmed bin Abdulaziz, the younger brother of King Salman, is the most significant move in the royal family since the killing of dissident Jamal Khashoggi set off an international backlash against the kingdom. As one of the most senior figures in the royal family, Prince Ahmed could help bestow legitimacy on any response to the crisis over the killing of Khashoggi.

Chinese Intelligence Officers Accused of Stealing Aerospace Secrets

Intelligence officers in a small office in China’s vast intelligence-gathering network for years stole secrets from aerospace companies in the United States and abroad, Justice Department officials said Tuesday, unsealing the third indictment in recent weeks that detailed China’s elaborate efforts to steal corporate secrets through espionage and hacking. Two Chinese intelligence officers and five hackers repeatedly broke into corporate computer systems to steal intellectual property and other information about the aerospace industry, according to the indictment. From January 2010 to May 2015, they stole turbofan engine plans and other confidential business information from 13 companies, according to court documents.

Chinese Military May Gain From Western University Ties, Report Warns

The Chinese military is expanding its collaborations with foreign universities, sometimes concealing its scientists’ military ties, according to an Australian report published Tuesday. In the past decade, the Chinese People’s Liberation Army has sent 2,500 military scientists, researchers and engineers abroad, according to the report from the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, a nonpartisan research institution in Canberra, the capital. The research they conduct is sometimes in areas with strategic military applications. The report’s author, Alex Joske, said that Western countries risk inadvertently giving an edge to a rival military.

Indonesia Plane Crash Leaves Experts Puzzled

The exact sequence of events that led Lion Air Flight 610 to plunge into the Java Sea near Indonesia with 189 people on board is still unclear, and may only emerge once flight-data recorders are recovered. But the crash took place in daylight and good weather, and involved a new plane. So experts are looking to see if an underlying problem, either mechanical or human or both, may have caused it. “This doesn’t seem like a more normal crash caused by something like weather or an old plane,” said Gerry Soejatman, an Indonesian aviation expert. “That’s what makes us worry.”

Table for None: When Food Turns You Off

The idea that anything labeled “food” can be described as “disgusting” is a minefield, running up against cultural tastes and personal preferences. But clearly, not everyone would dig enthusiastically into, say, a lamprey pie, a sliver of maggot-infested pecorino or a chunk of rotten shark meat. A basic human reaction would surface at some point: disgust. And that emotion is the basis for an unusual exhibition in Malmo, in the south of Sweden. “I want people to question what they find disgusting,” said Samuel West, the lead curator of the Disgusting Food Museum, a touring exhibition that opens Wednesday.