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In Landmark Ruling, South Korea’s Top Court Acquits Conscientious Objector

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, New York Times

In Landmark Ruling, South Korea’s Top Court Acquits Conscientious Objector

South Korea’s Supreme Court on Thursday acquitted a man who refused to serve in the military because of his religious beliefs, a ruling expected to affect the fate of more than 900 conscientious objectors on trial for refusing mandatory service. For decades, South Korea has billed military service as a patriotic duty, and the punishment of those who refused to serve has been harsh. Each year, South Korea has sent hundreds of young men, most of them Jehovah’s Witnesses, to prison by invoking its Military Service Act, which calls for up to three years for those who refuse to serve without “justifiable” reasons.

Indonesia Protests Saudi Arabia’s Execution of Maid

Indonesia is protesting Saudi Arabia’s execution this week of one of its citizens, a domestic worker, saying the kingdom failed to notify her family or the Indonesian government beforehand. Tuti Tursilawati, a mother of one in her early 30s from Majalengka, Indonesia, was executed Monday, seven years after she was convicted of murdering her employer in the Saudi city of Taif. A rights group, Migrant Care, has said she was defending herself from sexual assault. Tuti was the fourth Indonesian executed in Saudi Arabia since 2015, including one, Zaini Misri, who was put to death in March.

Black Box From Lion Air Crash Is Recovered After ‘Desperate’ Search

An Indonesian navy diving team retrieved one of the flight recorders from Lion Air Flight 610 on Thursday from the Java Sea, raising hopes that investigators will be able to solve the mystery of what led a brand-new Boeing jet to fall from the sky this week. The navy team located the device at a depth of around 30 meters (about 100 feet) in waters northeast of the Indonesian capital, Jakarta. On Wednesday, search teams had heard pings from a locating beacon attached to the data recorder, but strong ocean currents stopped them from recovering the device.

Justice Department Charges Chinese Company With Espionage

The Justice Department on Thursday charged a Chinese state-owned company, its Taiwanese partner and three individuals with stealing trade secrets from an American technology company, the latest move by the Trump administration to crack down on China’s “economic espionage.” The charges filed Thursday are the latest in a series of indictments that accuse China of elaborate efforts to steal corporate secrets. The Justice Department unveiled charges against Fujian Jinhua Integrated Circuit, a Chinese state-owned enterprise; United Microelectronics Corp., a Taiwanese semiconductor company; and three Taiwanese nationals. They are accused of conspiring to steal technology from Micron Technology, an Idaho-based chipmaker that does extensive business in Asia.

Russia Set to Resume Astronaut Trips to the International Space Station

The Russian space agency announced Thursday that it was planning to launch three astronauts to the International Space Station on Dec. 3., signaling that it believes the country’s Soyuz spacecraft is safe for travel after an in-flight failure last month. The Soyuz is the only way for people to get to the space station. In October, two astronauts made a harrowing but safe emergency return after the Soyuz they were riding in suddenly lost control. Thursday’s announcement also heads off a situation that could have left the space station with no crew aboard as early as January.

Iran Accused of Plot to Assassinate Dissident in Denmark

Iran tried to assassinate an Arab separatist leader living in Denmark, Danish authorities said, adding that a suspect in the “unusual and very serious” plot was in custody. The accusations have set off anger and concern in Denmark, a nation that has experienced little political violence in recent years. Prime Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen called the plot “totally unacceptable,” Denmark recalled its ambassador to Iran, and potential joint European action is on the agenda for a meeting of European Union foreign ministers on Nov. 19. The Iranian Foreign Ministry denied the allegations, saying they “are in line with the conspiracies and plots of the enemies of Iran.”

Happy ‘National Jealousy Day’! Finland Bares Its Citizens’ Taxes

Shortly after 6 a.m. Thursday, people began lining up outside the central office of the Finnish tax administration. It was chilly and dark, but they claimed their places, eager to be the first to tap into a mother lode of data. Helsinki is alone in observing “National Jealousy Day,” when every Finnish citizen’s taxable income is made public at 8 a.m. sharp. The annual Nov. 1 data dump is the starting gun for a countrywide game of who’s up and who’s down. Which tech entrepreneur has sold his company? Which Instagram celebrity is broke? Which retired executive is weaseling out of his tax liabilities?

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