World News at a Glance
Posted November 14, 2018 10:11 p.m. EST
UK Cabinet Backs Theresa May’s Brexit Plan
Prime Minister Theresa May of Britain faced down hard-line critics Wednesday and won the support of a jittery and divided Cabinet for a plan to quit the European Union, preserving her push to avert a rupture with the bloc in March. For May, the victory represented a rare validation of her leadership. It also provided a glimmer of light at the end of the Brexit tunnel. Despite fears that Cabinet ministers might resign in protest, none did so immediately. Nevertheless, May acknowledged that around five hours of talks had produced “impassioned” debate.
Israel’s Hawkish Defense Minister Resigns and Calls for Early Elections
Avigdor Lieberman, Israel’s hard-line defense minister, stepped down from his post Wednesday after the government agreed to a cease-fire with Hamas to end two days of clashes in Gaza. The decision by Lieberman to step down, and to withdraw his hawkish Yisrael Beiteinu party from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s coalition, will decrease the number of seats held by the government from 66 to a precarious 61 in the 120-seat parliament. Netanyahu faces increasing criticism from his right-wing rivals who say he was too quick to agree to the cease-fire. Lieberman called for early elections, saying the lack of clarity over the country’s security policy must be brought to an end.
Another Twist in Sri Lanka: Parliament Votes Out Rajapaksa
A majority of Sri Lankan lawmakers voted Wednesday morning to remove Mahinda Rajapaksa as prime minister, saying his appointment last month was illegal. Rajapaksa is considered the strongman of Sri Lankan politics, a wealthy, powerful former president who has been accused of grave human rights abuses. The country has been tied in knots since late last month when President Maithripala Sirisena abruptly fired the previous prime minister, Ranil Wickremesinghe, and appointed Rajapaksa to the post. It is unclear what will happen next. Sirisena seems to have miscalculated the intensity of the resistance to his appointment of Rajapaksa.
First Wave of Migrants in Caravan Reaches U.S. Border in Tijuana
Hundreds of migrants in the caravan traveling from Central America have begun arriving in the northern Mexico border city of Tijuana, setting up a potential confrontation with U.S. officials that has been brewing for weeks. Their arrival marked the end of one struggle — making it safely to the U.S. border. But it signaled the start of another, to get across that border, something President Donald Trump has promised to impede, even for those seeking asylum. Trump has labeled the caravan an invasion, deployed U.S. soldiers to the border and made changes to asylum rules in efforts to confront it.
First Rohingya Are to Be Returned to Myanmar Killing Grounds
The United Nations doesn’t want it to happen. Dozens of rights groups say they are shocked. Even the people who will be affected the most, Rohingya Muslims from Myanmar, are upset that their future, once again, is being decided without their input. On Thursday, a few of the more than 720,000 Rohingya who fled slaughter, rape and village burnings in their homeland last year are due to be repatriated to Myanmar from Bangladesh. It is a process that has been repeatedly delayed, and one that few, apart from the Myanmar and Bangladesh governments, seem to think is a good idea.
Macron’s Response to Trump: ‘I Do Not Do Policy or Diplomacy by Tweets’
The French president responded Wednesday evening to President Donald Trump’s scathing personal attack on him. In a television interview, President Emmanuel Macron made clear that he was not going to respond in kind, but hew to both countries’ long-standing common interests. “I do not do policy or diplomacy by tweets,” he said. Macron was responding to questions about the rapid-fire series of angry messages posted by Trump two days after returning from France, where he had attended ceremonies hosted by Macron commemorating the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I.
Behind a Saudi Prince’s Rise, Two Loyal Enforcers
Even Saudi royals have come to fear Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s two friends — Saud el-Qahtani, 40, and Turki al-Sheikh, 37. Now the killing of Saudi dissident Jamal Khashoggi by Saudi agents has focused attention on their roles as enablers of the crown prince’s impulsiveness and aggression. Neither man is among the 18 people Saudi Arabia says it has arrested. But the kingdom has assigned some blame for the killing to Qahtani because he contributed to the vitriolic rhetoric toward the kingdom’s critics that led to Khashoggi’s death, a Saudi official said. Sheikh was in New York for medical treatment during the killing, according to Saudis who know him and has since avoided the spotlight.