Rachel O’Brien and Briseida Mema, Agence France-Presse
Named after the ivy that once crept up its walls, the House of Leaves shows the methods and tools of the all-pervading secret surveillance conducted under communist rule, which lasted for nearly half a century until the early 1990s. Signs dedicate the museum to “those innocent victims who were spied on, arrested, prosecuted, convicted and executed” by a regime “that aimed at total control over human bodies and souls.”
Linette Lopez, Business Insider
It sounds innocent enough—”mixed ownership reform.” That is the phrase the Chinese government is using to describe a program in which healthy private companies are encouraged to invest in debt-laden quasi state-owned enterprises (SOEs). Take, for example, China Unicom, a flailing state-owned telecommunications company. Last week it announced that it would raise around $10 billion in cash from private investors Alibaba, Baidu Inc., JD.com, China Life Insurance Co. and Tencent, among others. Together they’ll have a 35% stake in the company.
Oren Dorrell and Kim Hjelmgaard, USA Today
China urged the United States on Wednesday to immediately withdraw sanctions that Washington imposed on Beijing as part of its efforts to pressure North Korea into halting development of its missile and nuclear weapons program. In a news conference, Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying told reporters that the country “especially opposes any country conducting ‘long-arm jurisdiction’ over Chinese entities and individuals.” Hua added: “Measures taken by the United States are not helpful in solving the problem and unhelpful to mutual trust and cooperation. We ask the United States to correct its mistake immediately.”
Lucy Pasha-Robinson, The Independent
Two North Korean shipments to a Syrian government agency responsible for the country’s chemical weapons program have been intercepted in the last six-months, a United Nations report has revealed. Compiled by an independent panel of experts who said they were investigating evidence of “arms cooperation,” it was submitted to the UN Security Council in August. It was not immediately clear where the weapons were intercepted, but the report suggests possible collusion between the two countries on weapons programs.
Justin McCurry, The Guardian
Sanctions and the worst drought for almost two decades threaten to cause severe hardship for millions of people in North Korea, while the country’s leadership continues to plough scarce resources into its missile and nuclear programs, according to UN agencies and those with contacts in the impoverished nation. A drought that ravaged crops earlier this summer will leave the North unable to properly feed many of its people, including soldiers in the country’s million-strong army, the groups have warned.
Patricia Mazzei, Miami Herald
The uncomfortable but inevitable question that dogged Vice President Mike Pence everywhere he went in Latin America last week will trail him to Miami on Wednesday: Is President Donald Trump really considering potential military action in Venezuela? The vice president’s cleanup tour will conclude Wednesday in Doral, home to the largest Venezuelan immigrant community in the US. In private meetings with local Venezuelans, and in remarks at a neighborhood church, Pence is expected to say that the White House remains committed to punishing President Nicolás Maduro’s government for systematically dismantling the South American country’s democracy.
US Department of the Treasury
The US Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) designated 10 entities and six individuals in response to North Korea’s ongoing development of weapons of mass destruction (WMD), violations of United Nations (UN) Security Council Resolutions, and attempted evasion of US sanctions. “Treasury will continue to increase pressure on North Korea by targeting those who support the advancement of nuclear and ballistic missile programs, and isolating them from the American financial system,” said Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin.
Joshua Goodman, Associated Press
President Nicolas Maduro branded Venezuela’s ousted chief prosecutor a fugitive from justice Tuesday as she flew to Brazil promising to “show the world” proof that he is involved in serious acts of corruption. Maduro said Luisa Ortega Diaz had been hiding behind a “Chavista mask,” pledging allegiance to the socialist government installed by the late President Hugo Chavez while working with Washington to damage his administration. Ortega was removed by a new, pro-government constitutional assembly in early August and arrived with her lawmaker husband in Colombia on Friday, a day after the Supreme Court ordered the legislator’s arrest.
Nguyen Dieu Tu Uyen, Bloomberg Media
Nguyen Van Duc graduated two years ago with a bachelor’s degree in economics from one of Vietnam’s best universities. Today, he earns about $250 a month as a motorbike taxi driver in Hanoi. Duc, whose parents took second jobs so he could be the only one of three children to attend college, is among thousands of Vietnamese college graduates who can’t land jobs in their chosen field, even though the nation’s unemployment rate is just 2.3 percent. “In university, we only received heavy theoretical training and a lot of Ho Chi Minh’s ideology with communist party history,” the 25-year-old said.