Hong Kong’s Leader Prepares for Showdown with Independence Groups
David Tweed, BLOOMBERG
The battle over Hong Kong’s relationship with China paralyzed local politics for a third straight week as the city’s legislature broke down over a government bid to oust two pro-independence lawmakers. The Hong Kong Legislative Council, which typically meets once a week while in session, descended into shouting and protests on Wednesday as lawmakers disbanded without doing any business.
For First Time, US Abstains in UN Vote to Lift Cuba Embargo
Tracy Wilkinson, LOS ANGELES TIMES
Cuba’s President Raúl Castro has slowly reciprocated some of Washington’s gestures, playing host to Obama’s visit and allowing limited ventures in private enterprise on the island. But progress in democracy, press freedoms and human rights remain elusive. The United States abstained Wednesday for the first time from an annual vote at the United Nations calling for lifting the US trade embargo against Cuba, a resolution Washington had always adamantly opposed.
Canadian Pastor Detained in North Korea Hospitalized, Report Says
Elizabeth Shim, UNITED PRESS INTERNATIONAL
A Canadian pastor detained in North Korea has been hospitalized for two months due to deteriorating health. Hyeon Soo Lim, founder of Light Presbyterian Church in Toronto, has been in custody since January 2015. He was sentenced to life imprisonment with hard labor last December. North Korea charged Lim of “undertaking a special plot to overthrow the state.”
The Russian State Media Are Telling a Very Different Story about the US Elections
Max de Haldevang, QUARTZ
Not only does the US have a major presidential candidate who has praised Vladimir Putin, called for detente with Russia, and criticized NATO, but he’s now been saying about the US exactly what American officials and NGOs have been insisting about Russia for years: Its elections are “rigged.” Donald Trump’s claims about electoral bias were the main theme this week of the popular Sunday news round-up shows on Russian state TV, which “set the agenda for the next week and the propaganda talking points,” according to Russian media expert Alexey Kovalev.
Thousands Protest in Venezuela as President Calls Emergency Meeting
Anatoly Kurmanaev, THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
Tens of thousands of Venezuelans took to the streets across the country on Wednesday to demand a referendum against President Nicolás Maduro and denounce his government’s growing authoritarianism. The protests came a day after the opposition-controlled congress voted to start legal proceedings to remove Mr. Maduro from power after his government indefinitely suspended an attempt by the opposition to remove him from power in a recall referendum, which is permitted by the constitution.