Top News Stories For Today – Nov 20, 2017
China proposes 3 phase plan for Rohingya crisis
China has proposed a three-phase plan for resolving the Rohingya crisis, starting with a ceasefire, that has won the support of Myanmar and Bangladesh. A ceasefire should be followed by bilateral dialogue to find a workable solution, China’s Foriegn ministry website reported late on Sunday. The third and final phase should be to work toward a long-term solution.
Meanwhile in Naypitaw, Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi said Monday in a speech that the world is facing instability and conflict in part because illegal immigration spreads terrorism. Suu Kyi did not directly mention the refugee exodus as she welcomed European and Asian foreign ministers to Naypyitaw. But her speech highlighted the views of many in Myanmar who see the Rohingya as illegal immigrants and blame the population for terrorist acts. VOA
Visit of China envoy to N Korea watched closely
Envoys from US and China recently traveled to the Korean peninsula, just days after Trump wrapped up his first trip to the region. The visits, particularly the journey of a Chinese envoy to North Korea, which Trump has called a “big move,” has raised expectations that efforts toward a diplomatic solution may be gaining some traction.
Song Tao, a special envoy of Chinese President Xi Jinping, met in Pyongyang with senior North Korean officials Saturday. So far, Chinese officials have been tight-lipped about the trip. At a regular press briefing, Monday, China’s Foreign Ministry confirmed that Song Tao is still in North Korea, but provided few new details. VOA
Mugabe reportedly accepts exit
Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe has agreed to step down in a deal with the military that grants him and his wife, Grace, full immunity from prosecution and lets them keep their property, CNN reports, citing a source “with knowledge of negotiations over Mugabe’s future.” Still, a deadline from the ruling Zanu-PF party passed and there was no public statement from Mugabe, 93.
On Sunday, the party ousted him as leader and Mugabe stunned Zimbabweans by declining to resign. If Mugabe does not step down, the Zanu-PF party said, they will impeach him. Last week, the Zimbabwean military put Mugabe and his wife under house arrest, prompting thousands to take to the streets demanding an end to his regime. CNN, Reuters, The Week
Mueller team requests documents from Justice Department
Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team has requested the Department of Justice hand over documents related to the firing of former FBI Director James Comey and Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ decision to recuse himself from the investigation into President Trump’s campaign and any connections to Russian officials, a person familiar with the matter told ABC News Sunday.
The special counsel is looking into whether Trump attempted to obstruct the federal investigation. The request for documents, sent within the past month, is the first sent by Mueller’s team to the Justice Department. ABC News reports the special counsel has asked for communications between DOJ officials and communications with their counterparts at the White House. ABC News, The Week
Trump and UCLA basketball players
Trump’s Twitter drama with three college basketball players and one of their dads heated up over the weekend. The three UCLA students were arrested last week on suspicion of shoplifting while their team was in China. While Trump was in China on his diplomatic trip, he says he spoke with Chinese officials and got them released. He then essentially asked the players them to thank him personally for their release.
They did, in a news conference. But when one of their fathers, the outspoken Lavar Ball, did not show the same gratitude, Trump got angry and tweeted: “Now that the three basketball players are out of China and saved from years in jail, LaVar Ball, the father of LiAngelo, is unaccepting of what I did for his son and that shoplifting is no big deal. I should have left them in jail!”. CNN
Charles Manson dies at 83
Charles Manson, the infamous 1960s cult leader whose followers committed heinous murders that terrorized Los Angeles and shocked the nation, died Sunday of natural causes. He was 83.
The diminutive and charismatic criminal orchestrated a wave of violence in August 1969 that took the lives of seven people, spawned headlines worldwide and landed him and his “Manson Family” of followers in prison for most of the rest of their lives. He was serving nine life terms in a California prison. CNN
WH: Opioid crisis cost US economy $504B in 2015
Opioid drug abuse, which has ravaged parts of the United States in recent years, cost the economy as much as $504 billion in 2015, White House economists said in a report made public on Sunday. The White House Council of Economic Advisers (CEA) said the toll from the opioid crisis represented 2.8 percent of gross domestic product that year.
Trump last month declared the opioid crisis a public health emergency. While Republican lawmakers said that was an important step in fighting opioid abuse, some critics, including Democrats, said the move was meaningless without additional funding. VOA
- 10 Shocking Facts You Never Knew About North Korea
- China to replace Japan as second-largest funder of U.N. peacekeeping
- Everything you need to know: North Korea's submarine fleet
- Five things you may not know about China’s North Korea strategy