Title Title
Ex-Yemeni president killed by former allies; Irish border issue compromise in Brexit talks Irish hitch on Brexit deal; Ex-Yemen president killed by Houthis
Summary Summary
The top stories WikiTribune's working on and what we recommend today - also; Court denies bail to Catalan separatist leaders  The top stories WikiTribune's working on and what we recommend today - also; Court denies bail to Catalan separatist leaders
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<b>WikiTribune’s tracking these stories and more. To collaborate on the Briefing, please SIGN UP or SIGN IN</b> <b>WikiTribune’s tracking these stories and more. To collaborate on the Briefing, please SIGN UP or SIGN IN</b>
<h2 class="p3">Curated top stories</h2> <h2 class="p3">Curated top stories</h2>
<ul> <ul>
<li>Former Yemeni president <a href="https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-yemen-security/yemens-ex-president-saleh-shot-dead-after-switching-sides-in-civil-war-idUKKBN1DY135">Ali Abdullah Saleh was shot dead by Houthi fighters,</a> whom he had previously been allied with. Saleh was killed following a firefight that erupted while he was trying to escape the country's capital, Sanaa. His death comes only two days after Saleh switched sides in Yemen's civil war -- from aligning with Iran-backed Houthis to announcing he was ready for a "new page" with the Saudi-led coalition.  <li>A somewhat predictable hitch on the issue of cross-border traffic on the island of Ireland threw an expected deal allowing Britain to enter the next phase of <a href="https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-britain-eu-may/tough-may-holds-off-brexit-deal-after-irish-furore-idUKKBN1DX0XR">Brexit talks into doubt</a>, Reuters reported. Ireland declined late in the talks to approve this phase despite earlier reports that a deal was done. British and EU officials suggested further talks this week could unblock agreement on the border issue which in turn would allow the EU and Britain to enter a second level of talks. (Read earlier report: <a href="https://www.wikitribune.com/story/2017/11/22/european_union/draft-can-ireland-stop-brexit-in-its-tracks/22438/">Could Ireland stop Brexit in its tracks?</a>).
<ul> <ul>
<li>Saleh's change of allegiance, following days of bombings and heavy gunfire in Sanaa, was thought to signal an end to three years of civil war in Yemen, <a href="https://www.reuters.com/article/us-yemen-security/saudi-led-air-strikes-support-yemens-saleh-as-he-shifts-against-houthis-idUSKBN1DX07O" rel="external">Reuters reported</a>. Street battles had seemingly marked a turning point after a months-long political and military stalemate in a <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yemeni_Civil_War_(2015%E2%80%93present)" rel="external">civil war</a> that has created a <a href="http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-34011187" rel="external">humanitarian catastrophe</a> where 18 million people need some sort of humanitarian assistance, <a href="http://reliefweb.int/sites/reliefweb.int/files/resources/ERC_USG%20Stephen%20O%27Brien%20Statement%20to%20the%20SecCo%20on%20Missions%20to%20Yemen%2C%20South%20Sudan%2C%20Somalia%20and%20Kenya%2C%20and%20update%20on%20Oslo%20Conference%20-%2010%20March%202017.pdf">according to the United Nations' Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.</a></li>  <li>A <a href="http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5139855/Backlash-voters-say-50bn-Brexit-bill-high.html">new opinion poll</a> for newspaper <em>The Mail on Sunday</em>  found half of those surveyed support a second vote on Brexit. This comes after it was revealed that the UK would have to pay about €50 billion ($59 billion) to the EU before trade negotiations begin. Since the 2016 referendum, <a href="https://in.reuters.com/article/britain-eu-vote/half-of-britons-support-a-second-vote-on-brexit-poll-finds-idINKBN1DY07D">opponents of Britain’s exit</a> have urged a reversal.</li>
</ul> </ul>
</li> </li>
<li>The UK agreed a compromise with the EU and Ireland that negotiators hope will settle an issue that had threatened to block progress on Brexit discussions, according to Irish <a href="https://www.rte.ie/news/brexit/2017/1204/924815-single-market-eu-negotiations/">state broadcaster RTE</a> and the <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2017/dec/04/meps-say-uk-has-conceded-on-ireland-border-in-brexit-talks"><em>Guardian</em></a>. A draft agreement states that there will be "continued regulatory alignment" between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, meaning there will be no need for a hard border between the countries. This was a key position held by the Irish government ahead of a summit to approve the progress made so far in Brexit negotiations (Read earlier report: <a href="https://www.wikitribune.com/story/2017/11/22/european_union/draft-can-ireland-stop-brexit-in-its-tracks/22438/">Could Ireland stop Brexit in its tracks?</a>). UK Prime Minister <a href="http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-42217735">Theresa May is meeting</a> European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker in an effort to push ahead on the UK's withdrawal from the EU, which has been stymied as the <a href="https://www.apnews.com/72a87c5ffc2247648f3f03832cfab22d/Ireland-seeks-momentum-on-border-ahead-of-key-Brexit-meeting">March 2019 deadline pushes ever closer</a>.  <li>Former Yemeni president <a href="https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-yemen-security/yemens-ex-president-saleh-shot-dead-after-switching-sides-in-civil-war-idUKKBN1DY135">Ali Abdullah Saleh was shot dead by Houthi fighters,</a> whom he had previously been allied with. Saleh was killed following a firefight that erupted while he was trying to escape the country's capital, Sanaa. His death comes only two days after Saleh switched sides in Yemen's civil war -- from aligning with Iran-backed Houthis to announcing he was ready for a "new page" with the Saudi-led coalition.
<ul> <ul>
<li>A <a href="http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5139855/Backlash-voters-say-50bn-Brexit-bill-high.html">new opinion poll</a> for newspaper <em>The Mail on Sunday</em>  found half of those surveyed support a second vote on Brexit. This comes after it was revealed that the UK would have to pay about €50 billion ($59 billion) to the EU before trade negotiations begin. Since the 2016 referendum, <a href="https://in.reuters.com/article/britain-eu-vote/half-of-britons-support-a-second-vote-on-brexit-poll-finds-idINKBN1DY07D">opponents of Britain’s exit</a> have urged a reversal.</li>  <li>Saleh's change of allegiance, following days of bombings and heavy gunfire in Sanaa, was thought to signal an end to three years of civil war in Yemen, <a href="https://www.reuters.com/article/us-yemen-security/saudi-led-air-strikes-support-yemens-saleh-as-he-shifts-against-houthis-idUSKBN1DX07O" rel="external">Reuters reported</a>. Street battles had seemingly marked a turning point after a months-long political and military stalemate in a <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yemeni_Civil_War_(2015%E2%80%93present)" rel="external">civil war</a> that has created a <a href="http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-34011187" rel="external">humanitarian catastrophe</a> where 18 million people need some sort of humanitarian assistance, <a href="http://reliefweb.int/sites/reliefweb.int/files/resources/ERC_USG%20Stephen%20O%27Brien%20Statement%20to%20the%20SecCo%20on%20Missions%20to%20Yemen%2C%20South%20Sudan%2C%20Somalia%20and%20Kenya%2C%20and%20update%20on%20Oslo%20Conference%20-%2010%20March%202017.pdf">according to the United Nations' Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.</a></li>
</ul> </ul>
</li> </li>
<li>A <a href="https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-spain-politics-catalonia/spains-supreme-court-refuses-bail-for-former-catalonia-cabinet-members-idUKKBN1DY0WT">Madrid court denied bail</a> to the former regional vice-president of Catalonia and three other separatist leaders. The four face potential charges of rebellion, sedition, and misallocation of funds by the Spanish government for their part in the <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2017_Spanish_constitutional_crisis">Spanish constitutional crisis</a>. A bail of €100,000 was set for another six former separatist ministers, also facing several charges. All had supported a controversial independence referendum law, held on October 1, that was <a href="https://www.reuters.com/article/us-spain-politics-catalonia-court/spains-constitutional-court-suspends-catalan-referendum-law-court-source-idUSKCN1BI2TE">suspended by Spain's Constitutional Court</a>. In Belgium, former Catalan president Carles Puigdemont and four of his former ministers will have to wait until December 14 for a Belgian judge to rule on whether the five should be extradited to Spain to face rebellion charges, <a href="https://news.sky.com/story/axed-catalan-president-carles-puigdemont-made-to-wait-for-extradition-decision-11156307">according to Sky News.</a></li>  <li>A <a href="https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-spain-politics-catalonia/spains-supreme-court-refuses-bail-for-former-catalonia-cabinet-members-idUKKBN1DY0WT">Madrid court denied bail</a> to the former regional vice-president of Catalonia and three other separatist leaders. The four face potential charges of rebellion, sedition, and misallocation of funds by the Spanish government for their part in the <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2017_Spanish_constitutional_crisis">Spanish constitutional crisis</a>. A bail of €100,000 was set for another six former separatist ministers, also facing several charges. All had supported a controversial independence referendum law, held on October 1, that was <a href="https://www.reuters.com/article/us-spain-politics-catalonia-court/spains-constitutional-court-suspends-catalan-referendum-law-court-source-idUSKCN1BI2TE">suspended by Spain's Constitutional Court</a>. In Belgium, former Catalan president Carles Puigdemont and four of his former ministers will have to wait until December 14 for a Belgian judge to rule on whether the five should be extradited to Spain to face rebellion charges, <a href="https://news.sky.com/story/axed-catalan-president-carles-puigdemont-made-to-wait-for-extradition-decision-11156307">according to Sky News.</a></li>
<li>Days after North Korea tested an intercontinental ballistic missile that could <a href="https://www.reuters.com/article/us-northkorea-missiles/u-s-warns-north-korean-leadership-will-be-utterly-destroyed-in-case-of-war-idUSKBN1DS2MB">reach the United States’ mainland</a>, the U.S. and South Korea launched <a href="https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-northkorea-missiles-drill/south-korea-u-s-kick-off-largest-air-exercise-amid-north-korean-warnings-idUKKBN1DY02G">joint aerial drills</a> involving hundreds of planes, including stealth fighters. According to North Korean state media, Pyongyang warned the exercise would push tensions toward a “flare-up" and be <a href="http://www.kcna.kp/kcna.user.home.retrieveHomeInfoList.kcmsf;jsessionid=A03290834992E29DD58A172A8ACA196B">met with retaliation</a>.  <li>Days after North Korea tested an intercontinental ballistic missile that could <a href="https://www.reuters.com/article/us-northkorea-missiles/u-s-warns-north-korean-leadership-will-be-utterly-destroyed-in-case-of-war-idUSKBN1DS2MB">reach the United States’ mainland</a>, the U.S. and South Korea launched <a href="https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-northkorea-missiles-drill/south-korea-u-s-kick-off-largest-air-exercise-amid-north-korean-warnings-idUKKBN1DY02G">joint aerial drills</a> involving hundreds of planes, including stealth fighters. According to North Korean state media, Pyongyang warned the exercise would push tensions toward a “flare-up" and be <a href="http://www.kcna.kp/kcna.user.home.retrieveHomeInfoList.kcmsf;jsessionid=A03290834992E29DD58A172A8ACA196B">met with retaliation</a>.
<ul> <ul>
<li>The Associated Press reviewed 1,500 news stories from <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Korean_Central_News_Agency">North Korea’s state media</a> and found nuclear war and leader Kim Jong Un were the dominant themes. The AP <a href="https://www.apnews.com/28c63e6c756f48238eba820514aa41ed/AP-word-cloud:-The-message-in-Pyongyang's-propaganda">posted a word cloud</a> of what it described as the propaganda in the nation’s rhetorical wars with Washington.</li>  <li>The Associated Press reviewed 1,500 news stories from <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Korean_Central_News_Agency">North Korea’s state media</a> and found nuclear war and leader Kim Jong Un were the dominant themes. The AP <a href="https://www.apnews.com/28c63e6c756f48238eba820514aa41ed/AP-word-cloud:-The-message-in-Pyongyang's-propaganda">posted a word cloud</a> of what it described as the propaganda in the nation’s rhetorical wars with Washington.</li>
</ul> </ul>
</li> </li>
<li>Maltese police <a href="https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-malta-carbomb-arrests/malta-police-arrest-eight-suspects-in-murder-of-blogger-pm-idUKKBN1DY0UY?il=0">arrested 10 people in relation</a> to the killing of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia, who died after a bomb under her car exploded while she was driving on October 16. She was <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daphne_Caruana_Galizia">known for</a> investigating corruption, including her involvement in the Panama Papers investigations.</li>  <li>Maltese police <a href="https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-malta-carbomb-arrests/malta-police-arrest-eight-suspects-in-murder-of-blogger-pm-idUKKBN1DY0UY?il=0">arrested 10 people in relation</a> to the killing of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia, who died after a bomb under her car exploded while she was driving on October 16. She was <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daphne_Caruana_Galizia">known for</a> investigating corruption, including her involvement in the Panama Papers investigations.</li>
<li>Broadcaster <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/21st_Century_Fox">21st Century Fox</a> re-opened talks (<a href="https://www.theguardian.com/media/2017/dec/03/21st-century-fox-restarts-talks-for-possible-sale-to-walt-disney"><em>Guardian</em></a>) to sell parts of its entertainment and international assets to <a href="https://thewaltdisneycompany.com/">Walt Disney Inc.</a> in a deal that could rise to $50 billion. Fox is one wing of Rupert Murdoch's global media empire, and is currently the third-biggest media group in the U.S. The deal would see 39 percent of Fox's European offering, Sky, pass over to Disney. (<a href="https://www.marketwatch.com/story/disney-held-talks-to-buy-21st-century-fox-assets-2017-11-06"><em>MarketWatch</em></a><em>)</em></li>  <li>Broadcaster <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/21st_Century_Fox">21st Century Fox</a> re-opened talks (<a href="https://www.theguardian.com/media/2017/dec/03/21st-century-fox-restarts-talks-for-possible-sale-to-walt-disney"><em>Guardian</em></a>) to sell parts of its entertainment and international assets to <a href="https://thewaltdisneycompany.com/">Walt Disney Inc.</a> in a deal that could rise to $50 billion. Fox is one wing of Rupert Murdoch's global media empire, and is currently the third-biggest media group in the U.S. The deal would see 39 percent of Fox's European offering, Sky, pass over to Disney. (<a href="https://www.marketwatch.com/story/disney-held-talks-to-buy-21st-century-fox-assets-2017-11-06"><em>MarketWatch</em></a><em>)</em></li>
</ul> </ul>
<h2 class="p3">What we’re reading</h2> <h2 class="p3">What we’re reading</h2>
<ul> <ul>
<li>The <em>Financial Times</em> <a href="https://www.ft.com/content/d87dc102-d464-11e7-a303-9060cb1e5f44">provides a breakdown</a> of Russia's upcoming elections, with profiles of the candidates and previous election results. With the assumption that Putin will remain in power seemingly a safe one, the paper asks what to expect from his next term.</li>  <li>The <em>Financial Times</em> <a href="https://www.ft.com/content/d87dc102-d464-11e7-a303-9060cb1e5f44">provides a breakdown</a> of Russia's upcoming elections, with profiles of the candidates and previous election results. With the assumption that Putin will remain in power seemingly a safe one, the paper asks what to expect from his next term.</li>
<li><em>The Guardian</em> carries a <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/dec/04/this-is-hell-behrouz-boochani-diaries-expose-australia-refugee-shame">series of dispatches</a> from Kurdish-Iranian journalist Behrouz Boochani, who is being held in the Manus Island detention center in Papua New Guinea. His letters tell of beatings and threats as the situation in Australia's off shore facility for processing migrants approaches a humanitarian crisis.</li>  <li><em>The Guardian</em> carries a <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/dec/04/this-is-hell-behrouz-boochani-diaries-expose-australia-refugee-shame">series of dispatches</a> from Kurdish-Iranian journalist Behrouz Boochani, who is being held in the Manus Island detention center in Papua New Guinea. His letters tell of beatings and threats as the situation in Australia's off shore facility for processing migrants approaches a humanitarian crisis.</li>
</ul> </ul>
<h2 class="p3"><b>What the WikiTribune community’s up to</b></h2> <h2 class="p3"><b>What the WikiTribune community’s up to</b></h2>
<ul> <ul>
<li>"It may sound like something Switzerland did in World War II, but net neutrality is actually a shorthand term for regulation designed to keep the internet as open and free as possible." Community member Eric Fershtman's useful guide to what's happening about net neutrality rules in the U.S. has been attracting discussion. If you haven't read it yet, here's <a href="https://www.wikitribune.com/story/2017/11/24/united_states/with-his-new-proposal-fcc-chair-ajit-pai-seeks-to-end-net-neutrality-debate/22705/">the link.</a></li>  <li>"It may sound like something Switzerland did in World War II, but net neutrality is actually a shorthand term for regulation designed to keep the internet as open and free as possible." Community member Eric Fershtman's useful guide to what's happening about net neutrality rules in the U.S. has been attracting discussion. If you haven't read it yet, here's <a href="https://www.wikitribune.com/story/2017/11/24/united_states/with-his-new-proposal-fcc-chair-ajit-pai-seeks-to-end-net-neutrality-debate/22705/">the link.</a></li>
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