Saudi Arabia makes further arrests, China buys stake in Snap Inc.

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  • In an expanding anti-corruption crackdown, Saudi Arabia has made further arrests and frozen more bank accounts of political and business elites. Dozens were arrested November 4 for allegations of bribery and extortion. Over 1,700 Saudi-based bank accounts have been frozen.
  • The European Union rolled out plans to set new emissions standards for vehicles. One requirement is that new vehicles registered in 2025 must have 15 percent lower carbon-dioxide emissions than those standards set for 2021. This is part of its commitment under the 2015 Paris Agreement.
  • The U.S. announced new travel and trade restrictions on the country Cuba, aligning with President Donald Trump’s pledge to isolate the communist regime currently led by President Raul Castro. The regulation prohibits Americans from associating with 180 Cuban business and government entities.
  • Chinese conglomerate Tencent bought a 12 percent stake in Snap Inc. — the parent company of popular app Snapchat. The purchase comes a day after the company reported a loss of 20 percent revenue, the Financial Times reported. Tencent owns WeChat, one of the most popular messaging apps in China. In March, Tencent bought a stake in Tesla [], the U.S. electric car maker.


  • The UN and the Red Cross say a “catastrophic” situation is looming  in Yemen after a Saudi-led coalition closed routes into the country. The BBC reports that the aid agencies cannot get through to millions of people who need humanitarian supplies. Saudi Arabia justified the route closure saying Iran was supplying Houthi rebels in north Yemen with weapons. On Saturday, a ballistic missile was intercepted near the Saudi capital. Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said providing rockets to the rebels “may be considered an act of war.”

  • In a speech in Seoul, U.S. President Donald Trump issued a warning to North Korea: “Do not underestimate us and do not try us.” In a wide-ranging attack which described Pyongyang as a corrupt rogue regime, Trump pivoted from his remarks a day earlier when he offered to “make a deal” with Korean leader Kim Jong-un. Trump is now in China, as part of a five-nation tour of Asia.
  • Voters in two key eastern U.S. states -— Virginia and New Jersey — elected Democratic governors in what pundits described on CNN as a rebuke to Trump. The wins were seen as a boost to Democrats who have struggled to turn anti-Trump sentiment into success at the polls.  Apart from the two gubernatorial races, voters also elected mayors in some of the country’s biggest cities, including New York City, Boston and Seattle.

What we’re reading

  • A year after Trump’s success in the 2016 U.S. election, the New Yorker profiles Republican Tom Cotton, the youngest member of the Senate. The magazine asks whether the “hybrid of insurgent and old guard, who can play successfully to the warring constituencies of the Republican Party” is the future of Trumpism. – Angela Long
  • Italian officials investigating the deaths of 26 teenage girls, all Nigerian migrants attempting the voyage from Libya to Europe, are investigating whether they were killed on purpose, or were tortured or sexually assaulted, according to the Washington Post. A Spanish ship found the bodies in the Mediterranean Sea, most beside a rubber dinghy. CNN reported the ship brought 400 people to the Italian coastal city of Salerno over the weekend, including a newborn. – Jodie DeJonge
  • Max Fisher and Josh Keller of The New York Times deliver a comprehensive, data-driven analysis of why America has such a high rate of gun-related deaths. They say there is only one conclusion — the number of guns that exist in the country. – Charles Anderson

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