Trump in South Korea amid nuclear threat, Saudi Arabia purge continues

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Curated top stories

  • U.S. President Donald Trump landed in South Korea on Tuesday as part of an effort to solve an escalating nuclear crisis on the peninsula. Trump flew in from Tokyo, after declaring the previous day that the U.S would supply Japan with military equipment to shoot down Pyongyang’s missiles. It also comes as Japan commits to implementing more sanctions on North Korea. Trump is currently on a five-nation tour of Asia.

  • A surge of arrests of Saudi Arabian royals, ministers and businessmen continued on Monday. A top entrepreneur was reportedly detained as part of the country’s biggest ever anti-corruption purge. Reuters reports that the campaign is part of a series of actions by the 32-year-old Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to assert Saudi influence and build more power. This includes going to war in Yemen, escalating up Riyadh’s confrontation with Iran and reforming the country’s oil-based economy.
  • Papua New Guinea’s Supreme Court ruled against restoring basic services to a closed Australian-run detention centre where 600 refugees have refused to leave. While the court found the refugees human rights had been breached, it rejected a bid to restore water, electricity and food supplies to Manus Island camp on the basis that there was alternative accommodation for them to stay. Refugees and rights groups have said they would not move to transit camps for fears they would be attacked by locals or resettled elsewhere. The United Nations previously described the situation as a “looming humanitarian crisis”.
  • A public health emergency was declared in Delhi, India, after the the U.S. embassy website said levels of harmful pollutants, known as PM2.5, reached levels more than double the threshold authorities class as hazardous, according to The Guardian.

What we’re reading

  • Hindu nationalists are beating up Muslim farmers and seizing their cows on the grounds that the animals are headed for the slaughterhouse. But there’s another side to the religiously tinged violence: The stolen cows are being given to Hindu farmers. A Reuters special report goes behind the lines of the “cow vigilantes.” – Charles Anderson
  • The fired Catalan leader, Carles Puigdemont has written a piece for The Guardian explaining he has fears that him and his colleagues will not receive a fair hearing in Spanish courts and said it is a “colossal outrage” that he and 13 colleagues were being investigated over possible charges including sedition and rebellion for their roles in the Catalan independence referendum, which Spain declared illegal. – Harry Ridgewell
  • “The vultures profiting from Puerto Rico’s misery are unlikely to go hungry; the same can’t be said for the people who live on the island,” The New Yorker looks at the role of aggressive debt investors in Puerto Rico’s financial crisis. – Jack Barton
  • Ahead of the one year anniversary of President Trump’s election, the Council on Foreign Relations has written a terrifically informative backgrounder on the multiple federal inquiries into Russia’s involvement in the U.S. elections. All – or at least most – of your questions answered. – Lydia Morrish

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  • Nine million people died because of pollution in 2015, with one in four of these deaths in India. Why clean air and water is a matter of life and death explores this issue.
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