Rohingya, Zimbabwe, Same-Sex Marriage: Your Thursday Briefing

Good morning.

Here’s what you need to know:

Ahn Young-Joon/Associated Press

• China is sending a top diplomat to North Korea for the first time in two years.

There was no guarantee of a meeting with the leader, Kim Jong-un, but Chinese experts called it likely that the envoy was sent to urge the North to enter nuclear negotiations and to convey the discussions President Xi Jinping held with President Trump during his Beijing visit last week.

We also looked at the so-called truce village where a North Korean defector on Monday made a bold dash through gunfire, becoming the first defector to cross into the South at that location since 2007.

 Rex Tillerson, the U.S. secretary of state, speaking in Myanmar, called the Rohingya crisis “horrific” and said it involved “crimes against humanity.”

Mr. Tillerson called on the nation’s military leader, and Aung San Suu Kyi, the head of its civilian government, to conduct a credible investigation into the violence that has driven more than 615,000 Rohingya Muslims to flee to Bangladesh since late August.

He warned only of the possibility of targeted sanctions against individuals, saying he that did not support “broad-based economic sanctions.”

Alexander Joe/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

• The fate of Robert Mugabe, the strongman leader of Zimbabwe for nearly 40 years, appears to be in the hands of former allies and opposition officials negotiating his future.

He has been under house arrest since the military carried out what appeared to be a coup to prevent his wife from succeeding him.

Mr. Mugabe, 93, is one of Africa’s last liberation leaders still in power. Here’s what we know about what happened, and a look at Mr. Mugabe’s public life over the past half century. Above, Mr. Mugabe being sworn in for his sixth term in 2008.

James Alcock/Getty Images

 “Australians upheld their end of the bargain by voting en masse. Now it’s time for Parliament to uphold its end of the same deal.”

That was Senator Dean Smith of the Liberal Party, speaking after the country’s decisive approval for same-sex marriage by postal survey.

Gay rights advocates celebrated, conservatives mourned, and lawmakers like Mr. Smith, who is gay, began preparing for the enactment of a gay-marriage law.

A crown prince. An epic purge. A proxy war. Saudi Arabia’s political crisis, explained.

 By CAMILLA SCHICK on Publish DateNovember 14, 2017. Photo by Fayez Nureldine/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images. Watch in Times Video »

• Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Saudi Arabia’s 32-year-old crown prince, has seemingly overnight established himself as the most powerful figure in the Arab world.

And the upstart prince is taking on all comers: the royal family, wealthy Saudis, Iran and Hezbollah. He has blockaded Qatar, accused Iran of acts of war and encouraged the resignation of Lebanon’s prime minister.

Our reporters examine the question: Is he ambitious or simply reckless?


• President Xi Jinping has promised that China will take a “driving seat” in responding to climate change. And despite rising emissions, the coal-burning country is on track to meet its commitments under the Paris climate accord.

We’re also covering this week’s climate conference in Bonn, Germany. (And if you’d like climate news delivered straight to your inbox, sign up for our Climate Fwd: newsletter.)

Via The New York Times

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