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President Trump prepares to meet with North Korea’s leader, tensions between India and Pakistan reach new heights, and Britain’s Labour Party changes its stance on a Brexit vote. Here’s the latest:
Leaders en route for U.S.-North Korea summit meeting
On Wednesday, Kim Jong-un and President Trump are to meet in Hanoi, Vietnam, to discuss the North’s nuclear arsenal. The two leaders might also declare an end to the Korean War, which was technically only paused, according to South Korean officials. Seoul has long pushed for the peace declaration as a way to incentivize the North to give up its nuclear weapons.
The meeting holds special significance for the vast Korean diaspora in Japan, who arrived during the Japanese occupation of the Korean Peninsula. Many of these people, known as Zainichi, have family members isolated in the North.
History: In the late 1950s, Tokyo worked to repatriate Koreans who had moved or were forcibly taken to Japan to work during World War II.
North Korea’s economy was then larger than the South’s and its promises of socialist programs were attractive. Nearly 95,000 Koreans migrated to the North — among them, the mother of the current North Korean leader.
Labour Party shifts on a second Brexit referendum
Facing a rash of resignations from Labour and the prospect of more, the party’s leader, Jeremy Corbyn, dropped his resistance to a second referendum on whether the country should withdraw from the European Union.
The amendment is unlikely to be approved in Parliament any time soon, but it will cheer those in the country who have been fighting to reverse the outcome of the 2016 referendum.
What’s next: On Wednesday, Parliament is expected to vote to eliminate the chaotic option of leaving the E.U. without a transition plan in place. That would leave Prime Minister Theresa May, who met with European leaders in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, on Monday, with few options to complete Brexit by the March 29 deadline.
Go deeper: Mrs. May has said that Britain’s era of austerity is over. But a divorce from the European Union could depress growth for years. We explain austerity and how it has affected the politics of those who grew up knowing only the “big squeeze.”
In a tough year for China, Xi grows nervous
In January, Xi Jinping, China’s president, summoned hundreds of officials to Beijing to convey an urgent message: The Communist Party faces major risks on all fronts.
Whether dealing with foreign policy, trade, unemployment and even disillusionment among China’s youth, Mr. Xi called on officials to keep trouble from spiraling into real threats. He demanded stricter controls on the internet and warned officials to beware of “black swans” and “gray rhinos” — meaning surprise economic shocks and financial risks hiding in plain sight.
Why it matters: The warnings underscore how slowing growth in China and the country’s trade war with the U.S. are starting to affect the party’s authority. Mr. Xi is in no mood to take any risks, while U.S. trade negotiators have pushed Beijing to decrease state control of the economy.
Trade talks: President Trump delayed his self-imposed March 1 deadline for increasing tariffs on Chinese goods, citing “substantial progress” in negotiations this week in Washington. He said he hoped to meet Mr. Xi to finalize the agreement, but no new deadline was set and no details of any potential deal were released.
India and Pakistan edge closer to the brink over Kashmir. Again.
In the past few days, India has moved thousands of new troops into the Kashmir Valley. Families are fleeing the border area. A government directive ordered hospitals to “gear up their Rapid Response Teams.” Food and fuel supplies are running out. And both countries have fired artillery shells.
After a Kashmiri suicide bomber killed dozens of Indian paramilitary police officers this month — an attack that India blamed on Pakistan — tensions between the two nuclear-armed neighbors have reached a point that analysts say could be the most dangerous in years.
The chances: An all-out conflict seems unlikely, some experts say. Though the two countries have gone to war over Kashmir several times since partition in 1947, neither side wants a dramatic escalation now.
But the risks are compounded by a coming election in India in which Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s party is using the episode to fan the flames of Hindu nationalism.
Here’s what else is happening
Afghanistan: The Taliban and the U.S. began their highest-level negotiations yet in Doha, Qatar, with the insurgent group’s deputy leader, Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, at the table. His presence raises the possibility of progress toward ending the conflict.
Australia: In the past decade, officials in Western Australia have sent thousands of people to jail for petty crimes — unpaid fines from minor offenses, loitering or failure to register a dog. Aboriginal women made up a highly disproportionate share of those arrests.
Bangladesh: Special forces stormed a plane on the tarmac of an airport in Dhaka, the capital, and fatally shot a passenger who had tried to storm the cockpit after takeoff and forced the pilots to make an emergency landing.
The border wall: The House of Representatives will vote on Tuesday on a resolution to end President Trump’s national emergency declaration to pay for the wall. Some former Republican lawmakers are pressing their party to split with Mr. Trump and vote for the measure.
India: This year’s Kumbh Mela, a Hindu pilgrimage that is the largest religious gathering in the world, was the biggest and most expensive ever, complete with “glamping” options. Critics say the once-humbling event has become too luxurious and corporate.
Venezuela: Vice President Mike Pence announced new sanctions on Venezuelan officials allied with the country’s embattled president, Nicolás Maduro.
The Oscars: In case you missed it, Rami Malek and Olivia Colman went home with the big prizes. “Green Book,” a movie about a white chauffeur who drives his black client through segregation-era America, won best picture despite criticism for being a clichéd racial reconciliation story. Here’s a roundup of the best and worst moments from the ceremony and, of course, the red carpet.
John Legend: The EGOT (Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony) winner spoke to The Times Magazine about R. Kelly, Kanye West and his new single, “Preach,” that bemoans political inaction. “Part of what I’ve been able to do,” Legend said, “is put a sympathetic face on some radical actions.”
Tips for a more fulfilling life.
The Times, like most other news organizations, does not usually use the comma, which is also known as the serial comma. “In general, do not use a comma before and or or in a series: The snow stalled cars, buses and trains,” our stylebook says.
“A goal of punctuation is to make a sentence as clear as possible, and in most cases that final comma isn’t necessary for understanding the relationship of all the items in a series,” said Susan Wessling, The Times’s senior editor for editing standards.
There are exceptions. Around this time last year, a Maine dairy company agreed to pay its drivers $5 million after a dispute that hinged entirely on the lack of an Oxford comma — in a list of activities that did not require overtime payments.
Inyoung Kang, a home screen editor based in London, wrote today’s Back Story.
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