The Hill Talk’s Glance at the Globe

Venezuelan opposition leaders jailed, later released:  One day following a referendum granting Nicolas Maduro broad power to re-write the Venezuelan constitution, two key political opponents of the Maduro government were arrested and jailed.

Leopoldo Lopez, founder and leader of opposition party Popular Will, and Antonio Ledezma, the mayor of Caracas, were dragged from their homes by Bolivarian National Intelligence Service agents.

Maduro had vowed to round up and jail opponents of the July 30 referendum; both Ledezma and Lopez had denounced the plebiscite as fraudulent.

Lopez and Ledezma were returned to house arrest late last week.

WikiLeaks releases a tranche of Macron emails:  In a surprise trove of over 70,000 emails leaked on July 30, 20,000 emails related to Emmanuel Macron’s bid for the French presidency were released by whistleblowing platform WikiLeaks.

The Macron campaign had announced it had been hacked on May 5, 2017.

Far from producing any campaign bombshell, the emails reveal mundane campaign expenses and briefly touches on the U.S. election and the rise of New York businessman Donald Trump to the White House.

South Korean lawmakers call for nuclear arsenal:  Concerned with a string of North Korean ballistic missile tests, one of which is said to have a capability to reach the continental United States, momentum is building among some South Korean lawmakers for the Republic to establish and maintain a nuclear arsenal of its own.

South Korea has traditionally relied on the U.S. for deterrence, but has periodically experienced movements among politicians calling for development of nuclear weapons.

Despite public-opinion polls revealing support for a nuclear stockpile, South Korean President Moon Jae-in opposes the move.

South Korea is a 1975 signee to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

Vietnam arrests pro-democracy activists:  Accused of acts of subversion against the Ha-Noi government, four Vietnamese pro-democracy activists were jailed on charges of attempting to overthrow the “people’s administration” on July 30.

The four detained, Nguyen Trung Ton, Pham Van Troi, Truong Minh Duc, and Nguyen Bac Truyen are members of an online pro-democracy group, Brotherhood for Democracy.  All four have been previously jailed for criticizing the Vietnamese ruling party.

The Brotherhood has called for their immediate release.

UN hits North Korea with further sanctions; China tells Pyongyang to cease ICBM tests:  Responding to a pair of recent North Korean ballistic missile tests, the UN Security Council (UNSC) imposed further sanctions against Pyongyang on Saturday.

In a unanimous vote, the UNSC banned the purchase of North Korean coal, iron, iron ore, lead, lead ore and seafood.  The prohibitions include limiting North Korean workers employment abroad and curtails investment in North Korea.

It is believed the new embargo could impact reduce North Korean exports by $3 billion.

Meeting with North Korean diplomat Ri Su-yong at a regional security conference in the Philippines on Sunday, China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi advised Pyongyang not to conduct anymore ballistic missile tests.

“Do not violate the UN’s decision or provoke international society’s goodwill by conducting missile launching or nuclear tests,” Wang told Ri.


[Reuters] [The Telegraph] [The Express] [Radio Free Asia] [AP]