The Hill Talk’s Glance at the Globe

North Korea releases imprisoned Canadian minister:  Hyeon Soo Lim, a Canadian minister jailed for over two years in North Korea, was released Wednesday after a Canadian delegation arrived in Pyongyang to secure his freedom.

A minister with Ontario-based Light Korean Presbyterian Church, Lim had been arrested in 2015 and sentenced to life imprisonment on charges of subversive acts, including the attempt to use religion to undermine the North Korean government, and disseminating anti-North Korean propaganda.

Lim’s ministry with orphanages and nursing homes in North Korea had been associated with Jang Song-Thaek, a relative of Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un executed in 2013.

South Africa’s Zuma overcomes no-confidence vote:  In a secret vote on Thursday, South African President Jacob Zuma survived a no-confidence vote in the South African Parliament.

The eighth attempt to remove Zuma from office, Zuma narrowly clung to power with 198 Members of Parliament (MP) voting against removal, 177 voting to remove and nine MPs abstaining.

Serving since 2009, Zuma’s administration has been dogged by accusations of corruption, graft and mismanagement.  Zuma came under intense criticism in March following his dismissal of popular Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan.

ISIS driven from Homs Governorate:  After weeks of intense fighting, troops loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad have cleared the Homs Governate of Islamic State (ISIS) terrorists.

Syrian troops in cooperation with local militia groups re-captured al-Sukhnah on August 12.  The Homs Governorate is the largest governorate in Syria.

Syrian military officials reported dozens of ISIS terrorists killed in the final battle before the terror group abandon its positions in the city, but remained fearful of thousands of IEDs hidden across the city.

It is expected the fall of al-Sukhnah will allow Syrian troops to aim at liberating the Deir Ezzor Governorate.

Violence mars Kenyan presidential election:  Amid allegations of widespread voter fraud, Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta claimed victory in elections Tuesday.  Official figures gave Kenyatta 54 percent of the vote over rival Raila Odinga’s 44 percent.

Prior to the election, National Super Alliance (NASA), a top opposition party, proclaimed the election fraudulent and declared it would reject any outcome.  Odinga, NASA’s candidate, claimed the electronic voting system had been hacked.

Following the election, violence broke out and Kenyan police called in to quell rioting are reported to have killed as many as 24 protesters since election day.

Venezuela rejects Trump military option to end unrest:  Following President Trump’s recent comments to end the utterly chaotic political situation in Venezuela, the Nicolas Maduro government has warned the White House it would defend against any U.S. intervention.

Mr. Trump told reporters Friday a “military option” was one alternative being weighed to end disturbances in Venezuela in the aftermath of a national referendum allowing Mr. Maduro to re-write the country’s constitution.  The White House fears Maduro is taking steps to form a full dictatorship.

Protests broke out after the referendum passed and over 100 are reported dead. Venezuela is currently on the brink of civil war.


[CBC] [BBC] [Alwaght] [Reuters]