Saudi king expected to relinquish control: Just days after reform-minded Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was granted sweeping power to lead an anti-corruption committee against Saudi Arabian oligarchs, speculation has emerged King Salman will hand over power to the crown prince as early as next week.
Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, 81, has ruled the Saudi kingdom since 2015.
Likely true, the gesture to hand power to Mohammed, Salman’s sixth son, would be a dramatic departure from previous transitions of power in which power is handed off to a brother of the serving regent.
Scotland sets minimum price for purchase of alcohol: Promoted as a method to improve public health, the government of Scotland will impose the world’s first minimum price for alcoholic beverages.
Supporters of the measure, which would add a minimum 50 pence (66 cents) to alcohol purchases, say the motion will help “improve” residents’ “troubled relationship with alcohol.”
Originally passed by the Scot Parliament in 2012 and supported by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, the motion survived countless legal challenges and vigorous opposition from the Scotch Whiskey Association.
Absolutely delighted that minimum pricing has been upheld by the Supreme Court. This has been a long road – and no doubt the policy will continue to have its critics – but it is a bold and necessary move to improve public health.
— Nicola Sturgeon (@NicolaSturgeon) November 15, 2017
Cambodian high court disbands leading opposition party: The Cambodian Supreme Court ruled Thursday to dissolve the Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) following allegations the party’s leaders were conspiring to overthrow the Hun Sen government.
The broad Thursday ruling breaks up the CNRP and prohibits 118 party members from political activity of any kind for a five-year period. New amendments to law will also strip 489 local CNRP officials of power and expel 55 CNRP lawmakers of the National Assembly.
Described as a blow to Cambodian democracy, critics charge the move was orchestrated by Prime Minister Hun Sen to consolidate power and eliminate political opposition to his rule.
Palestine threatens to cut contact with U.S.: The self-governing body of Palestine has threatened to end diplomatic talks with the U.S. government if the White House carries out its ultimatum of closing the Palestine Liberation Organization’s (PLO) office in Washington, D.C.
Under 2015 law, the U.S. secretary of state must inform Congress whether the PLO has initiated contact with the International Criminal Court (ICC). Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was unable to inform Congress the PLO had abstained from such contact by the mandated November deadline.
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas called for the ICC to investigate and prosecute Israelis at the UN General Assembly in September.
A top Palestinian diplomat, Saeb Erekat, in a video message on Saturday accused the U.S. of reacting to “pressure being exerted” by Israel.
— Palestine PLO – NAD (@nadplo) November 18, 2017
North Korean defector rife with mystery parasite: A North Korean soldier who successfully crossed the demilitarized zone in an attempt to defect is being treated in a South Korean hospital, suffering from an “enormous number” of parasites in his stomach.
The unidentified soldier was shot five times by North Korean border guards during his flight on Monday.
Physicians treating the soldier have described the parasite as unlike any they have encountered previously. An 11-inch worm was reportedly removed from the defector’s body during treatment. His condition, which is now critical, has led many to speculate on the overall health of North Korean citizens.
[Daily Mail] [The Telegraph] [Phnom Penh Post] [AP] [Business Insider] [Stars and Stripes]