Hand-picked and farm-fresh–
⇒Linked articles in bold purple
◆ Malaysian probe of murder of North Korean leader’s half-brother “strains Malaysia-North Korea ties,” says Reuters. No one doubts the murder was ordered by Kim Jong Un.
Malaysian police are hunting four North Koreans who fled the country on the day of the attack, having already detained one North Korean man, a Vietnamese woman, an Indonesian woman, and a Malaysian man.
At least three of the wanted North Koreans caught an Emirates flight to Dubai from Jakarta late on the same day, an immigration office official in the Indonesian capital told Reuters. Malaysia’s Star newspaper reported that all four had returned to Pyongyang.
South Korean and U.S. officials have said the killing was probably carried out by North Korean agents.–Reuters
◆ In a difficult military operation, Iraqi army (with US help) starts to retake the western Mosul, ISIS’ capital and last stronghold (New York Times) The city’s eastern section has already been liberated. The western section has denser population and small, winding streets, and ISIS is well-entrenched there, making it a brutal location for urban fighting. It should take several months for Iraqis to retake.
Comment: After liberation, the city will need to be stabilized politically and militarily. That, too, is a major task.
◆ Michael Novak, Catholic theologian who championed capitalism and constitutional democracy, has died at 83. (New York Times obituary) He is best known for his 1982 book, The Spirit of Democratic Capitalism.
Comment: The best way to grasp his depth and his insights is to watch him. Here is a brief video–less than 5 minutes–with real understanding of what make America special, done without any chest-pounding.
Here is another brief interview, answering the question, “Does Capitalism Corrode Morality?”
Comment: The silver lining, police say, is that Tucson’s air quality was not harmed.
◆ How much do Manhattan’s wealthy liberals hate Trump? Well, they forced the cancellation of a skating party at their kids’ hyper-exclusive, hyper-expensive private school. . . because it would be held at a public rink Trump rebuilt in Central Park. The NY Post story is here.
Trump renovated the rink in 1986 after the city fumbled the job for six years.
Another Dalton parent said a clique of Upper East Side “liberal moms” upset with Trump pressured the headmaster to call off the event, a source said. –New York Post
Comment: Speaks for itself.
◆ VP Pence continues his European tour, reassuring NATO allies (Washington Post) The WaPo stresses Pence’s differences from Trump on NATO.
Although the vice president repeatedly stressed that he was speaking on behalf of President Trump, the two men indeed seemed as though they were separated by an ocean.
Pence offered bland mollifications, forced to calm and cajole European countries that, in the post-Cold War order, until recently never had cause to question the support of the United States. But at a campaign rally Saturday evening in Florida, Trump did the opposite, again criticizing NATO — hours after Pence had extolled its virtues in Munich — and offending yet another ally when he implied that there was a recent terrorist attack in Sweden, one that seemed to exist only in the president’s imagination. –Washington Post
Comment: What the Post sees as differences might be that, but they might be something else, something smarter. They might be a shrewd way of convincing Europeans to pay more without undermining NATO’s deterrent posture toward Russia.