Reuters photo of the day
Lights of devotion
Iran and Iraq are resisting pressure from Saudi Arabia to curtail oil production, making it hard for the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries to reach a global output-limiting deal when it meets on Wednesday. Iran wants to raise production to regain market share lost under Western sanctions; Iraq says it needs oil revenues to fight Islamic State. OPEC sources told Reuters that a meeting of experts in Vienna on Monday failed to bridge the differences between the countries. Oil prices have dropped as the dispute continues.
China’s ‘friendship bridge’ has never been this tense
Fewer North Korean workers are being allowed into China as trade between the two neighbors tightens. "I used to bring at least 40-50 North Korean factory workers and waiters across at least once a month but it's less frequent now," a labor agent told Reuters. Chinese traders in the border city of Dandong are also doing less business with North Korea as Beijing tries to thwart Pyongyang's accelerating nuclear and missile programs, reports Sue-Lin Wong.
It’s getting worse in Mosul
Residents in Mosul are struggling to find food as U.S.-backed forces close in on Islamic State’s Iraqi stronghold. Prices have risen steeply since Popular Mobilization – a coalition of Iranian-backed Shi'ite groups – cut a key supply line into the city last week. Humanitarian officials expect costs to rise even further as the siege worsens. More than a million people are still believed to live in parts of Mosul under the control of Islamic State.
Will Italian voters go the U.S. anti-establishment route?
The European Central Bank is ready to temporarily step up purchases of Italian government bonds if the result of a Dec. 4 referendum on constitutional reforms drives up borrowing costs for the euro zone's largest debtor, central bank sources told Reuters. Opinion polls suggest the 'No' camp is heading for victory, which could force out Prime Minister Matteo Renzi.
Commentary: Inside Turkey’s ‘witch-burning’ crackdown
More than four months after a failed coup, the government of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan continues to jail critical voices and shut down their organizations. Law professor David Kaye, the UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression, writes that “the government has every right to confront security threats,” but, after in-prison meetings with some of those jailed in the crackdown, “I cannot avoid the conclusion that the government’s response goes well beyond what is necessary or proportionate.”