Briefly

Leader freed

BRUSSELS – A Belgian judge has granted conditional release to sacked Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont and four of his ministers, and the group is scheduled to appear at court within 15 days, Belgian prosecutors said on Monday. Mr Puigdemont, who turned himself in to Belgian police after Spain issued a European arrest warrant for rebellion and misuse of public funds, is barred from leaving Belgium without a judge’s consent.

Power grip

RIYADH – Saudi Arabia’s future king has tightened his grip on power through an anti-corruption purge by arresting royals, ministers and investors including billionaire Alwaleed bin Talal who is one of the kingdom’s most prominent businessmen. Prince Alwaleed, a nephew of the king and owner of investment firm Kingdom Holding, invests in firms such as Citigroup and Twitter was among 11 princes, four ministers and tens of former ministers detained, three senior officials told Reuters on Sunday.

Economic ties

TOKYO – US President Donald Trump said on Monday that he would discuss how to improve economic ties between America and Japan, saying that “Japan has been winning” on trade in recent decades. Mr Trump was speaking in Tokyo on the second day of a 12-day Asian trip expected to be dominated by North Korea and trade.

Sanctions

SEOUL – South Korea imposed unilateral sanctions on 18 North Koreans on Monday, barring any financial transactions between those sanctioned and any South Koreans, as part of international efforts to dry up Pyongyang’s illegal cash flows. All 18 individuals on which the South Korean sanctions were imposed were directly affiliated to North Korean banks, according to an official government announcement by the finance minister uploaded on the Interior Ministry’s website.

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