US and Chinese presidents strike conciliatory tone during hourslong meeting

The World
President Joe Biden meets virtually with Chinese President Xi Jinping from the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington

President Joe Biden meets virtually with Chinese President Xi Jinping from the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington, Nov. 15, 2021.

Susan Walsh/AP

Top of The World — our morning news roundup written by editors at The World. Subscribe here.

US-China
US President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping held a virtual meeting on Monday in an effort to repair relations between the two largest world superpowers. The two leaders struck a conciliatory tone during the meeting, calling for cooperation from both sides. But the 3 1/2-hour meeting ended without tangible results. In follow-up statements, both sides aired their respective grievances. Biden mentioned human rights abuses in China and “unfair trade and economic policies,” while Xi said that US support for Taiwan was “playing with fire.”

Ecuador
The head of Ecuador's prison system has resigned, along with the country's armed forces chief, following fresh gang violence that left another 68 inmates dead in a prison in the city of Guayaquil. The violence happened at the same prison where 119 inmates were killed in September in what authorities called the worst riots in the country’s history. The most recent incident happened during a 60-day state of emergency that President Guillermo Lasso had declared inside the prison system to allow for extra funds to be allocated to fight violence inside the jails. Lasso has announced a plan to allow for military involvement to deal with the ongoing violence.

Uganda
Twin blasts in Uganda’s capital have left at least three people dead and dozens more injured. It’s the latest in a string of attacks over the past month in the East African country. A suicide bomber detonated the first bomb near the central police station, followed by two attackers on motorbikes blowing themselves up near parliament. Who is behind the attacks is still under investigation, and authorities have urged the public to close businesses and leave the blast areas.

From The World

COP26 made incremental progress but failed to deliver on ‘transformational’ change, negotiators say

Climate activists hold a demonstration through the venue of the COP26 UN Climate Summit in Glasgow, Scotland, Nov. 12, 2021. Negotiators from almost 200 nations were making a fresh push to reach agreements on a series of key issues that would allow them t

Climate activists hold a demonstration through the venue of the COP26 UN Climate Summit in Glasgow, Scotland, Nov. 12, 2021. Negotiators from almost 200 nations were making a fresh push to reach agreements on a series of key issues that would allow them to call this year's UN climate talks a success.

Credit:

Alastair Grant/AP

The UN climate summit in Glasgow, Scotland, wrapped up this past weekend, issuing a set of agreements that use the strongest language yet to convey the gravity of the climate crisis.

Leaders also pledged more funding for adaptation and finalized long-awaited rules for carbon markets within the UN system.

But nearly every climate envoy or minister at the meeting left Glasgow saying more needs to be done — and fast.

'If you can avoid a crash, you can avoid an ambush,' tactical driving expert says

B & W photo of race cars racing on a track.

Ronnie Bucknum of the US, driving Honda #12, leads Joakim Bonnier of Sweden, in a Bragham-Climax #15, and Bob Bondurant of the US, during the running of the US Grand Prix at Watkins Glen, New York, Oct. 3, 1965.

Credit:

AP/File photo

Legendary race car driver and driving instructor Bob Bondurant died on Sunday at the age of 88.

Bondurant decided many years ago to become a driving instructor after crashing his car and flipping it eight times and breaking some bones in the process. He taught Hollywood celebrities like James Coburn, Paul Newman, Clint Eastwood, and Christian Bale.

What's less known is that Bondurant also taught tactical driving to security teams for heads of state from around the world. 

Anthony Ricci, who runs Advanced Driving and Security, Inc., took The World's host Marco Werman into the world of tactical driving and how it's used to protect important people.

Go behind the scenes with one of our correspondents.

Shirin Jaafari, a correspondent with The World since 2015, traveled to Afghanistan in July 2021 to report on the quickly evolving situation as the US withdrawal process was underway.

Take a behind-the-scenes look at her reporting from Herat days before the Taliban overtook the city.

Putting together stories in hostile environments is time- and resource-intensive. Make a gift today to support the work of Shirin and others here at The World. Thank you!

Global Hit

"The Hands of Time" is Weedie Braimah's new album — and his debut recording as a bandleader. This is also the album where the Ghanaian American artist puts the djembe drum at the forefront of his band.

The goblet-shaped hand drum, which originated in present-day Mali more than four centuries ago, has become an international symbol of African music.

As a djembefola — one who speaks through the drum — Braimah works to expand the boundaries of his instrument without sacrificing its identity and heritage. Enjoy some music from Braimah and other artists who we've featured on the show on this Spotify playlist. 🎶

Weedie Braimah's "The Hands of Time" features the power and range of the djembe.

Weedie Braimah's "The Hands of Time" features the power and range of the djembe. 

Credit:

Courtesy of Weedie Braimah

In case you missed it

Listen: COP26: Gaps between ambition and action

A thermometer records just below 100 degrees in a north Seattle neighborhood Wednesday afternoon, July 29, 2009.

A thermometer records just below 100 degrees in a north Seattle neighborhood, July 29, 2009, approaching record highs. While world leaders hail the 2021 Glasgow climate pact as a good compromise that keeps a key temperature limit alive, scientists are much more skeptical. 

Credit:

Elaine Thompson/AP/file

The UN climate summit wrapped up this past weekend, issuing a set of agreements that use the strongest language yet to convey the gravity of the climate crisis. But nearly every climate envoy or minister at the meeting left Glasgow saying more still needs to be done — and fast. And Britain's terror threat level has been raised from "substantial" to "severe" following an explosion outside a hospital in Liverpool on Sunday morning. One man died at the scene and four men have since been arrested. Plus, master djembe player Weedie Braimah has a new album, “The Hands of Time,” where he shows off the djembe's range and power.

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