Live Coverage

Today's News: Nov. 5, 2016

The Paris climate accord goes into effect, Clinton and Trump enter the final stretch, and more from the United States and around the world.

The Eiffel Tower is illuminated in green with the words "Paris Agreement is Done" to celebrate the Paris climate change agreement on November 4. Jacky Naegelen / Reuters

—The Paris Agreement, a binding international accord to combat climate change, went into force Friday night. More than 190 countries have adopted the agreement, including China and the United States.

—We’re live-blogging the news stories of the day below. All updates are in Eastern Daylight Time (GMT -4)


This live blog has concluded

South Korean Protesters Demand President's Resignation

Kim Hong-Ji / Reuters

Tens of thousands of protesters in Seoul demanded the resignation of beleaguered South Korean President Park Geun-hye on Saturday.

According to the BBC, Seoul police estimated roughly 45,000 people turned out for demonstrations against Park’s leadership. Organizers claimed almost four times as many people had attended.

Public support for Park, who is the country’s first woman leader, has plummeted amid an unusual scandal involving her close confidant Choi Soon-sil. South Korean prosecutors allege that Choi, the daughter of a charismatic preacher who holds no formal position, used her extraordinary influence within the Park administration to enrich herself and her family.

Most of the allegations against Choi involve more traditional forms of corruption, ranging from siphoning off state funds to obtaining preferential treatment for her children at universities. But South Korean media outlets have also focused on Choi’s role as an eminence grise of sorts within the Park administration. The Washington Post has more:

JTBC, a television network, said it had found a tablet computer that contained files of speeches the president had yet to give, among other documents. The younger Choi is said to have edited the landmark speech that Park gave in Germany in 2014, laying out her vision for unification with the North. The Hankyoreh newspaper wrote that actual presidential aides “were just mice to Choi’s cat.”

She is also rumored to have created a secret group called “the eight fairies” to advise the president behind the scenes.

TV Chosun, the channel belonging to the Chosun Ilbo newspaper, aired a clip showing Choi overseeing the making of an outfit for Park, “raising doubt whether Park made any decision at all without Choi,” the paper said.

South Korean media have been full of Photoshopped graphics to illustrate the relationship, including one showing Park as a puppet and Choi Soon-sil pulling her strings.

In a televised address Friday after South Korean investigators issued a warrant for Choi’s arrest, Park took personal responsibility for the scandal. She also took the opportunity to deny some of the more sensational claims surrounding Choi, including a rumor she had run a shamanistic cult in the Blue House, the South Korean equivalent of the White House.

Paris Climate Agreement Goes Into Force

Jacky Naegelen / Reuters

The Paris Agreement, a landmark international accord to combat climate change, took effect on Friday night.

More than 190 countries signed the treaty after world diplomats hammered out its conditions last December in Paris. It is the first binding effort between states to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions.

The treaty requires participating countries around the world to reduce those emissions by different levels. Heavy polluters like China and the United States must reduce between 15 and 20 percent of their carbon output. Countries with a smaller industrial footprint are required to make more modest reductions. The Guardian has more:

The passage of the accord – the fruit of more than two decades of often tortuous international negotiations on combating climate change – was hailed by nations and observers around the world.

Under the agreement, all governments that have ratified the accord, which includes the U.S., China, India and the EU, now carry an obligation to hold global warming to no more than [two degrees Celsius] above pre-industrial levels. That is what scientists regard as the limit of safety, beyond which climate change is likely to become catastrophic and irreversible.

But as my colleague Robinson Meyer noted last December, the treaty represents only a first step in what would be required to stave off serious ecological consequences.

Because here’s the thing: The math still doesn’t work. 2015 is the hottest year on measure. Because of the delay between when carbon enters the atmosphere and when it traps heat, we are nearly locked into nearly 1.5 degrees of warming already. Many thought the world would abandon the two degree target at Paris due to its impracticality.

In order to slide under the 1.5-degree target, global emissions have to peak in the next five or six years. (Emissions slowed this year, mostly due to China’s economic downturn, but they are expected to rise again soon as India adds industrial capacity.) The world has to completely stop emitting carbon around 2060. Can it be done?

That question’s answer may depend on the outcome of Thursday’s presidential election in the United States. Republican nominee Donald Trump has vowed to withdraw the U.S. from the Paris agreement if elected; Hillary Clinton, his Democratic rival, has said she would abide by it.