Colin Dwyer

Chinese President Xi Jinping and many of the country's highest officials gathered Tuesday in Beijing to celebrate the 90th anniversary of the People's Liberation Army — and to offer two strongly worded reminders to watchers at home and abroad: China's armed forces serve at the will of the Communist Party, Xi said, and those armed forces are prepared to protect the country's territorial interests.

Just one day after a nationwide vote to consolidate Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro's hold on power, the U.S. Treasury Department has leveled a new round of sanctions against the regime — this time against Maduro himself.

"All assets of Nicolas Maduro subject to U.S. jurisdiction are frozen," the department announced in a statement Monday, "and U.S. persons are prohibited from dealing with him."

Updated 9:45 p.m. ET

The vacation wasn't supposed to end this way — or end so early.

Updated at 8:25 p.m. ET

North Korea said early Saturday that its intercontinental ballistic missile test on Friday showed its program could hit the United States, according to a statement reported by The Associated Press and Reuters.

The U.S. Department of Defense says the missile, which launched just before midnight local time, traveled roughly 620 miles — from the country's northern province of Jagang to the Sea of Japan, where it finally splashed into the waters off Japan's west coast.

It has been 80 years since J.M. Barrie died. It has been even longer since Peter Pan's creator penned The Reconstruction of the Crime with humorist E.V. Lucas — and yet in all this time, editor Andrew Gulli says the brief play the pair pulled together never glimpsed the stage or even the printed page.

For an entire generation of writers, Michiko Kakutani acted at times as intrepid champion, hated villain or helping hand. But from her perch as chief book critic at The New York Times, the Pulitzer Prize winner rarely left one thing in doubt: her vast influence over the literary world she assessed.

On Thursday, after 38 years, Kakutani announced she is stepping down.

Updated 8:25 p.m. ET

Just days away from a national vote to decide the delegates who will rewrite Venezuela's constitution, President Nicolas Maduro's government is trying a new method of clamping down on popular unrest: a complete ban on demonstrations nationwide for the next five days.

Updated at 4:49 p.m. ET

The head of the Boy Scouts of America apologized Thursday to the organization's members, telling them that the group did not intend to showcase the "political rhetoric" in President Trump's speech to the National Jamboree earlier this week.

Speaking at a news conference in Finland on Thursday, Russian President Vladimir Putin derided the sanctions bill now in the U.S. Congress as "illegal under international law" — but he said Russia's response will depend on what ultimately gets passed.

"We haven't seen the final version yet, so we haven't got any kind of definitive view on it," Putin said, "but we can see that over a lengthy period they are trying to provoke us more and more."

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