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North and South Korean leaders will meet in Pyongyang next month


North and South Korean leaders will meet next month for a third time amid growing fears that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has continued to pursue nuclear weapons even as denuclearization talks continue.

Plans for leaders from the two nations to meet next month in Pyongyang, North Korea, were reached Monday after officials met in Panmunjom truce village, which sits inside the Demilitarized Zone, according to Reuters.

Kim and South Korean president Moon Jae-in held a historic meeting last April, smiling shaking hands across their border in a dramatic warming of relations between the two nations, which technically remain at war. The two leaders planned to meet again in the fall.

Kim and Moon met up again in an informal meeting in May, prior to U.S. President Donald Trump’s meeting with Kim in Singapore.

Moon played a crucial role in facilitating the summit between Trump and Kim, the first known meeting between a sitting U.S. president and a North Korean leader. That summit ended with an agreement between Trump and Kim that North Korea would denuclearize, although that agreement contained little in the way of specifics.

Since then, multiple media reports have shown North Korea apparently continuing work on nuclear weapons even as it continued to engage in talks with the U.S.

The Washington Post reported in late July that North Korea is constructing new missiles at a facility where the country produced it’s first intercontinental ballistic missile capable of reaching the U.S. Intelligence officials obtained new evidence that showed North Korea is building one or two liquid-fueled intercontinental ballistic missiles, the report also said.

And in early July, The Wall Street Journal reported that North Korea was expanding a facility to build solid-fuel ballistic missiles. The Journal cited satellite imagery showing the bulk of new construction on the facility in Hamhung, North Korea, took place between April and June.

Source: https://www.politico.com/story/2018/08/13/korean-leaders-meeting-september-pyongyang-774866

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Laos dam collapse: hundreds missing after villages flooded


Several people confirmed dead and thousands homeless in Attapeu province

Hundreds of people are missing after a hydroelectric dam collapsed in southern Laos, destroying thousands of homes and leaving an unknown number of dead.

Five billion cubic metres of water – the equivalent of 2m Olympic swimming pools – swept through the surrounding countryside after the accident at the Xepian-Xe Nam Noy hydropower dam, which is still under construction in south-eastern Attapeu province.

Continue reading…

Source: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/jul/24/laos-dam-collapse-hundreds-missing

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Thai cave rescue: eight boys now freed after day two of rescue mission – live


Operation in Tham Luang caves in northern Thailand is believed to have been suspended, leaving four boys and their coach still trapped

2.58pm BST

As it looks as if the rescue operation is on hold until tomorrow, we’re going to pause the blog for now. We’ll resume blogging if there are any more key developments or press conferences. In the meantime there’s more on Thai cave rescue section including this video update on today’s developments, and there’ll be a new live blog on Tuesday.

2.43pm BST

It is believed the rescue operation has been suspended for today. The Facebook update from the Thai navy seals suggests it is sticking to a plan of rescuing four boys per day.

It said “Two days, Eight boars” referring to the name of the boys football team Wild Boars.

Continue reading…

Source: https://www.theguardian.com/world/live/2018/jul/09/thai-cave-rescue-resumes-to-free-eight-boys-and-coach-still-trapped-latest-news

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Philippine lawyer finds unlikely ally in Duterte in fight to legalise gay marriage


Jesus Falcis has taken his battle to the supreme court, backed by a president who regularly clashes with the Catholic church

In the Philippines, where Catholicism is dominant and divorce is still illegal, a young atheist, openly gay lawyer is leading a historic fight for same-sex marriage.

Jesus Falcis, 31, will face the supreme court on Tuesday to argue that a law limiting marriage to a man and a woman violates the 1987 Philippine Constitution, which he said doesn’t make gender specifications on who can be married.

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Source: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/jun/18/philippines-lawyer-gay-marriage-duterte-church