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North Korea’s Kim Yong-chol on way to Washington

Image copyright Reuters Image caption Kim Yong-chol was seen in Beijing before he departed for Washington One of North Korea’s top negotiators is on his way to Washington to meet US officials ahead of a possible second summit between Kim Jong-un and US President Donald Trump. South Korean reports say that Kim Yong-chol, flying from Beijing, is carrying another letter from Mr Kim to Mr Trump. He is expected to meet US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Friday, South Korea’s Yonhap news agency said. Speculation is mounting that the…

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Clinical waste ‘backlog’ pictured at North Lanarkshire health centres

Image caption The waste was piled on top of containers at health centres in Coatbridge, Kilsyth and Cumbernauld Photographs showing bags of clinical waste piled at three health centres in North Lanarkshire have been posted on social media. The images – from Coatbridge, Kilsyth and Cumbernauld – showed bags of waste on top of large waste containers. It comes after the collapse of the firm Healthcare Environmental Services (HES), which had previously processed clinical waste across Scotland. NHS Lanarkshire said the waste had since been removed and posed no risk.…

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Science 

Shifting north magnetic pole forces unprecedented navigation fix

OSLO (Reuters) – Rapid shifts in the Earth’s north magnetic pole are forcing researchers to make an unprecedented early update to a model that helps navigation by ships, planes and submarines in the Arctic, scientists said. FILE PHOTO: The Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights) is seen over a mountain camp north of the Arctic Circle, near the village of Mestervik late October 1, 2014. REUTERS/Yannis Behrakis Compass needles point towards the north magnetic pole, a point which has crept unpredictably from the coast of northern Canada a century ago to the…

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North Korea’s Kim Jong-un visits China’s Xi Jinping

Image copyright EPA Image caption Mr Kim is visiting China with his wife Ri Sol-ju, state media report North Korean leader Kim Jong-un is visiting China at the invitation of President Xi Jinping, North Korean and Chinese state media have confirmed. Mr Kim will be in China until 10 January with his wife Ri Sol-ju, said the reports. The visit comes amid reports that negotiations are under way for a second summit between Mr Kim and US President Donald Trump. The two met last June, the first such meeting for…

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North Korea ambassador to Italy ‘in hiding’ says South

Image copyright Google Maps Image caption Jo Song-gil was the top envoy at North Korea’s embassy in Rome South Korea’s spy agency has told officials that North Korea’s ambassador to Italy has gone into hiding. The announcement follows unconfirmed reports that Pyongyang’s top diplomat in Italy had sought asylum from an unidentified Western country. Jo Song-gil, the acting North Korean ambassador to Rome, is believed to be the son or son-in-law of one of the highest level officials in North Korea. The last senior diplomat to defect was the deputy…

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US zoo intern fatally attacked by lion in North Carolina

Image copyright LinkedIn Image caption Alexandra Black’s family described it as a “terrible accident” A 22-year-old zoo worker was killed in North Carolina on Sunday after being attacked by a lion at a wildlife park. Conservators Center, in Caswell County, said the attack happened when a lion escaped an enclosure during a routine cleaning. Alexandra Black, an intern who had worked there for less than two weeks, has been named as the victim. Her family have said she “loved animals” and had died following her passion. “This was her fourth…

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Technology 

North Korea defector hack: Personal data of almost 1,000 leaked

Image copyright iStock Image caption Their names, birth dates and addresses have all been leaked Almost 1,000 North Korean defectors have had their personal data leaked after a computer at a South Korean resettlement centre was hacked, the unification ministry said. A personal computer at the state-run centre was found to have been “infected with a malicious code”. The ministry said this is thought to be the first large-scale information leak involving North Korean defectors. The hackers’ identity and the origin of the cyber attack is not yet confirmed. North…

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North and South Korea: ceremony held for transport re-connection

In October, North and South Korea agreed to begin work on reconnecting inter-Korean railways and roads, almost 70 years after they were severed. A groundbreaking ceremony has now taken place in North Korea, attended by delegates from each country. Around 100 South Korean officials, politicians and people displaced by war came to the border town of Kaesong for the event. South Korea’s Unification Ministry also said a delegation of 100 North Koreans attended, as did officials from the United Nations, China, Russia and Mongolia . However materials needed to complete…

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Angel of the North dons Santa hat

Image caption Passers-by have been stopping to take photographs The Angel of the North sculpture has been given a new addition just in time for Christmas – a Santa hat. The red and white hat was noticed atop Gateshead’s famous 65ft (20m) steel structure by motorists driving along the nearby A1 on Christmas Eve. Several people on social media posted photographs and videos clips of the statue with its new festive feature. It is believed to have been added some time overnight on Sunday – but the stylist remains a…

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