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President Trump declares North Korea state sponsor of terrorism

Published: Monday, November 20, 2017 @ 7:09 PM

WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 20: (AFP OUT) U.S. President Donald Trump speaks to the media during a cabinet meeting at the White House on November 20, 2017 in Washington, D.C. President Trump officially designated North Korea as a state sponsor of terrorism. (Photo by Kevin Dietsch-Pool/Getty Images)
Pool/Getty Images
WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 20: (AFP OUT) U.S. President Donald Trump speaks to the media during a cabinet meeting at the White House on November 20, 2017 in Washington, D.C. President Trump officially designated North Korea as a state sponsor of terrorism. (Photo by Kevin Dietsch-Pool/Getty Images)(Pool/Getty Images)

President Trump took his tough rhetoric on the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea to the next level by stating his intention to list the country as a state sponsor of terror.

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“Today, the U.S. is designating North Korea as a state sponsor of terrorism. (This) should have happened a long time ago — should have happened years ago,” the president announced while speaking at a Cabinet meeting.

Trump said North Korea “has repeatedly supported acts of international terrorism, including assassinations on foreign soil.”

He also spoke about the late 22-year-old University of Virginia student Otto Warmbier, who died after spending a year and a half in a North Korean prison.

Warmbier was arrested at Pyongyang International airport in January 2016 after being accused of stealing a propaganda poster. He was charged with “anti-republic activities” and sentenced to 15 years hard labor.

The Trump administration secured the college student’s release at the beginning of June 2017, and he was medically evacuated from the country back to the United States. He returned in a coma — which North Korean officials alleged that he slipped into after taking sleeping pills for botulism while in prison, though experts in the United States have treated that story with skepticism — and died just a few days later.

There is a question of whether or not Warmbier’s death could be classified as “willful killing, torture, or inhuman treatment,” which would place North Korea in violation of agreements such as the Geneva Convention.

The State Department currently lists three countries as state sponsors of terrorism: Iran, Sudan and Syria.

“Countries determined by the Secretary of State to have repeatedly provided support for acts of international terrorism are designated pursuant to three laws: section 6(j) of the Export Administration Act, section 40 of the Arms Export Control Act, and section 620A of the Foreign Assistance Act,” the State Department explains on its website. Countries that fall under those designations may face certain sanctions, which include “restrictions on U.S. foreign assistance; a ban on defense exports and sales; certain controls over exports of dual use items; and miscellaneous financial and other restrictions.”

Any person or country that trades with those listed by the department as state sponsors of terrorism may also face penalties by way of sanctions.

Trump and North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un have not had a close relationship by any means.

The world leaders feuded publicly earlier in the month after Kim Jong-un called Trump an “old lunatic.” Trump responded by insinuating that the leader was “short and fat.”

While on a two-week foreign policy trip in Asia, Trump said the United States’ policy of “strategic patience” in dealing with North Korea was over. He made his comments in a joint press conference with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

Trump’s tough rhetoric toward Kim reflects an earlier sentiment he expressed while calling Kim Jong-un “Rocket Man.”

“Being nice to Rocket Man hasn’t worked in 25 years, why would it work now? Clinton failed, Bush failed, and Obama failed. I won’t fail,” he wrote on Twitter.

While many focus on North Korea’s foreign policy technique of saber rattling, the country’s approach to domestic policy is also under scrutiny. The recent death of a defector raised additional questions about the state of the North Korean people’s health.

About a week ago, an unnamed North Korean soldier abandoned his post and began to run toward South Korea. It was the third defection of a North Korean soldier this year. He was shot more than 40 times by his fellow soldiers.

South Korean soldiers were able to crawl to the area where he lay and rescue the man. He was transported, in a helicopter belonging to the United Nations Command, to a hospital, where he later died from his injuries.

A surgeon who operated on the defector made a disturbing discovery in his digestive tract.

“In my over 20-year-long career as a surgeon, I have only seen something like this in a textbook,” said Lee Cook-jong while explaining the flesh-colored parasites he found.

Parasitic worms, some over 1 foot long, in the man’s body put a spotlight on detrimental, government-backed approaches to health and agriculture in the country. Experts have pointed to North Korean farmers’ use of “night soil,” or human excrement, as fertilizer to explain the presence of the worms, which have been discovered in other defectors.

There is a perception in the country that “night soil” makes food taste better. The method has even been personally backed by Kim Jong-un himself.

“Although we do not have solid figures showing health conditions of North Korea, medical experts assume that parasite infection problems and serious health issues have been prevalent in the country,” explained Choi Min-Ho, a professor and parasitic specialist at Seoul National University College of Medicine.

Polar bears enjoy snow day at North Carolina Zoo

Published: Thursday, January 18, 2018 @ 4:09 PM

Nikita (front) and Anana enjoy the snow day at the North Carolina Zoo. (Photo: North Carolina Zoo)
Nikita (front) and Anana enjoy the snow day at the North Carolina Zoo. (Photo: North Carolina Zoo)

Polar bears at the North Carolina Zoo got to enjoy the blanket of snow that covered the park Wednesday.

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Nikita, 11, and Anana, 18, were fed whole fish as a special snow day treat, the zoo said

The zoo was closed Thursday and will remain closed Friday because of the heavy snowfall.

Another meteor? Reports come in of bright flash across Ohio, Indiana night sky

Published: Thursday, January 18, 2018 @ 4:14 AM

Another meteor may have lit up the sky late Wednesday.

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Several reports have come into WHIO-TV's newsroom of a bright flash that shot across the sky just before midnight Thursday. People from Englewood, Ohio; Marysville, Ohio; and Randolph County, Indiana, have said they saw the bright flash, with some saying it was bright blue or blue-green.

>> WATCH: Meteor spotted in Ohio, Michigan, Canada

The American Meteor Society received several reports of a meteor in Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan and Kentucky.

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A meteor also was spotted in Ohio, Michigan and Canada late Tuesday.

Nestle Japan launches ruby chocolate KitKat ahead of Valentine's Day

Published: Thursday, January 18, 2018 @ 3:57 PM
Updated: Thursday, January 18, 2018 @ 3:58 PM



Nestle Japan
(Nestle Japan)

Nestle Japan on Thursday unveiled a new, pink KitKat var, which is to be sold ahead of Valentine’s Day in a handful of stores in Japan and South Korea, as well as online.

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Dubbed the KitKat Chocolatory Sublime Ruby, the chocolate is made using ruby cacao beans, which give the treat a naturally pink color. The beans also give the chocolate “a fruity flavor reminiscent of berries,” according to Nestle Japan.

The pink chocolate variety made its debut in September by Swiss chocolate manufacturer Barry Callebaut. It was touted as an alternative to the traditional chocolate varieties of white, milk and dark chocolates.

The new KitKat flavor was created by chef Yasumasa Takagi, the owner of Tokyo’s Le Patissier Takagi. In a news release, he said his creation “allows you to enjoy the characteristic fruity fragrance and subtle acidity of the ruby cacao to the fullest.”

The flavors “have never been experienced before,” Takagi said.

The KitKat bars will be sold at KitKat Chocolatory stores in Japan and South Korea starting Friday. Chocolate fans in the U.S. and other countries can purchase the chocolate online.

Nestle Japan employees said 5,000 bars of the chocolate treat will be available for sale from Jan. 19 to Jan. 25. Each bar costs ¥400, or $3.60.

The variety will also be part of the KitKat Chocolatory Sublime Valentine’s Assortment, alongside bars of KitKat Sublime’s Bitter, Milk and White flavors for ¥1,800, or $16.20. A larger assortment also includes the KitKat Sublime Matcha and Raw flavors as well for ¥2,400, or $21.60.

The boxes of assorted chocolate bars will go on sale starting Feb. 1. 

Montreal man fools police with detailed snow car sculpture

Published: Thursday, January 18, 2018 @ 3:52 PM

A man in Montreal made a car out of snow (not pictured), tricking police.
Ryan Remiorz/AP
A man in Montreal made a car out of snow (not pictured), tricking police.(Ryan Remiorz/AP)

A Montreal man was able to briefly dupe police with his creation after a snowstorm Monday.

KMSP reported that Simon Laprise created a sports car out of snow in a snow removal zone. The sculpture, which he posted photos of on Facebook, looked like a real car that had been parked during a snowstorm and was covered in powder.

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Laprise, a 33-year-old machinist and artist, modeled the car after the DeLorean DMC-12, famously featured in the “Back to the Future” movies, KMSP reported. The final detail that made it so life-like was the Laprise’s incorporation of an actual windshield, which he found across the street.

Once he completed his duplicate, Laprise hid out of view and waited for the police.

A police car soon drove up to investigate the car in a snow removal zone. The officer soon realized the car was made entirely of snow.

Laprise got a “ticket” with a note that read, “You made our night hahahahaha :)”

By the next morning, snowplows had removed the sculpture from the snow removal zone.