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Published: Wednesday, May 16, 2018 @ 12:21 PM
Updated: Wednesday, May 16, 2018 @ 12:21 PM
WASHINGTON — Amid fresh uncertainty over his planned summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, President Donald Trump said Wednesday that he is committed to pressing for the country to abandon its nuclear program as part of any meeting.
North Korea threatened earlier in the day to scrap the historic summit between Trump and Kim, saying it has no interest in a "one-sided" affair meant to pressure the North to abandon its nuclear weapons. But Trump appeared to shrug off the warning saying the U.S. hadn't been notified.
"We haven't seen anything, we haven't heard anything," Trump said as he welcomed the president of Uzbekistan to the White House. "We will see what happens."
The warning from North Korea's first vice foreign minister came after the country abruptly canceled a high-level meeting with South Korea to protest U.S.-South Korean military exercises that the North has long claimed are an invasion rehearsal.
Behind the scenes, White House aides tried to soothe South Korean frustrations over the canceled meeting with the North as they continue to plan for the summit, set for June 12 in Singapore, as if nothing had changed. U.S. officials compared the threat to Trump's own warning that he might walk away from the summit if he determines Kim is not serious about abandoning his nuclear program.
The direction from the Oval Office to White House aides and other U.S. national security agencies Wednesday was to downplay the North Korean threats and not "take the bait" by overreacting to the provocation, said a senior U.S. official. The official wasn't authorized to discuss internal conversation publicly and requested anonymity.
National Security Adviser John Bolton told Fox News Radio Wednesday that "we are trying to be both optimistic and realistic at the same time."
Bolton, who was called out by name by the North for saying that the U.S. is seeking an outcome similar to Libya's unilateral nuclear disarmament, said the personal attack raised the question of "whether this really is a sign that that they're not taking our objective of denuclearization seriously."
North Korean first vice foreign minister Kim Kye Gwan said in a statement carried by state media that "we are no longer interested in a negotiation that will be all about driving us into a corner and making a one-sided demand for us to give up our nukes and this would force us to reconsider whether we would accept the North Korea-U.S. summit meeting."
In its commentaries published through the state-run news agency, North Korea steered clear of criticizing Trump himself and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who last week met with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un for the second time in little more than one month and brought home three American prisoners. That suggested it still wants the summit to go ahead.
But it also took the opportunity to air its own negotiating position and take aim at Bolton, who has suggested that negotiations in 2004 that led to the shipping of nuclear components to the U.S. from Libya under Moammar Gadhafi would be a good model for North Korea as well — although Gadhafi was deposed seven years later following a NATO-led military campaign. The North on Wednesday described that proposal as a "sinister move" to bring about its own collapse.
North Korea may have also been responding to aims for the summit aired by Bolton and Pompeo in Sunday morning talk shows last weekend.
Bolton told ABC that denuclearization means getting rid of all the North's nuclear weapons, dismantling them and taking them to Oakridge, Tennessee, where the U.S. developed its atomic bomb during World War II and retains a nuclear and high-technology research laboratory. Bolton added that North Korea would have to get rid of its uranium enrichment and plutonium reprocessing facilities, reveal their weapons sites and allow open inspections.
The toughest of North Korea's statements was issued in the name of Kim Kye Gwan, who was a leading negotiator of an aid-for-disarmament deal that collapsed under the G. W. Bush administration at a time when Bolton was serving as undersecretary of state for arms control and North Korea was suspected of secretly seeking to enrich uranium.
The State Department emphasized that North Korea's leader had previously indicated he understood the need and purpose of the U.S. continuing its long-planned exercises with South Korea. State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said the U.S. had not heard anything directly from North or South Korea that would change that.
"We will continue to go ahead and plan the meeting between President Trump and Kim Jong Un," Nauert said.
Press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said earlier Wednesday that preparations for the summit were ongoing despite the cancellation threat and that Trump is hopeful the meeting will still take place.
"If it doesn't, we'll continue the maximum pressure campaign that's been ongoing," she told Fox & Friends.
Oregon Democratic Sen. Ron Wyden said he is concerned that talks are "really being oversimplified" by the White House.
"This is not a like condo deal where two people sit down and hash out a number of outstanding issues and then they say 'Well, some lawyers can write it up,'" he said.
Published: Wednesday, July 18, 2018 @ 10:40 AM
— Fishermen in Russia's Krasnodar region came across a waterspout in the Black Sea on Monday, July 16.
In a video filmed from their fishing boat, they described their astonishment at the natural phenomenon, which can be seen on the horizon.
According to the NOAA, a waterspout is a whirling column of air and water mist that fall into two categories: fair weather waterspouts and tornadic waterspouts.
Published: Monday, July 09, 2018 @ 7:58 AM
Updated: Monday, July 09, 2018 @ 1:40 PM
— The world got its latest, long-awaited glimpse of the newest member of the House of Windsor as Prince Louis was christened Monday, 11 weeks after his birth.
The service was attended by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s two other children. It was the first time all five members of the young royal family have been seen together, the BBC reported.
Also in attendance were Prince William’s father and his wife, Prince Charles and Camilla.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, were at the ceremony along with Kate’s sister Pippa; her husband, James Matthews; and their brother, James Middleton.
Prince Louis was christened at Chapel Royal at St. James’s Palace, baptized by the archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Rev. Justin Welby, Metro reported.
But two people were missing from the ceremony. Queen Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh decided not to attend, according to Metro.
The queen has an extensive schedule this week. She travels back to Windsor Palace from Norfolk Monday, then will have a ceremony to mark the anniversary of the creation of the Royal Air Force Tuesday and has a meeting with President Donald Trump Friday, Metro reported.
Hours before the ceremony, Kensington Palace announced whom the couple named as Prince Louis’ godparents.
Further details about the guests and godparents at the christening of Prince Louis have been announced: https://t.co/pBg5a4p5ff— Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) July 9, 2018
He now has three godfathers and three godmothers.
Harry Aubrey-Gletcher went to Eton with Prince William, The Telegraph reported. Nicholas Van Cutsem is a family friend. His daughter was a bridesmaid at their wedding, The Telegraph reported. The final godfather is Guy Pelly, who founded nightclubs and was friends with both William and Prince Harry during their single years, ITV reported.
As for the godmothers, the family named Lady Laura Meade, who is married to James Meade, a friend of Prince William and who is Princess Charlotte’s godfather; Hannah Gillingham, a friend of the Duchess; and Lucy Middleton, Duchess Katherine’s cousin, The Telegraph reported.
Prince Louis wore the same christening gown used for George and Charlotte, which is a copy of the lace and satin dress made for Queen Victoria’s daughter in 1841, Daily Mail reported.
Published: Saturday, July 07, 2018 @ 1:30 PM
MAE SAI, Thailand — A soccer team and their coach who are trapped in a flooded cave in northern Thailand have garnered international attention as rescuers work to save them.
The group of boys and their coach disappeared at the end of June and were found alive earlier this week. Although they’ve been discovered, rescue efforts have been challenging as weather and dangerous pathways complicate the operation.
Here are five things to know about the rescue.
Who is trapped?
Twelve young boys on the Wild Boars soccer team, aged 11 to 16, and their coach, Ekapol Chanthawong, 25, disappeared after they entered the Tham Luang Nang Non cave in Chiang Rai to go exploring.
The boys and their coach are known to be a tight-knit group that goes on adventures, including swimming in waterfalls, cycling trips through the mountains, river rafting and cave exploring, The Associated Press reported.
How did they get trapped?
On June 23, they disappeared when flooding trapped them. Thai Navy SEAL divers discovered the boys and their coach alive 10 days later on July 2 after they had been totally cut off from the outside world.
What condition is the team in?
Video taken inside the cave on July 2 showed the boys and their coach interacting with the rescuers, who were sent to supply them, provide medical care and keep them company, according to The AP.
The members of the group are visibly skinny and weak. However, the boys and their coach appeared to be in good spirits.
Why is the rescue operation taking so long?
The only way out of the cave at this time would be for the boys to dive through the same route they entered, which includes narrow passageways that are extremely dangerous, The AP reported. However, rescuers are reconsidering this route, because oncoming storms could worsen the floods.
Furthermore, CNN reported, oxygen levels have dropped 15 percent, which could cause hypoxia. A diver, identified as former Sgt. Saman Kunan, died due to a lack of air during his return to a command center, according to Chiang Rai Deputy Gov. Passakorn Boonyalak.
How long can the team survive in the conditions?
Published: Saturday, July 07, 2018 @ 9:06 AM
PAMPLONA, Spain — Four people were hospitalized -- including one man who was gored -- during the running of the bulls in Pamplona, Spain, Saturday.
The Associated Press reported that three men were trampled and one man was gored, according to city officials.
One injured man is a 20-year-old from Canada. According to a statement from the Navarra regional government, he has mild traumatic injuries.
The three other men are from Spain, including a 38-year-old who was gored. A 40-year-old, according to The AP, has traumatic injuries.
BBC reported that, according to the Pamplona government, hundreds of people are injured on average during the yearly festival. Most injuries do not require medical attention as they are caused by grazes and falls.
Most participants in the run are men. Women have been allowed to participate since 1974.
According to records established since 1910, at least 16 people have died during the runs. The most who died in a run were two, each in the 1947 and 1980 runs. The last death in the run was in 2009.