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ECB’s Rimsevics Detained by Latvian Anti-Graft Bureau

Latvian central bank Governor Ilmars Rimsevics, a member of the European Central Bank’s governing council, was detained by the anti-graft bureau, in a flurry of actions by officials that ended early Monday with the financial regulator imposing payment restrictions on third-biggest lender ABLV Bank AS. The detention followed a search by authorities of the governor’s office and private property, state-owned LTV reported. Rimsevics’s lawyer, Saulvedis Varpins, said the governor considered the move against him as "clearly illegal." Finance Minister Dana Reizniece-Ozola said the detention would be explained on Monday and…

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Closer to Midnight: The Doomsday Clock and the Threat of Nuclear War

The accidental missile alert in Hawaii earlier this month made real for 38 terrifying minutes the vague, low-level dread that permeates American life today: Nuclear war seems closer and more real than it has in a generation. Even the pope—not exactly a fear-monger—said last week that the world now stood at “the very limit.” That existential fear was affirmed today by the organization of nuclear scientists who have spent seven decades trying to turn humanity away from nuclear weapons: The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists moved its Doomsday Clock 30 seconds…

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2018 Feels Ripe for Big Unexpected Crisis, Eurasia Group Says

This year could see a geopolitical crisis on the scale of the financial crash a decade ago, Eurasia Group warned in its annual outlook. Describing global political challenges as “daunting,” the New York-based political risk consultancy said that “if we had to pick one year for a big unexpected crisis — the geopolitical equivalent of the 2008 financial meltdown — it feels like 2018." The biggest uncertainty surrounds China’s move to fill a vacuum as U.S. influence continues to decline, stoking tensions between the two powers, it said. That’s likely to…

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North Korea Signals Olympics Truce, Seeks Talks With Seoul

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un called for urgent talks with South Korea to make the Winter Olympics next month a success even while repeating claims that he could strike the U.S. with a nuclear bomb if necessary. In an annual New Year’s day speech, Kim said that “we sincerely hope the games will be successful.” He said that both Koreas should seek to resolve problems among themselves rather than seek help from outside of the region. “It’s about time that the North and the South sit down and seriously…

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Kim Jong Un Says Nuclear Button to Hit U.S. Always on My Desk

Kim Jong Un repeated claims that he could hit the U.S. with a nuclear weapon, saying that its deterrent is “irreversible” and would prevent President Donald Trump from starting a war. Kim also said he planned to send a delegation to the Winter Olympics in South Korea next month, Yonhap News reported, even as he called for mass production of nuclear warheads. South Korean television stations stopped broadcasting the speech before it ended. “It’s reality, not a threat, that the nuclear button is always on my desk,” Kim said in…

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Trump Scraps Possible Formal Meeting With Putin

President Donald Trump will not meet formally with Russian President Vladimir Putin at an Asia-Pacific summit in Vietnam this week due to a scheduling conflict, the White House said Friday, amid U.S. concerns that the meeting wouldn’t create genuine progress on key issues. “Are they going to bump into each other and say hello? Certainly possible and likely,” Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters. “But in terms of a scheduled, formal meeting, there’s not one on the calendar and we don’t anticipate that there will be one.” Any Putin-Trump meeting…

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North Korea Warns That Nuclear War Could Break Out Any Moment

North Korea warned that a nuclear war “may break out any moment” as the U.S. and South Korea began one of the largest joint naval drills off both the east and west coasts of the peninsula. Kim In Ryong, North Korea’s deputy ambassador to the United Nations, said on Monday that his nation had become a “full-fledged nuclear power which possesses the delivery means of various ranges” and warned that “the entire U.S. mainland is within our firing range.” He also called North Korea “a responsible nuclear state.” “As long…

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North Korean Hack of U.S. War Plans Shows Off Cyber Skills

The techno soldiers of Kim Jong Un are growing more aggressive in defending North Korea’s supreme leader against threats from The Interview.” If Kim’s cyber warriors have indeed stolen the top-secret intelligence, it raises alarms about the security of U.S.-South Korea information and the effectiveness of potential military options. “The plan is fundamental to conducting a war operation and leakage of even a small part of it is very critical,” Rhee Cheol-hee, the ruling party lawmaker, said in a telephone interview. “How could we fight against an enemy and win a…

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Tillerson Says U.S. Talking With North Korea on Nuke Program

The U.S. is communicating with North Korea about its nuclear program and testing Pyongyang’s appetite for negotiations, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said in the first public acknowledgment by a senior administration official of direct contact on the matter. A State Department spokeswoman later tamped down prospects for a breakthrough in the tense relations between Washington and Pyongyang. Tillerson, speaking to reporters on Saturday after meeting Chinese officials in Beijing, insisted that the U.S. would never accept a nuclear-armed North Korea. His remarks offered the clearest glimpse so far into U.S….

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‘A rogue’ and a ‘dotard’: Kim Jong-un’s statement on Trump in full

The North Korean leader has upped his rhetoric against the US president, calling him mentally-deranged and a dotard North Koreas leader Kim Jong-un has once again upped his rhetoric against US president Donald Trump. Here is his statement in full: The speech made by the US president in his maiden address on the UN arena in the prevailing serious circumstances, in which the situation on the Korean peninsula has been rendered tense as never before and is inching closer to a touch-and-go state, is arousing worldwide concern. Shaping the general…

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Sound of a dog barking: North Korea ridicules Trump threat

North Koreas foreign minister, Ri Yong-ho, responds to Donald Trump calling Kim Jong-un rocket man North Koreas foreign minister, Ri Yong-ho, has issued a withering riposte to Donald Trump, likening his threat to destroy the regime to the sound of a dog barking, adding that he felt sorry for the US presidents advisers. In his first speech to the UN general assembly, Trump said on Tuesday the US would be forced to tweet last weekend, Trump said to the visible dismay of some in the hall: Rocket man is on…

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Life at ‘the tip of the spear’: defiant Guam refuses to cower to Kim

Idyllic Pacific island relies on tourism and the US military to sustain it. When it comes to North Korea, islanders hope that peace wins over war White sand beaches, crystal clear water, sunny blue skies and palm trees. All the hallmarks of an island getaway perfect for ignoring the problems of the world unless that island is Guam. This far-flung sliver of coral and greenery, which sits 9,700km from the US mainland, is in the crosshairs of North Korea. It has been singled out by Kim Jong-un for a Show…

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Chinese media warn Trump’s war of words with North Korea could spiral out of control

Communist party outlets cite a disaster in the making though some claim America has far more to lose than Kim Jong-un in a conflict An accidental spark could ignite a catastrophic conflagration in north-east Asia, Chinese state media has warned, after Donald Trump threatened to unleash fire and fury on North Korea. In one newspaper likening the situation to a train racing down an increasingly dark tunnel. Hu Xijin, the outspoken editor of the Global Times, a nationalist Communist party-controlled tabloid, claimed the US would come off worse from any…

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