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US open to direct N Korea dialogue

The US is not ruling out the eventual possibility of direct talks with North Korea, US Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan said yesterday, hours after Pyongyang said nuclear war might break out at any moment. Talks between the adversaries have long been urged by ChinaFULL STORY

N Korea’s ‘princess’ now a top policymaker

The promotion of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s 28-year-old sister to the country’s top decisionmaking body is a sign he is strengthening his position by drawing his most important people closer to the center of power, experts and officials said. Kim Yo-jong was named as anFULL STORY

‘Ten Years’ for Taiwan, two others

A controversial award-winning film that shook up Hong Kong with its bleak visions of the territory’s future is to be turned into a pan-Asian franchise, with Japanese, Taiwanese and Thai versions in the works. The original Ten Years (2015) movie was a collection of short filmsFULL STORY

Tackling Challenges: ‘Blade library’ opens for amputees

Haruta Saito, a young Japanese amputee who dreams of becoming a paralympian, remembers strapping on a prosthetic “running blade” for the first time. The 10-year-old boy, who had his right leg amputated at age two, never had the chance to use a blade because it wasFULL STORY

Tackling Challenges: Blind piano maestro in Japan learned to play classics by ear

Blind since birth, virtuoso Japanese pianist Nobuyuki Tsujii puts his global success down to a wide range of experiences outside music — and listening to how the conductor breathes. “I love sport, I love swimming, skiing,” the 29-year-old said in an interview. “The more I experience,FULL STORY

Iraq seizes more territory in advance against Kurds

The Baghdad government yesterday recaptured territory across the breadth of northern Iraq from Kurds, widening a sudden and dramatic campaign that has shifted the balance of power in the nation almost overnight. In the second day of a lightning campaign to take back towns and countrysideFULL STORY

Leading Maltese blogger killed by car bomb

Daphne Caruana Galizia, a prominent Maltese journalist and blogger who made repeated and detailed corruption allegations against Maltese Prime Minister Joseph Muscat’s inner circle, on Monday was killed by a car bomb. Muscat condemned the killing as a “barbaric” act and ordered security services to devoteFULL STORY

Asia struggles to reduce childbirth deaths

It seemed a simple statement: Women should not die from complications related to pregnancy or childbirth. Yet two years after world leaders agreed to 17 global goals at the UN, including the childbirth target, countries in the Asia-Pacific region are grappling to twin the rhetoric withFULL STORY

Macau ramps up security following Vegas shooting

Authorities in Macau have ramped up security measures following the deadly Las Vegas shooting this month and unveiled plans for a series of mock attacks and crisis training to safeguard the world’s largest gambling hub. The recommendations were laid out in a government statement following aFULL STORY

Kenya high court suspends ban on opposition protests

Kenya’s high court yesterday temporarily lifted a government curb on protests in three main cities until a full hearing can be held on an opposition petition to scrap the ban entirely. Kenyan Minister of Internal Security Fred Matiang’i announced the ban on Thursday, but opposition supportersFULL STORY

Senior Catalan separatists detained

A Spanish court has ordered two powerful Catalan separatists to be detained, threatening a further escalation of the political crisis yesterday as both sides refuse to budge in their high-stakes standoff over the region’s independence bid. Protests broke out in Catalonia’s capital Barcelona on Monday asFULL STORY

Wildfires kill 40 people in Portugal, Spain

At least 36 people have died in fires ravaging forests in northern and central Portugal over the past 24 hours, rescuers said on Monday, after four people were killed in Spain in blazes sparked by arsonists and fanned by Hurricane Ophelia. The 36 deaths, which wereFULL STORY

Remnants of Ophelia batter Ireland, Britain

The remnants of Hurricane Ophelia on Monday slammed into Ireland with wind gusts of up to 130kph, killing at least three people, grounding planes, shutting schools and causing widespread power outages. Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar urged people to stay indoors until the storm passed. Tens ofFULL STORY

Neutron star collision has changed our understanding of universe: scientists

For the first time, scientists have witnessed the cataclysmic crash of two ultra-dense neutron stars in a galaxy far away and concluded that such impacts forged at least half the gold in the universe. Shock waves and light flashes from the collision traveled about 130 millionFULL STORY

Internet awash with ‘Me too’ stories of sexual harassment

Tens of thousands of women are recounting being sexually harassed or assaulted by flooding social media with the hashtag #metoo in the wake of claims against movie producer Harvey Weinstein. Their stories of being verbally abused, groped, molested and raped by bosses, teachers and family comeFULL STORY

World News Quick Take

MALAYSIA Firms bid for MH370 search Three companies have offered to resume the search for flight MH370, but no decision has been reached on whether to take up any of the proposals, Minister of Transportation Liow Tiong Lai said yesterday. US seabed exploration firm Ocean Infinity, DutchFULL STORY

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