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Having nuclear weapons 'matter of life and death' for North Korea

Pyongyang would regard any attempts to strangle the country via U.N. Security Council sanctions as an attempt "to declare war" MOSCOW- Pyongyang does not plan to hold any talks with Washington about its nuclear program, a senior North Korean diplomat said on Friday, declaring that possessing nuclear weapons was a matter of life and death for North Korea, the RIA news agency reported. Tension has soared on the peninsula following a series of weapons tests by North Korea and a string of increasingly bellicose exchanges between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

Oxbridge accused of - social apartheid' over lack of offers to black students

Thirteen Oxford University colleges failed to make a single offer to black A-level applicants over a six-year period, new figures have revealed. Labour MP David Lammy, the former higher education minister, accused the red brick establishment of "social apartheid" after obtaining the figures through a Freedom of Information request.

Spain's main parties agree to Catalan election in January

Spain's government and the main opposition party have agreed to hold a new election in Catalonia in January as part of special measures to help resolve the country's political crisis. Catalonia's government said it has the mandate to secede from Spain after an illegal referendum was held on October 1, and does not want a new regional election.

Teen heroes' meet William and Harry at Kensington Palace

The Duke of Cambridge and Prince Harry have honoured inspirational young people recognised with a national award by inviting them to Kensington Palace. William and Harry met the winners and finalists of BBC Radio 1's Teen Awards on Wednesday, along with the station's DJs Nick Grimshaw, Clara Amfo and Greg James and singer Rita Ora.

Rohingya child refugees facing - hell on earth' - " Unicef

The children who make up most of the nearly 600,000 Rohingya Muslims who have fled violence in Burma are experiencing a "hell on earth" in overcrowded, muddy and squalid refugee camps in neighbouring Bangladesh, Unicef has said. The UN children's agency has issued a report that documents the plight of children who account for 58% of the refugees who have poured into Cox's Bazar over the last eight weeks.

Irishman Ibrahim Halawa released after four years in Egypt prison

Nosayba, left, and Somaia Halawa, sisters of Ibrahim Halawa, on Grafton Street in Dublin's city centre His supporters and authorities revealed the 21-year-old had been released from jail in Cairo more than four weeks on from his acquittal over Muslim Brotherhood protests. A message on the Free Ibrahim Halawa Facebook page welcomed his freedom and said plans for his repatriation are being made.

Trump's border wall models take shape in San Diego

Eight prototype wall sections are nearing completion along the U.S. border with Mexico. U.S. officials are sizing up the border wall models as part of President Trump's plan to build a wall along the border with Mexico.

UN says plague cases in Madagascar almost doubled in 5 days

The number of plague cases in Madagascar has almost doubled over the last five days and medical experts project the situation will worsen, with 1,000 cases expected every month if funds aren't rapidly provided, the United Nations said Thursday. U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric told reporters that only 26 percent of the $9.5 million needed to combat the outbreak of the often deadly disease has been received.

New arrest made in connection with fatal stabbing outside Tube station

Omid Saidy, 20, was killed outside the London station on Monday, where 30 people were injured in a terror attack last month. 18-year-old man arrested in connection with murder of Omid Saidy Scotland Yard said an 18-year-old man has been arrested at an address in Mitcham, south London, on suspicion of murder.

Angela Merkel hails - encouraging' signs for Brexit trade talks

German Chancellor Angela Merkel gave Theresa May a Brexit boost as EU leaders gathered for a summit in Brussels, saying there were "encouraging" signs that talks on the future UK/EU trade relationship could begin as early as December. Britain had already given up hope of receiving a green light for trade talks at the two-day European Council, after chief EU negotiator Michel Barnier said last week that insufficient progress had been made in divorce talks to move on to the second phase, dealing with trade.

Councils in England reported one million fly-tipping incidents in 2016

More than a million cases of fly-tipping were reported by English councils last year, as incidents of illegal waste dumping rose for the fourth year in a row. Local authorities across England recorded 1,002,154 cases of fly-tipping in 2016/2017, up 7% on the previous year, official statistics show.

Pakistan's ex-PM Nawaz Sharif faces corruption charges over Panama Papers leak

A Pakistani court has indicted former prime minister Nawaz Sharif and his daughter and son-in-law on corruption charges stemming from documents leaked from a Panama law firm. A lawyer for 67-year-old Sharif, who is in London, where his wife is receiving medical treatment, entered a plea of not guilty.

Labour's Jacinda Ardern to lead New Zealand coalition government

New Zealand will have a liberal government under challenger Jacinda Ardern after a small party said it would join her coalition following the election nearly a month ago. She has been compared to other young, charismatic leaders such as President Emmanuel Macron in France and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in Canada.

Body found in search for missing Argentine protester

Argentine investigators think they have found the body of a protester whose disappearance more than two months ago prompted large demonstrations, officials said. Coast Guard divers discovered the body in a river in southern Argentina and an investigator involved said there are reasons to believe it is Santiago Maldonado.

Brazil's president survives first vote on latest charges

Brazilian president Michel Temer has survived a first vote by politicians in a case that holds the potential of suspending him from office. A Chamber of Deputies committee voted 39-26 against putting the president on trial on charges of obstruction of justice and leading a criminal organisation.

Monument of love, the Taj Mahal, at heart of political storm

India's famed monument of love, the white marble Taj Mahal, is finding itself at the heart of a political storm, with some members of the country's ruling Hindu right-wing party claiming that the mausoleum built by a Muslim emperor does not reflect Indian culture. The most recent attack came this week when Sangeet Som, a lawmaker from the Bharatiya Janata Party, called the 17th century monument "a blot on Indian culture" that was built by "traitors."

Man suspected of killing three workmates linked to a second shooting

Two security guards have been jailed for their part in staging a A 7 million cash-in-transit heist after stealing money from a depot at Heathrow Airport. Loomis employees Mohammad Siddique and Ranjeev Singh used their van to steal cash belonging to Credit Suisse from inside a British Airways cargo depot at the airport.

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