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Is North Korea a Nuclear Threat or Not? The President Now Says It Is

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, New York Times

Is North Korea a Nuclear Threat or Not? The President Now Says It Is

The gulf between President Donald Trump’s rhetoric and a thorny geopolitical reality widened a bit further Friday, when the White House said it would extend a decade-old executive order declaring a national emergency over the nuclear threat from North Korea. The announcement came days after Trump declared to the world that “everybody can now feel much safer” after his meeting with the North Korean leader, Kim Jong Un: “There is no longer a Nuclear Threat from North Korea,” Trump said on Twitter. The national emergency regarding North Korea has been in place since 2008, spanning three presidencies.

North and South Korea Agree to Hold Reunions of Families Divided by War

North and South Korea agreed to hold temporary reunions in August of families separated by the Korean War, officials said Friday, a sign of improving ties between the countries. The officials said that 100 older citizens from each country would meet with hundreds of relatives from the other side during three days of gatherings from Aug. 20-26 at the Diamond Mountain resort in North Korea. The reunions, organized by the Red Cross societies of the two Koreas, will include relatives who have not seen each other since they were separated during the chaos of the 1950-1953 Korean War.

Turkey’s Democratic Opposition Tests Cracks in Erdogan’s Iron Grip on Voters

When President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called early elections two months ago, he seemed assured of victory. But as Sunday’s vote approaches, the man who has transformed Turkey over 15 years in power appears increasingly vulnerable. The question will be, just how vulnerable? The vote will be watched far beyond Turkey’s borders for what it will decide about the direction of the country — whether it continues down the path of populist authoritarianism with Erdogan, or takes a turn for democratic change. A skillful politician with a fervent support base, Erdogan still leads in the polls. But dissatisfaction over a downturn in the economy is spreading.

Migration to Europe Is Slowing, but the Political Issue Is as Toxic as Ever

European leaders have been struggling for the past three years to deal with the problem of migration. The politics have become a danger to the bloc, bringing populists to power most recently in Italy and Austria and now threatening the rule of Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany. Under a kind of ultimatum from her Bavarian conservative partners to reduce the flow of migrants coming to Germany, Merkel got the president of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, to call an emergency meeting Sunday of the European leaders most affected by migration. It is in preparation for a summit that was supposed to be about eurozone reform.

Bourdain Had No Narcotics in His System When He Died, French Official Says

Anthony Bourdain did not have narcotics in his body when he died this month, a French judicial official said. Bourdain, a New York chef, author and television correspondent, was found dead in a hotel bathroom in Kaysersberg, a small village in the Alsace region of France. Police at the time ruled his death a suicide by hanging. From an investigative standpoint, the only question left was whether he had any substances in his body. There were none, save for the trace of a non-narcotic medicine in a therapeutic dose, Christian de Rocquigny, the local prosecutor in charge of the investigation, told The New York Times.

The 3-Minute Break Heard Round Japan

For the want of a bento box, a Japanese worker who habitually left his desk three minutes before his official lunch break has been docked half a day’s pay. The transgression prompted senior officials at the city waterworks department in Kobe to hold a news conference offering a public apology for the worker’s conduct. The unidentified 64-year-old employee was also reprimanded after an investigation found that he had left the office to order a bento box before his lunch break on 26 occasions. The case caught the eye of social media users in a country known for its struggle with maintaining a healthy work-life balance.

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