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Earthquake Detected in North Korea; China Suspects Nuclear Test

China’s earthquake administration said Saturday it had detected a magnitude 3.4 earthquake in North Korea that was a “suspected explosion,” raising fears the isolated state had conducted another nuclear bomb test. The administration said in a statement on its website that the quake, which occurred around 0830 GMT, was recorded a depth of zero kilometers. Previous quakes from North Korea have indicated nuclear tests by the reclusive state, the most recent earlier this month. Quake near nuclear test site The earthquake was detected in Kilju county in North Hamgyong Province,…

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Iran Tests New Ballistic Missile Seen in Military Parade

Iran has successfully tested a new ballistic missile with a range of 2,000 km (1,200 miles), which it displayed at a military parade Friday, state media reported Saturday. The test-firing of the Khorramshahr missile, which Iran said could carry several warheads, is likely to raise concerns in Washington. State broadcaster IRIB carried footage of the missile test without giving its time and location, including video from an on-board camera, which it said showed the detachment of the cone that carries multiple warheads. “You are seeing images of the successful test…

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Wisconsin, Ohio, Minnesota Among States Targeted by Russian Hackers in 2016 race

Wisconsin, Ohio and several other states said on Friday they were among 21 states that Russian government hackers targeted in an effort to sway the 2016 presidential election in favor of Donald Trump though no votes were changed. The Department of Homeland Security confirmed it had notified the states of the activity but declined to identify them. Russia has denied election meddling, and President Trump has denied any collusion with Russia. Alabama, Colorado, Connecticut, Minnesota, Texas and Washington state also confirmed they were targeted by Russian hackers but said they…

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US Looks to Keep Arms Control Treaty With Russia

The United States sees value in the New START arms control treaty with Russia, despite Washington’s concerns about Moscow’s track record on arms control and other issues, senior U.S. officials said Friday. The remarks by the Trump administration officials, speaking to reporters on condition of anonymity, suggest the treaty will remain in force and the door remains open to pursuing an extension of the accord, which is set to expire in 2021. The New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty gives both countries until February 2018 to reduce their deployed strategic nuclear…

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Iran: ‘We Will Strengthen Our Missile Capabilities’ 

Iran will strengthen its missile capabilities and will not seek any country’s permission, President Hassan Rouhani said Friday in a snub to demands from U.S. President Donald Trump. Rouhani was speaking at a military parade where an Iranian news agency said one of the weapons on display was a new ballistic missile with range of 2,000 km (1,200 miles), capable of carrying several warheads. The Tasnim news agency, which quoted the head of the Revolutionary Guards’ aerospace division, Amirali Hajizadeh, gave few other details of the missile. Trump criticism At…

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Philanthropists Pledge Millions for Better UN Data on Women

Philanthropists pledged millions of dollars Thursday to fund U.N. data gathering, saying it was vital to learn more about the world’s women to tackle the poverty that disproportionately affects them. Pledges totaling $34 million were unveiled during a side event of the United Nations’ annual General Assembly, a weeklong meeting in New York of world leaders and diplomats. U.N. Women, the U.N. arm dedicated to gender equality, has programs in 107 countries through which it seeks to give women who are disenfranchised the same opportunities as men. Recent research by…

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Facebook to Share Russia-linked Ads With US Congress

Facebook said on Thursday it plans to share with U.S. congressional investigators some 3,000 political ads that it says Russia-based operatives ran on Facebook in the months before and after last year’s U.S. presidential election. Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg, who has been under pressure to do more to prevent the use of Facebook for election manipulation, said in a live broadcast on Facebook that he supported the investigation by the U.S. Congress. Zuckerberg laid out nine steps that he said Facebook was taking to deter governments from using the world’s…

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Ukraine President Says Trump Shares Vision on ‘New Level’ of Defense Cooperation

Ukraine’s Petro Poroshenko met U.S. President Donald Trump on Thursday and said afterwards that they had a shared vision on a “new level” of defense cooperation, but not whether this included the U.S. provision of defensive weapons to Ukraine. The United States is reviewing whether to send weapons to Ukraine to help it defend itself, an option that previous U.S. president Barack Obama vetoed and which is opposed by Russia. After meeting Trump in New York, President Poroshenko told a televised briefing: “It’s very important that there is a shared…

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Pence Says UN Peacekeeping Missions Must Be More Effective, Efficient

President Donald Trump’s policy of ” ‘America First’ does not mean ‘America Alone,’ ” Vice President Mike Pence told the U.N. Security Council on Wednesday as he urged reform to make peacekeeping missions more efficient, effective, accountable and credible. The 15-member council discussed how to improve peacekeeping operations during the annual gathering of world leaders at the United Nations. There are currently 15 U.N. peacekeeping missions, costing more than $7.3 billion for the next year. Since January, Trump’s U.N. ambassador, Nikki Haley, has led a push to cut costs and…

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Fed Keeps US Rates Steady, to Start Portfolio Drawdown in October

The U.S. Federal Reserve left interest rates unchanged on Wednesday but signaled it still expects one more increase by the end of the year despite a recent bout of low inflation. The Fed, as expected, also said it would begin in October to reduce its approximately $4.2 trillion in holdings of U.S. Treasury bonds and mortgage-backed securities acquired in the years after the 2008 financial crisis. New economic projections released after the Fed’s two-day policy meeting showed 11 of 16 officials see the “appropriate” level for the federal funds rate,…

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