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South Korea: Summit With U.S. Likely Next Month

An unnamed South Korean presidential official tells Reuters that the summit would be held ahead of a proposed meeting with President Trump and North Korea’s Kim Jong Un expected in May or June.

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The U.S. and South Korea are likely to hold a summit next month ahead of a separate proposed summit between President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un that could come as early as next month.

That is according to remarks from an unnamed South Korean presidential official quoted by Reuters.

An inter-Korean summit between South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korea’s Kim will be the third such meeting since the end of the Korea War in 1953. Two previous summits, in 2000 and again in 2007 were undertaken with high hopes of progress toward a lasting peace.

Meanwhile, President Trump, who has in the past referred to Kim derisively as “Little Rocket Man” and promised to respond to North Korean provocations with “fire and fury,” is sounding a more conciliatory tone ahead of the proposed summit.

Speaking of the summit, Trump said Tuesday, “We have been told directly that they would like to have the meeting as soon as possible. We think that’s a great thing for the world.”

“Kim Jong Un, he really has been very open and I think very honorable from everything we’re seeing,” Trump said alongside visiting French President Emmanuel Macron.

However, as The Associated Press notes, “Trump cautioned that North Korea had not followed through on previous promises, but credited tough steps from his administration – including sanctions and organizing pressure from international allies – for having forced Pyongyang to hold talks. And he again suggested that he would ‘leave the table’ if the negotiations were not productive or if North Korea was not operating in good faith.”

“We’ll see where that all goes,” the president said. “Maybe it will be wonderful or maybe it won’t.”

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit NPR.
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Four U.S Troops Killed In Kabul Airport Attack

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4 U.S. soldiers have been killed and three others wounded in attacks on Kabul airport.

A U.S. official says several Marines were killed and a number of other American military were wounded Thursday in an attack on Kabul’s airport.

U.S. officials have said that information is still coming in and they are trying to determine exact numbers of casualties.

The official spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss ongoing military operations.

The Pentagon would not say what troops were involved but acknowledged that “a number of U.S. service members were killed.”

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Amazon’s palm print recognition raises concern among U.S. senators

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Three U.S. senators, including Democrat Amy Klobuchar who chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee’s antitrust panel, wrote a letter to Amazon.com Inc (AMZN.O) to express concern about its palm print recognition system, Klobuchar’s office said Friday.

Amazon began rolling out biometric technology at its Whole Foods stores around Seattle in April, letting shoppers pay for items with a scan of their palm. The system, called Amazon One, lets customers link a credit card to their palm print.  read more 

Klobuchar, who was joined by Senators Bill Cassidy, a Republican, and Jon Ossoff, a Democrat, expressed concern in the letter dated Thursday about both privacy and competition related to Amazon One.

“Our concerns about user privacy are heightened by evidence that Amazon shared voice data with third-party contractors and allegations that Amazon has violated biometric privacy laws,” the lawmakers wrote in the letter.

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WHO seeks to take political heat out of virus origins debate

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The World Health Organization said on Friday it was setting up a new group to trace the origins of the coronavirus, seeking to end what it called “political point scoring” that had hampered investigations.

The inability of the WHO to say where and how the virus began spreading has fuelled tensions among its members, particularly between China, where COVID-19 cases were first identified in Wuhan in late 2019, and the United States.

The WHO called for all governments to cooperate to accelerate studies into the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic and “to depoliticise the situation”.

It specified that a new advisory group called the International Scientific Advisory Group for Origins of Novel Pathogens would support “the rapid undertaking” of further studies.

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