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shutting down north korea’s test site is not as easy as it looks. ask france, britain and the u.s.

this 1971 nuclear test, which was code-named dione, was a 34-kiloton blast conducted by france at mururoa atoll. (galerie bilderwelt/getty images)north korea’s ruling regime may have sent the most significant signal to date that it is willing to denuclearize on thursday, when it said it had blown up the punggye-ri nuclear testing site in the country’s mountainous northeast. but while closing down that site could end testing there, history shows that its nuclear legacy will likely endure for a very long time.just ask france, britain or the united states.after the brits tested a number of nuclear bombs in the southwestern australian outback during the mid-1950s, massive cleanup operations over the following two decades allegedly contaminated local workers. only now, over half a...





how kim-trump tensions escalated: the more the u.s. said ‘libya,’ the angrier north korea got

libyan leader moammar gaddafi in the capital of belarus in 2008. (sergei grits/ap)if you’re serious about peace and denuclearization, maybe don’t mention libya. that appeared to be the message north korea had for the united states once again on thursday when pyongyang lashed out at vice president pence, calling him a “political dummy” and threatening a “nuclear-to-nuclear showdown,” hours before trump canceled an upcoming denuclearization summit in singapore scheduled for june 12, citing “open hostility” by north korea.“as a person involved in the u.s. affairs, i cannot suppress my surprise at such ignorant and stupid remarks gushing out from the mouth of the u.s. vice president,” choe son hui, a north korean vice foreign minister, had said hours earlier.the remar...





punggye-ri: foreign reporters had bizarre journey to see north korean nuclear test site destruction

south korean journalists head to a plane at seoul airport to go to north korea where they will cover the dismantlement of the north's key nuclear test site. (pool photo via epa-efe/shutterstock)only a small number of foreign journalists were invited to visit north korea to watch the demolition of punggye-ri, the country's secretive nuclear testing facility. they were there to witness what pyongyang had portrayed as a symbolic gesture of goodwill to the united states ahead of talks between kim jong un and president trump.but if this was a media spectacle, it was very strange and distinctly north korean one.in one notable example, most of the journalists invited came from broadcast media. however, the remote site of punggye-ri is located in a mountainous region in north hamgyong provin...





the many countries where abortion is basically banned

protesters hold antiabortion placards in front of the gates of the irish parliament building ahead of a vote to introduce abortion in limited cases. (peter muhly/afp/getty images)on friday, ireland will go to the polls to decide whether to lift its near-total ban on abortion.currently, the country’s constitution grants mothers and unborn children an equal “right to life,” prohibiting the procedure unless it’s necessary to save the life of the pregnant woman. but that could change this week if voters decide to strike down its eighth amendment.even if that happens, lawmakers would still have to draft a new law on whether and how abortion will be regulated. but friday’s referendum is a big first step.ireland’s current abortion laws are among the most stringent in the world. o...





cyclone mekunu poses severe and possibly unprecedented storm threat to oman

visualization of tropical cyclone mekunu. (windytv.com)tropical cyclone mekunu, bearing hurricane strength, is growing ever stronger in the arabian sea. the storm is forecast to slam into southwest oman, packing maximum sustained winds of about 110 mph late friday into early saturday local time.if the storm is in fact this strong at landfall, it would match the power of a high-end category 2 or low-end category 3 hurricane. in recorded history, no storm that intense has struck the region.mekunu is presently classified as a very severe cyclonic storm and packs peak winds of 90 mph. its predicted path brings it very close to or just to the west of the city of salalah, oman’s second-biggest, with a population of about 200,000.track forecast for tropical cyclone mekunu. (joint typhoo...





the bad timing of trump’s north korea letter

a commemorative coin released by the white house for a potential “peace summit,” featuring the names and silhouettes of president trump and north korean leader kim jong un. (yuri gripas/bloomberg news)on thursday, trump announced he has canceled a planned summit next month with north korean leader kim jong un, where the two leaders had been set to discuss denuclearization, among other issues.only hours earlier, north korea had taken foreign reporters to an event at which it had demolished its only known nuclear testing site, punggye-ri, in what was intended as a gesture of goodwill ahead of the summit.that these two events occurred on the same day may be an unfortunate coincidence. in his letter to kim canceling the summit, trump did not mention the demolition of the test site. in...





after day of negotiations, democrats and republicans will be briefed on secret fbi source who aided russia probe

justice department and intelligence officials briefed top republican and democratic lawmakers thursday on a confidential fbi source who aided in the investigation of whether the trump campaign coordinated with russia, attempting to defuse a partisan conflict over the use of the source and the fbi’s reluctance to reveal information about the matter. reversing its earlier position, the white house allowed a top democrat to join republicans for the first of two meetings thursday. chief of staff john f. kelly and white house lawyer emmet t. flood, who was recently tapped to serve as a point person for the special counsel’s investigation, also were spotted leaving after the discussions. a second, bipartisan briefing for the gang of eight, which includes the top republicans and democrats in ...





black customers accused a kfc in berlin of racism. now, they’re charged with recording the incident.

racial treatment in berlin in kfc, we were jus having something to eat n chatting #racismstillexist #neverexperiencethatbeforeposted by grenadian s chick on monday, may 21, 2018berlin — kfc is facing racism accusations in germany after a group of black customers were thrown out of one of its berlin stores on monday. in a video distributed online and recorded by a member of that group, police officers can be seen escorting the group out of the restaurant.in the caption of the video, which had been viewed more than 250,000 times as of thursday evening, the uploader accuses berlin authorities and kfc of racist motives. “racial treatment in berlin in kfc, we were jus having something to eat n chatting #racismstillexist #neverexperiencethatbefore,” she writes. (the misspellings are in ...





dutch-led investigators say russian missile shot down malaysia airlines flight 17 over ukraine in 2014

brussels — a dutch-led international team of investigators said thursday that a missile that downed a malaysia airlines jetliner over eastern ukraine in 2014 came from the russian military, opening the possibility that dutch prosecutors could sue the kremlin in connection with the attack that killed all 298 on board. the long-running inquiry already had established that a russian-made buk antiaircraft missile downed flight 17, but it had not previously made a direct link to the russian military. the kremlin has always denied involvement in the incident.criminal charges against the russian military or russia’s government probably would exacerbate tensions between the kremlin and the west even further, implicating russian officials in the death of european tourists on their way to kuala ...





ireland votes on its abortion ban, a ‘once in a generation decision’

signs for repealing and keeping ireland’s abortion ban can be seen outside a cemetery in castlerea. (james forde/for the washington post)castlerea, ireland — aine kelly knows her home town. “the young leave,” she said. “the old stay.” as the 29-year-old campaigner with a stack of pamphlets walked through a housing development, knocking on doors, the locals revealed themselves: they were retirees who favored garden trolls, statues of the virgin mary and wee, excitable dogs. “hello, sir!” kelly said to an elderly gentleman who kept a wheelbarrow filled with peat for his fireplace. “we’re here to talk to you about the referendum and what you might be thinking.” for the next seven minutes, kelly and the man in a gray sweater engaged in a remarkable conversation, a civil, ...





ireland votes on its abortion ban, a ‘once in a generation decision’

signs for repealing and keeping ireland’s abortion ban can be seen outside a cemetery in castlerea. (james forde/for the washington post)castlerea, ireland — aine kelly knows her home town. “the young leave,” she said. “the old stay.” as the 29-year-old campaigner with a stack of pamphlets walked through a housing development, knocking on doors, the locals revealed themselves: they were retirees who favored garden trolls, statues of the virgin mary and wee, excitable dogs. “hello, sir!” kelly said to an elderly gentleman who kept a wheelbarrow filled with peat for his fireplace. “we’re here to talk to you about the referendum and what you might be thinking.”for the next seven minutes, kelly and the man in a gray sweater engaged in a remarkable conversation, a civil, s...





dutch-led investigators say russian missile shot down malaysia airlines flight 17 over ukraine in 2014

brussels — a dutch-led international team of investigators said thursday that a missile that downed a malaysia airlines jetliner over eastern ukraine in 2014 came from the russian military, opening the possibility that dutch prosecutors could sue the kremlin in connection with the attack that killed all 298 on board. the long-running inquiry already had established that a russian-made buk antiaircraft missile downed flight 17, but it had not previously made a direct link to the russian military. the kremlin has always denied involvement in the incident.criminal charges against the russian military or russia’s government probably would exacerbate tensions between the kremlin and the west even further, implicating russian officials in the death of european tourists on their way to kuala ...





shutting down north korea’s test site is not as easy as it looks. ask france, britain and the u.s.

this 1971 nuclear test, which was code-named dione, was a 34-kiloton blast conducted by france at mururoa atoll. (galerie bilderwelt/getty images)north korea’s ruling regime may have sent the most significant signal to date that it is willing to denuclearize on thursday, when it said it had blown up the punggye-ri nuclear testing site in the country’s mountainous northeast. but while closing down that site could end testing there, history shows that its nuclear legacy will likely endure for a very long time.just ask france, britain or the united states.after the brits tested a number of nuclear bombs in the southwestern australian outback during the mid-1950s, massive cleanup operations over the following two decades allegedly contaminated local workers. only now, over half a...





punggye-ri: foreign reporters had bizarre journey to see north korean nuclear test site destruction

south korean journalists head to a plane at seoul airport on wednesday to go to north korea where they will cover the dismantlement of the north's key nuclear test site. (pool/epa-efe/shutterstock)only a small number of foreign journalists were invited to visit north korea to watch the demolition of punggye-ri, the country's secretive nuclear testing facility. they were there to witness what pyongyang had portrayed as a symbolic gesture of goodwill to the united states ahead of upcoming talks between kim jong un and president trump.but if this was a media spectacle, it was very strange and distinctly north korean one.in one notable example, most of the journalists invited came from broadcast media. however, the remote site of punggye-ri is located in a mountainous region in north ham...





ebola in congo: three patients fled quarantine, sparking fears it could spread

a team from doctors without borders dons protective clothing and equipment as they prepare to treat ebola patients in an isolation ward of mbandaka hospital in congo. (louise annaud/doctors without borders/ap)health officials in congo are anxious to contain the country's deadly ebola outbreak — which has already spread to an urban area — before the situation gets any worse. but controlling the virus may have just gotten tougher.on thursday, a senior doctors without borders aid worker said that two patients infected with ebola who fled their hospital on monday night potentially exposed dozens of more people to the virus.in a briefing in geneva, jean-clement cabrol, a doctor who had just returned from congo, said "the patients were in the active phase of the disease, vomiting" when...





the many, many countries where abortion is basically banned

protesters hold a anti-abortion placards in front of the gates of the irish parliament building in dublin during a demonstration ahead of a vote to introduce abortion in limited cases where the mother's life is at risk. (peter muhly/afp/getty images)on friday, ireland will go to the polls to decide whether to lift its near-total ban on abortion.currently, the country’s constitution grants mothers and unborn children an equal “right to life,” prohibiting the procedure unless it’s necessary to save the life of the pregnant woman. but that could all change this week, if voters decide to strike down its eighth amendment.even if that happens, lawmakers would still have to draft a new law on whether and how abortion will be regulated. but friday’s referendum is a big first step.ire...





how kim-trump tensions escalated: the more the u.s. said ‘libya,’ the angrier north korea got

former libyan leader moammar gaddafi in the capital of belarus in 2008. (sergei grits/ap)if you’re serious about peace and denuclearization, maybe don’t mention libya. that appeared to be the message north korea had for the united states once again on thursday when pyongyang lashed out at vice president pence, calling him a “political dummy” and threatening a “nuclear-to-nuclear showdown,” hours before trump canceled an upcoming denuclearization summit in singapore scheduled for june 12, citing “open hostility” by north korea.“as a person involved in the u.s. affairs, i cannot suppress my surprise at such ignorant and stupid remarks gushing out from the mouth of the u.s. vice president,” choe son hui, a north korean vice foreign minister, had said hours earlier.th...





after day of negotiations, democrats and republicans will be briefed on secret fbi source who aided russia probe

reversing its earlier position, the white house will allow top democrats to join republicans for a briefing thursday on a confidential fbi source who aided in the investigation of whether the trump campaign coordinated with russia, and chief of staff john f. kelly will sit in on the discussions, the justice department announced. after a day of furious negotiations and evolving public messages from the white house, the administration set two separate briefings with lawmakers to discuss the matter. the first, at noon, will be for house intelligence committee chairman devin nunes (r-calif.), house oversight committee chairman trey gowdy (r-s.c.) and speaker paul d. ryan (r-wis.), according to the justice department and ryan’s office. the second, at 2 p.m., will be for gowdy and the gang of ...





north korea declares its nuclear test site disabled hours before trump cancels summit

anna fifield is the washington post’s bureau chief in tokyo, focusing on japan and the koreas. she previously reported for the financial times from washington, d.c., seoul, sydney, london and from across the middle east. follow @annafifield





erdogan’s push for power creates new chaos

want smart analysis of the most important news in your inbox every weekday along with other global reads, interesting ideas and opinions to know? sign up for the today's worldview newsletter.given the trump administration's recent dramatic moves in the middle east — its rejection of the iran nuclear deal and its embrace of israeli prime minister benjamin netanyahu's hard-line worldview — it may be easy to overlook what's happening nearby in turkey.but that would be mistake, and not only because president recep tayyip erdogan casts a shadow across the looming confrontation with tehran and is also leading the criticism of president trump's decision to move the u.s. embassy in israel to jerusalem.turkey is now in the middle of both an alarming currency crash and a heated ele...