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The Best Santas Shops @ Houston Jewelry

UPDATE 1-Farage offers UK PM Johnson an electoral pact for no-deal Brexit

Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage offered British Prime Minister Boris Johnson an electoral pact if he goes for a no-deal EU exit, but warned that if he tried to fudge Brexit then he would face a battle over every seat at the next election. More than three years since the United Kingdom voted 52-48% to leave the European Union, Brexit remains up in the air: Options range from an acrimonious divorce on Oct. 31 and an election to an amicable exit or even another referendum.


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UN secretary-general confident businesses will do what Trump will not on climate: G7 Summit

"If you look at the U.S. society today, you see states, you see cities [and] you see businesses that are really leading in relation to climate action, the U.N. Secretary-General said.


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Trump moves to ease tensions over China, Iran as G7 summit wraps up

U.S. President Donald Trump on Monday offered an olive branch to China after days of intense feuding over trade and opened the door to diplomacy on Iran, easing tension on the last day of a strained G7 summit. The leaders of the world''s major industrialised nations, meeting in the French coastal resort of Biarritz, look set to reach an agreement on how to help fight the Amazon forest fires and try to repair the devastation.


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North Korea tests new 'super-large' rocket launcher

North Korea said Sunday that leader Kim Jong Un supervised the test-firing of a "newly developed super-large multiple rocket launcher," another demonstration of the North''s expanding weapons arsenal apparently aimed at increasing its leverage ahead of a possible resumption of nuclear talks with the U.S. Kim underscored the need to "continue to step up the development of Korean-style strategic and tactical weapons for resolutely frustrating the ever-mounting military threats and pressure offensive of the hostile forces," according to KCNA.


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Hezbollah: Israeli drone falls, another explodes over Beirut

A Hezbollah official said Sunday that an Israeli drone went down over the Lebanese capital of Beirut and another exploded in the air, amid regional tensions between Israel and Iran. Residents of the Iranian-backed group''s stronghold in southern Beirut reported one large explosion that shook the area early Sunday, triggering a fire. The Hezbollah official spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity as the person was not authorized to speak on the record to journalists.


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Hezbollah official: Israeli drone falls in south Beirut suburbs, second drone crashes

An Israeli drone fell in the southern suburbs of Beirut, dominated by the Iran-backed movement, and a second drone exploded near the ground before dawn on Sunday, a Hezbollah official told Reuters. The second drone caused damage when it crashed in a neighbourhood of the Dahyeh suburbs close to Hezbollah''s media centre, the official said.


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UPDATE 1-UK PM Johnson to tell Trump to de-escalate trade tensions

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Saturday he would tell President Donald Trump at this weekend''s G7 summit to pull back from a trade war that is already destabilising economic growth around the world. Johnson and Trump are due to meet on Sunday morning for what are expected to be positive talks on their countries'' future bilateral trade relations and Brexit, as well as covering international topics where the two sides do not see eye to eye, like Russia, the Iran nuclear deal and trade policy on China. Asked if he would be telling Trump he should not escalate the trade war with China, Johnson said "you bet".


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North Korea launches short-range missiles complicating US attempts for talks

North Korea fired what appears to be two short-range ballistic missiles into the sea off its east coast on Saturday, the South Korean military said, the latest in a series of launches in recent weeks. A US official said the two missiles North Korea had fired appeared to be similar to launches in recent weeks. Saturday's launch, the seventh by North Korea since US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un met at the inter-Korean border in June, have complicated attempts to restart talks between US and North Korean negotiators over the future of Pyongyang's nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programmes. The two leaders agreed to restart working-level negotiations in June, but since then the United States has so far been unsuccessful in attempts to get talks going. US envoy on North Korea Stephen Biegun was in Seoul this week to discuss ways to get negotiations back on track. "We are prepared to engage as soon as we hear from our counterparts in North Korea," Mr Biegun said on Wednesday. But in recent weeks, North Korea has repeatedly criticised US and South Korean largely computer-simulated joint military drills, South Korea's import of high-tech weapons such as F-35 stealth jets, and US testing of its intermediate-range cruise missile as threatening and hindrances to dialogue. North Korean missile ranges On Friday, North Korea's top diplomat called US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo a "diehard toxin," saying: "We are ready for both dialogue and standoff." South Korea's National Security Council (NSC) expressed "strong concern" over North Korea's continued launches despite the fact that the South Korea-US joint military exercises denounced by North Korea had ended. It called for North Korea to stop escalating military tensions on the Korean Peninsula. The NSC agreed to make diplomatic efforts to bring North Korea to the negotiating table with the United States as soon as possible for the complete denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula, South Korea's presidential office said in a statement. A senior US administration official said: "We are aware of reports of a missile launch from North Korea, and continue to monitor the situation. We are consulting closely with our Japanese and South Korean allies." Japanese Defence Minister Takeshi Iwaya said that North Korea's missile launches were a clear violation of UN resolutions and cannot be ignored. He confirmed that missiles fell outside Japan's Exclusive Economic Zone, and posed no immediate threat to Japan's security. South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff (JSC) said North Korea fired what appeared to be short-range ballistic missiles on Saturday at around 6:45 a.m. and 7:02 a.m. KST respectively from around Sondok, South Hamgyong Province. Sondok is the site of a North Korean military airfield. They flew about 236 miles and reached a height of 60 miles, JSC said. Japan's Coast Guard warned shipping not to approach any fallen debris. South Korea officially informed Japan on Friday of its decision to scrap an intelligence-sharing agreement, which Japanese Minister of Defence Takeshi Iwaya said was regrettable and showed that Seoul failed to appreciate the growing security threat posed by North Korea.


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UN threatens sanctions over C.Africa peace pact violations

The United Nations special envoy for the Central African Republic on Friday threatened sanctions for violations of a peace agreement signed by the government and rebel groups to end a war that has ravaged the country since 2013. The CAR is experiencing relative calm since the accord was signed in February between the government and 14 military groups -- the eighth deal since the conflict erupted -- but clashes are still regular in the landlocked country.


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US-China Business Council urges talks to end damaging trade tensions

The US-China Business Council on Friday said millions of U.S. citizens will be harmed by the increased trade tensions between the United States and China, the world''s largest economies, following the latest salvos in the U.S.-China trade war. The group, which represents American companies doing business in China, urged President Donald Trump and Chinese leader Xi Jinping to end the downward cycle of tit-for-tat tariffs and focus on resolving their trade differences. "A trade deal that addresses the legitimate concerns articulated by the (U.S. Trade Representative''s office) in its Section 301 Report would be in the mutual interest of both China and the United States.


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Putin orders Russia to respond after US missile test

President Vladimir Putin ordered the Russian military on Friday to work out a quid pro quo response after the test of a new U.S. missile banned under a now-defunct arms treaty. In Sunday''s test, a modified ground-launched version of a U.S. Navy Tomahawk cruise missile accurately struck its target more than 500 kilometers (310 miles) away. The test came after Moscow and Washington withdrew from the 1987 Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty.


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North Korea Made Its Very Own AK-47: Meet the Crazy Type 88 Rifle

The latest North Korean assault rifle is the Type 88. One of the largest armies in the world has adopted one of the most unusual variants of the AK-series of assault rifles.The North Korean People’s Army Type 88 rifle is similar to the Soviet-era AK-74 with one key difference: unusual helical magazines that carry up to five times as many rounds as conventional 30-round magazines.(This first appeared late last year.) Over the past sixty years, the Korean People’s Army (KPA) has consistently ranked as one of the largest armed forces in the world. The size and strength of the KPA has fluctuated over time and are not made public but are thought to number today an estimated 1.19 million men and women under arms. The vast majority of the KPA belongs to the ground forces, with the air force and navy a distant second and third.The KPA was trained and equipped in the late 1940s by the Soviet Union and received considerable support throughout the Cold War. Like most communist bloc countries, North Korea manufactured and fielded its own version of the AK-47. The AK-47 itself became the Type 58 assault rifle, while the improved AKM became the Type 68 rifle. Both rifles used the 7.62x39 round, simplifying logistics considerably and requiring the country to stock only a single common rifle caliber in vast quantities. According to small arms historian Edward Clinton Ezell, the rifles were manufactured at the Number 61 and 65 small arms factories at an annual rate of 150,000 a year.The latest North Korean assault rifle is the Type 88. The Type 88 is a copy of the AK-74 assault rifle, whose primary advantage over the AK-47 was the adoption of the smaller, lighter 5.45-millimeter round. Exactly when the Type 88 was adopted is not clear, but the type designation, in this case, may indicate the year of adoption—1988. The rifle is now a staple of North Korean military parades and is frequently seen in the hands of North Korean special operations troops and leader Kim Jong Un’s bodyguards.As a copy of the AK-74, the Type 88’s performance is likely identical to the original Soviet (and now Russian) rifle. The AK-74 is approximately 37.12 inches long, though a North Korean rifle could have a shorter overall buttstock and overall length to suit shorter North Korean soldiers. The lighter recoil and weight of the 5.45-millimeter round over the older 7.62-millimeter round was likely considered enough of an advance to warrant changing calibers. The AK-74 weighs 6.5 pounds and has a rate of fire of approximately 600 to 650 rounds per minute. Unlike previous rifles which were blued steel with wooden furniture, the Type 88 is all black in appearance, likely a purely cosmetic feature meant to give it a modern look like South Korea’s Daewoo K2 and American M4A1 carbine.The rate of issue for the Type 88 can only be guessed at. Although previous North Korean assault rifles were produced in prodigious quantities, the collapse of the North’s economy in the 1980s probably slowed production. Unlike the Type 58 and Type 68, Pyongyang does not appear to be producing the Type 88 for export. Sufficient numbers of Type 88s have probably been produced for the country’s 200,000 special purpose and special operations forces, including army and navy sniper brigades, airborne units, light infantry brigades and commando units, and perhaps the country’s mechanized infantry units. Given the country’s relative poverty and the diversion of funds to the nuclear program, combat service support and other rear area troops, as well as reservists, almost certainly still carry Type 58 and 68 rifles.Beginning in 2010, North Korean troops with Type 88 rifles were photographed with a strange new accessory: helical ammunition magazines. The cylindrical magazines were larger the traditional 30-round “banana” magazines and estimated to carry between 100 and 150 rounds. That’s up to five times more firepower than conventional magazines. How reliable this new magazine is anyone’s guess, but one thing is for sure: it will certainly be heavier. A 100 round magazine will add 2 pounds in ammunition alone, and probably another two to three pounds in magazine body, spring, and follower. Suddenly the 6.5 pound Type 88 is a 11-pound weapon—a difficult weapon for a 150-pound soldier to carry.Why the new magazine? The end of the Cold War shut off the flow of new arms technology to North Korea, and since then the country has sought to maximize the use of existing tech. The KPA, for example, mounts anti-tank guided missiles on main battle tanks to increase their killing range and man-portable surface to air missiles to armored personnel carriers. More firepower is always better. The helical magazine may be a similar attempt to increase firepower for ground troops, especially in the suppressive fire role during infantry attacks. Another new innovation appears to be mating the Type 88 with a bolt action grenade launcher and a new, previously unseen optic.North Korea’s arms industry is poor and backward but full of surprises. Pyongyang’s infantry and special operations forces make up a disproportionate amount of its armed forces and a major part of its offensive capability, giving it considerable incentive to provide new technology when possible. The Type 88 rifle will probably see further improvements in the coming years, but how much new tech North Korea can sustain across hundreds of thousands of rifles remains to be seen.Kyle Mizokami is a defense and national-security writer based in San Francisco who has appeared in the Diplomat, Foreign Policy, War is Boring and the Daily Beast. In 2009 he co-founded the defense and security blog Japan Security Watch. You can follow him on Twitter: @KyleMizokami.Image: Reddit.


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Syrian army besieges insurgents and Turkish troops in Hama

Syrian government forces marching from different directions in southern parts of the opposition-controlled province of Idlib met around sunset Wednesday, laying siege to several rebel-held towns and villages as well as a Turkish army post, a Syrian opposition war monitor and pro-government activists said. The rapid advance by the Syrian army in the northwestern province marks a major blow for insurgents in their last remaining stronghold in Idlib, which has been subjected to a government offensive for the past three months. The new gains by the government came amid intense aerial and ground bombardments during which troops advanced in southern parts of Idlib, which is home to some 3 million people, many of them displaced by fighting in other parts of the country.


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Kuwait says emir recovered from 'setback'

Kuwaiti state media on Sunday reported Emir Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad Al-Sabah had "recovered", shortly after Iran''s foreign minister indicated that the 90-year-old was unwell. The emir "has recovered from a setback and is in good health now", Kuwait''s official news agency KUNA said, citing a palace statement, without specifying the nature of the "setback". Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif had earlier on Sunday wished Sheikh Sabah a "speedy recovery" after talking with the Gulf state''s officials.


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Senegalese ex-UN food agency chief Jacques Diouf dies

Senegalese Jacques Diouf who headed the UN food agency for 18 years has died at the age of 81, President Macky Sall said on Saturday, describing him "as one of Senegal''s most valiant sons". Diouf, a former Senegalese ambassador to the United Nations, died in France following a long illness, his family said quoted by Senegal media. "Senegal has lost one of its most valiant sons with the death of our compatriot Jacques Diouf," Sall said on Twitter.


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Senior UK Conservative lawmaker says he could not back Corbyn-led government

A Conservative lawmaker at the centre of efforts to block a no-deal Brexit said on Saturday he was pessimistic about his chances because he and other party colleagues could not support a caretaker government led by opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn. With Prime Minister Boris Johnson vowing to take Britain out of the European Union with or without a deal by Oct. 31, anti-Brexit politicians from all sides have been trying, and so far failing, to agree on a plan to stop it from happening. Corbyn, leader of the main opposition Labour Party, wants a caretaker government with himself as head, and then an election.


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UK's Johnson to meet Macron, Merkel next week - Guardian

British leader Boris Johnson will travel to meet his French and German counterparts on Tuesday and Wednesday next week, in his first foreign engagements since becoming prime minister last month, a Guardian reporter said on Friday. Johnson is seeking to persuade European Union leaders to reopen Brexit talks or face the prospect of its second-largest member leaving abruptly on Oct. 31 with no deal in place on their future relations, a move businesses expect would cause major disruption. Germany''s government said earlier on Friday that Chancellor Angela Merkel would meet Johnson soon but did not give a date.


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The Best Santas Shops @ Houston Jewelry

 
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