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World

The White House says America has not declared war on North Korea.

Press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said at a press briefing on Monday afternoon: ‘We have not declared war on North Korea and the suggestion of that is absurd.’

It comes after the regime’s foreign minister said Donald Trump’s comments are a ‘declaration of war’ and Pyongyang has the right to shoot down US strategic bombers.

He added that they will strike even if they aren’t in North Korean airspace.

Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho said: ‘The whole world should clearly remember it was the US who first declared war on our country.

‘Since the United States declared war on our country, we will have every right to make countermeasures, including the right to shoot down United States strategic bombers even when they are not inside the airspace border of our country.’ metro.co.uk
Nepal will measure Mount Everest afresh to settle a controversy over height of the world's tallest peak, especially after some estimates suggested it became a little shorter in the wake of an earthquake two years ago, officials said on Friday.

Nepal, home to Mount Everest and half of the world's 14 highest mountains, has never measured the peak on its own and uses its snow height of 8,848 metres (29,028 feet) that was measured by the Survey of India in 1954.

Many Western climbers use the height of 8,850 metres (29,035 feet) determined in 1999 by the National Geographic Society and Boston's Museum of Science, in a survey that used satellite-based technology to measure the peak.

Everest straddles the border between Nepal and China, and in 2005 Chinese mountaineers and researchers put its height at 8,844.43 metres (29,017 feet).

Ganesh Prasad Bhatta, director general of the Nepal government's Survey Department said an expedition would be made next year to settle the debate.

"We are now developing a methodology for the measurement which will be discussed with international experts, and their advice will be incorporated to make sure that our work meets global standards and is internationally accepted," Bhatta told Reuters. ndtv.com
The US Geological Survey said that the earthquake struck about 175 miles south east of Kamaishi, and around 200 miles east of Fukushima.

It is the third major earthquake to strike around the world in the last 24 hours - following one in Mexico that measured a magnitude of 7.1, while another 6.1 magnitude earthquake stuck New Zealand.

The depth of the earthquake, which struck at 2.37am local time, was measured at 10km.

Details of any damage are yet to emerge, and no tsunami warning has yet been issued.

A tsunami sparked by an earthquake in the Pacific hit the nuclear plant in Fukushima in 2011 causing a major disaster - with the water disabling the emergency generators required to cool the reactors at the plant after they had automatically shut down.

The incident led Japan to close all 54 of its nuclear plants for a time, while five are now back online. independent.co.uk
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte taunted the head of the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) on Saturday, asking if he was a pedophile because of his focus on the killing of teenagers in the government’s bloody war on drugs.

Duterte also suggested to lawmakers that the CHR’s proposed 678 million Philippine peso ($13.2 million) budget could be used to equip police with body cameras if the legislators preferred not to restore funding for the agency, with which he has repeatedly clashed over his anti-drugs campaign.

The CHR requested a budget of 1.72 billion pesos for 2018, but the government proposed 678 million instead. Duterte’s allies in the lower house of Congress then voted to allocate it just 1,000 pesos ($20), in what critics of the drugs war said was retaliation for its efforts to investigate thousands of killings in the past 15 months, including those of two teenagers in August.

“Why is this guy so pre...suffocated with the issue of young people, especially boys? Are you a pedophile?” Duterte asked, referring to CHR head Chito Gascon.

“Why are you smitten with teenagers? Are you? I‘m having my doubts. Are you gay or a pedophile?” he asked. reuters.com
With more than half of G20 members attending -- representing most of the world's largest economies -- "this first gathering of its kind aims to further galvanize global momentum for the implementation of the Paris Agreement," the European Commission said.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada, who will make a brief appearance at the Montreal talks, will again stand apart from US President Donald Trump on this issue and resolutely commit Canada to reduce its carbon footprint, Canadian officials have said.

When Trump chose to withdraw the United States from the Paris accord, Canada, China and the European Union immediately reaffirmed their respective commitments to the climate pact, and in July the G20 called the accord "irreversible."

Nearly 200 countries agreed in Paris at the end of 2015 to limit or reduce carbon dioxide emissions with the aim of keeping the rise in average global temperatures to no more than 1.5 degrees Celsius by 2050, compared to preindustrial levels.

On the eve of the Montreal conference, Europe's top climate official Miguel Arias Canete said the EU continues to press for "full and swift implementation" of the accord, noting that progress has been made toward finalizing details of its plan to reduce European emissions by 40 percent by 2030. rfi.fr
Violet Mosse-Brown died at the Fairfield Medical Centre in Jamaica on Friday after a brief illness.

Ms Mosse-Brown became the oldest living person on April 15, 2017, following the death of Emma Morano. 

Following her death, Nabi Tajima, of Japan, is now the world’s oldest verified living person. Tajima is 117.

Her eldest child, Harold Fairweather, who was believed to be the world's oldest living child with a parent alive, died a few months ago aged 97.

Ms Mosse-Brown is also the last living subject of Queen Victoria, having been born one year before the monarch died when Jamaica was still part of the British Empire.

The longest confirmed human lifespan in history is that of Jeanne Calment who died on August 4, 1997 at the age of 122 years and 164 days. express.co.uk
The missile reached an altitude of about 770km (478 miles), travelling 3,700km before landing in the sea off Hokkaido, South Korea's military says.

It flew higher and further than one fired over Japan late last month.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said his country would "never tolerate" such "dangerous provocative action".

South Korea responded within minutes by firing two ballistic missiles into the sea in a simulated strike on the North.

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson also condemned the launch and the UN Security Council will meet later on Friday in New York at the request of America and Japan.

The launch took place from the Sunan district of the capital Pyongyang just before 07:00 local time (22:00 GMT on Thursday), South Korea's military says. bbc.com
Barbuda has been left completely devastated by Hurricane Irma.

An estimated 95% of Barbuda’s structures are damaged, and the entire island of around 1,800 people has been evacuated.

“The damage is complete,” says Ambassador Ronald Sanders, who has served as Antigua and Barbuda’s ambassador to the U.S. since 2015.

“For the first time in 300 years, there’s not a single living person on the island of Barbuda — a civilization that has existed on that island for over 300 years has now been extinguished.”

According to Sanders, Irma was “the most ferocious, cruel and merciless storm” in the island’s history.

The hurricane was 378 miles wide when it descended on Barbuda, which is just 62 square miles. usatoday.com
When Jocko Willink‏, a former US Navy SEAL who is now an author and occasional Business Insider contributor, was asked on Twitter how he would handle the North Korean crisis, he gave an unexpected answer that one expert said just might work.

"Drop 25 million iPhones on them and put satellites over them with free wifi," Willink tweeted last week.

While the proposal itself is fantastical and far-fetched, Yun Sun, an expert on North Korea at the Stimson Center, says the core concept could work.

"Kim Jong Un understands that as soon as society is open and North Korean people realize what they're missing, Kim's regime is unsustainable, and it's going to be overthrown," Sun told Business Insider.

For this reason, North Korea's government would strongly oppose any measures that mirror Willink's suggestion. 

Sun pointed out that when South Korea had previously flown balloons that dropped pamphlets and DVDs over North Korea, the Kim regime had responded militarily, sensing the frailty of its government relative to those of prosperous liberal democracies. yahoo.com