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North Korea doubles nuclear capability

  • A site in the mountains near Yongbyon, north of Pyongyang, is thought to be the North's main nuclear facility 
  • While there's some debate about North Korea's stockpile of nuclear materials, "you're looking at a few tens of warheads, but that number's going to keep going up every year," according to Jeffrey Lewis, the founding publisher of Arms Control Wonk

March 22.─ North Korea has doubled the size of its facility for enriching uranium in recent years, says the UN’s top nuclear inspector, who voiced doubt that a diplomatic agreement can end leader Kim Jong-un’s weapons programs.

International Atomic Energy Agency director-general Yukiya Amano described North Korea as rapidly advancing its capacity to produce nuclear weapons on two fronts: the production of plutonium at its Yongbyon nuclear facility and the enrichment of uranium.

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Poland fails by 27-1 to oust Donald Tusk as president of the European Council

The new government’s obsession with punishing the former Polish prime minister leaves it isolated in Europe  Donald TuskDonald Tusk

Warsaw, March 10.─ Donald Tusk appointment as president of the European Council in 2014 seemed to cap Poland’s journey to the heart of the European Union. Twenty-five years after the collapse of communism and a decade after Poland led the accession of eight former Soviet-bloc countries to the EU, its prime minister was elevated by his peers to one of the most senior posts in Brussels. It was hard to imagine a more potent sign of the healing of Europe’s post-war scars.

The job of council president, which involves chairing summits of European leaders and channelling their tempestuous debates into compromise, is a profound test of political nous. Not everyone was happy with Mr Tusk’s early performance; some thought he was operating more like the Polish prime minister he was from 2007-14 than the consensus-seeking European they sought. But most came around as Mr Tusk coolly shepherded the EU through a series of sticky situations, from a Greek bail-out to the refugee crisis to Brexit. His election to a second two-and-a-half-year term, due at an EU summit on March 9th, looked like a formality.

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China's National People's Congress: BBC team mauled & forced to sign confession

Beijing, Mar.3.─ The plan was a simple one. We'd arranged to meet a woman in her village in China's central Hunan Province and to then travel with her by train to Beijing, filming as we went.

But we never did get to meet our interviewee.

The story we ended up with, however, reveals more about the exercise of power in China than any interview ever could.

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Pres. Donald Trump Makes His Pitch

A calm, measured President sets a direction on health care but not taxes.  

Washington DC, Mar. 1 (WSJ).─ Donald Trump’s challenge Tuesday night was to look like he was up to the Presidency after a rocky start and set a clear direction for Congress. He succeeded more on the former than the latter, and the test now will be whether he can corral a fractious Congress to deliver in particular on tax reform and health care.

As a presidential rookie, Mr. Trump showed he could deliver a speech on this kind of stage in a calm and measured way. We haven’t seen enough of that in his first five weeks, and in that sense on Tuesday he rose to the occasion in democracy’s center ring. He was less tendentious than in his inaugural, and he began and ended with notes of unity and inclusiveness that have been too few in his early days.

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Antarctic Ice Lowest Ever – Asia at High Risk – Africa Drying Up !!!

Polar ice cap keeps shrinkingPolar ice cap keeps shrinking Rome, Feb.28.─ For those who still deny the tangible impact of climate change, please note that the extended spell of high global temperatures is continuing; the Arctic is witnessing exceptional warmth with record low ice volumes–the lowest on record; global heat is putting Asia on higher risk than ever, and Africa is drying up.

Also please note that almost one half of all forests is now gone’ that groundwater sources are being rapidly depleted, and that biodiversity has been deeply eroded.

In fact, reports from the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies said that global average surface temperatures for the month of January were the third highest on record, after January 2016 and January 2007, says the UN World Meteorological Organization.  

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