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North Korea's supreme leader, Kim Jong-un has executed two more senior officials - photo source unknown
North Korea's leader, Kim Jong-un, has executed two more senior government officials, reports from South Korea say.

Hwang Min, former agriculture minister, and Ri Yong-jin, a senior official at the ministry of education, were executed by anti-aircraft gun in Pyongyang this month. 

Many believe that Jong-un is conducting a purge of his government staff in order to instill fear among them and also as a reaction to the recent high-profile defections of some of other high-level officials, including deputy ambassador to London, Thae Yong-ho.


Vocabulary
to execute - to kill someone in an official manner
apparent - to appear to be; seemingly
anti-aircraft gun (see below)
to conduct - to do in an official manner
a purge - a sudden "cleaning out" of staff, employees, etc.
high-profile - attracting much (media - internet / TV news) attention 
instill - to forcefully educate someone to feel and/or know something
defection - the escape of a citizen to another country that opposes their original country

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An anti-aircraft gun, the weapon Kim Jong-un used to execute two senior officials this month - photo from Youtube video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K0aHnFo5CI8

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Rescuers in Italy save a girl trapped under rubble left by the 6.2 magnitude earthquake in Italy - photo by Sky video
The death toll caused by a 6.2 magnitude earthquake that shocked central Italy Wednesday has risen to 241 reports say. 

Over 4,300 rescuers using machines and their bare hands continue searching for survivors as more people are believed to be still trapped under the rubble in the central Italy towns of Amatrice, Accumoli and Pescara del Tronto.

Many aftershocks have occurred following the initial earthquake and they are interfering with rescue efforts. 


Vocabulary
toll - count
to shock - to greatly astonish and surprise
aftershock - a smaller earthquake after a large earthquake
rubble - the useless remains of buildings, streets, etc,, after a disaster (war, earthquake, etc.)
initial - the first
to interfere - to cause something to not function, work, etc. properly


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A ballistic missile fired by North Korea in April - photo Getty / AFP
North Korea has launched a submarine-based ballistic missile near the coastal city of Sinpo today. 

The missile was launched at around 5:50 am local time and fell inside Japan's Air Defence Identification Zone.

North Korea has fired a series of test missiles this year despite the United Nations (UN) banning them from such action.

The United States of America said they "strongly condemn" this launch and the previous launches made by the country recently. 
They also said that they would raise concerns over the incident in UN meetings. 

Many believe this launch is in reaction to South Korea and the USA beginning their annual military drills two days ago. Jan Song Nam, North Korea's UN Ambassador, said that the USA is “creating the danger of war” by conducting these joint-military exercises.

The launch also follows the recent defection of North Korean deputy ambassador in London to South Korea.


Vocabulary
submarine - an underwater vehicle
ballistic missile - a type of bomb that is (carefully and precisely) sent into and flies through the air
coastal - near the ocean / sea
to launch - to powerfully send something into the air
to condemn - to express disapproval of an action / someone / something
to fire - to launch (missile) or to shoot (gun)
to raise concerns - to talk about an important issue with a large group of people
annual - every year
drills - repeated exercises
joint - done together with another group
defection - the escape of a citizen to another country that opposes their original country
deputy - second to the leader (sheriff, ambassador, prime minister, etc.)

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A 12-14 year-old suicide bomber kills 51 and injures 69 in Gaziantep, Turkey - photo by Eyyup Burun / AP
Turkey's president Recep Tayyip Erdogan has confirmed that the suicide bomber who detonated a bomb in Gaziantep, Turkey late Saturday night was a boy aged 12-14 years old.

The attacker set off the bomb at a Kurdish wedding in a Kurdish neighborhood killing 51 people and wounding 69 others.

Erdogan said that the Islamic State (IS) was responsible for the attack. 

The president also said, "to preserve perennially our unity and brotherhood, we must all face these terrorist organizations. In our view, all these terrorist groups, whether the PKK, FETO, Daesh or PYD /YPG in Syria, are all the same."


Vocabulary
to confirm - to know and declare that something is true (based on evidence) after predicting it was true
suicide bomber - a person who kills people and himself using a bomb
to detonate - to activate (ie. a bomb)
to set off - to detonate
perennially- every year (all the time)

 
 
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Russian special forces raid an apartment complex in St. Petersburg killing four militants - photo AFP
Russian special forces raided an apartment complex in St. Petersburg today and killed four militants believed to be linked to Islamic terror groups of the North Caucacus region. 

The militants exchanged gun fire with police and wounded on officer before being killed.

Russian police raided the 16-story apartment in daylight and did not evacuate any people beforehand.

Three of the men were wanted by Russian police because of their connections to past terror attacks and were known to be leaders of the terrorist underground in the Kabardino-Balkharia region of the North Caucasus.

An armed rebellion in the Nort
h Caucacus region follows two past conflicts between Russia and Chechnya-separatists.

Another incident in Russia occurred in Moscow where two men attacked traffic police with guns and axes. The men, who were reported to be from Central Asia, injured two police officers before being shot and killed by police. 


Vocabulary
to raid - to suddenly go to a place and confront someone to arrest them or take something from them
apartment complex - an area of many of the same style of apartments; a neighborhood of apartments
militant - a person involved in military action that has opinions that are extreme (against government, violent, religious, etc.)
evacuate - to suddenly send people away because of an emergency
underground - a system that works in secret (because it is illegal and wants to hide from police / government)
armed - with guns and other weapons
rebellion - a struggle against rulers / authority 
separatists - a group of people who want to leave a country and form their own different country


 
 
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A man has set fire to a train and six people have been stabbed while travelling near Salez, Switzerland - photo Google Streetview
A man has set fire to a train travelling near Salez in St Gallen Canton, Switzerland and six people aboard have been stabbed. 

The attacker, a 27-year old Swiss man, released a flammable liquid on board the train and set it on fire, then attacked people with a knife leaving six injured including a six-year old child.

The attack occurred at 14:20 local time.


Vocabulary

to set fire - to start a fire with / on something
flammable - able to burn extremely easily and very quickly
aboard (adverb) - on a train, plane, etc.
stabbed - pierced and injured with a sharp object (knife) 
on board - while travelling on a train, airplane, etc.

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A man has attacked a train in Salez, Switzerland - photo Keystone
 
 
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Aaron Driver, 24, warns Canada, "we thirst for your blood." - photo by a video by Aaron Driver
Following a tip from the FBI, Canada's RCMP confronted a man who recorded a video warning Canada against future terrorist attacks in the name of the Islamic State [ISIS]. 

Aaron Driver, 24, was killed while police were attempting to arrest him in Strathroy, Ontario, Canada on Wednesday. The RCMP say Driver planned to commit a suicide bombing in an urban area.

In the video, Driver accuses Canada of 'fighting against the Islamic State' and said, "there's a fire burning in the chest of every Muslim and this fire can be cooled only by the spilling your blood."

Last year, Driver had been arrested in Winnipeg, Canada on suspicion of terrorism. He was released and placed under a peace bond where he agreed not to use a computer, not to move away, not to be in the company of other suspected terrorists, among other conditions.


Vocabulary
RCMP - Royal Canadian Mounted (on a horse) Police
a tip from __ - special / secret information from __

to confront - to suddenly find and meet and interact with
suicide bombing - a person detonates (activates) a bomb that kills many people and kills himself / herself as well
urban area - a crowded, busy area (city, shopping mall, etc.)
suspicion of terrorism - when police believe someone may be a terrorist
peace bond - after being arrested, to pay money and sign to agree to follow certain conditions without going to court

in the company of - being around these people; being in the presence of these people; associating with __
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Aaron Driver told Canada, "You will pay for everything you ever brought against us [IS]." - photo FACEBOOK
 
 
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Russia's President Vladimir Putin has accused Ukraine of plotting attacks - photo by Mikhail Svetlov / Getty Images
Russian president Vladimir Putin has accused Ukraine of resorting to violence rather than peace talks following a Wednesday report by Russia's Federal Security Service (FSB). The report says that an attack on Crimea planned by Ukraine has been thwarted by Russian military in an armed clash and that two Russian soldiers were killed while 'arresting terrorists'.

"I think it is obvious to everyone now that the current Kiev authorities are not seeking a way to solve the problems through talks but have chosen terror," Putin said in a press conference today. "We obviously will not let such things slide by.'

Ukraine president Petro Poroshenko has denied Russia's claims and said, "These fantasies are only a pretext for making more military threats against Ukraine."

Ukraine and Russia were set to meet in China in the Normandy format, a group of representatives from Russia, Ukraine, France, and Germany whose goal is to resolve the Crimea-dispute between Russia and Ukraine sparked after Russia annexed the region in 2014. 

Putin said during the news conference that now there is 'no point' to the meeting. 


Vocabulary
to accuse - to say someone did something (without showing proof)
to resort to _ - to use something / do something only because you say you have no other choice
to thwart - to stop a plan of attack before it happens

to slide by - to go unpunished or without consequences

to annex - to make a region apart of another country
no point to __ - no reason to do something



 
 
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Delta Air Lines has grounded its flights due to a system outage - photo by Ted S. Warren / AP
Delta Air Lines has announced it has grounded all of its flights due to an outage to their computer system.

The airline tweeted on Twitter:

Due to a computer outage, flights awaiting departure are currently delayed. Flights enroute are operating normally.

Customers should check the status of their flight before heading to the airport while the issue is being addressed.

Delta News Hub on Twitter


Vocabulary
to ground - to cancel and keep on the ground
outage - inability to go / work (usually electronic) 
enroute - on the way

 
 
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Mohammed El Halabi has been accused of diverting money from World Vision to Hamas - photo by Dudu Grunshpan / Agence France-Presse - Getty Images
Israel has accused a worker of the international Christian-charity group World Vision of redirecting large sums of their donations to Palestinian Sunni-Islamic fundamentalist organization, Hamas.

A senior Israeli security official has said that Mohammed El Halabi, a Palestinian who has been the manager of World Vision in Gaza since 2010, diverted $7.2 million per year that was supposed to be used to help poor people in Gaza to Hamas to help them buy weapons and other provisions. The official said that El Halabi was recruited by Hamas in 2004 with the purpose of infiltrating World Vision and taking advantage of their resources.

World Vision has denied these claims. "Based on the information available to us at this time, we have no reason to believe that the allegations are true," a representative of the charity said. "We will carefully review any evidence presented to us and will take appropriate actions based on that evidence."

A spokesmen for Hamas has said that they have "no connection to [Halabi] and therefore, all Israeli accusations are void and aim to suppress our people."


Vocabulary
a charity - an organization that helps people in need

to accuse - to say someone did something wrong (without showing proof / evidence)
to redirect - to change the direction of something so it goes somewhere else
donations - money given by people to a charity to help other people in need

supposed to _ - expected to _
to divert - to make something go in a different direction
provisions - supplies
to recruit - to try to find someone and hire them to work for an organization
to infiltrate - to secretly joing a group to spy on them and hurt them
to take advantage of - to use someone or their resources only for your own gain / benefit
accusations (noun) - claims that someone did something without showing proof / evidence
spokesman - a man who speaks for an organization