MANILA, Philippines (AP) — U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson says the best signal North Korea could give that it's prepared for negotiations with the U.S. would be to halt its missile launches. Tillerson is offering his most specific outline to ...and more »
NORTH KOREA-DIPLOMACY-THE LATEST
The Latest: Tillerson says NKorea must halt launches to talk
MANILA, Philippines (AP) — U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson says the best signal North Korea could give that it’s prepared for negotiations with the U.S. would be to halt its missile launches.
Tillerson is offering his most specific outline to date of what preconditions the U.S. has for talks with Pyongyang. He says stopping the launches would be the “first and strongest signal.”
But Tillerson says it’s not as simple as North Korea stopping launches for a few days or weeks. He says he won’t give a concrete timeframe but that the U.S. will “know it when we see it.”
Tillerson says the U.S. has “other means of communication” open to North Korea if the country wants to express to the U.S. a desire to talk. He’s not specifying what those are.
N. Korea vows harsh retaliation against fresh UN sanctions
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — North Korea says it will launch “thousands-fold” revenge against the United States over the adoption of tough U.N. sanctions imposed after its intercontinental ballistic launches.
The North’s statement issued Monday came two days after the U.N. Security Council unanimously approved new sanctions to punish the North including a ban on coal and other exports worth over $1 billion.
The North’s statement said the sanctions were caused by a “heinous U.S. plot to isolate and stifle” North Korea.
It says the U.N. sanctions will never force the country to negotiate over its nuclear program or to give up its nuclear drive.
It says it will take “action of justice” but didn’t elaborate.
The statement was carried by state media.
UNITED STATES-RUSSIA-THE LATEST
The Latest: Tillerson says Russia willing to discuss Ukraine
MANILA, Philippines (AP) — U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson says Russia is showing “some willingness” to start talking about a resolution to the crisis in Ukraine.
Tillerson made the comment after meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. After the meeting, the Russian diplomat announced that the Trump administration was sending its new special representative for Ukraine negotiations to Moscow for talks.
Tillerson says the U.S. has been deliberate about coordinating with all the parties involved in the crisis. He says that’s to avoid the perception the U.S. is trying to cut a side deal that would undermine any group’s interests.
Tillerson says the U.S. has deep differences with Russia including on Ukraine, but that it’s not a good idea to “just cut everything off on one single issue.”
He says the U.S. and Russia still have important national security issues to discuss.
Pence slams report on possible 2020 presidential groundwork
BRIDGEWATER, N.J. (AP) — Vice President Mike Pence is pushing back against a news report suggesting he is laying groundwork for a possible presidential bid in 2020 if President Donald Trump does not run.
Pence says Sunday’s story in The New York Times is “disgraceful and offensive.”
Pence says in a statement released by the White House that his team will “focus all our efforts to advance the president’s agenda and see him re-elected in 2020.”
The report details efforts of several Republicans. It notes Pence’s busy political schedule and active fundraising, though it also says unnamed advisers have signaled that he’d only run if Trump doesn’t.
White House counselor Kellyanne Conway is also dismissing the report and says Pence is readying to run in 2020 alongside Trump.
JORDAN-SYRIAN CHILD BRIDES
More Syrian child brides in Jordan amid poverty, uncertainty
MAFRAQ, Jordan (AP) — A new study shows that early marriage is up sharply among displaced Syrians living in Jordan and that more families marry off daughters to lighten their financial burden.
Also, many view marriage as a way to protect the “honor” of girls seen as being more vulnerable in exile.
The figures document the long suspected increase for the first time. In 2015, brides between the ages of 13 and 17 made up almost 44 percent of all Syrian females in Jordan getting married that year, compared to 33 percent in 2010.
U.N. and Jordanian officials say with Syrians expected to remain in exile for years, it’s a harmful trend for refugees and their overburdened host country.
Early marriage will drive up poverty and more Syrian girls will lose out on education.
The Latest: 30 treated at St. Francis Hospital after tornado
TULSA, Okla. (AP) — St. Francis Hospital spokeswoman Lauren Landwerlin says about 30 people have been treated at the hospital’s trauma center and three were admitted in “non-critical condition” after a tornado struck near midtown Tulsa.
The figure of 30 injured is up from 13 initially reported taken by ambulance to hospitals. A city spokeswoman says many people were taken to hospitals by private vehicles.
No deaths are reported.
The city may have been fortunate because the tornado struck just after 1 a.m. Sunday and most stores and restaurants were closed in the shopping district.
Ex-war crimes prosecutor quits panel probing Syria abuses
GENEVA (AP) — Renowned former war crimes prosecutor Carla Del Ponte has told a Swiss publication that she is resigning from the U.N.’s independent Commission of Inquiry on Syria after a five-year stint, decrying Security Council inaction to hold criminals accountable.
In comments to Blick magazine published Sunday, Del Ponte expressed frustration about the commission and criticized both President Bashar Assad’s government and the opposition. She did not immediately respond to a text message seeking comment.
The former prosecutor for the international war crimes tribunals that investigated atrocities in Rwanda and Yugoslavia has repeatedly decried the Security Council’s refusal to appoint a similar court for Syria’s civil war, now in its seventh year. Permanent member Russia is a key backer of Assad’s government.
The commission issued a statement insisting its work “must continue” to help bring perpetrators in Syria to justice.
Chicago to file federal lawsuit over sanctuary cities threat
CHICAGO (AP) — Mayor Rahm Emanuel says Chicago will keep fighting President Donald Trump’s immigration policies with a federal lawsuit alleging it’s illegal for the federal government to withhold public safety grants from so-called sanctuary cities.
Emanuel said Sunday that Chicago won’t “be blackmailed” into changing its values as a welcoming city. The lawsuit will be filed Monday.
Chicago officials say there are new qualifications for a public safety grant requiring cities to share information with federal immigration authorities. City officials allege they’re unconstitutional.
Chicago received about $2.3 million in such grants last year, which have been used for buying police vehicles.
Chicago is being helped by two outside law firms on a pro bono basis.
Federal officials have threatened to withhold federal funding for sanctuary cities, saying they don’t comply with federal laws.
MINNESOTA MOSQUE EXPLOSION-THE LATEST
The Latest: Governor condemns Minnesota mosque bombing
BLOOMINGTON, Minn. (AP) — Gov. Mark Dayton has condemned the bombing of a suburban Minneapolis mosque as “so wretched” and “not Minnesota.”
Dayton and Lt. Gov. Tina Smith visited the Dar Al-Farooq Islamic Center in Bloomington on Sunday morning, a day after an explosive device shattered windows and damaged an office at the mosque.
The Minneapolis Star Tribune reports Dayton and Smith joined public officials and mosque leaders for a meeting inside the building.
No one was hurt in the Saturday morning blast.
The FBI is seeking suspects and trying to determine whether the incident was a hate crime.
NEW YORK PORN WARS
NYC’s long war on storefront porn reaches new tipping point
NEW YORK (AP) — New York’s two-decade legal war on storefront pornography has reached a new tipping point.
Most of the provocative attractions were swept out years ago from Times Square. But the state’s highest Court of Appeals recently issued a decision upholding zoning rules first put in place under former Mayor Rudolph Giuliani.
They could force out many surviving X-rated stores. Several dozen are still counting on freedom-of-speech challenges to stay in business.
Attorney Erica Dubno represents some of the porn shops and says New York “has the tradition of being the freest and most tolerant city in the country.” She says the legal restrictions put both the small businesses and freedom of expression in jeopardy.
Dubno is asking the state Court of Appeals to reconsider.
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