world news feature

A Spy Poisoned, An Invitation Received – This Is World News In Focus

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UK: Former Russian spy Sergei Skripal was found poisoned on a park bench in the cathedral town of Salisbury, Wiltshire, on Monday (March 5).

Skripal, 66, was a colonel in the Russian military intelligence agency G.R.U. and was imprisoned in Russia in 2006 for passing classified information to British intelligence.  He was released in 2010 as part of a spy exchange programme.

British police believed Skripal and his daughter, Yulia Skripal, 33, were poisoned by a nerve agent on Sunday.

Mr. Skripal and his daughter remained in critical condition at Salisbury District Hospital.

The UK military is assisting the local police in the investigation of the nerve agent attack.

British politicians suspected that the Russian government might be behind the attack, although the Russian Foreign Ministry dismissed the allegation as “simply ignorance.”

Skripal’s family members have suffered successive deaths.  His brother died two years ago, his son last year. Skripal’s wife, Lyudmila, died of cancer in 2012.

For more we go to ITV News:

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Korea: U.S. President Donald Trump will hold talks with North Korea’s Leader Kim Jong-un to discuss the latter’s nuclear and missile programme, South Korea’s national security office chief Chung Eui-yong announced on Thursday (March 8).

The invitation of talks came from the Kim, who also indicated that missile tests will suspend once negotiations begin.

President Trump confirmed the meeting in a tweet, but added that the U.S. would keep the pressure on North Korea until a denuclearization deal was achieved.

The White House said on Saturday that the President had also discussed his meeting with Kim with other world leaders including the French President Emmanuel Macron, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, and Chinese President Xi Jinping.

If the meeting takes place, it would be the first ever between leaders of the U.S. and North Korea.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Administration has stressed that America would not relax its stringent sanctions regime before North Korea began disarming, and that Trump will take a hardline position at his meeting with Kim.

For more we go to Fox News:

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Business: China’s biggest social network platform, WeChat, reached a new milestone of one billion user accounts.

Better known as Weixin in China, WeChat is still lagging behind Facebook-owned WhatsApp, which boasts of having about 1.5 billion monthly users.

The messaging app was launched in 2011 by Tencent, one of China’s Internet giants, which also hosts a wide range of online services, such as food deliveries and bank payments.

Tencent’s chief executive Pony Ma revealed that WeChat hit the landmark figure during last month’s Lunar New Year festival.

But the chief executive explained that the social media platform measures its popularity and reach by the number of “user accounts” rather than individuals, because it is customary for a user to have more than one account, each for a different purpose.

Market research firm eMarketer has estimated that WeChat had 494.3 million individual users in China last year, according to the Financial Times.

For more we go to the Wall Street Journal:

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Lead-In Image (Map) Courtesy of Macrovector / Shutterstock.com