North Korean diplomat at London embassy defects

A senior diplomat from the North Korean embassy in London is currently in Seoul after apparently defecting, according to the BBC and local media. Thae Yong Ho may be the highest-ranking North Korean ever to defect and would obviously be in a position to shed unique light on the operations of the regime in Pyongyang.

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WORLD

Donald Trump has shaken up his campaign team, apparently bringing in people who will “Let Trump Be Trump”. Because that’s proved really successful so far.

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SPORTS

Nasa warning after hottest month on record

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THE photo of the games…

and maybe the second…

Finally, the man without whom there would be no Sepp Blatter, died aged 100.

 

Ukraine link dogs Trump adviser

Just as Donald Trump’s campaign was attempting to right a rocky ship following a fortnight of missteps, a story broke in the New York Times about his adviser Paul Manafort and his business links to Ukraine. The rest of the media were soon all over it. Looks like it will run and run. It will certainly overshadow an expected foreign policy speech Trump is due to deliver on Monday night.

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Finally, RIP Dalian Atkinson..

 

 

Crucial weekend for troubled Trump campaign

After probably his worst two weeks since joining the Presidential race more than a year ago, Donald Trump’s campaign will meet with the RNC to discuss rebooting strategy for the Republican candidate as the election heads into its final months.

Both sides described the meeting as “routine” and Trump himself is not expected to attend.

But the move comes after a series of setbacks – from the Khan family row to the “second amendment” furore – that have seen Trump falling in key polls and senior Republicans running for the lifeboats. Former RNC staffers and others are now calling on the party to stop funding its candidate “given the catastrophic impact that Donald Trump’s losing presidential campaign will have on down-ballot Senate and House races.”

And Time’s cover isn’t any kinder…

timecover

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WORLD

The Appeals Court in London overturned a ruling against the Labour Party’s ability to set its own rules over who can vote in its upcoming leadership election.

In court action elsewhere…

In ancient days, this may have been interpreted as presaging the end times… oh, wait.

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Fiji won its first-ever Olympic medal last night, crushing team GB to win the Rugby 7s.

The Premier League season gets under way this weekend..

Finally, congratulations to Belfast’s own World Champion, Carl Frampton, being honored with a homecoming party at the City Hall today.

 

 

 

 

Situation in Aleppo worsens amid confusion over ceasefire

After talks between Russian forces and the UN, there is confusion over the terms of a “humanitarian pause” in the Syrian city of Aleppo, on the heels of an intensified battle for control of the area, which still contains about 250,000 civilians. Meanwhile, the last remaining doctors in the city have appealed for help.

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sigh..

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Really, you think..?

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It’s not a sport if you can drink while you’re doing it.

 

 

 

 

Row over ‘Second Amendment people’ statement adds to Trump’s woes

Amid worsening national poll numbers, GOP Presidential candidate Donald Trump has attempted to spin his comments yesterday at a rally in North Carolina where he appeared to suggest that “second amendment people” could somehow prevent a President Hillary Clinton from appointing Supreme Court judges.

Trump, however, insisted he meant something different, while managing to blame the media.

And the frustration of mainstream Republicans was obvious.

Meanwhile, an interesting analysis of Trump’s tweets shows the difference between those he sends himself and those originating from his staff.

Paul Ryan, meanwhile, handily won his primary against a Tea Party challenger.

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OLYMPICS

China and France warn Britain over nuclear plant deal

China has ramped up its pressure on the British government to reach a speedy decision on construction of the £18bn Hinkley nuclear facility, which will be built by French company EdF but part-financed by Chinese money. Meanwhile, France is also pressing for clarity after Britain’s decision to review the project led to conflict between EdF and French trade unions.

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WORLD

Shadow Home Secretary and former candidate for the Labour Party leadership Andy Burham was selected as the party’s candidate for next year’s mayoral election in Greater Manchester.

In the US, House Speaker Paul Ryan faces what should – in normal GOP circumstances – be a straightforward primary today. In a world where the party is dominated by its Presidential nominee, however, all bets are off.

And the national fallout continues.

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But of course there are important things people need to know..

 

Japanese Emperor talks of ‘abdication’

In a rare televised address, Japanese Emperor Akihito told his people he was concerned about his health and advancing years and raised the unprecedented possibility of stepping down.

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In Britain, meanwhile, it seems to be pantomime season all year round.

Some sad news from Northern Ireland.

and yet…

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and from sporting excellence where money is secondary to passion and dedication, to one where money has become all-important…

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CULTURE

Finally, (or that should be “and, in the end…”)