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North Korea's Nuclear Weapons Warning To US

North Korea has said its main nuclear complex is fully operational and the country is ready to face US hostility with nuclear weapons "at any time".
Its nuclear weapons are being improved "in quality and quantity", an official quoted by the state news agency KCNA said.
The director of North Korea's Atomic Energy Institute said atomic scientists had "made innovations day by day" to "guarantee the reliability of the nuclear deterrent...as required by the prevailing situation".
He added: "In the meantime, the US anachronistic hostile policy toward the DPRK that forced it to have access to the nuclear weapons has remained utterly unchanged and instead it has become all the more undisguised and vicious with the adoption of means openly seeking the downfall of the latter's social system.

"If the US and other hostile forces persistently seek their reckless hostile policy towards the DPRK and behave mischievously, the DP
The words come a day after Pyongyang's warning that it is ready to launch "satellites" on rockets banned by the west. This would mark the ruling communist party's anniversary in October and could put pressure on the US to resume talks.
The North's National Aerospace Development Administration director said the satellite would be used for weather forecasts, adding that space development is "a sovereign state's legitimate right" and that the North Koreans are "fully determined to exercise that right".
He added that the world will "clearly see a series of satellites soaring into the sky at times and locations determined" by the Workers' Party.

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Ghost Town: Raging Wildfire's Deadly Trail

Take away the odd fire investigator or police patrol car and Middletown in California would be a ghost town.
There is very little for many residents to return to.
The small mountain community, just north of Napa wine country, took the full force of the Valley Fire that continues to rage across Northern California.
At least one person died here, an elderly woman who could not escape and was beyond the reach of emergency crews.
Her neighbours had raced to safety as the fire - described by officials as the most destructive and unpredictable in California for decades - swept in on Saturday.
Hundreds of buildings were destroyed. Much of what survived now stands twisted by the melting heat.
There is a randomness to how some blocks were wiped out and others left standing. An apartment block at the corner of Main Street and Barnes has completely gone.
The Valley Fire is just one of a dozen burning across California. The Butte Fire, a hundred miles to the east, has claimed dozens of homes. Another blaze, the Rough Fire, is bigger than both.

Drought conditions, a heatwave and strong winds have created the perfect conditions for fires which have exhausted fire crews and firefighting budgets.
But few have seen anything like what happened in Middletown.
Joyce Reim and Everett Francis filmed their escape, as flames bore down on their car.

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Exclusive: Queen Rania Calls For Unity On Refugees

Queen Rania of Jordan has called for European leaders to agree on a "holistic and cohesive" policy for tackling the refugee crisis.
Speaking exclusively to Sky News, Queen Rania said the arrival of 1.4 million Syrian refugees into Jordan had caused "immense strain" to the country's economy.
"This crisis has had an impact on us for coming up to five years now," she said.
"We have had a wave of refugees coming into Jordan. To date we have 1.4 million Syrians in Jordan - 630,000 of them registered refugees.
"That's 20% of our population. To put that into context for you, it’s the equivalent of 12 million people coming to the UK, or 16 million going to Germany.
"It has really been an immense strain on our economy, on our public services, on our infrastructure, and it has really overwhelmed our capacity to cope with the issue."
Queen Rania said Europe must form a "consensus" on how to cope with the refugee crisis.
"What would be ideal is to seek a consensus in Europe - a holistic and cohesive policy towards dealing with the refugees," she said.
"That will encourage other nations in the world to also be part of the solution, and not to be silent bystanders to what is unfolding."

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Mississippi Double Shooting Suspect Is Dead

A man who killed the woman he lived with and a university professor in Mississippi has apparently shot himself dead.
Greenville officers were following suspect Shannon Lamb when he pulled over, jumped out of his car and ran, police said.
The officers heard one gunshot and found Lamb with an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.
The 45-year-old was pronounced dead in hospital.
Police said Lamb had earlier told authorities that he was "not going to jail".
Officers believe Lamb killed Delta State University history professor Dr Ethan Schmidt as well as the woman Lamb lived with on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, who has been identified as 41-year-old Amy Prentiss.
Dr Schmidt's body was found in his office on Monday morning, prompting a campus-wide lockdown.
SWAT teams were seen clearing buildings and police helicopters patrolled above the school in Cleveland, about 20 miles east of the Mississippi-Arkansas state line.
The lockdown was lifted on Monday night but no classes have been planned for Tuesday.
Instead, students, faculty and staff are invited to the campus to attend a vigil in the evening to honour the murdered professor, who was 39.

The motive of the killings is not clear.
Lamb received a doctorate in education from Delta State University in the spring of 2015, according to his resume posted on the university's website.
He started working there in 2009 and taught geography and education classes, and volunteered with Habitat for Humanity.
Dr Schmidt specialised in Native American and colonial history. A fellow professor at Delta State described him as "a gentlemen in every sense of the word".

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Germany Expects A Million Migrants This Year

Germany is expecting one million migrants this year - 200,000 more than previously estimated, Angela Merkel's deputy has said.
In a letter to party members, the country's vice chancellor, Sigmar Gabriel, said: "Everything points to the fact that we won't have 800,000 migrants as has been predicted by the Interior Ministry, but one million."
He also called for other EU nations to take their fair share of refugees, and warned a "common European effort" to tackle the crisis is badly needed.
With the Schengen system of border-free travel through much of the continent under increasing pressure, the European Commission is to outline plans to distribute 160,000 refugees across 22 EU member states over the next two years.

Several countries are opposed to the quota policy.
The UK is not involved in the scheme and instead is planning to accept vulnerable and displaced people from refugee camps in nations bordering Syria.
Earlier today, David Cameron visited one such refugee camp in Lebanon's Bekaa Valley to see the impact of the humanitarian crisis "at source" days after vowing to take in 20,000 refugees over the next five years.

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Malcolm Turnbull Sworn In As Australian PM

Malcolm Turnbull has been sworn in as the 29th Prime Minister of Australia after a leadership challenge saw the ouster of Tony Abbott.
He becomes the nation's fourth leader in a little over two years, but despite division in his party, Mr Turnbull says he will lead a "very strong government".
"There's been a change of prime minister, but we are a very, very strong government, a very strong country with a great potential and we will realise that potential working very hard together," he said.
"This is a turn of events I did not expect, I have to tell you, but it's one that I'm privileged to undertake and one that I'm certainly up to."
Shortly before Mr Turnbull was sworn in, Mr Abbott spoke for the first time since his sudden ousting.
He warned that the persistent volatility in Australia's government could hurt the nation's standing on the global stage.

"Australia has a role to play in the struggles of the wider world: the cauldron of the Middle East and security in the South China Sea and elsewhere," he said.
"I fear that none of this will be helped if the leadership instability that's plagued other countries continues to taint us."
Mr Turnbull later had to meet with his coalition government to thrash out a new agreement with the National Party to replace the one that had been put in place by his predecessor.
Australian media reported that the agreement is thought to contain a series of promises to deliver more for people in rural communities, which make up majority of the Nationals' support.
Many conservative Nationals were upset at the removal of Mr Abbott, who is seen as more right of centre than his successor.
Mr Turnbull maintains some notoriety among the UK Conservative establishment for having been the lawyer who defeated a British attempt to stop the publication of the MI5 expose Spycatcher in the 1980s.
Despite being a Catholic, he is in favour of same-sex marriage and in his first speech to parliament as prime minister said Australians would vote on same-sex marriage after elections due next year.
He is also a staunch republican and led a previous failed campaign to remove the Queen as Australian head of state.

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Refugee Crisis On Brink Of Catastrophe

The great trek north goes on unabated. Thousands upon thousands heading for the sanctuary of the west; or at least that is what they hope.
This is already an intercontinental crisis but it could turn into a European catastrophe if previously open borders are shut.
It will leave tens of thousands, eventually perhaps hundreds of thousands, trapped and homeless within the confines of at least five unwelcoming countries. It will be chaos.
Over the past few days I have travelled with the refugees through the entire Balkan corridor that begins at the Greek border with Macedonia. Travelling through Macedonia and Serbia to Hungary and eventually Austria.
The sheer numbers of people walking, taking buses, trains and taxis is quite remarkable. But things could soon go badly wrong if the EU does not sort out a strategy it is legally obliged to observe.
Like it or loath it the European Union has a collective responsibility to deal with this refugee crisis. The UK and Ireland have opt-outs of course, but the rest of the countries do not, and that is now putting unprecedented stress on the Union.

We thought the economic bailout issues were bad. This utterly dwarfs that simply because we aren't just talking about banks and economics.
An issue that involves so many people, and it is millions, means that Europe in its entirety could actually be socially reshaped. This is sort of biblical stuff.
Given the hammering me and my colleagues are taking on social media for simply covering a factual story, it is clear that there is a collective ignorance of simple facts and recent history.
The danger is that any reasoned debate is overshadowed by hysterical Twitter bullying that is not based on anything other than prejudice.
These are REFUGEES not the economic migrants who have been dying in their thousands trying to get to Europe from north Africa. It does not matter how many times the tweeters, the bloggers and the political right insist they are, they are not.
The governments who find themselves at the centre of this storm have themselves to blame.

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US: Russia Positions Tanks At Syrian Airfield

Russia has positioned seven tanks at a Syrian airfield where it has been building up defences, US officials claim.
One of the officials, who was speaking on condition of anonymity, said the Russian T-90 tanks and artillery have been seen at the airfield near the port city of Latakia, a stronghold of President Bashar al Assad. 
It comes following news last week that Russia has sent military hardware and troops to bolster Syria's embattled national forces.
The equipment said to have been deployed by Moscow included two tank landing ships and extra aircraft, along with a small number of naval infantry forces.
While the aim of the Russian military build-up remains unclear, a US official said last week that the purpose may be to help rebuild or defend the airfield.
Moscow has confirmed it has "experts" on the ground, but it has refused to give further details about its military presence in the country.
Damascus has denied Russian forces were involved in combat, but a Syrian official said the number of Russian "experts" had increased in the past year.
However, Syria's ambassador to Moscow has said talk of Russian troops on the ground is "a lie".
Sky's Foreign Affairs editor Sam Kiley said: "This is consistent with a build-up of Russian forces in Syria.
"The Russians are staunch allies of the Damascus regime, but they have been helping to rebuild two significant airfields including this one outside Latakia.
"They are now defending them with these Russian-manned Russian tanks and there is also an infantry battalion of around 1,000 men that has been deployed in western Syria to defend the port of Tartus."
Last week David Cameron declared that "hard military force" was needed to reduce the number of refugees fleeing Syria.
Millions are fleeing the country "because Assad has butchered his own people and because ISIL [Islamic State] have in their own way butchered others," the Prime Minister told MPs.
"Assad has to go, ISIL has to go and some of that will require not just spending money, not just aid, not just diplomacy but will on occasion require hard military force," he added.

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Syria: Russia's Motives Behind Military Build-Up

US officials say they expect Russia to launch combat operations against rebels in Syria "very soon," following reports of a massive airlift of ammunition, Russian heavy armour and anti-aircraft missiles to back up the Damascus regime.
The Pentagon has now tracked 15 flights of Russian Antonov-124 "Condor" flights into Syria and has seen two more Russian ships offload military cargo - including half a dozen tanks - according to the latest intelligence, a defence official told Fox News.

Russian T-90 tanks have been seen by independent observers on the perimeter of Latakia airport on the Mediterranean coast, not far from the Russian naval base at Tartous.
Last weekend two Russian naval tank transport ships were seen docking in Tartous, and Latakia airport has been extended and re-surfaced.
The drastic increase in Russian support for the Syrian regime could be seen as an attempt to prevent it collapsing under a successful rebel onslaught by the Army of Islam, the Jaish al Islam, which is not associated with Islamic State.

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Corbyn Reveals Full Shadow Cabinet Line-Up

Jeremy Corbyn has unveiled his full shadow cabinet as his office sought to defuse a growing row over the lack of women in key roles in the Labour's frontbench team.
A statement was issued after the newly elected party leader had refused to answer questions over the make-up of his shadow cabinet, which has been criticised.
Mr Corbyn had pledged to ensure half of the shadow cabinet is made up of women, but some politicians noted the most senior posts had all gone to men.
Labour MP Diana Johnson tweeted: "It is so very disappointing - old fashioned male dominated Labour politics in the top positions in Shadow Cabinet #notforgirls."
But Mr Corbyn's office argued the so-called great offices of state were an outdated concept and that society had changed significantly.
This echoed the comments of Labour's new shadow chancellor, John McDonnell, who said they did not recognise the traditional "hierarchical nature" of the jobs.

The statement issued in response to concerns over gender balance in the shadow cabinet said: "For Labour our proudest achievement is the creation of NHS.
"We are the party that delivered comprehensive education.
"We are the party that founded the open university, and that established and will defend the trade union and employment rights.
"The so-called 'great offices of state; as defined in the 19th Century reflect and era before women or workers even had the vote, and before Labour had radically changed the state."
Previously, Mr Corbyn had been pressed repeatedly by Sky News about why none of the key posts had gone to women but he did not respond.
As Mr Corbyn walked to his car outside Parliament early this morning, Sky's politics reporter Darren McCaffrey asked: "How do you face this criticism that there simply are not enough women in senior positions in the shadow cabinet?"
Mr Corbyn refused to answer, and continued walking as McCaffrey addressed several further questions to the Labour leader.
"Why do you just keep walking and not answer the question? Are you just going to keep walking?" McCaffrey said.
Eventually, Mr Corbyn said to a staffer: "There are people bothering me."
"Jeremy, we're not bothering you. We're just asking legitimate questions about your shadow cabinet appointments," McCaffrey replied.
The new Labour leader had been locked away in the opposition Chief Whips in the Commons from early Sunday afternoon with Rosie Winterton, his new chief whip and a team of close advisers.
Later, McCaffrey said only a small number of MPs actually visited Mr Corbyn in person yesterday, including Andy Burnham, David Lammy and Lord Falconer but most of the shadow cabinet was formed in frantic conversations.

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McDonnell: The Political Vision Versus Policy

It says something about Labour under Jeremy Corbyn that the party's new shadow chancellor declares that one of his hobbies is "generally fermenting the overthrow of capitalism".
Of all the people Mr Corbyn could have chosen to appoint as his most senior colleague, few could have been more divisive and uncompromising than John McDonnell.
He is a Labour MP who has spent his political career calling for radical overhaul of the UK economy.
While in reality his ideas may not constitute a wholesale overthrow of capitalism, they are nonetheless more controversial than any which have thus far been proposed by a major political party.
They include dramatically raising taxes on the wealthiest earners, bringing them back to 1970s levels; stripping the Bank of England of its independence; forcibly splitting up Britain's banks; abolishing all business tax breaks and introducing price controls on energy, rail and bus fares.
And all these on top of the controversial policies put forward by Mr Corbyn, including the nationalisation of Britain’s rail, energy and banking systems, and "people’s quantitative easing", under which the Bank of England would print money to finance public investment projects.
Of course, we have yet to learn whether all or indeed any of these policies will find their way into Labour’s next manifesto, but they nonetheless raise a question: do they suggest that Britain and its electorate are moving leftwards, or are they a cry of desperation from a Labour party frustrated with years of suppression?
It will take some years to find out the answers. In the meantime, we now have more ideological distance between the two major parties in Parliament than ever before.
Another question is whether that will drag the Conservatives to the centre, as they attempt to win over moderate Labour supporters, or push them further to the right, in the absence of strong centrist opposition.

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Corbynomics: Labour Leader's Radical Plans

It wasn't all that long ago that many political and economic theorists had decided that the old era of left vs right politics was over.
As the country and its citizens had become richer, rendering everyone middle class, those old divisions between right-wingers who wanted lower taxes and left-wingers who wanted higher public spending were supposed to disappear.
But look at British politics today and you'll realise that precisely the opposite has happened.
With Jeremy Corbyn now in charge of the Labour party, the gap between the left and right leaning parties has never been wider.
Quite what Mr Corbyn's economic policies will consist of will become clearer in the coming weeks and months - they may well change their complexion now he has a large party to represent.
But to judge from his comments and proposals during the leadership campaign, Corbynomics may well even take the party to the left of Michael Foot.
There are the staple Labour policies: taxes are to be increased - particularly the highest rate, which will go back up to 50%.
There will be a special increase in National Insurance (income tax in all but name) for the wealthiest.
There will be a tax clampdown on companies and individuals, which promises to raise many billions.
There will be free tuition fees and higher public spending all round. A massive scheme of public investment projects will be paid for by coercing the Bank of England to print money.
The rail network will be re-nationalised, as will the energy companies and even the banking system. And all this before one gets to Mr Corbyn's foreign policy and defence proposals.
It all amounts to the most radical set of political proposals from a major party in decades.
Some might quibble and suggest that Foot's 1983 manifesto was more radical - but don't forget that at that stage, even after a full term of Margaret Thatcher, both taxes and spending were far higher than they are now.
Public expenditure was about 47% of gross domestic product; tax revenues amounted to about 44% of GDP.
Today public spending is under 40% of GDP and tax revenues are about 36% of GDP.
In other words, since then, the UK has become a significantly lower tax, lower-spending economy than it was in the 1980s.
One of the questions the rise of Mr Corbyn demands is whether that is likely to change. Will the presence of a far-left opposition leader in the Commons move the needle among the general public?
After all, the Chancellor has shown time and time again that he would be willing to steal ideas from his political opponents if they chime with the public mood.
Then again, it is difficult to see a Corbyn economic policy that George Osborne could easily adopt.
Rail nationalisation may be a popular idea, but privatisation was a Tory idea of the 1990s (further implemented by Labour under Blair, it should be added). The banks are currently in the process of being privatised.
When it comes to taxes, the Chancellor is actually in the process of raising them ever so slightly, but largely in order to meet his fiscal targets. His surplus rule makes big spending plans near-impossible.
Most fundamentally, it is not clear that Britons are particularly keen on a dramatic change to the country's fiscal profile.
Since the late 80s, leaving aside in recession times, public spending has been kept tightly between 35% and 40% of GDP. Taxes have barely risen much above their current level of 36% of GDP.
Such statistics may seem anodyne, but their stability would seem to suggest that Britons are relatively comfortable with taxes and spending where they are.
Who knows: perhaps Mr Corbyn will be able to move the needle. But it will take an extraordinary shift, given how reluctant voters seemed to be for even Ed Miliband's comparatively smaller tax increases at the last election.

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China: State Firm Shake-Up As Worries Mount

China has confirmed it is to open up its vast empire of state-owned companies to private investors, as part of efforts to boost investment as credit dries up in its economy.
The official Xinhua news agency said that guidelines issued by the Communist Party's Central Committee and the State Council, China's cabinet, included plans to merge some state-owned enterprises (SOEs) and allow part-privatisations.
Xinhua said the government expected "decisive results" by 2020.
"The SOE system should be more modernised and market-oriented. It should make for higher economic vitality, higher control, greater influence and SOEs will be more risk-resistant."
China has more than 100 SOEs - many of them utilities, infrastructure and mining firms - with 25,000 more at a local government level, employing millions.
Companies such as China Mobile and the massive ICBC bank have remained in state hands because they are seen as crucial to national security.
The support from Beijing has meant SOEs have enjoyed preferential rates on loans but many are now suffering as the availability of credit dries up across the country - a core reason behind China's economic woes.
It is hoped that new investors can bring greater experience though many might be put off by the threat of state interference and the country's recent stock market crash.
There would also be huge pressure to maintain employment, as a big worry for the Chinese authorities is the prospect of social unrest arising from the economic slowdown.
Sheng Hong, director of the independent research group the Unirule Institute in Beijing, exercised caution on the reforms, saying they were "not meaningful" and failed to address critical issues including curtailing monopolies.
He told the AP news agency: "They have been only playing with words and don't intend to carry out real reform."
Credit conditions may be about to get further squeezed in China.
Stocks across Asia, including China, fell on Monday as investors continued to fret on whether the US Federal Reserve would start raising interest rates this week from their 2008 low.
Rising borrowing costs would exacerbate the loss of super-cheap money from quantitative easing - hitting not just China but wider emerging markets.
The latest factory output data from Beijing disappointed, growing by 6.1% in August, adding to worries about China's industrial activity after exports fell 5.5%.
The worse-than expected data - coupled with the prospect of rising US rates hitting credit availability and exchange rates - has left China at risk of missing its GDP growth forecast of 7% for this year.

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Users Gear Up For Apple's New Software

The latest edition of iOS, Apple's mobile software, is nearly here - with people able to download it on Wednesday.
All devices from the iPhone 4s onwards should receive a notification that the software - iOS 9 - is available to install.
As well as being offered as a free upgrade for owners of older models of the iPhone, it will come pre-installed on the new iPhone 6s and 6s Plus models.
The big new feature is Apple News, a platform which publishers can send stories directly to consumers.
Users choose their favourite news sources, and the articles are then streamlined into one continuously updating feed.
The Notes app is also beefed up, with the ability to add check-lists, inline images, basic sketches, and web links.

You can also add items from whatever app you are in directly to Notes.
A number of other smaller tweaks have been made, including to the reintroduced search screen and the app-switching mechanism.
Meanwhile, those using iPads will see a number of device-specific changes.
The main one is that two apps can now "snap" side-by-side on screen, allowing you to multitask.
And while watching a video or making a FaceTime call, it is possible to swipe the video to the bottom of the screen while you work on something else in another app.
Apple customers are advised to back up before upgrading, so they are safe if anything goes wrong.
Because the file size is hefty, it is wise to be connected to a power source while downloading and installing the software.

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Rocky Relations: Labour Leaders And The Unions

Sky News reflects on the rocky relationship previous leaders of the Labour Party have had with Britain's trade unions.
:: Harold Wilson
Labour and the trade union movement were almost one-and-the-same thing for many years. The party was formed by the unions, was funded by them, and remained inextricably linked to them. 
Indeed, the role of the party in the first place was as a mechanism to get working-class union members into Parliament.
Harold Wilson, in the 60s and 70s, has come to epitomise the "beer and sandwiches" era, where union leaders were routinely consulted on major decisions. 
But Wilson also led the party into its first confrontation with the TUC. In 1969 he asked his employment minister Barbara Castle to write a new policy governing industrial relations, called 'In Place of Strife'.  Though to modern eyes it seems mild, it was ferociously - and successfully - resisted by the unions.
:: Neil Kinnock
Though well within living memory, the 1980s was a whole different era for trade unions compared to now. With more than 12 million members they truly represented a vast swathe of the British workforce. But one thing was the same as today - a Tory government determined to clip their wings.

Margaret Thatcher's succession of bills saw the biggest retreat in union power since the "beer and sandwiches" days. 
Kinnock's battles against the hard left within the Labour Party had an echo in his relations with the TUC. While his alliances with most unions were strong, he came under attack for criticising the National Union of Mineworkers for not having a ballot for strike action.

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