By: Nathaniel Tok

Vancouver to host Korea talks

Representatives from 20 nations will attend a conference in Vancouver to discuss how to forestall North Korea’s nuclear ambitions. The talks comes as tensions on the peninsula ease following talks between North and South Korea and a North Korean agreement to participate in the Olympics. A challenge to the Vancouver gathering will be the lack of Chinese participation. There are concerns on how much can be done without China. China is North Korea’s key ally and trading partner and has great influence over Pyongyang. Russia will also not attend the talks, though both nations will be briefed on the proceedings.

With files from Reuters.


Heavy snowfall isolates alps ski resort

Skiers in the Alps were affected by unusually heavy snowfall. Up to one metre of snow fell within a single 24-hour period alone in some regions, and slopes were closed for skiing as the avalanche risk reached the highest level in almost 10 years. At least one skier is missing from Tignes, a French ski resort. In the Swiss ski resort Zermatt, more than 13,000 tourists were trapped after the heavy snowfall cut off villages and towns in the region. Despite this, tourists at the resort were reported to be in good spirits. Some even considered the atmosphere “romantic.”

With files from BBC News.


Ritz Paris hotel robbed

Five robbers armed with axes smashed windows and stole jewelry worth more than $5 million from the Ritz Paris hotel, according to police. Three men have been arrested as the heist was interrupted by a police patrol while the rest got away on a motorized scooter. A bag was also recovered which might contain some of the stolen goods. Both the city’s police commissioner and the French Interior Minister Gérard Collomb praised the police officers for their quick reaction. Armed robberies targeting stores are not unheard of in the wealthy Place Vendôme square area of Paris where the Ritz is located.

With files from Reuters and BBC News.


Hawaii missile warning sent in error

An emergency alert was issued mistakenly to Hawaii’s residents by state authorities warning of a missile threat. State government and the US military confirmed there was no threat. Hawaii Governor David Ige called the incident “totally unacceptable.” The Emergency Management Agency reported that the mistake was due to human error and inadequate fail-safe measures. The agency took 38 minutes to issue a new statement retracting the warning, and is now taking steps to prevent another false warning occurrence. One of the new fail-safe measures requires having two employees to issue a threat — the second employee to confirm the threat issued by the first. The warning was sent amid tensions with North Korea over missile threats.

With files from Reuters.

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