Apr. 19, 2017

BLOOMBERG

Analysts estimate North Korea may now possess between 10 and 25 nuclear weapons, with launch vehicles, air force jets, troops and artillery scattered across the country, hidden in caves and massed along the border with South Korea. That's on top of what the U.S. estimates to be one of the world's largest chemical weapons stockpiles, a biological weapons research program and an active cyberwarfare capability. And with Seoul and its 10 million residents just 35 miles south of the border -- well within North Korea's artillery range -- any eruption of hostilities could have devastating human and economic costs.

The absence of a U.S. Trade Representative is delaying the start of NAFTA negotiations with Mexico, a top official from the Latin American nation said. Without the lead U.S. trade negotiator in place, Mexico doesn't expect the White House to give Congress the 90 days of notice it needs to open formal talks on the North American Free Trade Agreement.

A long-simmering trade dispute between the U.S. and Canada over lumber is heating up, increasing the cost of building houses and causing American businesses to hunt for supplies in other countries.

Morgan Stanley posted Wall Street's biggest increase in bond-trading revenue as a turnaround in that business accelerated, pushing return on equity to the highest in two years. Fixed-income revenue almost doubled to $1.71 billion.

AP Top Stories

Prosecutors in seven Massachusetts districts agreed to throw out an estimated 95% of drug convictions that came from drug tests that were falsified by chemist Annie Dookhan.

President Trump is refusing to say whether the U.S. sabotaged North Korea's launch of ballistic missile that blew up shortly after liftoff Sunday morning. "I don't want to comment on it," Trump told "Fox & Friends".

A New Jersey woman has sued Wells Fargo Bank, saying she was fired for refusing to participate in a scheme to manipulate accounts and sell products that weren't in customers' best interest.

White House press secretary Sean Spicer said Monday afternoon that President Trump does not plan to release his 2016 tax returns.

Want the world's best, up-close view of a rocket launch without being right there at the pad? For the first time, cameras will provide live 360-degree video of a rocket heading toward space. NASA will provide the 360 stream Tuesday as an unmanned Atlas rocket blasts off from Cape Canaveral, Florida, with a capsule full of space station supplies

Amid growing tensions in the Korean Peninsula, Japan is contemplating the deployment of its Self-Defense Forces in case North Korea's missiles land in its territorial waters, according to local reports Tuesday.

U.S. President Donald Trump signed an executive order Tuesday to compel U.S. companies to hire more American workers, but the proposed changes will require congressional action to have any significant impact.

Britain's delegation to the chemical weapons watchdog says its director has told a meeting that tests indicate that sarin or a similar toxin was used in an April 4 attack in Syria that killed nearly 90 people.

Leaders of 28 countries are set to attend a Chinese summit next month showcasing President Xi Jinping's signature foreign policy initiative, but few will hail from major Western countries.

Google on Tuesday launched a re-imagined version of its free Earth mapping service, weaving in storytelling and artificial intelligence and freeing it from apps.

In the scorching heat of the Caribbean Sea, workers in scuba suits scrub crude oil by hand from the hull of the Caspian Galaxy, a tanker so filthy it can't set sail in international waters. The vessel is among many that are constantly contaminated at two major export terminals where they load crude from Venezuela's state-run oil company, PDVSA. The water here has an oily sheen from leaks in the rusty pipelines under the surface. That means the tankers have to be cleaned before traveling to many foreign ports, which won't admit crude-stained ships for fear of environmental damage to their harbors, port facilities or other vessels.

BBC

China says it is seriously concerned about North Korean nuclear development, in the wake of a BBC interview with a top official from the North. North Korea's vice-foreign minister told the BBC Pyongyang would continue to test missiles and would launch a pre-emptive nuclear strike if it thought the US was planning an attack.

Physicists have created a fluid with "negative mass", which accelerates backwards when pushed.

Evacuations from two government-held areas of Syria have resumed, monitors and reports say, days after an attack on a convoy carrying evacuees killed 126 people, many of them children. Some 3,000 people have left the north-western villages of Foah and Kefraya, which have been surrounded by rebels.

The owner of the Holiday Inn and Crowne Plaza hotel brands has disclosed that payment card-stealing malware has struck about 1,200 of its franchisees' properties. All but one of the locations affected were in the US, with the other being in Puerto Rico. Guests have been warned they could have had money stolen as a consequence. One expert said there might be further hotels affected.

South Korea is starting a trial which could result in banishing its largely worthless coins from the country's economy. Instead of accepting small change from purchases, customers at selected stores can instead opt to deposit it onto prepaid cards such as transportation cards.

WND

Federal authorities have open investigations into radical Islamic terrorists in all 50 states, according to the Department of Homeland Security, which is warning that the threat of terrorism in the United States has reached an all-time high with radicalized individuals in the country plotting to strike "each and every single day."

Las Vegas is preparing to be the first city in the nation with vending machines dispensing clean needles in an effort to help combat the spread of hepatitis B, hepatitis C and HIV, while also possibly leading some drug users into treatment.

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