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Japan's Sakurajima volcano erupts some 50km from nuclear plant

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Japan’s Sakurajima volcano, situated about 50km from the Sendai nuclear station, has erupted with the country’s meteorological agency issuing an orange warning not to approach it. Residents in the area were evacuated in August last year after an alert for the volcano was raised to its second highest level. When Sakurajima erupted in 1914, it was Japan’s most powerful of the 20th century.... 

US Slams North Korea’s Plans for 'Satellite Launch'

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The United States has warned that North Korea is preparing to launch a long-range missile, dismissing official statements from Pyongyang to the United Nations that the launch will actually involve a satellite. Satellite imagery has indicated that North Korea is preparing to conduct rocket launches later this month from a test site known as Tongchang-ri. The movement of rocket components at the site... 

Risk of Nuclear Theft Increasing

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A nuclear watchdog group warns that, despite efforts to secure nuclear material, nations are still vulnerable to theft, as well as acts of sabotage or cyberattacks, which could enable terrorists to obtain nuclear materials or trigger a dangerous meltdown. Twenty-four states “still have one kilogram (2.2 pounds) or more of weapons-usable nuclear materials…[and] nearly 2,000 metric tons (4.4 million... 

World's second-highest skyscraper completed in Shanghai

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China has managed to complete the construction of the world’s second tallest high rise in Shanghai. It took six years of construction for the 632-meter-tall Shanghai Tower to be completed. The Shanghai Tower pushed Chicago’s 442-meter Willis Tower out of the Top 10 list for the first time since it was completed in 1974. The tower broke ground back in 2008, as the third tower in the trio of skyscrapers... 

Experts Doubt North Korea Hydrogen Bomb Explosion's Authenticity

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Executive Secretary of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO) Lassina Zerbo stated that CTBTO monitoring stations picked up an “unusual seismic event” in the DPRK’s nuclear test site area and experts are currently conducting tests to establish the nature of the recent explosion. “North Korea: the explosion was not sufficiently powerful to call it a hydrogen... 

South Korea to restart propaganda loudspeakers on North's border

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South Korea says it will restart propaganda loudspeaker broadcasts along the border with the North, following Pyongyang’s claimed hydrogen bomb test. The broadcasts will restart on Friday, South Korea’s presidential office says, calling the North’s bomb test a “grave violation” of an agreement in August between the two Koreas, which had aimed to ease tensions. At that... 

North Korea's hydrogen bomb test triggers earthquake in China

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North Korea tested a hydrogen bomb, which, according to North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, ended successfully. Many Chinese people could feel the consequences of the tests of the North Korean hydrogen bomb. The test triggered an earthquake in China. Residents of several Chinese settlements had to be urgently evacuated. The magnitude of the earthquake made up 5.1 on Richter scale. “The North Korean... 

China’s legendary Harbin Ice and Snow Festival kicks off

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A man walks past ice sculptures at a park before the opening ceremony of the Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival in Harbin, China’s northeastern Heilongjiang province, on January 4, 2016. The legendary Harbin International Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival has kicked off in China where over a million people are expected to visit the gigantic ice structures displayed in ethereal lights. The... 

North Korea claims fully successful ‘miniaturized hydrogen bomb’ test

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North Korea has announced that it has successfully tested a miniaturized hydrogen bomb following an “artificial seismic event” that has likely become the country’s fourth known nuclear test. In a “special and important” announcement at noon, North Korean TV claimed that the country has successfully conducted a hydrogen bomb test at 10:00am local time. “Through the test conducted with indigenous... 

Beijing Unveils Major Military Restructure

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China unveiled three new units to its military: a force to oversee strategic missiles, an army general command and strategic support force, Chinese state media reported. President Xi Jinping described the modernization reform as “a major policy decision to realize the Chinese dream of a strong army.” The new units, along with the building of a second aircraft carrier, come at a time when... 

Chinese stock markets halted after tumbling 7% in 1st 2016 session, dragging Europe down

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Trading was suspended on Chinese markets after stocks tumbled 7 percent in the first trading of the year, triggering the new “circuit breaker” system limiting volatility, which was introduced in December. The fall from Asia led to a slump in European stocks as well. The 15-minute suspension happened about 90 minutes before market’s regular closure and followed a brief 15-minute halt early in... 

Alibaba interested in launching platform to promote Russian goods

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The world’s biggest e-commerce firm Alibaba is interested in a suggestion from President Putin to create a platform that would help Russian companies export abroad. “We have seen the initiative of President Putin to create an electronic platform that would help Russian small and medium enterprises to enter export markets. And we hope very much that we can contribute to its implementation,”... 

Alibaba's New Year's resolution, to change its cheap knock-off reputation

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Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba is starting 2016 with the goal of winning the trust of investors, sellers and buyers. The company plans to crack down on unauthorized merchandise sold on its platform. Alibaba is highly dependent on its home market which generates more than 80 percent of the company’s revenue. But with pressure from the slowing Chinese economy, the company set a strategy for international... 

China builds new aircraft carrier in show of strength to Washington

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China intends to beef up its maritime presence by building a second aircraft carrier. Beijing wants to exert its presence in the South China Sea, after complaining of “provocations” from the US, as well as defending its interests in the region. Little is known about China’s aircraft carrier program, however a spokesman for the Defense Ministry, Yang Yujun, said the ship had been designed in... 

Brunei Bans Christmas Again Including Santa Hats and Decorations

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The Islamic nation of Brunei is again banning the celebration of Christmas, as its sultan has reissued an edict first put into effect last year that prohibits any public display of Christmas decorations and even the wearing of Santa hats. Britain’s Independent reported that the tiny nation’s ruler, Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah (shown), introduced the ban on Christmas in 2014. Back in October 2013,... 
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