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The week in photos: September 15-21, 2018

Sep 22, 2018 - 6:25 PM

This week's selection of photo highlights here and around the world

BABY STEPS. People walk on a path covered with sand and debris in the low-lying coastal village of Lei Yue Mun in the aftermath of Typhoon Mangkhut in Hong Kong on September 17, 2018. Photo by Philip Fong/AFP

Cholera outbreak in Nigeria claims nearly 100 lives

Sep 22, 2018 - 6:22 PM

More than 3,000 cholera cases have been recorded in the states of Yobe and Borno, says the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs

Thor's gavel keeps order in the United Nations

Sep 22, 2018 - 9:30 AM

The president of the UN General Assembly wields a very unusual looking gavel. It is a Viking gavel that is a gift from Iceland, and there’s a very interesting story behind it.

In this photo from 2012, Joseph Deiss, President of the sixty-fifth General Assembly, bangs the gavel, sealing the appointment of Ban Ki-moon to a second term as UN Secretary-General.UN Photo/Mark Garten

U.S. criticizes treatment of Uighurs in latest China row

Sep 22, 2018 - 9:27 AM

The Trump administration also faces criticism at home and abroad for barring entry to citizens of several Muslim-majority countries

CONDEMNATION. US Secretary Mike Pompeo says millions of Uighurs may be 'held against their will' in so-called re-education camps subject to political indoctrination and abuses. File photo by Emmanuel DUNAND/AFP

Most nations to miss U.N. target on chronic diseases – study

Sep 21, 2018 - 11:47 AM

Cancers, heart and blood-vessel disease, diabetes, and chronic respiratory disease have combined to kill 12.5 million people aged 30 to 70 worldwide in 2016

Two Koreas' leaders in mountain show of unity

Sep 20, 2018 - 5:56 PM

The North Korean leader agrees to shutter the Tongchang-ri missile-testing site in the presence of international observers

MOUNT PAEKTU PICTURE-TAKING. North Korean leader Kim Jong Un (2nd L) and his wife Ri Sol Ju (L) pose with South Korean President Moon Jae-in (2nd R) and his wife Kim Jung-sook (R) at the lakeside on the top of Mount Paektu on September 20, 2018. Photo by Pyeongyang Press Corps/AFP

Macron to meet Trump, Iran's Rouhani at UN in New York

Sep 19, 2018 - 10:02 PM

Macron will meet Trump on Monday afternoon before having dinner with UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres. On Tuesday, the French president will address the assembly and hold talks with Rouhani, an Elysee Palace official says.

MACRON. A video grab from the French TV channel LCI taken on June 1, 2017, shows French President Emmanuel Macron speaking during a live broadcast in Paris, after US president Donald Trump announced the United States was to pull out of the 2015 Paris climate accord. File photo by LCI/AFP

Ompong, Duterte on Mendoza, Bert and Ernie | Evening wRap

Sep 19, 2018 - 9:12 PM

Watch Rappler’s evening newscast with Ralf Rivas

North Korea's Kim says to visit Seoul, shut missile site

Sep 19, 2018 - 3:44 PM

The two leaders agree to hold family reunions on a regular basis, work towards joining up road and rail links, and mount a combined bid for the 2032 Olympics

TOGETHER. South Korean President Moon Jae-in (L) and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un (R) applaud during a joint press conference after their summit at Paekhwawon State Guesthouse in Pyongyang on September 19, 2018. AFP PHOTO/Pyeongyang Press Corps

South Korean leader and North's Kim hold summit talks

Sep 19, 2018 - 9:27 AM

'I am acutely aware of the weight that we bear,' Moon Jae-in tells Kim Jong-un as they open two hours of formal talks at the headquarters of the ruling Workers' Party

LEADERS. South Korean President Moon Jae-in (L) and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un (R) walk together during a welcoming ceremony at Pyongyang airport on September 18, 2018. AFP PHOTO/Pyeongyang Press Corps

Myanmar army should be removed from politics – UN probe

Sep 18, 2018 - 3:41 PM

The UN's 444-page probe calls for the military's top leadership to be replaced and for the institution to have no further influence over the country's governance

POLITICS? Myanmar soldiers march in formation during a military parade in Naypyidaw on March 27, 2018 to mark the 73rd Armed Forces Day. File photo by Thet Aung/AFP

5 things about the third inter-Korean summit 2018 in Pyongyang

Sep 18, 2018 - 2:43 PM

Here are 5 things we have learned so far about the third summit between North and South Korea

THIRD SUMMIT. North Korean leader Kim Jong-un (R) and South Korean President Moon Jae-in (L) review honor guards during a welcoming ceremony at Pyongyang airport on September 18, 2018. AFP PHOTO/Pyeongyang Press Corps

South Korea's Moon seeks to break nuclear deadlock at Pyongyang summit

Sep 16, 2018 - 12:40 PM

An analyst says President Moon Jae-in may try to convince North Korean leader Kim Jong-un to verbally commit to providing a list of the country's existing nuclear program

PRESIDENT MOON. In this file photo, a man watches a television screen broadcasting live footage of South Korean President Moon Jae-In's New Year's speech, at a railway station in Seoul on January 10, 2018. Photo by Jung Yeon-Je/Rappler

2 Koreas open joint liaison office in North

Sep 14, 2018 - 4:13 PM

'A new chapter in history is open here today,' says South Korean unification minister Cho Myoung-gyon

Human rights groups face 'alarming, shameful level' of gov't retaliation – UN report

Sep 13, 2018 - 3:59 PM

The Philippines is among 38 countries where governments subject human rights advocates to 'harsh reprisals and intimidation,' according to a UN report

New joint liaison office will 'advance inter-Korean relations'

Sep 12, 2018 - 1:09 PM

The office is a significant move in thawing relations between the two countries, and follows a meeting this month between the North's leader Kim Jong-un and a South Korean presidential envoy

THE KOREAS. In this photo taken on August 2, 2017, South Korean soldiers stand before the North Korean side of the truce village of Panmunjeom, within the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) separating North and South Korea. File photo by Ed Jones/AFP

UN says Myanmar waging 'campaign against journalists'

Sep 11, 2018 - 8:55 PM

A fresh report from the UN rights office decries 'the instrumentalization of the law and of the courts by the government and military in what constitutes a political campaign against independent journalism'

WA LONE. Detained Myanmar journalist Wa Lone, 32, is seen handcuffed and escorted by police while leaving Yangon courthouse after the first day of trial on July 16, 2018. File photo by Myo Kyaw Soe/AFP

Trump received Kim Jong-un letter seeking second meet – White House

Sep 11, 2018 - 10:49 AM

White House spokesperson Sarah Sanders says the letter shows Pyongyang's 'continued commitment to focus on denuclearization' on the Korean Peninsula

HISTORIC. In this file photo, US President Donald Trump gestures as he meets with North Korea's leader Kim Jong-un at the start of their historic US-North Korea summit, at the Capella Hotel on Sentosa island in Singapore on June 12, 2018. Photo by Saul Loeb/AFP

World must act by 2020 to avoid runaway climate change – UN chief

Sep 11, 2018 - 9:20 AM

'Climate change is the defining issue of our time – and we are at a defining moment,' says UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres

ANTONIO GUTERRES. This file photo taken on January 3, 2017 shows United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres speaking to staff members at UN headquarters in New York. File photo by Eduardo Munoz Alvarez / AFP

Trump signals nuclear talks with North Korea still alive

Sep 07, 2018 - 5:45 PM

'Kim Jong Un of North Korea proclaims 'unwavering faith in President Trump.' Thank you to Chairman Kim. We will get it done together!' Trump writes on Twitter.

TRUMP-KIM TALKS ALIVE. US President Donald Trump (R) gestures as he meets with North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un (L) at the start of their historic US-North Korea summit, at the Capella Hotel on Sentosa island in Singapore on June 12, 2018. File photo by Saul Loeb/AFP

Two Koreas agree to hold September summit in Pyongyang – Seoul

Sep 06, 2018 - 10:24 AM

Leaders Kim Jong-un and Moon Jae-in will discuss issues including 'practical measures' to denuclearize the flashpoint peninsula

NEXT SUMMIT. In this file photo, North Korea's leader Kim Jong-un (L) shakes hands with South Korea's President Moon Jae-in (R) at the Military Demarcation Line that divides their countries at the start of their April summit at the truce village of Panmunjeom. File photo by Korea Summit Press Pool/AFP

South Korean envoy meets Kim in Pyongyang amid nuclear deadlock

Sep 05, 2018 - 10:39 PM

Special envoy Chung Eui-yong's delegation 'met with Chairman Kim Jong Un and delivered a personal letter (from Moon) and exchanged opinions,' a presidential office spokesman in Seoul says

DIPLOMATIC TRIP. Chung Eui-yong (C), head of the presidential National Security Office, Suh Hoon (2nd R), the chief of the South's National Intelligence Service, and other delegators walk to board an aircraft as they leave for Pyongyang at a military airport in Seongnam, south of Seoul, on September 5, 2018.  Photo by Jung Yeon-je/AFP

Mali's re-elected Keita sworn in as peacekeeeper wounded

Sep 05, 2018 - 3:08 PM

His re-election comes despite fierce criticism of failures to tackle jihadist violence and ethnic tensions that have rocked the poor Sahel state

RE-ELECTED. In this file photo, Malian President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita speaks after casting his vote in a polling station in Bamako on July 29, 2018. File photo by Issouf Sanogo/AFP

E.U. urges U.S. to reconsider 'regrettable' decision on U.N. Palestinian agency

Sep 02, 2018 - 10:15 AM

'The regrettable decision of the US to no longer be part of this international and multilateral effort leaves a substantial gap,' says the European Union

'REGRETTABLE DECISION.' A Palestinian boy sits on a chair with a national flag as Israeli authorities demolish a school site in the village of Yatta on July 11 2018. File Photo by Hazem Bader/AFP

North Korea competes in shooting championships in the South

Sep 01, 2018 - 11:52 AM

This marks the first time that North Korea has taken part in the International Shooting Sport Federation event in South Korea

Palestinian anger as U.S. ends funding for U.N. agency

Sep 01, 2018 - 8:42 AM

(3rd UPDATE) The United States will no longer fund the 'irredeemable flawed' UN Relief and Works Agency, which supports millions of Palestinian refugees and provides education for children

A Palestinian woman uses a gas lamp during a power cut in an impoverished area of the Khan Younis refugee camp, southern Gaza Strip on July 29, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / MAHMUD HAMS

South Korea's Moon to send special envoy to North Korea on September 5

Aug 31, 2018 - 5:23 PM

The unnamed envoy will visit the North's capital city on September 5, Yonhap news agency says, citing a presidential spokesman

ASEAN TIES. South Korean President Moon Jae-in speaks before the ASEAN-South Korea 2017 Summit in Manila. Screenshot from the ASEAN live feed

Russia blocks publication of U.N. report critical of North Korea

Aug 31, 2018 - 9:37 AM

A diplomatic source says Russia's objection stems mainly from a part of the report that said North Korea had exceeded its 2018 import cap for oil that was set by the 2017 sanctions

TABLE OF POWER. Wide view of the UN Security Council Chamber during the Council’s meeting on the situation in the Middle East, 30 September 2014, United Nations, New York. File photo by Kim Haughton/UN Photo

UN Syria envoy 'ready to go to Idlib' to help civilians leave

Aug 30, 2018 - 8:55 PM

A major military operation in Idlib would pose a particular humanitarian nightmare because there is no opposition territory left in Syria where people could be evacuated to

STAFFAN DE MISTURA. UN Syria envoy Staffan de Mistura briefs the press after speaking to a group of Syrians holding a vigil on the first day of a new round of Syria peace talks in Geneva on February 23, 2017. File photo by Philippe Desmazes/AFP

Trump says China making things 'much more difficult' with North Korea

Aug 30, 2018 - 8:26 AM

US President Donald Trump insists his relationship with Kim Jong-un remains 'very good'

US-NORTH KOREA RELATIONS. In thsi file photo, US President Donald Trump (R) gestures as he meets with North Korea's leader Kim Jong-un (L) at the start of their historic US-North Korea summit, at the Capella Hotel on Sentosa island in Singapore on June 12, 2018. File photo by Saul Loeb/AFP

UN urges Facebook to 'proactively' fight hate speech

Aug 29, 2018 - 9:01 PM

UN human rights chief Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein urges Facebook to 'be regulated by (international) human rights law'

ZEID RA'AD AL HUSSEIN. United Nations (UN) High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein addresses the 37th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council on February 26, 2018 in Geneva. Photo by Jean-Guy Python/AFP

UN probe reports possible 'war crimes' by all sides in Yemen conflict

Aug 28, 2018 - 5:00 PM

In its first report, a team of UN-mandated investigators said they had 'reasonable grounds to believe that the parties to the armed conflict in Yemen have committed a substantial number of violations of international humanitarian law'

ARMED FORCES. A column of Yemeni pro-government forces and armored vehicles arrives in al-Durayhimi district, about nine kilometres south of Hodeidah international airport on June 13, 2018. File photo by Nabil Hassan/AFP

North Korea still 'serious and imminent threat' – Japan

Aug 28, 2018 - 1:50 PM

Japan's 2018 defense white paper also takes aim at China's rise as a military power, saying Beijing is sparking 'strong security concerns in the region and international community, including Japan'

NORTH KOREA. Japan in its first annual defense review says 'there is no change in our basic recognition concerning the threat of North Korea's nuclear weapons and missiles.' North Korea's Central Railway Station file photo by Kim Won-jin/AFP

Activists urge killer robot ban 'before it is too late'

Aug 28, 2018 - 11:08 AM

'Killer robots are no longer the stuff of science fiction,' says Rasha Abdul Rahim, Amnesty International's advisor on artificial intelligence and human rights

SOLDIER BOT. A group of men look at a exoskeleton robot at the 2018 World Robot Conference in Beijing on August 15, 2018. Photo for illustration purposes only. Photo by Wang Zhao/AFP


Seoul may delay opening North Korea office

Aug 27, 2018 - 3:49 PM

South Korea shelves it plan to open a liaison office in the north after US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo cancel his trip to Pyongyang

This handout from the Blue House taken and released on May 26, 2018 shows South Korea's President Moon Jae-in (L) shaking hands with North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un before their second summit at the north side of the truce village of Panmunjom in the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ). South Korea said President Moon Jae-in met with North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un on May 26 inside the Demilitarised Zone dividing the two nations, a day after US President Donald Trump threatened to abandon a summit with Pyongyang. handout / The Blue House / AFP

Trump calls off Pompeo's North Korea trip, blasts China

Aug 25, 2018 - 8:42 AM

US President Donald Trump feels that they have not made 'sufficient progress' in plans to denuclearize the Korean Peninsula

US President Donald Trump speaks to the press aboard Air Force One in flight as he travels from Joint Base Andrews in Maryland, to Bedminster, New Jersey, June 29, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / SAUL LOEB

Pompeo to return to North Korea with new special envoy

Aug 24, 2018 - 12:01 AM

(UPDATED) The trip will be US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's fourth to North Korea, and the second since a historic summit on June 12 between Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un

POMPEO RETURNS. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo (2nd R) greets North Korea's director of the United Front Department, Kim Yong Chol (2nd L) as they arrive for a meeting at the Park Hwa Guest House in Pyongyang on July 6, 2018. File photo by Andrew Harnik/AFP

Western trio warns Syria over chemical weapons use

Aug 22, 2018 - 4:20 PM

In a joint statement, the 3 powers say they are 'gravely concerned' over the military offensive in Idlib and the resulting humanitarian consequences

IDLIB. A Syrian fighter fires a rocket-propelled grenade as he attends a mock battle in anticipation of an attack by the regime on Idlib province and the surrounding countryside, during a graduation of new Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) members at a camp in the countryside of the northern Idlib province on August 14, 2018. Photo by Omar Haj Kadour/AFP

U.S.: North Korea talks moving 'in right direction'

Aug 15, 2018 - 10:54 AM

'Conversations with the government of North Korea are becoming a far more normal matter,' State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert says

ON NORTH KOREA. In this file screenshot, State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert addresses the media in a news briefing. Screengrab from state.gov

South Korean firms caught importing coal, iron from North – Seoul

Aug 10, 2018 - 3:55 PM

News of the apparent breach comes after a UN report last week accused the North of evading sanctions by continuing to export coal, iron, and other commodities

Coal shipment stock photo from Shutterstock

Q2 GDP, Usec Badoy on Uson, UN Chief named | Midday wRap

Aug 09, 2018 - 2:08 PM

Watch Rappler’s midday newscast with Margie de Leon

Chile's Bachelet picked to be U.N. rights chief

Aug 09, 2018 - 8:43 AM

Michelle Bachelet – a two-time president who ranks among the world's most powerful women in politics – will step into a position that has drawn much controversy under Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein

NEW UN RIGHTS CHIEF. Former Chilean President Michelle Bachelet will be the next UN commissioner for human rights. File photo by Josh Albelda/Rappler

Duterte's PDP-Laban inks deal with North Korea's party

Aug 08, 2018 - 10:10 AM

PDP-Laban and the Workers' Party of Korea sign a deal on party cooperation, youth development, as well as 'promotion of world peace'

Photo from Ron Munsayac/PDP Laban

North Korea gets illegal oil, enlists Syria arms broker – UN report

Aug 04, 2018 - 2:48 PM

North Korea has flouted the cap on exports of coal, petroleum, weapons, and other products through illegal ship-to-ship transfers, rendering the sanctions hailed by UN 'ineffective'

Pompeo calls for sustained pressure on North Korea

Aug 04, 2018 - 1:40 PM

(UPDATED) A confidential UN report warns that Pyongyang has resorted to 'massive increase' of illegal ship-to-ship transfers of oil products to circumvent sanctions over its nuclear weapons program

US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo gives a press conference during a NATO Foreign ministers' meeting at the NATO headquarters in Brussels on April 27, 2018.  JOHN THYS / AFP

Carandang dismissal, Ivanka Trump, CJ Ramos arrest | Evening wRap

Aug 03, 2018 - 9:38 PM

Watch Rappler’s evening newscast with Vernise Tantuco

UN moves to unblock humanitarian aid to North Korea

Aug 03, 2018 - 2:43 PM

North Korea's humanitarian crisis has left about 10 million people – nearly half of the population – undernourished, according to UN officials, who have reported a drop in food production in 2017

UN Security Council Meeting. File photo from the United Nations

U.S. Korean War dead heading home at last

Aug 02, 2018 - 4:04 PM

'Some have called the Korean War the forgotten war. But today, we prove these heroes were never forgotten. Today our boys are coming home,' says Vice President Mike Pence

HOME. Military personnel bring in the presumed remains of US soldiers in 55 caskets draped with American flags into Hanger 19 Joint base Pearl Harbor Hickam on August 1, 2018 in Honolulu, Hawaii. Photo by Kat Wade/Getty Images/AFP

If choppers from Jordan do not arrive, Duterte vows resuming salvo of curses

Aug 01, 2018 - 7:54 PM

President threatens to revive his tirades against UN rights chief and Jordanian prince Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein if a donation of choppers does not arrive soon

U.S. to urge pressure against North Korea at Asia talks

Aug 01, 2018 - 3:02 PM

A US official says Washington is 'concerned' by North Korean violations of UN-approved sanctions, including illegal shipments of oil by sea

ASEAN. A man walks past a banner ahead of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Regional Forum in Singapore on August 1, 2018. Photo by Mohd Rasfan/AFP