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Japan minister to head to U.S. for trade talks next week: media

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japanese Economics Minister Akira Amari will travel to the United States for trade talks late next week in a bid to reach agreement in a two-way deal that is seen as critical for a broader regional pact, Jiji news agency reported on Friday.

US journalist to chair French prize for war correspondents

US journalist and writer Jonathan Randal, who specialises in the Middle East, will chair the jury for this year's Prix Bayeux-Calvados, an annual prize for war correspondents, organisers said Thursday. Randal, who covered wars in sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East for the Washington Post over thirty years, will oversee the selection of prizes October 6-14. Randal is the author of "Osama: The Making of a Terrorist", among other works.

US journalist to chair French prize for war correspondents

US journalist and writer Jonathan Randal, who specialises in the Middle East, will chair the jury for this year's Prix Bayeux-Calvados, an annual prize for war correspondents, organisers said Thursday. Randal, who covered wars in sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East for the Washington Post over thirty years, will oversee the selection of prizes October 6-14. Randal is the author of "Osama: The Making of a Terrorist", among other works.

European news agencies focus on Web, social-networking sites

Madrid, Apr 9 (EFE).- Europe's leading news agencies agreed at a meeting in the Spanish capital Wednesday on the need to shift their reporting influence to the Web and social-networking sites to survive without compromising their "historical principles" of truth and impartiality.

N. Korea hit by extensive outbreak of bird flu

SEOUL, April 9 (Yonhap) -- North Korea has experienced an outbreak of bird flu since last month, culling tens of thousands of poultry so far, its news agency said Wednesday. A chicken farm in the capital city of Pyongyang first reported symptoms of avian influenza (AI), known as the H5N1 virus, on March 21, and the virus has been spreading to other poultry farms, the North's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) reported, citing Director Ri Kyung-kun of its agricultural ministry.

N. Korean leader reelected as head of country's most powerful body

SEOUL, April 9 (Yonhap) -- North Korean leader Kim Jong-un was reelected as first chairman of the country's most powerful National Defense Commission on Wednesday, the state news agency said, an expected move that could help further cement his grip on power. The election was made in the first session of the North's newly elected rubber-stamp parliament as all the deputies and participants in the session "broke into stormy cheers of 'hurrah!'" the Korean Central News Agency said. His election is "the great jubilee in the nation's history" the KCNA said in a dispatch.

N. Korea to hold first session of new parliament

SEOUL, April 9 (Yonhap) -- North Korea was to hold the first session of its newly elected rubber-stamp parliament on Wednesday, which analysts say could provide a glimpse into any change in the communist country's leadership. The North's state media has yet to report whether the inaugural session of the 13th Supreme People's Assembly elected early last month has begun.

N. Korea appoints new Syrian envoy

SEOUL, April 7 (Yonhap) -- North Korea has named its new ambassador to Syria, one of Pyongyang's key allies, the country's state-run news agency reported Monday. The (North) Korean Central News Agency said that Jang Myong-ho was appointed as ambassador to Syria, citing a decree of the Presidium of the Supreme People's Assembly. There is no public information available about Jang, whose name has never before appeared in the North Korean media. Former Ambassador to Damascus Choe Su-hon, who started his diplomatic career in 1988, had served in the post since 2008.

N. Korea appoints new Syrian envoy

SEOUL, April 7 (Yonhap) -- North Korea has named its new ambassador to Syria, one of Pyongyang's key allies, the country's state-run news agency reported Monday. The (North) Korean Central News Agency said that Jang Myong-ho was appointed as ambassador to Syria, citing a decree of the Presidium of the Supreme People's Assembly. There is no public information available about Jang, whose name has never before appeared in the North Korean media. Former Ambassador to Damascus Choe Su-hon, who started his diplomatic career in 1988, had served in the post since 2008.

N. Korea slams S. Korean missile test

SEOUL, April 5 (Yonhap) -- North Korea blasted South Korea on Saturday for test-firing a missile capable of hitting anywhere in the communist country, saying that Seoul will no longer be justified to blame it for launching rockets. In a report carried by the state Korean Central News Agency (KCNA), monitored in Seoul, a spokesman for the North Korean Army's Strategic Force said it was "a great irony" that South Korea is celebrating a successful test-fire of a ballistic missile when it has been denouncing the North's missile launches.
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