Feb. 9 News Briefs

Kim Jong Un’s sister begins unprecedented South Korea visit

PYEONGCHANG, South Korea (AP) — North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s younger sister arrived in South Korea on Friday to begin an unprecedented three-day visit in which she will attend the opening ceremony of the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics and then sit down with South Korean President Moon Jae-in for a luncheon at the presidential Blue House in Seoul.

Kim Yo Jong, who is probably Kim’s closest confidant and is a senior cadre in North Korea’s ruling party, is the first member of the Kim dynasty to visit South Korea. The trip has the potential to become something of a coming out party — certainly for Kim Yo Jong, but also for her deeply isolated country.

In cold, poor South Korean mountains, Winter Olympics begin

PYEONGCHANG, South Korea (AP) — The world starts watching now. At least, when it comes to sports.

After two failed bids, billions of dollars in preparation and a nagging national debate about whether it’s all worth it, the Winter Olympics open today in Pyeongchang with a gala ceremony meant to showcase South Korea’s rise from poverty and war into one of Asia’s most modern nations.

The isolated, rugged mountain town of Pyeongchang, one of the poorest, coldest and most disgruntled parts of an otherwise prosperous South Korea, will be a global player for two weeks of winter sports, Olympic spectacle and, just maybe, a bit of inter-Korean reconciliation.

Global shares sink after major US index enters correction

BEIJING (AP) — Global stock prices sank Friday after the Dow Jones industrials on Wall Street plummeted more than 1,000 points, deepening a week-long sell-off.

Markets followed U.S. stocks down after the Dow, coming off a record high, entered a correction — or a 10 percent decline from its latest peak — for the first time in two years.

In early trading, France’s CAC 40 lost 0.4 percent to 5,144.35, adding to Thursday’s 2 percent decline, and London’s FTSE 100 shed 0.3 percent on top of the previous day’s 1.5 percent retreat. Germany’s DAX was unchanged. Asian markets fell more sharply.

Kelly getting scrutiny after senior aide’s resignation

WASHINGTON (AP) — Pressure mounted on White House chief of staff John Kelly Thursday as questions swirled about his defense of a senior aide he fought to keep in a highly sensitive West Wing job despite accusations of spousal abuse from two ex-wives.

White House staff secretary Rob Porter, a member of President Donald Trump’s inner circle and arguably Kelly’s closest aide, cleaned out his desk on Thursday. But the aftershocks of his resignation reverberated amid concerns about his access to classified information.

Kelly himself faced criticism for initially defending his aide — only to later shift course after the publication of photos showing one of Porter’s ex-wives with a black eye.

“It’s fair to say we all could have done better over the last few hours or last few days in dealing with this situation,” said White House deputy press secretary Raj Shah, who faced a barrage of questions about Kelly during a press briefing.

Though the allegations against Porter became public this week, Kelly learned last fall that something was amiss with the staff secretary’s attempts to get a security clearance, according to an administration official who insisted on anonymity.

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