From Around the World

San Francisco Chronicle - - WORLD -

Nu­clear stand­off: North Korean leader Kim Jong

Un has re­port­edly told the leader of his only ma­jor ally, China, that he wants to “achieve re­sults” on the nu­clear stand­off on the Korean Penin­sula dur­ing a sec­ond sum­mit with Pres­i­dent Trump. The com­ments came a day af­ter Kim left Bei­jing af­ter a two-day visit to the Chi­nese cap­i­tal. Kim’s trip to China — his fourth in the past 10 months — is be­lieved to be an effort to co­or­di­nate with Bei­jing ahead of a pos­si­ble sec­ond sum­mit with Trump.

Snow storms: Heavy snow­fall con­tin­ued Thursday in parts of Aus­tria and south­ern Ger­many, with sev­eral places cut off and the bad weather ex­pected to per­sist. Snow was caus­ing prob­lems in other parts of Europe, even in Nor­way’s Arc­tic Sval­bard ar­chi­pel­ago. Aus­trian po­lice said that a 16-year-old boy from Aus­tralia was killed in an avalanche in St. An­ton am Arl­berg as when was ski­ing with his fam­ily on Wednesday. In neigh­bor­ing Slo­vakia, the moun­tain res­cue ser­vice said a 37-year-old man was killed by an avalanche in the Mala Fa­tra moun­tains. A 7-year-old child was killed in Ay­ing, near Mu­nich, by a fall­ing tree. That brought to at least 17 the num­ber of weather-re­lated deaths re­ported in Europe over the past week.

Mex­ico vi­o­lence: Mex­i­can au­thor­i­ties said Thursday that 21 bod­ies, some burned, have been found in the north­ern Mex­ico bor­der state of Ta­mauli­pas in what ap­pears to have been a clash be­tween drug gangs. The bod­ies were found near the re­mains of seven burned-out ve­hi­cles near the bor­der town of Miguel Ale­man. The area around the town had long been dom­i­nated by the Ze­tas drug car­tel, which was locked in a bat­tle for con­trol of crime with the ri­val Gulf car­tel. The Ze­tas car­tel has since splin­tered, and the deaths in Miguel Ale­man ap­pear to have re­sulted from a dis­pute be­tween the Gulf car­tel and one of the Ze­tas fac­tions, the North­east car­tel.

Syria war: An al Qaeda-linked coali­tion in Syria has ex­panded its pres­ence in the last ma­jor rebel strong­hold in the coun­try, ce­ment­ing the ex­trem­ists’ hold on the re­gion in north­west­ern Syria. Op­po­si­tion ac­tivists say the al Qaeda-af­fil­i­ated Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, Ara­bic for Le­vant Lib­er­a­tion Com­mit­tee, or HTS, took over con­trol of most of Idlib prov­ince and the sur­round­ing coun­try­side af­ter forc­ing ri­val in­sur­gents to ac­cept a deal for a civil ad­min­is­tra­tion run by HTS in their ar­eas. The deal fol­lows days of fight­ing dur­ing which the group seized more than two dozen vil­lages from the Turkey-backed Na­tional Lib­er­a­tion Front. The de­vel­op­ments threaten to de­rail a cease-fire in the area reached in Septem­ber be­tween Turkey and Rus­sia that averted a Syr­ian army as­sault on Idlib.

Nor­way kid­nap­ping: The wife of a wealthy Nor­we­gian busi­ness­man has been kid­napped, and de­mands have been made for a hefty ran­som paid in crypto-cur­rency, the po­lice re­vealed this week, as a drama that had been play­ing out se­cretly for months burst into pub­lic view. Anne-Elis­a­beth Falke­vik Ha­gen dis­ap­peared Oct. 31 from her home near Oslo, and in­ter­na­tional po­lice in­ves­ti­ga­tions and back-chan­nel ne­go­ti­a­tions with the peo­ple be­lieved to be her cap­tors have so far failed to se­cure her re­lease. Po­lice said Thursday that they had es­tab­lished a line of com­mu­ni­ca­tion with peo­ple claim­ing to be hold­ing Ha­gen. They con­ceded that they did not know who the cap­tors were or even whether Ha­gen, 68, was still alive.

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