Russian President Vladimir Putin said he was “pleased” with the outcome of his summit meeting Thursday in the Russian city of Vladivostok with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, saying he would discuss the results with China and the United States. “We are all pleased with the outcome of the talks — both I and my colleagues,” the Russian leader said. Asked if Kim would be willing to continue his contact with the US, Putin said the leader in Pyongyang would be guided by his “national interests,” but added that “we can’t resolve anything without talks” when it came to the crisis on the Korean peninsula.
Russia on Wednesday (Apr 24) made it easier for people living in eastern Ukraine’s separatist territories to obtain Russian passports, drawing swift condemnation from Kiev only three days after it elected a new president. President Vladimir Putin signed the decree aimed at residents of the unrecognized Donetsk and Lugansk republics that broke away from Kiev in 2014 and are governed by Moscow-backed rebels. People living in the separatist regions will now be entitled to receive a Russian passport within three months of applying for one.
More than 60 people have been killed in southern and eastern parts of South Africa after heavy rains caused flooding and mudslides. Rescue workers were digging through collapsed homes and other buildings in coastal areas of KwaZulu-Natal province, local officials said. The region has been hit by heavy rains for days, but authorities did not anticipate the extent of the downpour late on Monday, said Lennox Mabaso, a spokesman for the provincial Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs department.
Facebook is expecting to pay as much as $5bn to the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC), it revealed in first quarter financial reports, which otherwise showed continued revenue growth to more than $15bn for the first three months of the year. Facebook recorded a $3bn legal expense “in connection with the inquiry of the FTC into our platform and user data practices”, the company said. The expenses result in a 51% year-over-year decline in net income, to just $2.4bn.
After months of oscillating speculation, followed by a long ramp up that drew out uncomfortable reassessments of his long public career, former Vice President Joe Biden has announced that he will run for president in 2020. The 76-year-old former Delaware senator immediately becomes a top contender vying for the Democratic nomination, four years after passing on a bid for the White House in the wake of his son Beau’s death. Biden is the 20th candidate to enter the Democratic primary race.
One of three men convicted for the murder in 1998 of James Byrd Jr, one of modern America’s worst hate crimes, has been executed in Texas. Byrd, a black man, was beaten, chained to a truck and dragged for miles by three white men. His murder prompted Congress to pass hate crime legislation in 2009. John William King, 44, an avowed white supremacist, is the second man to be executed over the killing. He had filed multiple appeals in the case. On Monday, the Texas Board of Pardons and Parole voted unanimously to deny King a commutation or a 120-day reprieve.