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No Call For UN Meeting Over North Korea’s Missile Tests

The US says it will not call for a UN Security Council meeting over North Korea’s missile tests because it would produce “nothing of consequence”.

Such a meeting would send a message to North Korea that the international community was unwilling to challenge it, US Ambassador Nikki Haley said.

Pyongyang said its tests proved that the entire US was within range.

The US has responded by testing an anti-missile system and flying bombers over the Korean peninsula.

On Monday, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said he had spoken to US President Donald Trump and they agreed on the need for further action on North Korea given its most recent missile test on Friday. The two did not discuss any use of military action.

Ms Haley said in a statement that North Korea was already subject to numerous Security Council resolutions that they “flout with impunity”. “An additional Security Council resolution that does not significantly increase the international pressure on North Korea is of no value,” she said. “In fact it is worse than nothing because it sends the message to the North Korean dictator that the international community is unwilling to seriously challenge him.”

She urged China to rein in North Korea. “China must decide whether it is finally willing to take this vital step. The time for talk is over,” she added.

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Australian Police Search Properties Linked With Suspected Terror Plot

Australian police are searching five properties in Sydney over a suspected terrorism plot to bring down a plane.

Four men were arrested in raids across the city late on Saturday. Police said they had seized materials that could have been used to make an explosive device. Local media said the plot may have involved a meat mincer.

The men can be held for seven days without charge after a magistrate granted police special counter-terrorism powers. The suspects are reported to include a father and his adult son.

Authorities have increased security measures at Australian airports, prompting lengthy queues and passenger confusion.

Australian Federal Police Commissioner Andrew Colvin said the men arrested were allegedly linked to an Islamist-inspired plan to detonate an improvised explosive device (IED). He said police did not yet have information on “the specific attack, the location, date or time”.

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Australian Man Shot By Police Not Terror Related

A man has been shot dead by police after a confrontation outside Australia’s busiest railway station.

The incident happened near a flower shop at one of the main entrances to Sydney’s Central station during peak-hour on Wednesday evening.

Police had been called following reports of an armed robbery, and the man was killed a short time later. New South Wales Police said the incident was not terrorism-related.

Witnesses told local media the man had been armed with scissors when he was shot dead.

Florist Manuel Theoharas said the man had moments earlier held a bottle to his neck and demanded he call police. “He said to me: ‘Don’t move, call the police’,” Mr Theoharas said. “When I ran away from him, he grabbed the scissors from here, from the shop.”

Witnesses reported seeing police officers surround the shop before shots were fired.

One man, Nick Mavros, told Australian Broadcasting Corp: “I heard ‘put it down, put it down’.”

Police acting assistant commissioner Mark Walton said: “A critical incident investigation has commenced following the death of a man during a confrontation with police.” “A male of Asian appearance has died following that confrontation with the police. “The homicide squad will now investigate all the circumstances surrounding the incident, including the discharge of a police firearms during the confrontation with the man.”

Police appealed for witnesses to come forward.

Boko Haram Ambush Leaves More Than 40 Dead

More than 40 people have died in north-east Nigeria during an attempt to free people who had been ambushed in a convoy by militant Islamist group Boko Haram, sources have said.

At least five members of an oil exploration team were killed and soldiers also died. Army chiefs have now been ordered to relocate to the affected area.

The high number of casualties will be a blow for the government, which insists the insurgency is all but defeated.

At least 20,000 people have been killed and thousands more abducted since Boko Haram launched its insurgency in the city of Maiduguri, north-east Nigeria, in 2009.

In the most notorious abduction case, it seized 276 girls from a boarding school in the north-eastern town of Chibok in 2014.

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Cyber-thieves Made $25m Over The Last Two Years

Cyber-thieves have made at least $25m (£19m) from ransomware in the last two years, suggests research by Google.

The search giant created thousands of virtual victims of ransomware to expose the payment ecosystem surrounding the malware type.

Most of the money was made in 2016 as gangs realised how lucrative it was, revealed a talk at Black Hat.

Two types of ransomware made most of the money, it said, but other variants are starting to emerge.

“It’s become a very, very profitable market and is here to stay,” said Elie Bursztein from Google who, along with colleagues Kylie McRoberts and Luca Invernizzi, carried out the research.

Ransomware is malicious software that infects a machine and then encrypts or scrambles files so they can no longer be used or read. The files are only decrypted when a victim pays a ransom. Payments typically have to be made using the Bitcoin virtual currency.

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