North Korea frees three US detainees

Left to right: Kim Hak-song, Kim Dong-chul, Tony Kim

North Korea has freed three US citizens from prison, according to a tweet from US President Donald Trump.

It is viewed as a goodwill gesture ahead of a historic summit between Mr Trump and North Korea’s Kim Jong-un.

Mr Trump said he would greet the men when they return with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who has been in Pyongyang to arrange the planned talks.

Kim Hak-song, Tony Kim and Kim Dong-chu were able to “walk on the plane without assistance”, the White House said.

They had been jailed for anti-state activities and placed in labour camps. Read more

YouTuber’s paid to advertise EduBirdie, a website that allows people to buy essays

Over 250 YouTube stars are being paid to promote a website called EduBirdie, a website that allows people to buy essays. The BBC Trending investigation found more than 1,400 videos with a total of more than 700 million views containing EduBirdie adverts. Some YouTubers say, if you cannot be bothered to do the work, EduBirdie has a “super smart nerd” who will do it for you. Youtube channels with tens of thousands of subscribers can be offered hundreds of dollars for each advert. Unlike most adverts on YouTube channels they are not labelled video ads. The YouTuber usually breaks off from what they are doing to endorse EduBirdie promising an A+ essay for money. Some YouTuber’s suggest using the service will free up time to play video games or take drugs. EduBirdie is run by a company called Boosta, which operates multiple essay-writing websites. EduBirdie has a disclaimer on their website which suggests the work should only be used as a sample or a reference.

Alfie Evans dies

On Monday Alfie Evans had his life support removed after a High Court allowed the hospital to withdraw ventilation. Alfie had been in a semi-vegetative state for more than a year and scans of his brain had shown that almost all of it had been destroyed. Judges had agreed with doctors that further treatment would be futile and there was no hope of him getting better. He died at 02:30 this morning. His father wrote on Facebook: “My gladiator lay down his shield and gained his wings… absolutely heartbroken.”

His parents heavily criticised medical staff, with Thomas Evans suggesting his son was a “prisoner” at the hospital and had been misdiagnosed. His parents wanted to fly the toddler to a hospital in Italy for treatment but doctors rejected it and said continuing treatment was “not in Alfie’s best interests”.

Toronto van incident: nine dead and at least 16 injured after van ploughs into crowd

Nine people have been killed and at least 16 injured – several of them seriously – after a van jumped the kerb in a northern suburb of Toronto and ran into a crowd of pedestrians, according to police.

The driver fled the scene of the incident, at a busy intersection in the north of the Canadian city, but was arrested several blocks away.

The arrest followed a tense standoff with officers on the street.

Bystander videos appeared to show the driver pointing an object at the officers, who can be heard shouting at him to get down.

Toronto police spokesperson, Gary Long said:

“Reports were that a white van mounted the kerb, drove down the sidewalk at southbound Yonge, south of Finch, and struck eight to 10 people possibly, the numbers aren’t confirmed yet.”

“Thank you to the first responders working at the scene – we’re monitoring the situation closely.”

The United States and Europe have seen an increase in driving attacks in recent years. In October 2017, a man in New York drove a van down a bicycle path, killing eight people.

 

Update – 24th April 16:00:

Alek Minassian, 25, was charged with 10 counts of first-degree murder and 13 counts of attempted murder.

Mr Minassian wore a white jumpsuit, with a shaved head and his hands behind his back. He showed little emotion.

He was read the charges and ordered to have no contact with surviving victims. He will return to court on 10 May.

A man believed to be a relative of Mr Minassian’s sat in the front row of the court and wept. Asked by reporters after the hearing if he had anything to say, the family member replied “sorry.”

by Ben – Correspondent for the General News section.

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