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Ex-UN chief tells nuclear powers to get serious about disarming

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Former UN chief Ban Ki-moon on Wednesday urged nuclear powers to “get serious” about disarmament, warning of a “very real risk” that decades of work on international arms control could collapse.

Ban told a Security Council meeting that the US pullout of the Iran nuclear deal sends the wrong signal to North Korea, where President Donald Trump is hoping to persuade Pyongyang to scrap its nuclear program.

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“There is also the very real risk that the whole architecture of arms control and nuclear non-proliferation that was built up during the decades of superpower confrontation may collapse, through a combination of neglect, hubris and ill-founded threat analysis,” Ban said.

Global disarmament efforts suffered a blow after the United States scrapped the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty in February, prompting Russia to suspend its participation.

Russia is threatening to pull out of negotiations on a new START treaty, another key arms control treaty that caps the number of nuclear warheads and is due to expire in 2021.

Ban stressed that arms control “goes to the very heart of the Security Council” and the five permanent council members — Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States — have a responsibility to advance disarmament.

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“It is in the interests of the P5 to get serious about disarmament if they wish to maintain the near universal international commitment to preventing nuclear proliferation,” he said.

A former South Korean foreign minister, Ban stepped down as UN chief in December 2016 and has since joined the Elders group of former global leaders, which was founded by the late Nelson Mandela.


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UK travel giant Thomas Cook set to collapse: report

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Thomas Cook's 178-year existence was reported to be coming to an end on Monday after the British travel firm struggled to find private investment to keep it afloat, potentially affecting thousands of holidaymakers.

The operator has said it needs £200 million ($250 million) or else it will face administration, which could affect 600,000 holidaymakers and require Britain's largest peacetime repatriation.

A source close to the negotiations told AFP that the company had failed to find the cash from private investors and would collapse unless the government intervened.

But ministers are unlikely to step in due to worries about the pioneering operator's longer-term viability, the Times reported, leaving it on the brink.

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‘We are the people’: Watch Billy Porter get a standing ovation for his passionate speech at the Emmys

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In a powerful and passionate speech accepting his Emmy, "Pose" actor Billy Porter showered the audience with love and proudly reminded all of their right to belong and be loved.

"Oh, my God. God bless you all! The category is love, y'all, love!" Porter exclaimed.

The epic FX show "Pose" depicts Black and Latinos in the LGBTQ ballroom culture of New York City in the 1980s in the first season and the early 1990s in the second season.

"I am so overwhelmed and so overjoyed to have lived long enough to see this day," he said. "James Baldwin wrote, 'It took many years of vomiting up the filth I was taught about myself and half-believed, before I was able to walk on the earth as though I had a right to be here.' I have the right. You have the right. We all have the right."

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Paris show of King Tutankhamun artifacts set new record with 1.42 million visitors

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A blockbuster Tutankhamun show set a new all-time French record Sunday, with 1.42 million visitors flocking to see the exhibition in Paris, the organisers said.

The turnout beat the previous record set by another Tutankhamun show billed as the "exhibition of the century" in 1967, when 1.24 million queued to see "Tutankhamun and His Times" at the Petit Palais.

"Tutankhamun: Treasures of the Golden Pharaoh" -- which has been described as a "once in a generation" show -- will open in London in November.

The last time a show of comparable size about the boy king opened there in 1972 it sparked "Tutmania", with 1.6 million people thronging the British Museum.

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