North Korea nuclear test, Trump-Putin embrace and a history of political insults

Authorities in Seoul believe the test, which has drawn international criticism, had an estimated yield of 10 kilotons

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North Korea has conducted what appeared to be its fifth nuclear test, prompting international criticism of the isolated communist state.

The defence ministry in South Korea said a tremor of magnitude 5.0 was detected near North Korea’s known nuclear test site earlier this morning. Authorities in Seoul believe the seismic activity was a nuclear test with an estimated yield of 10 kilotons. Both the South Korean and Japanese governments responded to the apparent test with emergency meetings.

The international community has been increasing pressure on the regime in Pyongyang to halt its nuclear programme with a range of measures, including UN sanctions, but to little effect. Friday’s test is likely to increase tensions on the Korean Peninsula and fuel anxieties in the region. (FT, Yonhap, NAR)

In the news

Record fine for Wells Fargo The world’s most valuable bank has been hit by the US consumer finance watchdog’s largest fine to date after regulators found that staff racing to meet sales targets had secretly opened millions of accounts without customers’ knowledge. (FT)

Arrests in jihadi car plot Police in France arrested three women suspected of planning terror attacks, shooting one of them in the process. The women were detained as part of an investigation into a car packed with gas cylinders that was found in an area of Paris popular with tourists. The car had no licence plate and its hazard lights were flashing when it was found. The country is under a state of emergency after a spate of terror attacks this summer. (AFP)

Facebook: global censor? Norway’s largest newspaper has lambasted Facebook after the social media site censored a post featuring the Pulitzer Prize-winning “The Terror of War” photograph, also known as “napalm girl”. “I am worried that the world’s most important medium is limiting freedom instead of trying to extend it, and that this occasionally happens in an authoritarian way,” said the editor of Aftenposten in an open letter to Mark Zuckerberg. (The Guardian)

The tightening Trump-Putin embrace Donald Trump’s campaign on Thursday reaffirmed its extraordinary embrace of Russia’s president, Vladimir Putin, signalling a preference for the leadership of an authoritarian adversary over that of America’s own president, despite a cascade of criticism from Democrats and expressions of discomfort among Republicans. (NYT)

Airbnb reveals anti-discrimination policies The tech company announced a new raft of policies to fight discrimination at the home-sharing platform, after user complaints and academic studies found bias against non-white users. The issue of discrimination is one that cuts to the quick at many tech companies in Silicon Valley, where most start-ups’ founders and executives are white men. (FT)

Test your knowledge with our week in news quiz. Samsung has had to recall how many units of its new Galaxy Note 7 smartphone?

It's a big day for

Mental health awareness Antidepressant prescriptions for children and teenagers have increased by almost a third in the past decade, according to a large-scale UK study set to be published today. (FT)

Food for thought

How China bought its way into Cambodia Phnom Penh has emerged as a vital ally, and in return Beijing is driving development in the country. An FT investigation delves into the relationship between the two countries. (FT)

A history of political insults Hitler once called Neville Chamberlain an Arschloch. The Pentagon once called Hitler a “full-fledged masochist”. You don’t want to know what Kissinger said about Indira Gandhi. There is a long history of political insults. The difference now is they are becoming the norm in affairs of state. (FT)

Britain’s secret wars For more than 100 years, the country has been perpetually at war. Some conflicts, such as the Falklands, have become central to the national narrative, but others, including the brutal suppression of rebels in Oman, have been deliberately hidden. (The Guardian)

Library wars Collecting books was a cut-throat, dangerous pursuit in ancient times, with rival rulers resorting to violence and subterfuge in the pursuit of library supremacy. But without their single-mindedness, ancient scholarship would have been much poorer. (Atlas Obscura)

The flower that menaces the Nile The world’s longest river is being taken over by water hyacinth. Officials in Egypt, which depends on the Nile for almost all its water, estimate it consumes 3bn cubic metres of water annually. Getting rid of the plant without causing environmental damage is time-consuming and expensive, leading some experts to recommend opening the floodgates of the Aswan High Dam and allowing the Nile to wash away the plants and (and pollutants) as it did for millennia. (Al-Monitor)

Video of the day

Punk FT — 'Outsider Economics' Will the war on inequality and rise of populism see a return to the economics of the 1970s? FT Weekend, in collaboration with Punk Economics, takes a look at the “assault on the elites”. (FT)

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