There was a time when page flipping digital editions were all the rage. I remember getting my first look at one of these content carriers while I was in my graduate studies at the University of Colorado. It felt cool and comfortable. I loved that animations and video were built in to make the content come to life. Furthermore, the UI was intuitive because it spoke to something I already understood, turning a page.Today, page flipping technology still has relevance and many of our clients here at Nxtbook Media continue to use it to drive their brands and content forward. Additionally, we’ve been able to enhance our page turning platform to a customization level that makes it suitable for many types of content. Through enhancements from our design team and custom development solutions, we now work on catalogs, journals, education materials, publications, and marketing collateral, among other pieces. Here you will find an example of our page turning solution for a nationally recognized construction company. The platform, as you see, helps to tell a directed brand story that is difficult to replicate through a website.In regards to the readership for curated platforms, Pew Research Center recently completed a study which demonstrates trends for one form of page-based digital content, e-books. As you can see in the graph below, expansion of the market has been robust over the past five years.Furthermore, German media research giant Gfk just recently published a study showing a 27% increase in digital edition magazine readership from 2015 to 2016, with similar gains expected from 2016 to 2017 once the numbers are in. On top of this, Nikolay Malyarov, Chief Content Officer for Press Reader, stated in a recent article through FIPP that digital editions are still a very relevant part of a diverse, robust strategy for many publishers. In fact, he goes on to state the following as the top monetization strategy in his article:“Know your audience to grow your audience through smart data. Digital editions are not dead. Many readers still enjoy them, expect them as part of every publishers’ content offering, and are willing to pay for them.”Many of our clients who simply post links to their digital edition on social media channels see sizeable bumps in their readership. We have seen it truly doesn’t take much from an advertising perspective, as an audience simply needs to be met where they are and at the right time with a digital edition. Interestingly, Malyarov goes on to mention in the FIPP article, “The lack of marketing of digital editions is also not helping publishers grow digital revenues.” On our side, we have seen content creators simply put their digital edition on a website and hope for the best, similar to putting a magazine on a print newsstand. In our crowded digital content market, this won’t work unless the developer of content has a strong brand that is constantly drawing large audiences to their website. All this said, the stats still point to solid growth in the electronic curated content market and a strong opportunity for monetization and engagement through simple advertising.I know overall I am painting a rosy picture for the industry. Honestly, I would be remiss to not mention that the buzz has dulled a bit in regards to page-turning digital editions. Buzz, we have found, tends primarily to follow monetization of a content platform. We can put the blame on what seems to be a “laissez-faire” approach to marketing, but that may not be the full picture. We know page-flipping technology has become “old hat” to some content creators, as well as some audiences. Websites have continued to evolve and carried with them the latest of design and custom development innovations, such as parallax scrolling, full-screen video, ad serving and impressive interactivity. Page flip technology will always be limited design and functionality wise by what many consider its greatest strength, page turning.Furthermore, as the Pew Research study demonstrates, curated electronic content consumption growth over the past five years has primarily been through mobile devices. Most page flip technologies present a somewhat stodgy pinch-to-zoom smartphone experience. Responsive websites have helped content creators to publish an easy to read experience across all devices.Still, at the heart of it, we see the stats and hear the desire for a deep storytelling, curated experience from current and potential clients. With this in mind, as well as the aforementioned concerns, we’ve stepped into the realm of responsive digital editions. This type of curated content has the flexibility, in regards to design and all-device functionality, of a website while still holding the curation of a page flipping digital edition. You can see an example of it here. Of course, these enhancements in design and functionality have not only been attractive to content creators but also readers. On average we’ve seen growth of 25% in unique readership when a client has transitioned from our page-flipping digital edition solution to this new platform. Through our talks with past clients, trade show attendees, potential clients, and current clients we have seen a good bit of the buzz return with this new platform.Of course, no content platform is without its holes, but the data seems to speak to great opportunity in digital editions because readers continue to value the platform. Additionally, the statistics coming from a transition to responsive digital editions show there is a possibility of more expansive growth than we are currently seeing in the market.Sponsored by Nxtbook Media: Nxtbook Media focuses on giving publishers and content marketers the tools they need to deeply engage with their audiences through innovative digital publishing solutions. Feel free to read more about their one of a kind responsive solution at www.nxtbookmedia.com/pageraft.
With the prospect of a bipartisan deal to extend legal protection to “Dreamers” fading quickly, House leaders are counting on strong backing from the Republican Conference to pass a continuing resolution (CR) needed to avert a government shutdown at midnight Friday. On Tuesday, House Republicans introduced a stopgap measure running through Feb. 16 with a number of add-ons designed to attract support from members of both parties. At press time, though, it was not clear whether leaders could advance the bill relying only on Republican votes, reported the Washington Post. The CR would extend the Children’s Health Insurance Program for six years and delay by two years the implementation of two unpopular taxes included in the Affordable Care Act, one on medical devices and one on high-cost “Cadillac” employer-sponsored health insurance plans.The House plans to take up the measure, which would be the fourth CR Congress has passed to keep the government funded in fiscal 2018, on Thursday. Dan Cohen AUTHOR
WILMINGTON, MA — The Wilmington Board of Selectmen meets this Monday, December 10, 2018 at Town Hall (Room 9). An Executive Session begins at 6:30pm. The public portion of the meeting begins at 7pm.There are some noteworthy items on the agenda, including:DPW Director Michael Woods, Town Engineer Paul Alunni and Planning Director Valerie Gingrich will discuss the Woburn Street/Lowell Street intersection.Town Manager Jeff Hull will provide an update on the North Wilmington MBTA Commuter Rail Station.Town Manager Jeff Hull will provide an update on the Butters Row Bridge Replacement.Town Manager Jeff Hull will provide the results of the recent Annual Town Meeting Survey.Town Manager Jeff Hull will share good news about a recent award won by the Yentile Farm Recreational Facility.Town Manager Jeff Hull will provide an update on the FY2020 budget process.Town Manager Jeff Hull will provide an update on Russell Disposal’s performance bond.Town Manager Jeff Hull will provide an update on placing AEDs at all town parks.Town Manager Jeff Hull will provide an update on the Fire Department’s fire pumper situation.Town Manager Jeff Hull will announce the appointment of Laura T. deWahl to the Wilmington Conservation Commission.Selectmen will consider the approvals of various licenses for town businesses.The meeting will be telecast live by Wilmington Community Television on WCTV-G — Channel 22 on Comcast and Channel 38 on Verizon. The meeting will also be streamed on WCTV’s website HERE.Wilmington Apple intends to report on many of the items above – and any other news that comes from the meeting — over the next two weeks. Wilmington Apple sometimes live-tweets the meeting HERE.Like Wilmington Apple on Facebook. Follow Wilmington Apple on Twitter. Follow Wilmington Apple on Instagram. Subscribe to Wilmington Apple’s daily email newsletter HERE. Got a comment, question, photo, press release, or news tip? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.Thank You To Our Sponsor:Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… RelatedSELECTMEN NEWS: Selectmen To Discuss Senior Center, Palmer Park, WHS Gym Floor At September 9 MeetingIn “Government”SELECTMEN NOTEBOOK: 6 Things That Happened At This Month’s Selectmen’s MeetingIn “Government”SELECTMEN NEWS: Childhood Cancer Study, Olin, Cook Ave., Recreation Dept. Update On Agenda For Tonight’s MeetingIn “Government”
WILMINGTON, MA — James Thayer Hastings “Jim”, age 84, of Peabody, formerly a long-time resident of Wilmington, passed away peacefully on August 5, 2019, from complications of Parkinson’s Disease.Jim was born in Somerville, MA on August 15, 1934; he was the dear son of the late James L. and Helen Hastings. Jim was raised and educated in Somerville and Nashua, NH and was a graduate of Nashua High School. Jim went on to further his education at the University of New Hampshire where he earned a bachelor’s degree in Dairy Husbandry.Jim attended OCS in Newport, RI and in December of 1956 he was commissioned with rank of Ensign to active duty at Pearl Harbor, HI where he served for three years and was later promoted to Lt and became Aide to Admiral Buchanan at the Newport Naval Base in Newport, Rhode Island. Jim served the country for six years during the Vietnam Era and was released from active duty in February of 1962.On July 13, 1956, Jim married his sweetheart Virginia “Ginny” Eames; the couple lived in Pearl Harbor and Barber’s Point, HI, and Newport, RI, for several years before moving to Wilmington in 1962 where they raised four wonderful children; he was very proud of his family.After leaving the Service, Jim joined Buttricks Ice Cream in Arlington, MA where he managed the Ice Cream and Sandwich shops in the Boston/Arlington District. Jim became salesman for Sexton Foods, located in Canton, MA, and he finished his business career as a materials buyer at Charles River Laboratory in Wilmington. Upon retirement, Jim enjoyed many years of part-time work at Miller Landscaping.Outside of his professional career, Jim had many other interests. He was a member of the Greater Lowell Softball Umpire Association for 38 years, from 1975 to 2012. In addition to time spent on the field as an umpire, Jim donated much of his time working tournaments and running the food concessions on behalf of the Association, and he served as treasurer for many years. Jim was also an avid cyclist and regularly participated in the NH Seacoast Bike Trek, an annual charitable event for the American Lung Association. Jim also led many family bike trips, including trips to Nova Scotia, White Mountains, Cape Cod, and Martha’s Vineyard.Jim led his life by example and always made himself available to help others; for 53 years he was a member of the Masonic Friendship Lodge in Wilmington where he was always involved in helping others throughout the community in their time of need. He also was very active in the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society as well as the American Lung Association New Hampshire Chapter and raised countless dollars throughout the years at various fundraisers.Jim enjoyed spending time with his family; they loved to travel, to share holidays and special occasions, and to just “hang out” in his back yard “sports complex” that included a swimming pool, shuffle board, horse shoes, volleyball, croquet, bocce, badminton, basketball, and even a 9-hole mini-golf course that he personally designed and built. Jim especially looked forward to watching his children and grandchildren grow into the wonderful young adults that they have become.Jim will be remembered as a kind, energetic, and generous man who always went out of his way to help others in need; he had a wonderful sense of humor and will be forever missed by all who knew and loved him. Jim was the beloved husband of Virginia (Eames) Hastings, devoted father of Lynne Maxwell & husband Bob of North Attleboro, Gary Hastings & wife Heidi of North Reading, Leigh Bull & husband Keith of Wilmington, and the late Laurie O’Grady. Loving “Bampy” of Kim Proulx & husband Josh, Courtney Burke & husband Bill, Ryan Maxwell & wife Renee, Nathan Maxwell & fiancé Courtney Abate, Kyle Hastings, Jackson Hastings, Allie Hastings, and great-granddaughter Lexi Proulx. Devoted father-in-law of Kevin O’Grady & wife Lori and their daughter Shannon of Wilmington. Cherished son of the late James L. and Helen (Thayer) Hastings, dear brother of Betty Delisle and Barbara Carey both of New Hampshire. Jim is also survived by many nieces and nephews.Family and friends will gather for a Memorial Service at the Brooksby Village Chapel, 300 Brooksby Village Drive, Peabody on Friday, August 23rd at 1:00 p.m.In lieu of flowers, donations in Jim’s memory may be made to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Mass Chapter, 70 Walnut St., Suite 301, Wellesley, MA 02481 or to the American Lung Association Chapter of your choice.Arrangements are under the direction of Nichols Funeral Home, Wilmington.James Thayer Hastings(NOTE: The above obituary is from Nichols Funeral Home.)Like Wilmington Apple on Facebook. Follow Wilmington Apple on Twitter. Follow Wilmington Apple on Instagram. Subscribe to Wilmington Apple’s daily email newsletter HERE. Got a comment, question, photo, press release, or news tip? Email email@example.com.Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… RelatedWilmington OBITUARIES (Week of August 11, 2019)In “Obituaries”OBITUARY: Steven W. Parker, 62In “Obituaries”OBITUARY: Lawrence “Mike” Considine, 63In “Obituaries”
Share your voice Enlarge ImageDesigner Kate Rose in a dress that features excerpts from the Fourth Amendement. Kate Rose A new clothing line lets you camouflage yourself as a car to mess with surveillance cameras. The garments in the Adversarial Fashion collection are covered with license plate images that trigger automated license plate readers, or ALPRs, to inject junk data into systems used to monitor and track civilians. ALPRs — which are typically mounted on street poles, streetlights, highway overpasses and mobile trailers — use networked surveillance cameras and image recognition to track license plate numbers, along with location, date and time. Hacker and fashion designer Kate Rose showed off her inaugural line at the DefCon cybersecurity conference in Las Vegas over the weekend. It was inspired by a conversation with a friend who works at the Electronic Frontier Foundation about the “low specificity” or inaccuracy of a lot of plate readers on police cars. The Adversarial Fashion garments, she said, highlight the need to make computer-controlled surveillance less invasive and harder to use without human oversight. “A person walking along the sidewalk or in a crosswalk is often close enough, as the readers take in a pretty large visual field, and have … problems with specificity.” The line is conceptual, she said, “but I worked pretty hard to make sure that it can work on the street in daylight.” The collection includes shirts, hoodies, jackets, dresses and skirts covered in modified license plate images and other circuitry patterns. Some of the garb features wording from the Fourth Amendment in bold yellow letters written over separate license plates made to look like the kind you see on vintage California cars: “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.” The garments range in price from $25 (about £21, AU$37) for a crop top to $50 (about £41, AU$74) for a unisex bomber jacket. When picking a size, you’ll need to consider not only fit, but maximum readability. Enlarge Image Adversarial Fashion “For the pattern to have a maximum effect, it’s ideal for the fabric to hang straight so that the text is not excessively warped,” all product descriptions read. “For this reason, you may want to consider sizing up if you intend for it to read in to ALPRs effectively.” Rose, who’s organized civic hackathons across the US, isn’t the first designer to come up with wearables meant to flip off surveillance cameras. Artist Leo Selvaggio created a 3D-printed rubber mask aimed at foiling surveillance cameras by making everyone look like the same person — him. It started as an Indiegogo campaign and now sells for $200 (about £165, AU$296). And artist Adam Harvey created a hoodie and burqa designed to ward off the eyes of drones. They’re made with a metalized fabric meant to thwart thermal imaging, and they work by reflecting heat and masking the person underneath from the thermal eye of a drone. The Adversarial Fashion website also includes DIY resources such as APIs and image-editing tools for those interested in designing their own anti-surveillance fashion. Rose says there’s never been a better time to design such garb. “I can prototype single pieces in a way I couldn’t afford to even a few years ago,” she says, “and have designs made to order, reducing the price and improving the accessibility of an experimental design.” 13 Comments Tags Culture Security Roadshow
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Wednesday fixed the reference rate for the US dollar at 50.5733 rupees and the euro 66.4959 rupees.The corresponding rates of dollar and euro for the previous day (March 6, 2012) were 50.0265 rupees and 66.0203 rupees respectively.Based on the reference rate for the US dollar and middle rates of the cross-currency quotes, the exchange rates of British pound as against the rupee is 79.5670 as against 79.3170 on the previous day (March 6, 2012) and that of Japanese yen is 62.63 as against 61.39 the previous day.
Bombay Stock ExchangeINDRANIL MUKHERJEE/AFP/Getty ImagesDisappointment over the Budget proposals and muted global markets led the Sensex to log the heaviest fall in seven months on Monday. Both the key equity indices — Sensex and Nifty — fell over 2 per cent. The shares of Hero MotoCorp, Bajaj Finance, ONGC, State Bank of India and Larsen and Toubro saw a major dip. The 30-scrip Sensex closed 792.82 points or 2.01 per cent lower at 38,720.57 and the broader Nifty50 declined by 252.55 points or 2.14 per cent to 11,558.60. The Bombay Stock Exchange in Mumbai on Feb 29, 2016 (representational image).IANSAmong the Nifty50 benchmarks, Nifty PSU Bank saw the maximum fall of about five per cent, whereas Nifty Bank, Nifty Auto, Nifty Fin Service and Nifty Realty indexes were trading red with a fall of two per cent.The global market saw the S&P BSE MidCap trading at around 14450 levels with a deep cut of 266 points whereas the S&P BSE SmallCap was trading at 13,803 levels with a nose dip of 338 points.Here are the reasons behind the sudden market downfall:Post-Budget Trauma Red Budget by Nirmala SitharamanThe proposals by the Modi government in the Budget 2019 have annoyed the investors. The increase in the minimum public shareholding of listed companies from 25 per cent to 35 per cent has created a revolt within the companies and direct investors. Other proposals like taxation of 20 per cent on buybacks have raised concerns about the repurchasing value of the stake of major companies. As per an Economic Times report, the proposal of the income tax hike on high net worth individuals will affect 2,000 global funds.US jobs dataThe US saw the ugliest slowdown in their job hiring in May, as per a Reuters report. The sudden slowdown has resulted in dashing the hopes of rate cuts by the US Fed. The largest employers could only employ about 2,24,000 people last month.The rupee and crude oil competitionThe US job data pulled down the oil markets, the value of rupee and other market currencies against the US dollar. The value of rupee to dollar fell by 21 paise to 68.63.
Kapil Sharma and Navjot Singh SidhuTwitterNavjot Singh Sidhu, on Sunday, tweeted a hand-written letter which said, “I hereby resign as Minister from the Punjab Cabinet.” He also tweeted that he will be sending his resignation to the Chief Minister of Punjab. And within no time, his fans started congratulating him for his ‘comeback’ on The Kapil Sharma Show.Sidhu was asked to leave the comedy show after facing massive outrage on social media over his comment on the Pulwama attack. Earlier, Kapil Sharma had opened up about Sidhu’s return to The Kapil Sharma Show saying after the elections, Sidhu’s return is inevitable.Sidhu was one of the most essential part of The Kapil Sharma Show and his chemistry with Kapil Sharma and spontaneous banter with celebrity guests were not just entertaining for the viewers but highly engaging as well.After Sidhu’s sudden ouster, Archana Puran Singh had replaced him on the show but many people felt that she was miserably failing as the co-host. Many were of the opinion that Archana had nothing new to offer to the viewers apart from her uncontrollable laughter on the show.From Sidhu’s shero-shayari to his genuine laughter to his bonding with Kapil Sharma to his anecdotes, Archana has not been able to match up to the precedent set by Sidhu as the co-host on The Kapil Sharma Show. In fact, there hasn’t been a single episode where Kapil had missed pulling Archana’s leg over Sidhu’s return on the show.And while Archana has always maintained that she will never leave her seat even for Sidhu, it remains to be seen if the makers of the show would consider bringing Sidhu back on the show as the co-host.Hope you will come to #KapilSharmashow or cricket commentary again..In Modi period its too hard to live as a opposition.#Sidhu #NavjotSinghSidhu pic.twitter.com/rVlq9m8UtL— Soumya Swarup Das (@imbobby07) July 14, 2019Congratulations sir. Welcome back to @KapilSharmaK9 show.#Sidhu is back ! https://t.co/xKIil9owcn — Shankh Shukla (@ShankhShukla) July 14, 2019
A headline spectrum sale deal between the companies of Ambani siblings has hit a major hurdle as telecom authorities have refused to approve the transaction that had the green light of the apex court.The Depart of Telecommunication (DoT) decision on the Rs 25,000 crore deal is a major blow to Anil Ambani’s Reliance Communications (RCom), which saw the sale as a lifeline to pare its debt burden down to Rs 18,000 crore.DoT refused to approve the deal after Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Jio in a letter on Friday refused to take responsibility for the past dues that the younger brother’s company owed the government, reports say.DoT has taken that stand that the trading rules clearly says it can ask both the parties of a spectrum sale deal or any one of them to pay the dues. As Jio imposed conditions to its commitment, DoT officials say, they cannot accept it as it goes against the guidelines.The rejection of the deal means a setback to RCom’s efforts to settle outstanding dues of about Rs 550 crore with Swedish telecom equipment maker Ericsson, which is nearly due.The Supreme Court had set a December 15 deadline for payment to Ericsson which RCom missed. The foreign firm could reinstitute insolvency proceedings against the company besides the revival of contempt of court petition against its chairman Anil Ambani.The Supreme Court order had directed DoT to approve the spectrum deal accepting a Rs 1,400 crore corporate guarantee, instead of the bank guarantee that DoT sought, as well as a piece of land as collateral from an RCom subsidiary to cover the spectrum user charge of Rs 2,947 crore, which RCom disputes.DoT took the view that in case of any issue with RCom corporate guarantee or land parcel, Jio being the buyer, would have to make the payments. But Jio has refused to give the undertaking to pick up the tab.In its letter, Jio claims the spectrum trading agreement on 122.4 MHz spectrum sale stipulates that RCom will provide bank guarantees to DoT for all disputed claims.The agreement struck in late 2017 was central to its plan to manage its Rs 46,000-crore debt.
Representative ImageReutersClose on the heels of Union Budget providing tax relief for buying electric vehicles, the GST Council in its 36th meeting on Saturday cut the tax on electric vehicles (EV) from 12 per cent to 5 per cent effective August 1, 2019.The Council has also slashed rate for EV chargers from 18 per cent to 5 per cent making electric vehicle affordable for the buyers.The twin rate cuts are set to further boost the EV sector. The Budget on July 5 had proposed Income Tax deduction of Rs 1.5 lakh on the interest paid on the loans taken to purchase electric vehicles.”The proposed reduction in the GST rates on e-vehicles coming on the back of the recent customs duty reduction on EVs and parts signifies the governments resolve to go green and reduce the carbon footprint,” said M.S. Mani, Partner, Deloitte India.The Council chaired by Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has also exempted hiring of electric buses (of carrying capacity of more than 12 passengers) by local authorities from the Goods and Services Tax (GST).This is a major push to the electric vehicles which has so far seen lukewarm response due to high ownership cost and insufficient infrastructure in the country. Not surprisingly, the share of electric vehicles out of total annual vehicle sales in the country is less than 1 per cent.However, the Modi government is committed to transform the transport sector by promoting the use of green cars and bikes.The government’s think-tank Niti Aayog has put forward plan to shift to e-mobility for two-wheelers (below 150cc) and three-wheelers by 2025.An Inter-Ministerial Steering Committee of the National Mission for Transformative Mobility and Battery Storage headed by Niti Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant had in May recommended sale of only electric three-wheelers by March, 2023.For two-wheelers below 150cc, the high-level panel proposed March, 2025 as the cut-off date for going fully electric.The GST Council has given relief to composition dealers extending the deadline for furnishing details of the self-assessed tax in Form GST CMP-08 for April-June quarter by one month to August 31.The 36th GST Council meeting was held through video conferencing. The meeting was attended by Union Minister of State for Finance & Corporate Affairs Anurag Thakur besides Revenue Secretary Ajay Bhushan Pandey and other senior officials of the Ministry of Finance.The Council is headed by the Union Finance Minister and Finance Ministers of States and Union Territories (UTs) are the members.
South Korean president Moon Jae-in shakes hands with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un during their summit at the truce village of Panmunjom, North Korea, in this handout picture provided by the Presidential Blue House on 26 May, 2018. Photo: ReutersSouth Korean president Moon Jae-in held a surprise meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on Saturday to ensure the upcoming high-stakes summit between Kim and US president Donald Trump is a success, South Korean officials said.The unannounced meeting is the latest dramatic turn in a week of diplomatic flip-flops surrounding an unprecedented summit between the United States and North Korea, and the strongest sign yet that the two Korean leaders are trying to keep the on-again off-again summit on track.Their two-hour talks at the Panmunjom border village came a month after they held the first inter-Korean summit in more than a decade at the same venue on 27 April and declared they would work toward a nuclear-free Korean peninsula and formally ending the 1950-53 Korean War.”The two leaders candidly exchanged views about making the North Korea-US summit a successful one and about implementing the Panmunjom Declaration,” South Korea’s presidential spokesman said in a statement. He did not confirm how the secret meeting was arranged or which side asked for it.Moon, who returned to Seoul on Thursday morning after meeting Trump in Washington earlier this week in a bid to keep the summit on track as initially planned, for 12 June in Singapore, was due to announce details of the meeting with Kim early on Sunday.One of the photos released by the presidential Blue House on Saturday showed Moon and Kim hugging each other after their meeting at Tongilgak, the North’s building in the truce village. The previous summit was held at the southern side of the border.They were accompanied by South Korean intelligence chief Suh Hoon and his North Korean counterpart Kim Yong Chol, who is in charge of inter-Korean affairs. Another photo showed Moon shaking hands with Kim Jong Un’s sister, Kim Yo Jong.TRUMP HAILS “PRODUCTIVE TALKS”Trump said on Friday that Washington was having “productive talks” with Pyongyang about reinstating the 12 June meeting, just a day after cancelling it.Politico magazine reported that an advance team of 30 White House and State Department officials was preparing to leave for Singapore later this weekend.Reuters reported earlier this week the team was scheduled to discuss the agenda and logistics for the summit with North Korean officials. The delegation was to include White House deputy chief of staff Joseph Hagin and deputy national security adviser Mira Ricardel, US officials said, speaking on condition of anonymity.Trump said in a Twitter post late on Friday: “We are having very productive talks about reinstating the Summit which, if it does happen, will likely remain in Singapore on the same date, 12 June, and, if necessary, will be extended beyond that date.”South Korean president Moon Jae-in bids fairwell to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un as he leaves after their summit at the truce village of Panmunjom, North Korea, in this handout picture provided by the Presidential Blue House on 26 May, 2018. Photo: ReutersTrump had earlier indicated the summit could be salvaged after welcoming a conciliatory statement from North Korea saying it remained open to talks.”It was a very nice statement they put out,” Trump told reporters at the White House. “We’ll see what happens – it could even be the 12th.””We’re talking to them now. They very much want to do it. We’d like to do it,” he said.The comments came just a day after Trump cited Pyongyang’s “open hostility” in cancelling the meeting.THREATS, INSULTSAfter years of tension over Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons programme, Kim and Trump agreed this month to hold what would be the first meeting between a serving US president and a North Korean leader. The plan followed months of war threats and insults between the leaders over North Korea’s development of missiles capable of reaching the United States.Trump scrapped the meeting in a letter to Kim on Thursday after repeated threats by North Korea to pull out over what it saw as confrontational remarks by US officials demanding unilateral disarmament. Trump cited North Korean hostility in cancelling the summit.In Pyongyang, North Korean vice foreign minister Kim Kye Gwan said North Korea’s criticisms had been a reaction to American rhetoric and that current antagonism showed “the urgent necessity” for the summit.He said North Korea regretted Trump’s decision to cancel and remained open to resolving issues “regardless of ways, at any time.”Kim Kye Gwan said North Korea had appreciated Trump having made the bold decision to work toward a summit.”We even inwardly hoped that what is called ‘Trump formula’ would help clear both sides of their worries and comply with the requirements of our side and would be a wise way of substantial effect for settling the issue,” he said.North Korea also went ahead with a plan to destroy its only known nuclear site on Thursday, the most concrete action yet since pledging to cease all nuclear and long-range missile tests last month.Dozens of international journalists left North Korea on Saturday after observing the demolition of the underground tunnels in Punggye-ri, where all of the North’s six nuclear tests were conducted including its latest and largest in September.Trump’s latest about-face sent officials scrambling in Washington. Defense secretary Jim Mattis told reporters diplomats were “still at work” and said Trump had just sent a note out on the summit, which could be back on “if our diplomats can pull it off.”US State Department spokeswoman Katina Adams declined to give details of any diplomatic contacts but said: “As the president said in his letter to Chairman Kim, dialogue between the two is the only dialogue that matters. If North Korea is serious, then we look forward to hearing from them at the highest levels.”White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders told reporters Trump did not want a meeting that was “just a political stunt.””He wants to get something that’s a long-lasting and an actual real solution. And if they are ready to do that then … we’re certainly ready to have those conversations,” she said.
At least 30 people were killed when a gold mine collapsed in northeastern Afghanistan on Sunday, officials said, in the latest tragedy to strike the war-torn country.Another seven were injured in the incident in Kohistan district of Badakhshan province, district governor Mohammad Rustam Raghi told AFP.Villagers had dug a 60-metre (200-feet) deep shaft in a river bed to search for gold. They were inside when the walls fell in.It was not clear why the shaft collapsed, but the provincial governor’s spokesman Nik Mohammad Nazari told AFP the miners were not professionals.”The villagers have been involved in this business for decades with no government control over them,” Nazari said.”We have sent a rescue team to the area, but villagers have already started removing bodies from the site.”