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  • Masfiqur Sohan/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Secretary of State Rex Tillerson described the violence against the Rohingya Muslim minority in Myanmar's Rakhine state as ethnic cleansing for the first time on Wednesday. Tillerson did not use the term during his brief visit to Myanmar's capital, Naypyidaw, on Nov. 15, deciding only after visiting and analyzing the situation to describe the situation that way.What does declaring the violence ethnic cleansing do in effect?In reality, the new descriptor does not immediately accomplish much. Ethnic cleansing is a term that is not legally defined by U.S. or international law. A declaration does not trigger any sort of obligation or consequence.For now, State Department officials said they are looking into targeted sanctions against individuals who may have carried out violence if the specific allegations can be confirmed. Some sanctions placed on Burma in 1998 due to anti-democratic activities of a military junta were lifted in 2016.State officials said they expect the determination to "increase pressure" on the civilian government and military in Myanmar to reach an agreement on repatriating the 600,000 or so Rohingya who have fled as refugees into neighboring Bangladesh.Who is perpetrating the ethnic cleansing?Though ethnic cleansing has been declared, the perpetrator has not been defined as the Myanmar military. State Department officials said there are a number of "potential sources" of conflict, including both military forces and vigilante groups.What will happen to the victims of the violence?The State Department is focusing on returning the Rohingya who have fled to Bangladesh as refugees back to their homes. Even still, officials acknowledge that repatriating even a few hundred Rohingya per day would mean the process could last for years -- a huge logistical challenge at this point. The department will focus on voluntary repatriation, meaning they realize many Rohingya might not want to return to their former homes.Last week, Tillerson announced an additional $47 million in humanitarian assistance for those affected, bringing the total amount spent to aid the victims since August of last year to $87 million.Why aren't broader sanctions being imposed?Broader sanctions remain a challenge, as State Department officials are wary of hindering the fragile civilian government in Myanmar, which has shared power with the military as laid out in the Burmese Constitution about 18 months ago. Transition of power to the fledgling civilian government is a delicate process and could benefit all the persecuted civilian groups in Myanmar -- if it can be accomplished.What is Aung San Suu Kyi doing about the crisis?The State Department had little to say about the role of the de facto civilian leader and Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi, who many have criticized for not doing enough to stem the violence. State Department officials look to Suu Kyi's leadership but did not lay out a specific goal or role for her to play.Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
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  • Tolga Akmen/WPA Pool/Getty Images(LONDON) -- Prince William announced recommendations Thursday for combating cyberbullying after convening a task force of leading tech companies to look at the issue.The online code of conduct, called "Stop, Speak, Support," is the first in the world of its kind. Its aim is to create a safer space online for children and give them online resources if they feel threatened or lost.William, 35, brought together the world’s leading tech firms -- including Google, YouTube, Twitter, Facebook and Snapchat -- as part of the Royal Foundation's task force on the prevention of cyberbullying. The task force, which first convened in May 2016, also included parents, children and representatives from children's charities.The campaign will work with tech giants Facebook and Snapchat to initiate a trial program to support victims of cyberbullying and implement safety guidelines for online users.The tech firms that are part of the task force have also agreed to make changes, William announced in his speech Thursday."The technology company members of the task force have agreed to adopt new guidelines to improve the process for reporting bullying online and to create clearer consequences for those who behave unacceptably," he said.The online code of conduct includes a website where kids can go for support. The website teaches children to stop participating when they see negative comments, speak out to adults and/or report the bullying to the social media platform, and to support the person being bullied.Kensington Palace on Wednesday released a moving video of William speaking with a mother who lost her son to suicide and a teen girl who attempted suicide after being the victim of cyberbullying."I started to self-harm as a way to cope, to make me feel better. And then I decided that I couldn't take this anymore and I tried to end my life," Chloe, who was cyberbullied at the age of 13, told William during their conversation at Kensington Palace.In the video, William praised the women for their bravery and told them, "I only wish that neither of you had gone through what you've gone through.""I think it is worth reminding everyone what the human tragedy of what we are talking about here," William said. "It isn't just about companies and about online stuff. It's actually real lives that get affected."William said he became particularly interested in how social media can affect children after becoming a father to Prince George, 4, and Princess Charlotte, 2. William and Princess Kate are expecting their third child next April.William also became interested in this cause through his work as an air ambulance pilot, where he witnessed and responded to many young men in despair and on the verge of suicide. After hearing a story of a little boy who killed himself due to online abuse, William vowed to get involved himself."Through my work on mental health, I have spent time getting to know parents and children for whom the impact of online bullying has been devastating," William said. "And as a parent myself, I understand the sense of loss and anger of those particular families who have lost children after they were the targets of campaigns of harassment."Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
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  • Carl Court/Getty Images(LONDON) -- The Grenfell Tower fire killed a total of 71 people, including a stillborn baby, London’s police said on Thursday after recovering and identifying all those believed to have died in the blaze.In June, London’s Metropolitan Police estimated that about 80 people had died in the fire, which started on June 14 just before 1 a.m. local time.Since then, police said they have searched every apartment on every floor and every communal area of the 24-story building and examined 15.5 metric tons of debris on each floor. The search operation is not expected to end until early December, but the police said it is very unlikely that anyone remains inside Grenfell Tower -- and all those reported missing have been found.“I cannot imagine the agony and uncertainty that some families and loved ones have been through whilst we have carried out our meticulous search, recovery and identification process,” Metropolitan Police Commander Stuart Cundy said in a statement.Detectives used CCTV footage to identify the residents who escaped the tower. The videos show that 223 people escaped Grenfell Tower that night and survived. Police believe that 293 people were inside at the time of the fire, while a number of residents weren't home."The human cost and terrible reality of what took place at Grenfell Tower affects so many people,” said Cundy. "Our criminal investigation is continuing, and we are determined to do all we can to find the answers that so many people so desperately want."Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
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  • iStock/Thinkstock(SEOUL) -- A magnitude-5.4 earthquake shook southeastern South Korea on Wednesday, marking the largest in the nation since last year’s trembler in nearby Gyeongju.Today’s earthquake, which caused minor injuries, struck around 2:29 p.m. local time about 6 miles north of the city of Pohang. Old buildings collapsed and concrete roads cracked open. Some residents in Seoul even detected the vibration several hundred miles away.Officials said there have been 18 aftershocks, ranging in magnitude from 2.2 to 5.4 as residents tweeted in real-time about the damages. At Handong Global University, an outer wall of a school building collapsed. Books fell from shelves and furniture trembled, as seen through videos from social media accounts.Fifty people suffered minor injuries, according to the National Fire Agency, but the number is expected to rise. The epicenter of the quake was about 5 miles underground, according to South Korea’s Meteorological Administration. The more shallow the epicenter, the bigger the shock above ground.“The earthquake is the second-strongest natural earthquake to take place in the Korean peninsula since last year’s quake in Gyeongju,” the meteorological administration said.Last year’s earthquake had a magnitude of 5.8, damaging many cultural sites and buildings.The Korea Meteorological Administration stressed that South Korea is no longer free from earthquake threats. Seismic activity has reached a new phase since last year’s Gyeongju earthquake.A total of 139 quakes of magnitude 2 and above have been detected this year alone, which is more than twice the historical average. South Korea had been known to have little seismic activity compared to neighboring Japan.Meanwhile, no leakage or breakdowns were detected at the six nuclear reactors in Gyeongju, according to Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power.But because of the possibility of more quakes, the annual college entrance exam scheduled for Thursday has been postponed for safety concerns until next week. It is the first time the entrance exam has been delayed for any reason in its 24-year existence.Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
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  • Mikhail Svetlov/Getty Images(DANANG, Vietnam) -- President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin met on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit (APEC) in Vietnam Saturday, according to the White House.During the brief meeting, which lasted less than five minutes, the White House said the two leaders discussed a joint statement on Syria, as well as alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 election.The president later took to Twitter sounding off against critics who question him cozying up with the Russian leader."When will all the haters and fools out there realize that having a good relationship with Russia is a good thing, not a bad thing," he tweeted. "There [sic] always playing politics -- bad for our country. I want to solve North Korea, Syria, Ukraine, terrorism, and Russia can greatly help!"Earlier in the day, Trump spoke to reporters on Air Force One before landing in Hanoi, Vietnam on Saturday evening local time, reiterating that Putin said he did not meddle in the election."He said he didn't meddle," Trump told reporters. "He said he didn't meddle. I asked him again. You can only ask so many times. I just asked him again. He said he absolutely did not meddle in our election. He did not do what they are saying he did."Asked if he believed Putin’s denial, the president didn’t directly answer but suggested he didn’t directly counter Putin’s denial.“Well look I can’t stand there and argue with him,” Trump said. “I’d rather have him get out of Syria to be honest with you. I’d rather have him, you know, work with him on the Ukraine than standing and arguing about whether or not [Russia meddled in the election], because that whole thing was set up by the Democrats. I mean they ought to look at [former Hillary Clinton campaign chairman John] Podesta. They ought to look at all of the things they’ve done with the phony dossier."Trump went on to say that he believes Putin "means it" when he denies meddling in the election."Every time he sees me he says, 'I didn't do that,' and I really believe that when he tells me that, he means it. But he says, 'I didn't do that.' I think he is very insulted by it, which is not a good thing for our country," Trump said.He also suggested that the issue of North Korea would be a lot more easily resolved "if we had relationship with Russia. ... It would be helped a lot."The White House confirmed that the meeting took place on Saturday after having ruled out a formal meeting would occur just a day prior, citing scheduling conflicts on both sides, after weeks of speculation on the topic.Per a statement from Russia, the two leaders "agreed that there is no military solution to the conflict in Syria" and that a political solution must come through the Geneva process. Russia also "expressed their satisfaction with successful U.S.-Russia enhanced de-confliction efforts" and agreed to keep open lines of communication between the U.S. and Russia military.The White House released a joint statement later, after Trump landed in Hanoi, echoing those sentiments. Trump said the two leaders "agreed very quickly" to the statement."The two Presidents discussed the ongoing need to reduce human suffering in Syria and called on all U.N. member states to increase their contributions to address these humanitarian needs over the coming months," the statement released by the State Department said."In addition, President Trump noted that he had a good meeting with President Putin," it continued. "He further noted that the successful implementation of the agreements announced today will save thousands of lives."In addition to the one-on-one meeting, Trump and Putin were spotted shaking hands and carrying on conversation on at least three separate occasions over the course of two days at the economic summit.Trump had previously told reporters that he expected to meet with Putin at some point during his trip."I think it's expecte
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