USA

US seizes North Korean coal ship for violating sanctions

The justice department said the ship was used to transport coal, North Korea's largest export but subject to a UN export ban.

The vessel was initially impounded in Indonesia in April 2018.

It is the first time the US has seized a North Korean ship for breaching sanctions and comes amid worsening relations between the two.

A meeting between North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and US President Donald Trump ended without agreement in February with the US insisting North Korea give up its nuclear programme and Pyongyang demanding sanctions relief.

Beyonce offers aid to Houston flood victims

"I remain in constant prayer for those affected and for the rescuers who have been so brave and determined to do so much to help," the star said.

She added that she was working with her charity and her pastor "to implement a plan to help".

Houston has been hit by unprecedented levels of rain, with more set to come.

Officials estimate that more than 30,000 residents need shelter. At least nine have died in the Houston area.

Other stars including Kim Kardashian West and Kevin Hart have also vowed to help.

How white supremacist demonstration in US turned deadly

Shortly before the attack Saturday, fistfights and screaming matches erupted between counterprotesters and white nationalists protesting the removal of a confederate monument. The clashes led to the cancellation of scheduled protests, sending demonstrators from both sides marching on nearby streets. A few hours later, a car slammed into a throng of counterprotesters.

Here's what we know:

What happened?

US can ask visa applicants for social media history

Consular officials can now ask for social media usernames going back five years via a new questionnaire.

It also allows authorities to request email addresses, phone numbers and 15 years of biographical information.

This can be requested when "more rigorous national security security vetting" is needed, a State Department official told Reuters.

Does Australia want Turnbull to save the relationship with Donald Trump?

Three months into his presidency, Trump's sternly nationalistic and isolationist rhetoric has Australia questioning whether it can continue to count on the US, testing one of the world's closest alliances.

"There's a great sense of loss about the America that we thought underpinned the security order (and) that the America we relied on might not be there," Mathew Davies, head of the international Relations Department at the Australian National University, told CNN.

Despite tough talk and more arrests, deportations slow under Trump

According to statistics from Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) given to CNN, the pace of removals under Trump in his first three months lags behind even the last two years of his predecessor, when then-President Barack Obama ordered his agencies to use more discretion when it came to deporting undocumented immigrants, focusing specifically on criminals.

Russia tried to use Trump advisers to infiltrate campaign

The new information adds to the emerging picture of how the Russians tried to influence the 2016 election, not only through email hacks and propaganda but also by trying to infiltrate the Trump orbit. The intelligence led to an investigation into the coordination of Trump's campaign associates and the Russians.

These officials made clear they don't know whether Page was aware the Russians may have been using him. Because of the way Russian spy services operate, Page could have unknowingly talked with Russian agents.

North Korea says it 'will go to war' if US provokes it

Speaking to the Associated Press in Pyongyang, Han Song-ryol said the situation on the Korean Peninsula was in a "vicious cycle" as tensions with the US and its allies deepen.

'Mother Of All Bombs' could be felt as far as Pakistan

On Friday, American forces dropped one of the largest conventional bombs ever used in combat on what they described as a tunnel complex used by Islamic State militants in Nangarhar's Achin district.

In Achin village, about 5 kilometres from the remote, mountainous area where the bomb was dropped, witnesses said the ground shook, but homes and shops appeared unaffected.

US military defends dropping 'mother of all bombs' on ISIS in Afghanistan

The GBU-43/B Massive Ordnance Air Blast bomb, or MOAB, was dropped Thursday night on a network of fortified underground tunnels that ISIS had been using to stage attacks on government forces.

The strike in Nangarhar province near the Pakistan border killed 36 ISIS fighters, Afghan officials said. The US military previously estimated ISIS had 600 to 800 active fighters in the area but was unclear whether it had hoped to strike more.

The blast destroyed three underground tunnels as well as weapons and ammunition, but no civilians were hurt, Afghan and US officials said.