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World news today July 18: South Korean lawsuit filed against Kim Jong-un’s sister

09:25 | 18/07/2020

World news today July 18:  Kim Jong-un’s sister is under a lawsuit for blowing up the inter-Korean liaison office last month. Meanwhile, leader of Shincheonji church questioned by South Korean prosecutors, White House blocks CDC head from testifying opening schools, Princess Beatrice gets married and gold price also make headlines today.   

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world news today july 18 south korean lawsuit filed against kim jong uns sister
Kim Yo-jong,  the only sister of North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong-un (Photo: Courthouse News) 

South Korean Lawsuit Filed Against Kim Jong-un’s Sister

After North Korea blew up an inter-Korean liaison office on its own soil last month, plunging relations with South Korea to a diplomatic nadir, a conservative activist lawyer Lee Kyung-jae in the South decided to file a lawsuit against Kim Yo-jong,  the only sister of North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong-un.

South Korean prosecutors said on Friday that they were looking into the litigation, but it was not clear whether they would begin a formal investigation. Their hands appeared to be tied: They have practically no way to summon Mr. Kim’s sister to court to face the accusation.

The suit is largely symbolic, but if it triggers an angry reaction from the North, it could lead to the further deterioration of the relationship between the two Koreas, The New York Times commented.

In South Korea, a complaint is usually assigned to a prosecutor to decide whether it merits further investigation. Prosecutors generally suspend attempts to charge criminal suspects when they cannot be brought to justice. Even Mr. Lee acknowledged that there was no way for prosecutors to bring Ms. Kim before a southern court. 

Leader of Shincheonji church questioned by South Korean prosecutors

The head of a secretive South Korean church that was at the centre of the country’s initial coronavirus outbreak in February was questioned on Friday by state prosecutors over alleged obstruction of quarantine efforts and other irregularities.

Lee Man-hee, 88, leader of the Shincheonji Church,  is accused of ordering church officials to hide the identities of some followers, as well as information about where the church’s secretive indoctrination sessions took place, acts that hampered contact tracing by health authorities, as reported by SCMP. He also allegedly ordered the destruction of evidence and embezzled church funds.

This is the first time that the octogenarian religious leader has been questioned by judicial authorities in connection with the outbreak.

The church, which boasts more than 100,000 followers, came under harsh criticism in the early phase of South Korea’s epidemic as it became a hotbed for Covid-19. Thousands of followers at the Shincheonji branch in the southeastern city of Daegu were infected by the highly contagious virus.

South Korea has successfully flattened the curve of the disease, reporting between 11 and 21 new daily cases over the past week and posting a total caseload of 13,672 on Friday.

world news today july 18 south korean lawsuit filed against kim jong uns sister
Lee Man-hee (Photo: Wall Street Journal) 

White House blocking CDC head Robert Redfield from testifying about reopening schools

House Democrats are criticizing the White House for blocking the head of the CDC from testifying in front of Congress at hearing on safely reopening the nation's schools.

A committee spokesperson said the panel asked for any CDC official to testify but was rejected, NBC News reported.

Rep. Bobby Scott, a Virginia Democrat who chairs the House Education and Labor Committee, called it alarming that the Trump administration would prevent CDC officials from appearing before the committee "at a time when its expertise and guidance is so critical to the health and safety of students, parents, and educators.''

President Donald Trump has pushed to reopen schools as scheduled for the new academic year, arguing that most parents are anxious to see schools resume in-person classes. Trump says the decision to possibly avoid doing so in some areas is more motivated by politics than by legitimate fears about the pandemic.

He has threatened to withhold federal funding from schools that refuse to reopen.

world news today july 18 south korean lawsuit filed against kim jong uns sister
Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Robert Redfield (Photo: AP) 

Princess Beatrice gets married

Princess Beatrice marries Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi in private Windsor ceremony, BBC reported.

The wedding took place on Friday morning at The Royal Chapel of All Saints at Royal Lodge. It was attended by the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh, along with other close relatives. Beatrice was initially due to marry in May but coronavirus delayed the plans.

The wedding took place at 11:00 BST in accordance with all relevant government guidelines, the palace said in a statement.

Mr Mapelli Mozzi - known as Edo - and Beatrice began dating in autumn 2018. They got engaged during a weekend trip to Italy last September. Their families have known one another for many years. The couple are said to have started a relationship after meeting again at Beatrice's sister Princess Eugenie's wedding to Jack Brooksbank.

Their families have known one another for many years. The couple are said to have started a relationship after meeting again at Beatrice's sister Princess Eugenie's wedding to Jack Brooksbank.

world news today july 18 south korean lawsuit filed against kim jong uns sister
Princess Beatrice marries Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi in private Windsor ceremony (Photo: Time Magazines) 

Prices Rise and Finish the Week up 0.66%

Gold prices moved higher on Friday and closed up 0.66% for the week. This was the 7th consecutive weekly increase in gold prices as the yellow metal touch an 8-year high. The dollar closed lower declining by 0.75% for the week which paved the way for higher gold prices. A stronger than expected housing starts report helped lift US yields which put upward pressure on gold prices.

world news today july 18 south korean lawsuit filed against kim jong uns sister
Gold prices moved higher on Friday and closed up 0.66% for the week (Photo: FX Empire) 

Gold prices finished the week near 8-year highs and continue to trend higher. Support is seen near the 10-day moving average near 1,801. A break of this level could lead to a test of support near the 50-day moving average near 1746. Resistance is seen near the July highs at 1,815. Medium-term momentum has turned negative as the MACD (moving average convergence divergence) index generated a crossover buy signal. This occurs as the MACD line (the 12-day moving average minus the 26-day moving average) crosses above the MACD signal line (the 9-day moving average of the MACD line).

US Housing starts increased by 17.3% to an annual rate of 1.186 million units last month, according to the Commerce Department. Data for May was revised up to a 1.011 million-unit pace from the previously reported 974,000. Expectations were for housing starts to rise to a rate of 1.169 units, according to FX Empire. 

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Jasmine Le