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Expert unclear if North Korean internet is stable

North Korea's internet links have been restored, but it is not clear how stable they are, the U.S.-based internet monitoring company Dyn has told the Reuters new service.

Jim Cowie, chief scientist for the company, said in a phone call:

The question for the next few hours is whether it will return to the unstable fluctuations we saw before the outage.

– Jim Cowie, chief scientist, Dyn Research

Some North Korean Internet services including the websites for the country's official KCNA news agency and the Rodong Sinmun newspaper appear to be back up and operating, but some web pages run by the Hermit Kingdom still remaining down.

North Korea internet services restored after black out

North Korea's internet links have been restored after a total black-out lasting around nine-and-a-half hours, an internet monitoring company has said.

It is not immediately clear if the internet connectivity problems were an act of retribution for a major intrusion at Sony Pictures Entertainment which the FBI last week linked to North Korea.

US internet monitoring company Dyn Research posted this graph to Twitter, highlighting the outage:


North Korea 'not ruled out' of nuclear plant hack

South Korea has not ruled out the involvement of North Korea in a cyber-attack on the country's nuclear power plant operator and has requested the United States to help in investigations, an official involved in the proceedings said.

According to Reuters, the official at the joint investigation department of the Seoul prosecutors' office said the hacking bore some similarities to previous cyber-attacks in which North Korea has been involved.

We cannot rule out or confirm North Korea's involvement now, given the similiarity of malignant codes patterns, and its verification will take some time.

We don't (rule out North Korea's involvement). However, we cannot confirm it either.

– North Korean official

Lunch hour Christmas shoppers in 'last dash'

Credit: Dominic Lipinski/PA Archive

Britain's high street retailers are braced for their busiest day as shoppers make their last dashes before Christmas.

Visa Europe expects some £1.3 billion to be spent using its cards today, making it the busiest day on the UK high street in the run-up to Christmas. Some £916,667 will be spent every minute, or £15,278 every second, on Visa cards, the company predicts.

The peak time will be in the lunch hour break from 1pm to 2pm.

Kevin Jenkins, managing director at Visa Europe, said:

Black Friday kick-started Christmas on the high street and online this year but the busiest bricks and mortar day will likely remain in its traditional slot close to Christmas.

– Kevin Jenkins, Visa Europe.

Stormont talks go on into the night

Politicians in Northern Ireland are negotiating through the night in a last ditch bid to secure a deal on a range of disputes de-stabilising power-sharing.

Yesterday was set as the official deadline for the eleven-week process to end, but intensive discussions pushed through past midnight and were anticipated to extend into the early morning.

The parties are trying to hammer out a deal based on a new spending package offered by David Cameron.


North Korea rejects US plans for UN human rights push

A North Korean envoy to the United Nations says the country "totally rejects" the US push to put Pyongyang's humans rights record on the UN Security Council's agenda, Reuters have reported.

Earlier today, members of the UN Security Council voted to override China's objections and formally add the situation in North Korea, including allegations of grave human rights abuses, to the council's agenda.

UN diplomat Kim Song accused the United States of raising the issue as a political weapon to pressure North Korea. He said a decision on how to respond to the council decision would be made in Pyongyang, North Korea's capital.

Ex-footballer and TV pundit Clarke Carlisle 'seriously injured'

File photo dated 15-09-2012 of Clarke Carlisle. Credit: PA Wire/PA

The world of football has pledged its support and best wishes to former Premier League player and Professional Footballers' Association chairman Clarke Carlisle following reports he has been seriously injured in a collision with a lorry.

North Yorkshire Police said a 35-year-old man was airlifted to hospital after a serious incident involving a lorry and a pedestrian on the A64, near York, this morning.

The force would not confirm the injured man's identity, but social media was full of messages from well-wishers, including the FA, hoping Carlisle, 35, makes a quick recovery.

The Football Association tweeted:

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