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Almost diplomacy: US ex-officials, N. Koreans quietly meet

Officially, the United States and North Korea barely speak to each other, their communications often limited to public exchanges of insults.

The U.S. ambassador in Seoul is “a villain, a crazy person,” a North Korean diplomat says. North Korea is a “wasteland” compared to South Korea, President Obama tells the United Nations.

Mexican police: Van with cannon used to shoot drugs to US

DOUGLAS, Ariz. — Mexican authorities believe that a stolen truck outfitted with a cannon and parked near the U.S.-Mexico border was used to launch items into Douglas, Arizona.

Federal police found the van parked in a street in Agua Prieta, Mexico, which borders with Douglas, last week. The van had been reported stolen out of Hermosillo over the summer.

Authorities probe ties between blasts, devices in 2 states

NEW YORK — Authorities questioned several people early Monday as they worked to determine whether there was a connection between explosive devices found over the weekend in two states: an explosion in a Manhattan neighbourhood, an unexploded pressure cooker device blocks away, a pipe bomb blast at a Jersey shore town and five explosive devices at a New Jersey train station.

Authorities probe ties between blasts, devices in 2 states

NEW YORK — Authorities questioned several people early Monday as they worked to determine whether there was a connection between explosive devices found over the weekend in two states: an explosion in a Manhattan neighbourhood, an unexploded pressure cooker device blocks away, a pipe bomb blast at a Jersey shore town and five explosive devices at a New Jersey train station.

Minnesota mall stabbing could be realization of terror fears

ST. CLOUD, Minn. — Authorities are investigating the stabbings of nine people at a Minnesota mall as a potential act of terrorism, a finding that would realize long-held fears of an attack in the immigrant-rich state that has struggled to stop the recruiting of its young men by groups including the Islamic State.

NYC museum invites viewers to use 18-karat gold toilet

NEW YORK — A New York City museum is offering visitors a chance to sit on a golden throne, but only in private.

As part of his “America” exhibit at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, Italian artist Maurizio Cattelan replaced the toilet in the museum’s fourth-floor restroom with a fully functional replica cast in 18-karat gold.