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Trump admin is in talks with North Korea

Rex Tillerson said the U.S. is in talks with North Korea. Cliff Owen / AP

Sec. of State Rex Tillerson said today that the U.S. has "three channels open to Pyongyang," confirming for the first time that the Trump administration is in direct talks with North Korea, NYT reports. The channels allow the admin and the North Korean regime to talk about nuclear and missile tests, and, some hope, avoid a war between the two countries.

Key quote: "We ask, 'Would you like to talk?' We have lines of communications to Pyongyang — we're not in a dark situation, a blackout," Tillerson said. "We can talk to them. We do talk to them. Directly."

This is similar to the Obama administration's communication with Iran, but Tillerson argued, "We are not going to put together a nuclear deal in North Korea that is as flimsy as the one in Iran." The goal, he said, is to decrease the tension between North Korea and the U.S. and lower the likelihood of threats from the DPRK.

"I think everyone would like for it to calm down," Tillerson said of both Kim Jong-un's and Trump's back-and-forth threats.

Go deeper: Trump and Kim Jong-un are in a war of words.

Steve LeVine 12 hours ago
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Self-driving lab head urges freeze after "nightmare" fatality

Uber self-driving car in Pittsburgh. Photo: Jeff Swensen / Getty

Carmakers and technology companies should freeze their race to field autonomous vehicles because "clearly the technology is not where it needs to be," said Raj Rajkumar, head of Carnegie Mellon University's leading self-driving laboratory.

What he said: Speaking a few hours after a self-driven vehicle ran over and killed a pedestrian in Arizona, Rajkumar said, "This isn't like a bug with your phone. People can get killed. Companies need to take a deep breath. The technology is not there yet. We need to keep people in the loop."

Kia Kokalitcheva 57 mins ago
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Why Europeans are more skeptical of data-driven businesses

A European Union flag seen flying in Trafalgar Square. Photo: Brais G Rouco/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Europeans view privacy as a human rights issue, leading regulators there to be much more skeptical of data-driven businesses like social media. Americans are also beginning to worry about how data is used on some platforms like Facebook, particularly after news of the Cambridge Analytica scandal broke this weekend.

The big picture: Europe's history and culture plays a large role in shaping its views toward privacy. Granted, this history has to do with government access to personal information, but it's since extended to businesses.