17 Февраль 2019
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samplePolice and intelligence officials said they are investigating the credibility of the informant and are concerned that al Qaeda operatives may be mounting a disinformation campaign to divert and weaken European counterterrorism efforts.

Before the informant's tip, German officials had played down similar tips supplied by two men arrested this year in Pakistan and Afghanistan. Those reports led the U.S. and others in October to issue warnings of possible attacks in some European cities—to the frustration of German officials, who declined to change their own security posture, arguing the intelligence was inadequate.

A spokesman for the German Interior Ministry declined to comment on details of the investigation, and said nothing has changed since Germany warned of a possible terrorist attack in mid-November. The warning was based on a recommendation made jointly by all of Germany's security services, the spokesman said.

sampleChina's government has traditionally used its control of the largely state-owned banking sector to regulate the country's pace of economic growth, directing it to pump out cheap credit in good times and restricting the volume of new loans to prevent overheating. But controlling credit has become more difficult as the financial system gets more sophisticated, analysts say, complicating Beijing's efforts to bring the economy in for a smooth landing in coming months.

China has a long history of gray-market financing flowing from small, informal and unregulated groups, to sectors not well covered by banks. A number of formally incorporated entities, including trust, leasing and guarantee companies, have also emerged, with the scope to provide alternative financing. As banks labor under stricter limitations on how they can lend, they have been looking to trust companies in particular to trim their balance sheets and lessen their regulatory burden.

In a report Thursday, Fitch Ratings estimated that China's banks already have blown past the 7.5 trillion yuan ($1.126 trillion) limit that regulators set on new local currency lending for this year and extended more than three trillion yuan in credit that hasn't been recorded on their balance sheets.

sampleThe IAEA already is investigating evidence that North Korea transferred a nearly operational nuclear reactor to Syria, which Israeli jets subsequently destroyed in 2007. U.S. and U.N. officials now worry Pyongyang could begin exporting its advanced centrifuge equipment to its military allies in Iran and Myanmar.

"A uranium enrichment capability in [North Korea] could bolster its pursuit of a weapons capability and increases our concerns about prospects for onward proliferation of fissile material and of sensitive technologies," Glyn Davies, the U.S. ambassador to the IAEA, told the agency's 35-member board Thursday.

Mr. Davies said the U.S. believes Pyongyang may have already developed uranium-enrichment facilities beyond the one site it showed a visiting American scientist, Siegried Hecker, last month.

These additional facilities would allow North Korea to significantly increase its numbers of atomic weapons, as well as their yield.

"It is likely that North Korea had been pursuing an enrichment capability long before the April 2009 date it now claims," Mr. Davies said. "If so, there is a clear likelihood that DPRK has built other uranium enrichment-related facilities in its territory."

Since North Korea made public its uranium-enrichment capability last month, the Obama administration has struggled to formulate a new policy toward leader Kim Jong Il's government. This has been compounded by the North Korean attack on a South Korean island on Nov. 23, which dramatically heightened tensions in Northeast Asia.

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