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By Will Dunham WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A century ago, Albert Einstein hypothesized the existence of gravitational waves, small ripples in space and time that dash across the universe at the speed of light. On Thursday, at a news conference called by the U.S. National Science Foundation, researchers may announce at long last direct observations of the elusive waves. Such a discovery would represent a scientific landmark, opening the door to an entirely new way to observe the cosmos and unlock secrets about the early universe and mysterious objects like black holes and neutron stars.
North Korea on Thursday expelled all South Koreans from the jointly run Kaesong industrial zone and seized their factory assets, saying Seoul's earlier decision to shutter the complex had amounted to a "declaration of war". Pyongyang said it was placing Kaesong, which lies 10 kilometres (six miles) inside North Korea, under military control and cutting two key communication hotlines with Seoul. The measures mark a significant escalation of cross-border tensions that have been elevated since North Korea carried out a nuclear test last month and a long-range rocket launch on Sunday.
Russia said Thursday it was ready to discuss a ceasefire in Syria as foreign ministers gathered in Munich in a bid to kick-start peace talks derailed by the regime onslaught on the besieged city of Aleppo. Tens of thousands of Syrians have fled to the Turkish border as government forces, backed by Russian bombers and Iranian fighters, bombard the northern city, leaving the opposition there virtually surrounded. Russia's deputy foreign minister Gennady Gatilov said Moscow was "ready to discuss the modalities of a ceasefire" and that peace talks between the Syrian government and opposition rebels could "possibly start earlier" than the proposed date of February 25.