Here are some links to stories making global headlines this Monday.

‘Time is of the essence,’ UN official says after North Korea visit

Jeffrey Feltman, the UN under-secretary-general for political affairs, visited the reclusive nation between Tuesday and Friday, the first trip there by a top UN official in six years. During his visit, he met with Ri Yong Ho, the North Korean minister for foreign affairs.

A look at the California wildfires’ jaw-dropping numbers

Growing huge … The Thomas Fire, the largest of the blazes, is burning through Ventura County toward Los Angeles. The blaze is more than four times the size of the Tubbs Fire (36,807 acres), which was the most destructive of the fires in Napa and Sonoma counties in October.

Iraq is ‘fully liberated’ from ISIS, its military says

“Our heroic armed forces have now secured the entire length of the Iraq-Syria border,” Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi said on his Twitter account. “We defeated Daesh (ISIS) through our unity and sacrifice for the nation. Long live Iraq and its people.”

Judge facing claims of inappropriate sexual conduct

Judge Alex Kozinski, who for many years served as chief judge on the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals, is being accused of having subjected a number of the court’s female staffers to a range of inappropriate sexual actions, including as recently as 2012, the Post reports.

Obama invokes Nazi Germany in warning about today’s politics

“You have to tend to this garden of democracy, otherwise things can fall apart fairly quickly. And we’ve seen societies where that happens,” Obama said at the Economic Club of Chicago on Tuesday, according to video of the event.

I bought $250 in bitcoin. Here’s what I learned

But first, there are two things you should know about me: I tend to be almost as afraid of losing money investing as I am of flying. On some level, I figured one fear might cancel out the other.

15 highlights from the Buckingham Palace tour

Historic residences don’t get much more regal than Buckingham Palace in (CNN) – London. Originally owned by the Duke of Buckingham, Buckingham House (as it was known then) was bought by King George III for his wife Queen Charlotte in 1761.

Actress says she was molested on flight

An actress who starred in Bollywood’s biggest film says she was molested on a flight between Delhi and Mumbai. Zaira Wasim, 17, said a “middle-aged man” repeatedly moved his foot up and down her neck and back while she was “half-asleep”.

Tear gas at Lebanon US embassy protest

Protesters have clashed with Lebanese security forces near the US embassy north of the capital, Beirut, the latest demonstration against President Donald Trump’s decision to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Security forces fired tear gas and water cannon to force back flag-waving protesters. Overnight the Arab League condemned the US decision.

Jailed Max Clifford dies, aged 74

Disgraced former celebrity publicist Max Clifford has died in hospital, aged 74, after collapsing in prison

Sudanese women charged over trousers

Twenty-four women have been charged with indecency after being caught wearing trousers at a party near the Sudanese capital Khartoum. The gathering was raided by morality police on Wednesday. The women could face punishment of 40 lashes and a fine for wearing what is described as an obscene outfit.

Seven charts that explain the plastic pollution problem

Marine life is facing “irreparable damage” from the millions of tonnes of plastic waste which ends up in the oceans each year, the United Nations has warned. “This is a planetary crisis… we are ruining the ecosystem of the ocean,” UN oceans chief Lisa Svensson told the BBC this week.

California’s Wildfires This Year Have Been Breaking Records

California has experienced one of the worst years on record for wildfires. Residents of the Golden State finally found respite from a yearslong drought when it officially ended in April ― but, as it turned out, some of the worst fires in California’s history were just around the corner.

Obama Warns Americans Against Following In The Path Of Nazi Germany

It’s not that democracy is “fragile,” exactly, but it is “reversible,” according to former President Barack Obama. During an interview earlier this week at the Economic Club of Chicago, Obama reminded his audience to remain vigilant in protecting the values and institutions that make up American democracy or risk following in the path of Nazi Germany.

Trump Watches Up To 8 Hours Of TV Per Day

President Donald Trump, who just last month said he’s too busy “reading documents” to watch much television, spends up to 8 hours in front of the TV each day, according to a new report.

Jaw-Dropping Video Mashup Shows How Truly Incredible Humans Can Be

If you’ve been hardened by humanity’s behavior over the last year, this video will help pierce the stone armor encasing your heart. The producers behind the YouTube channel People Are Awesome, a collection of astounding clips of human beings performing incredible feats, have put together their “best of 2017” compilation video.

Kim Jong Un Posing With Millions Of Spuds Sparks Photo-Editing Battle

Not a week seems to go by without a snap of Kim Jong Un sparking a fierce so-called “Photoshop Battle” on Reddit. This week is no exception, with an undated photograph of the North Korean dictator posing next to millions of potatoes providing the inspiration.

Charlie Sheen Sues National Enquirer Over Rape Allegation

Charlie Sheen is suing the National Enquirer over the publication of a Nov. 8 report alleging the actor raped then-child star Corey Haim in the 1980s. The suit, filed Friday in Los Angeles, called the story an “egregious, hurtful, and disgusting campaign of defamations,” according to court documents obtained by Variety.

‘The Last Jedi’ first premiere reactions are here and – you guessed it – the Force is strong

Star Wars: The Last Jedi held its star-studded world premiere at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles on Saturday night, and the credits had barely finished rolling before attendees hit Twitter to share their first reactions to Rian Johnson’s take on the Skywalker saga. While spoilers and plot details are under strict embargo until Dec.

Zac Efron admits his onscreen kiss with Zendaya is the greatest of all his film kisses

Try naming a Zac Efron movie in which he doesn’t kiss someone. I dare you. His latest film, The Greatest Showman, is no exception, and according to him, it might have been the best kiss of any film he’s done so far.

This was the year we turned on social media

With each passing day comes yet another reason to question the notion that the long arc of the universe bends toward justice. However, this year, in particular, has made it resoundingly clear that – regardless of the direction of that arc – the process by which it bends manifests with stuttering jolts and fits.

Chance the Weatherman reports for duty

Chance the Rapper and his signature 3 hat took over the news in Illinois on this very cold morning. In an unexpected reprisal of his television reporter character from Saturday Night Live , the Chicago native hopped in front of a green screen on Friday and delivered the day’s weather like a pro.