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The State Department said Thursday that it will contribute up to $900,000 in relief supplies to North Korea’s Kangwon and North and South Hwanghae provinces through U.S. nongovernment groups.

The State Department said the relief demonstrates America’s continuing concern for the well-being of the North Korean people and notes that humanitarian assistance is separate from political and security concerns.

The aid follows exploratory talks in late July between U.S. and North Korean officials in New York on how to resume stalled multinational talks on North Korea’s nuclear program.

PENNSYLVANIA

Palin stalking case suspects arrested

ALLENTOWN — A Pennsylvania man and his son have been arrested on charges of harassing Sarah Palin’s family and lawyers.

The FBI said that Craig Christy and son Shawn Christy were placed under arrest at the FBI office in Allentown late Thursday morning.

The pair were indicted by a federal grand jury in Alaska on Wednesday. They are accused of harassing members of the former Alaska governor’s family as well as her attorneys and employees of the law firm.

A magistrate in Alaska had previously issued restraining orders against Craig Christy and Shawn Christy.

POSTAL SERVICE

Postal union deplores ‘bad faith’ in talks

The National Association of Letter Carriers says the plan is “an outrageous show of bad faith.” The comments came at the start of negotiations for a new labor contract for employees at the agency’s second-largest union.

The Postal Service announced the job-cutting plan last week, saying drastic action was needed. The agency faces a second year of losses totaling $8 billion or more.

It also wants to pull its workers out of retirement and health benefits plans covering federal employees and set up its own benefit systems. It is asking Congress to override contracts with no-layoff provisions. The agency also wants to shed 100,000 jobs through attrition.

From wire dispatches and staff reports