North Korea launches long-range rocket
North Korea defied international warnings on Saturday by launching a long-range rocket that the United Nations and others believe is a cover for a test of a ballistic missile that could reach the United States mainland.
It comes almost a month after the rogue state claimed to have detonated a hydrogen bomb. U.S. National Security Advisor Susan Rice called it “yet another destabilizing and provocative action” and “a flagrant violation of multiple United Nations Security Council resolutions.” The U.N. Security Council planned to hold an emergency meeting Sunday to discuss a possible response. CNN
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry issued a statement condemning Pyongyang for “a flagrant violation of U.N. Security Council Resolutions” related to the use of “ballistic missile technology.” South Korean President Park Geun-hye called the rocket firing an “intolerable provocation.” Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe promised to “take action to totally protect the safety and well-being of our people.”
The European Union lashed North Korea’s launch of a long-range rocket as “yet another outright and grave violation” of its obligations and urged Pyongyang to engage in dialogue with the international community. British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond called the launch a “clear and deliberate” violation of a number of U.N. Security Council resolutions. France called the launching of the long-range rocket “a senseless provocation” and called for “a rapid and tough response from the international community at the Security Council.”
The U.N. Security Council is meeting Sunday to discuss the North Korean rocket launch at the request of the U.S., Japan and South Korea. U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon described North Korea’s move as “deeply deplorable” and “in violation of relevant Security Council resolutions.”
The Russian Foreign Ministry said, “We urgently recommend that the North Korean leadership think whether the policy of placing yourself in opposition to the international community is in the country’s interests.”
Beijing responded to Sunday’s launch, expressing “regret” the North disregarded the opposition from the international community.
Julie Bishop, Australia’s foreign minister said North Korea is a “threat to world peace” and condemned North Korea’s “provocative, dangerous and destabilizing behavior.” VOA
Republican presidential hopefuls faced off in Manchester, New Hampshire, Saturday night, just days before the state’s second-in-the-nation primaries. Donald Trump, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, Ben Carson, Jeb Bush, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, and Ohio Gov. John Kasich were asked about everything from eminent domain to their plans for defeating the Islamic State to health care. ABC News
Donald Trump, who leads the New Hampshire polls, said he would bring back interrogation techniques “worse than waterboarding” He was booed for telling Jeb Bush to be quiet during an angry exchange over government seizure of private property.
Jeb Bush said he would take a pre-emptive strike against North Korea if necessary, following their rocket launch. And he and Mr. Christie broke ranks with the others on abortion, saying they backed it in cases of rape and incest.
Ohio Governor John Kasich slammed Mr. Trump’s plan to deport 11m undocumented immigrants, saying it would break up families.
Socialized medicine in other countries doesn’t work and leads to rationing, said Ted Cruz, attacking Mr Obama’s healthcare reform. Mr. Cruz apologized to Ben Carson for telling voters in Iowa that the retired neurosurgeon was going to end his campaign. BBC
Rubio has moved into second place in several recent surveys and appears to be gaining ground on longtime frontrunner Donald Trump. But there is a crowded field right behind Rubio, including the winner of the Iowa caucuses, Texas Senator Ted Cruz, Ohio Governor John Kasich and former Florida governor Jeb Bush. VOA
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) announced executive orders Saturday intended to ban LGBT conversion therapy in the state. Both public and private insurers are banned from reimbursing the therapy, which aims to change a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity, for minors.
And facilities funded, licensed, or operated by New York will not be allowed to offer conversion therapy to minors. “We will not allow the misguided and the intolerant to punish LGBT young people for simply being who they are,” Cuomo said. BuzzFeed News via The Week
Germany’s anti-Islamic organization Pegida held rallies in several European cities Saturday to protest against mass immigration and what it calls the “Islamization” of Europe. Several thousand supporters of Pegida, which is the German acronym for Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamization of the Occident, demonstrated in Dresden, Germany, the movement’s birthplace.
In Birmingham, Pegida held its first official march in Britain, although it involved fewer than 200 participants. Its coordinator, Tommy Robinson, said that the last year’s influx of 1½ million immigrants should not be repeated.
Other demonstrations for and against immigration took place Saturday in the Czech Republic cities of Prague and Brno; Warsaw, Poland; Bratislava, Slovakia; the French cities of Calais and Montpellier; and Graz in southern Austria.
Pegida began in mid-2014 and has since spread to other countries, as Europe struggles to cope with its worst refugee crisis since World War II. The refugees, most fleeing war-torn Syria, sought asylum in the EU counties in 2015, almost three-quarters of them in Germany. VOA
America is pumping so much oil that it’s running out of places to keep it all. The U.S. now has nearly 503 million barrels of commercial crude oil stockpiled, the Energy Information Administration said on Wednesday. It’s the highest level of supply for this time of the year in at least 80 years.
The sky-high inventories are the latest sign that the U.S. oil boom is still alive and kicking. U.S. oil production is near all-time highs despite the epic crash in oil prices from $107 a barrel in June 2014 to just $30 a barrel now. CNN
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