Guam missile launch plan: Kim Jong Un waiting for US ‘foolish conduct’ before firing

 

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un will watch what “the foolish Yankees” do before making a decision on plans to fire four missiles toward the U.S. territory of Guam, state media in the reclusive nation reported.

The statement appears to edge North Korea away from the brink of conflict with the United States.

Kim was briefed on and examined the missile plan, and said he would watch Washington’s actions “a little more,” the official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) reported, according to the South Korean news agency Yonhap.

Kim said he will make an “important” decision if Washington continues its “extremely dangerous reckless actions,” Yonhap reported.

The KCNA said Kim would watch the “foolish and stupid conduct of the Yankees.”

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Cuba diplomats expelled after bizarre incident with U.S. embassy workers in Havana

 

The U.S. has expelled two Cuban diplomats in retaliation for a bizarre incident purportedly involving a covert sonic device that allegedly left a group of American diplomats in Havana with severe hearing loss.

State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert on Wednesday spoke only cryptically about the matter, referring to an “incident” without elaboration.

Cuba has strongly denied any allegations of wrongdoing.

The purported affair began in late 2016 when a series of U.S. diplomats in Havana began suffering unexplained losses of hearing, according to officials with knowledge of the investigation into the case, the Associated Press reported.

Several of the diplomats had recently arrived at the embassy, which reopened in 2015 as part of former President Obama’s re-establishment of diplomatic relations with Cuba and relaxation of travel restrictions.

Nauert said that as a result of the incident, two Cuban diplomats were ordered to leave their embassy in Washington on May 23.

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U.S. approves sale of $600 million attack planes to Nigeria

The United State government has approved the sale of 12 high-tech attack aircraft worth $600 million (N219 billion) to Nigeria’s Air Force for the fight against the violent extremist group, Boko Haram, White House officials briefed on the matter told the Associated Press.

President Donald Trump has pushed forward plan to sell the attack planes to Nigeria after it was suddenly suspended by the Barack Obama administration following the January bombing of the Internally Displaced Persons, IDPs, camp in Rann, Borno State Nigeria.

The sale of the planes was part of the issues discussed by President Continue reading “U.S. approves sale of $600 million attack planes to Nigeria”

U.S. scientists fix disease genes in human embryos for 1st time

 

For the first time, scientists working in a U.S. lab have used gene editing to correct a disease-causing mutation in viable human embryos, according to scientific paper published Wednesday.

The work, reported in  Nature, could be a step toward genetically modified babies. But the altered embryos created in the study were quickly destroyed and never intended to be implanted in a woman — a step that would be illegal under current regulations in the United States and many other countries.

Still, the experiment moves the idea of tinkering with genes before birth “from future fantasy to the world of possibility,” said Peter Braude, an emeritus professor of obstetrics and gynecology at King’s College London.

Safety and ethical questions remain, Braude and other experts not involved in the research said. And the technique has not been perfected enough to warrant moving forward.

“We still have room to improve,” said Shoukhrat Mitalipov, a researcher at Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU), Portland and lead author of the paper.

Here’s what Mitalipov and his colleagues, including scientists in the United States, South Korea and China, did:

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U.S. test-launches intercontinental ballistic missile from California coast

 

The U.S. Air Force successfully test-launched an intercontinental ballistic missile from the California coast early Wednesday.

The unarmed Minuteman 3 missile was launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base, about 130 miles northwest of Los Angeles, at 2:10 a.m. PDT. It was the fourth such test this year. The most recent was in May.

“This combined team of the 90th Missile Wing, 576th Flight Test Squadron and 30th Space Wing is simply outstanding,” Col. Michael Hough, 30th Space Wing commander, said in a statement.

“Their efforts over the past few months show why they are among the most skilled operators in the Air Force.”

The Air Force Global Strike Command earlier said the test would show the Continue reading “U.S. test-launches intercontinental ballistic missile from California coast”

U.S. Admiral says ready for nuclear strike on China if Trump so ordered

 

The U.S. Pacific Fleet commander, Scott Swift, said he would be prepared to launch a nuclear strike on China if President Donald Trump so ordered.

Mr. Swift, a naval admiral, who made this while answering a question in Australia, later said the question was asked as an “outrageous hypothetical”.

Mr. Swift was speaking at the Australian National University in Canberra when he was asked whether he would be prepared to launch a nuclear attack on China if ordered to do so by President Trump.

“The answer would be yes,” he said.

Mr. Swift said all members of the U.S. military had sworn an oath to obey officers and the U.S. president as commander in chief to defend the constitution.

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U.S. drops largest non-nuclear bomb on Afghanistan

U.S. drops largest non-nuclear bomb on Afghanistan [Photo: Telegraph.co.uk]

The United States military has dropped the largest non-nuclear bomb on an area in eastern Afghanistan controlled by Isis-affiliated militants.

This is the first time the over 10,000 kilogramme bomb which was designed by the US Air Force in 2002 will be used in combat, the Pentagon stated.

The bomb also commonly known as the “Mother of All Bombs (MOAB)” was dropped on a network of tunnels used by the militants in Achin district, Nangarhar Province close to the border with Pakistan.

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Putin says U.S.-Russia ties worse since Trump took office

Vladimir Putin, Russian President

Photo Credit: Slate

Russian President Vladimir Putin said the levels of trust between Moscow and Washington have deteriorated since U.S. President Donald Trump took office.

Asked about relations since Trump became president, according to a transcript of the interview released by the Kremlin on Wednesday: Mr. Putin said, “One could say that the level of trust on a working level, especially on the military level, has not improved, but rather has deteriorated.”

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Putin condemns U.S. attack on Syria, says it damages Russia-U.S. relations

Vladimir Putin, Russian President

Photo Credit: Slate

The Russian President, Vladimir Putin, condemned U.S. cruise missile strikes on Syria on Friday, warning the move would further damage already battered U.S.-Russia relations which Moscow had hoped President Donald Trump would revive.

U.S. officials said they had informed Russian forces ahead of the strikes, intended to punish the Syrian government for what they say was a chemical weapons attack on Wednesday, and had avoided hitting Russian personnel.

Satellite imagery suggests the Shayrat air base that was struck in western Syria is home to Russian special forces and military helicopters, part of the Kremlin’s effort to help the Syrian government fight Islamic State and other militant groups.

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U.S. attack on Syria: UN urges restraint

antonio-guterres

The UN Secretary-General, António Guterres, has urged restraint to avoid any escalation of the situation in Syria, after the U.S. responded militarily to an alleged chemical weapons attack earlier this week.

In the wake of the U.S. airstrikes, Mr. Guterres said: “I continue to follow the situation in Syria closely and with grave concern.

“Mindful of the risk of escalation, I appeal for restraint to avoid any acts that could deepen the suffering of the Syrian people.

“These events underscore my belief that there is no other way to solve Continue reading “U.S. attack on Syria: UN urges restraint”