North Korea accidentally hit one of its own cities with a missile, report says

North Korea accidentally hit one of its own cities with a missile, report says

Jan 3, 2018

In its relentless pursuit of nuclear strength, North Korea’s first land target may have actually been itself. The Diplomat reported Wednesday that an intermediate range ballistic missile launched by the regime last spring accidentally hit the city of Tokchon, which has a population of more than 200,000. The missile was launched from an airfield just over 40 miles north of North Korea’s capital city of Pyongyang. An unnamed U.S. official explained to The Diplomat that due to an engine malfunction, the projectile made it only a minute into its test flight and traveled about 25 miles northeast before hitting the ground. The Diplomat cross-referenced the failed missile’s approximate landing site with Google Earth and other satellite imaging to find that the suspected landing area did indeed seem to show signs of “considerable damage to a complex of industrial or agricultural buildings.” Several structures appeared damaged in satellite images, reportedly by debris from the failed launch.   While there have been no confirmed reports of deaths in Tokchon as a result of the failed missile test, the images published by The Diplomat seem to show that the missile came perilously close to exploding in more densely inhabited areas, marking the risk of test launches.   North Korea has launched two ballistic missiles since August, both of which flew over Japan and landed cleanly in the Pacific Ocean — but one concerning possibility put forward by The Diplomat is that a future missile could explode prematurely over Japan, which would “spark a serious crisis in Northeast Asia.” NBC News reported Tuesday that U.S. officials believe North Korea may be preparing for another missile test “in the next week or two.” Read more about the failed missile at The Diplomat. Kelly O’Meara Morales.  ...

Rare “Blue Moon” lunar eclipse will happen this month

Rare “Blue Moon” lunar eclipse will happen this month

Jan 3, 2018

One of the more exciting events of 2017 was the total solar eclipse that was viewable across the US. And if you enjoyed it as much as I did, I have some good news for you. While the US won’t be getting another look at a total solar eclipse until 2024, parts of the US will get to see another rare eclipse in 2018 and they’ll get to check it out this month. On January 31st, there will be a total lunar eclipse. What makes this one so special is that it’s happening during a Blue Moon, or the second full moon of the month (depending on which definition you go by). These two events haven’t coincided since 1866, making this one the first in over 150 years. The next one won’t be until 2028. As Space.com reports, not everyone in the US will get to see it in full. Central and eastern Asia, Indonesia, New Zealand and parts of Australia will have a good view of the event. Alaska, Hawaii and northwest Canada will see the whole thing as well, but more eastern parts of North and Central America will have a shorter show. For example in US Mountain time (MST), the eclipse will begin at 4:48 AM, but as the full eclipse winds down, the moon will already be dipping below the horizon. For Eastern time (EST) in the US, residents in that region will see the eclipse begin at 6:48 AM and the moon will dip out of view shortly thereafter. In other moon news, there’s a supermoon tonight. The full moon will be the closest it gets to Earth in its orbit making it appear a little bit bigger and a little bit brighter than a typical full moon. Though you probably won’t notice the difference with your bare eyes, you should still check it out. The sky is beautiful and looking up is a great way to start 2018....

Trump deported 26% fewer Mexicans in his first year than Obama did in his last

Trump deported 26% fewer Mexicans in his first year than Obama did in his last

Dec 28, 2017

According to The Daily Mail, President Donald Trump sent 26 per cent fewer Mexicans back home this year despite his vows to crackdown on illegal immigration. According to new data from Mexico’s Interior Ministry, Trump has sent home fewer Mexicans through November than former president Barack Obama did in the same period in 2016. About 152,000 Mexican nationals were deported from the US between January and November, according to Bloomberg. Under Obama, 205,000 Mexican nationals were deported during the first 11 months of 2016. During the election, Trump vowed to target criminals for deportation and warned that they were ‘going out fast.’  In an interview with CBS’s 60 Minutes just days after he won the presidential … Click here for full article on The Daily Mail Source: The Daily...

Trump says he may soon visit Mexico border wall prototypes (CNN)

Trump says he may soon visit Mexico border wall prototypes (CNN)

Dec 20, 2017

According to CNN, US president Donald Trump said he may soon pay a visit to the US-Mexico Border to view border wall prototypes. Speaking at what is expected to be the last cabinet meeting of the year on Wednesday December 20, Trump applauded the prototypes of the wall that have been placed along the border, adding that he may want to look at them in their final form. “We want to be able to see through … we have a lot of help from the Border Patrol and from the ICE agents,” Trump said. “We’re getting their input on the wall, because who knows better than them.” Eight border wall types are currently on display. Trump noted at the meeting that there were six border wall prototypes. The President also emphasized that the walls would be built to be see through, a statement he has made previously. “We want vision, we want to be able to see through who is on the other side of the wall, and we have some wonderful prototypes that have been put up,” Trump said. Click here for full article by Miranda Greene on CNN...

What does US recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital mean?

What does US recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital mean?

Dec 10, 2017

Donald Trump’s abandonment of decades of US policy has set him at odds with the rest of the world and could have far-reaching consequences. In a move condemned by most of the world, Donald Trump has announced the US will recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. What does his move mean for the key players? The peace process This has been in effect at death’s door since the former secretary of state John Kerry’s peace mission ended in failure in 2014. But the international community – apart from the US – is united in saying recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel is disastrous for any hopes of reviving meaningful talks. The status of Jerusalem is one of the pivotal issues that diplomats and peacemakers have said must be agreed between the two parties in negotiations. The Palestinians They will see Trump’s announcement as the end of their hopes and demands for East Jerusalem as a capital of a future independent Palestinian state. Although few Palestinians want a return to violence, many will feel that diplomatic efforts have got them no closer to a state of their own and will see little alternative to direct action. The state of Israel The Israeli government will be thrilled. Ever since it captured (and later annexed) East Jerusalem in the 1967 six-day war, Israel has claimed the city as its “eternal and undivided” capital, and has longed for international recognition. Trump’s decision will reinforce the view of many Israeli politicians that there is little to be gained by negotiating with the Palestinians. Some 200,000 Israelis living in settlements in occupied East Jerusalem, illegal under international law, will also celebrate. The region Trump’s move will further destabilise an already volatile region. The powerful Turkish president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, said the US was “plunging the region and the world into a fire with no end in sight”. Turkey hinted it might cut diplomatic ties with Israel if the plan goes ahead. Saudi Arabia – an important ally of the US in the region – believe the move damages Riyadh’s continuing efforts to rekindle a peace deal. The Arab countries that border Israel – Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria – have...

U.S. Army releases new hand gun, easier to operate and far more lethal

U.S. Army releases new hand gun, easier to operate and far more lethal

Nov 30, 2017

According to Newsweek, millions of U.S. Army soldiers will get more lethal handguns as part of a half-billion, decade-long project, the first upgrade to the standard M9 sidearm in more than three decades. The new M17 pistol—and a compact version called the M18—arrived at the 101st Airborne’s Fort Campbell, Kentucky, base on November 28. A small number of soldiers got to fire the new weapon straight out of the box, Military Times reports. “It is easier to fire and simpler to operate,” Sergeant Matthew J. Marsh said in a statement released by the Army. “The pistol felt very natural in my hand. I am excited to take my experience back to my unit and share it with my soldiers.” Initially, the weapon is only being offered to team leaders, but all Army units will get the M17 to replace the standard M9 Beretta over the next decade. The M17 is a variant of SIG Sauer’s P320 handgun. In January, the New Hampshire–based SIG Sauer won the 10-year, $580 million contract with the U.S. Army. The M9 has become “pretty dated technology,” said Lieutenant Colonel Steven Power, who oversees part of the weapon upgrade. “The specific performance improvements from [the M17 and M18] over the M9 include better accuracy, tighter dispersion, and better ergonomics, which combined result in a far more lethal pistol.” The new handguns are equipped with an external safety, self-illuminating sights for low-light conditions, an integrated rail for attaching accessories and an Army standard suppressor conversion kit to attach an acoustic/flash suppressor, according to the U.S. Army. Soldiers seem quite happy with the handgun thus far. “I never thought I would be one of the first ones to field a new piece of [Army] equipment,” Marsh said. “It is a tremendous honor for my battalion and brigade, this division and me.”...