S. Korean officials say North Korea tested cruise missiles

North Korea on Tuesday test-fired two suspected cruise missiles in its fifth round of weapons launches this month, South Korean military officials said, as it displays its military might amid pandemic-related difficulties and a prolonged freeze in nuclear negotiations with the United States. One official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, citing department rules, said South Korean and U.S. intelligence officials were analyzing the launches, but didn’t provide further details. Another military official, who requested anonymity over similar reasons, said the tests were conducted from an inland area, but didn’t specify where. North Korea has been increasing its testing activity … Continue reading S. Korean officials say North Korea tested cruise missiles

Update: Tonga volcanic eruption more powerful than atomic bomb

A volcanic eruption in Tonga that triggered a tsunami was hundreds of times more powerful than the atomic bomb the US dropped on Hiroshima during World War Two, Nasa says. The eruption “obliterated” a volcanic island north of the Tongan capital Nuku’alofa, the agency said. Tonga says more than four-fifths of the population has been affected by the tsunami and falling ash. Three people were confirmed killed in the tsunami last week. Before the eruption, the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai volcanic island was two separate islands joined by new land formed in 2015. Nasa says the eruption was so powerful all the … Continue reading Update: Tonga volcanic eruption more powerful than atomic bomb

Pakistan’s first female Supreme Court judge sworn in

Pakistan’s first female Supreme Court judge has been sworn in in the capital Islamabad. Ayesha Malik, 55, now sits on a bench with 16 other male colleagues in the Muslim-majority country’s top court. Lawyers and activists said it was a rare victory after decades of struggle to get representation for women in Pakistan’s male-dominated society. Some lawyers and judges opposed Justice Malik’s appointment as she was seen to be less senior than other candidates. Pakistan’s judiciary has been historically conservative and male-dominated. It is the only South Asian country to have never had a female Supreme Court judge, according to … Continue reading Pakistan’s first female Supreme Court judge sworn in

Australian government secures copyright of Aboriginal flag after row

The Australian government has bought the Aboriginal flag’s copyright in a bid to “free” the symbol of identity from bitter fights over who can use it. Indigenous artist Harold Thomas created the flag in 1971 as a protest image but it is now the dominant Aboriginal emblem and an official national flag. Despite this, many Aboriginal people say the flag has been “held hostage” by copyright deals that limit its display. The flag can now be reproduced by anyone without fear of legal threats. “Over the last 50 years we made Harold Thomas’ artwork our own – we marched under … Continue reading Australian government secures copyright of Aboriginal flag after row

How a US woman found $3m lottery ticket in junk email folder

A US woman discovered she had won $3m (£2.2m) from the lottery after checking her spam folder for an unrelated email. Laura Spears, 55, had purchased a Mega Millions ticket online from the state lottery after she saw the jackpot climbing into the hundreds of millions. “A few days later, I was looking for a missing email from someone, so I checked the spam folder in my email account,” she told lottery officials. “That’s when I saw an email from the lottery saying I had won a prize.” “I couldn’t believe what I was reading, so I logged in to … Continue reading How a US woman found $3m lottery ticket in junk email folder

Update: Burkina Faso military says it has seized power

The military in Burkina Faso says it has seized power and overthrown President Roch Kaboré. The announcement was made on state television by an army officer, who cited the deteriorating security situation for the military takeover. Mr Kaboré had faced growing discontent over his failure to stem an Islamist insurgency. His whereabouts are unclear, but the officer said that all those detained were in a secure location. The coup comes a day after troops seized barracks, and gunshots were heard in the capital, Ouagadougou. Earlier, the ruling People’s Movement for Progress (PMP) party said that both Mr Kaboré and a … Continue reading Update: Burkina Faso military says it has seized power

Tragic: Deadly crush reported at African Cup of Nations

At least eight people are reported to have been killed and dozens hurt in a crush outside an Africa Cup of Nations match in Cameroon. Video footage showed football fans struggling to get access to the Paul Biya stadium in a neighbourhood of the capital Yaounde. One child is among the dead, according to a health ministry report obtained by the AFP news agency. Another report said a number of children had lost consciousness. The stadium has a capacity of 60,000 but because of Covid-19 restrictions it was not meant to be more than 80% full. Match officials were quoted … Continue reading Tragic: Deadly crush reported at African Cup of Nations

Looming War: US troops on high alert over threat of Russian invasion of Ukraine

Some 8,500 combat-ready US troops are on high alert to deploy at short notice amid rising tension over Ukraine, the Pentagon says. Russia continues to deny planning military action against Ukraine, despite massing 100,000 troops nearby. President Biden held a video call with European allies on Monday as Western powers aim for a common strategy against Russian aggression. The Pentagon said no decision had yet been made on whether to deploy troops. It would only happen if the Nato military alliance decides to activate a rapid-reaction force, “or if other situations develop” around the Russian troop build-up, said Pentagon press … Continue reading Looming War: US troops on high alert over threat of Russian invasion of Ukraine

Armenian president resigns over lack of powers

Armen Sarkissian, who held the largely symbolic role since 2018, expressed his dissatisfaction over decisions related to the conflict with Azerbaijan. Armen Sarkissian announced Sunday that he was stepping down as president of Armenia, citing his inability to influence policy during times of crisis. Armenia has been embroiled in a political crisis that erupted in the wake of a war with Azerbaijan over the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh territory. Armenian President Sarkissian Sarkissian disagreed with Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan over his decision to remove the chief of general staff in the wake of the war with Azerbaijan and amid protests. Pashinyan removed … Continue reading Armenian president resigns over lack of powers

Yet another Mexican journalist murdered in Tijuana, second in less than a week

A journalist was killed in Tijuana Sunday, the local prosecutor said, the second media worker murdered in less than a week in the northern Mexican border city. Lourdes Maldonado Lopez was “attacked with a firearm while she was in a vehicle,” said the Baja California state prosecutor’s office. Maldonado had worked for several media outlets, including Primer Sistema de Noticias (PSN), which is owned by Jaime Bonilla, who was governor of Baja California from 2019 to the end of 2021.Police cars at the scene where Lourdes Maldonado Lopez was killed She won a lawsuit a few days ago against PSN, … Continue reading Yet another Mexican journalist murdered in Tijuana, second in less than a week

French adventurer dies after attempting to row solo across the Atlantic

Jean-Jacques Savin, shown in May at age 74, tests his rowboat at a shipyard in Lege-Cap-Ferret, southwestern France. Jean-Jacques Savin, a 75-year-old French adventurer who was attempting to row across the Atlantic Ocean solo, has disappeared after sending distress signals last week, authorities said Sunday. The Portuguese coast guard found Savin’s boat, a specially built capsule, overturned near the Azores, the Portuguese archipelago, on Friday. Savin’s team had posted a statement on Facebook early Sunday saying he had been found dead in the boat. But later Sunday, the Portuguese Navy said no body had been found, and his team posted a … Continue reading French adventurer dies after attempting to row solo across the Atlantic

Cathay Pacific records a lower annual loss of $720m

Cathay Pacific has said its annual loss for last year narrowed to as little as HK$5.6bn (£530m; $720m) even as Hong Kong remained under tight coronavirus travel restrictions. It is much smaller than 2020’s loss and far less than analysts forecast. The improvement was driven by strong cargo demand and cost cutting measures. However, the company said it expects to burn up to HK$1.5bn of cash a month starting February, after aircrew quarantine rules were tightened again. “While passenger travel continued to be acutely affected, cargo demand was strong throughout the year,” Cathay Pacific’s chief executive Augustus Tang said in a … Continue reading Cathay Pacific records a lower annual loss of $720m