US, South Korea say North Korea’s latest missile test fails

North Korean missile launch ‘fails’
Reuters
00:0000:49

SEOUL, South Korea — North Korea’s latest missile launch ended in failure on Wednesday as the United States sent a supersonic bomber streaking over ally South Korea in a show of force against the North, officials said.

The reported launch failure comes as the North angrily reacts to ongoing annual U.S.-South Korean military drills that it views as an invasion rehearsal. Earlier this month, North Korea fired four ballistic missiles that landed in waters off Japan, triggering strong protests from Seoul and Tokyo.

The American military detected what it assessed as a failed North Korean missile launch on Wednesday morning, the U.S. Pacific Command said in a statement. It said the missile “appears to have exploded within seconds of launch.”

South Korea’s Defense Ministry said it also believes the launch from the eastern coastal town of Wonsan ended in failure. It said it was analyzing what type of missile was launched.

The failure might mean that the missile is a newly developed one the North has not deployed, according to South Korean media. Last year, the country suffered a series of embarrassing failed launches of its new medium-range Musudan missile before it successfully test-fired one.

Also Wednesday, a U.S. Air Force B-1B bomber and South Korean fighter jets conducted joint training exercises that displayed “strong deterrence against North Korean nuclear and missile threats,” South Korea’s Defense Ministry said. The U.S. military said the training was held after the bomber staged a similar exercise with Japanese fighter jets.

The United States often sends powerful warplanes in times of heightened tensions on the Korean Peninsula, which remains in a technical state of war because the 1950-53 Korean War ended with an armistice, not a peace treaty. About 28,500 U.S. soldiers are deployed in South Korea.

North Korea is pushing hard to upgrade its weapons systems to cope with what it calls U.S. hostility. Many weapons experts say the North could have a functioning nuclear-tipped missile capable of reaching the continental U.S. within a few years. North Korea carried out two nuclear tests last year.

American defense officials had said Tuesday that the U.S. military was expecting another North Korean missile launch in the next several days. The officials said the U.S. had increased its surveillance over the North and had detected a North Korean missile launcher being moved, as well as the construction of VIP seating in Wonsan.

On Sunday, the North claimed a major breakthrough in its rocket development program, saying it had conducted a ground test of a new type of high-thrust rocket engine. Washington, Seoul and others view the North’s space program as a cover for its banned long-range missile development program.

Greatest Female Icons of the 70s/80s

What do you think, yes or no ?

The 70s and 80s saw an influx of young, empowering female talent that has largely withstood the test of time as well as Hollywood’s supposed hex on ageing starlets. Here’s a look at some of the greatest female icons of the 70s and 80s.

http://sni.ps/BrQ

Young Man Adopts 9 Pets He Fostered

this is cool, what a great guy.

Lee Asher always volunteered at animal shelters in his youth, so when he was finally grown up, he started adopting his “foster fails.”

see here

http://sni.ps/Brt

Adorable Little Girl Steals The Pope’s Hat

take a look at this, hahahah    This sweet little girl gets a kiss from the pope, but then she decides to grab something else from him, too.

http://sni.ps/BrT

UK Parliament terror attack: Two people killed, cop stabbed — more than a…

Two people have died after a terror incident that saw a police officer stabbed and as many as a dozen people run over outside London’s Parliament building on Wednesday.

London police confirmed there are a “number of casualties, including police offices.”

Scotland Yard Commander BJ Harrington told reporters there are multiple injuries, including police officers, but said authorities “cannot confirm numbers or the nature of these injuries.”

“We received a number of different reports which included aperson in the river, a car in collision with pedestrians and aman armed with a knife,” he added.

He said a full counter-terrorism investigation is underway.

Colleen Anderson of St Thomas’ Hospital said a woman died after a vehicle apparently hit pedestrians on Westminster Bridge, near Parliament, according to the Press Association. Details on the second death are unavailable.

Anderson said: “There were people across the bridge. There were some with minor injuries, some catastrophic. Some had injuries they could walk away from or who have life-changing injuries.”

An alleged assailant was also shot by police after stabbing the officer. It is unclear if there were others involved in the attack.

London police were called to the Parliament building at around 2:40 p.m. local time (10:40 a.m. EST) after reports of a vehicle crashing into a crowd at Westminster Bridge near Britain’s parliament.

Witnesses say the alleged assailant then stabbed a police officer before he was shot down. The assailant’s status is unclear.

The assailant — who looked to be in his 30s or 40s — was carrying a seven to eight-inch knife, witnesses told Sky News.

It is unclear if the person shot by police and the driver are the same person.

The former Polish foreign minister Radoslaw Sikorski posted a video on Twitter that seems to show people lying injured in the road on Westminster Bridge.

Sikorski, a senior fellow at the Harvard Centre for European Studies, says he saw at least five people lying on the ground after being “mown down” by a car.

Sikorski told the BBC he “heard what I thought what I thought was just a collision and then I looked through the window of the taxi and someone down, obviously in great distress.

“Then I saw a second person down, and I started filming, then I saw three more people down, one of them bleeding profusely.”

A woman on a bus crossing the bridge at the time of the incident told Sky News, “I saw a car go out of control and go into pedestrians on the bridge … We saw people lying on the floor, injured obviously. I saw 10 people maybe.”

Witness Rick Longley told the Press Association that he saw a man stab a policeman outside Britain’s Parliament.

“We were just walking up to the station and there was a loud bang and a guy, someone, crashed a car and took some pedestrians out,” he said.

“They were just laying there and then the whole crowd just surged around the corner by the gates just opposite Big Ben.

“A guy came past my right shoulder with a big knife and just started plunging it into the policeman.

“I have never seen anything like that. I just can’t believe what I just saw.”

 

Prime Minister Theresa May was rushed to safety after the attack.

White House press secretary Sean Spicer said on Twitter that President Trump had been briefed on the ongoing situation.

Trump himself said during a brief appearance Wednesday before reporters at the White House that he was just getting the news. He called it “big news.”

The U.S. State Department says it is closely monitoring the incident and urged Americans in London to avoid the area.

Spokesman Mark Toner said Wednesday: “We stand ready to assist in any way the U.K. authorities would find helpful.”

He added that the U.S. Embassy in London is closely following the news and stands ready to help any affected Americans.

He said: “Our hearts go out to those affected.”

BBC News reports police believe there is a suspect vehicle outside parliament, people being evacuated from the area.

Witnesses on scene said about a dozen people were injured on the Westminster Bridge. Another witness told Sky News that there was an “almighty crash” as a vehicle hit the railings outside Parliament.

A witness told Sky News: “Someone rushed through, attacked a policeman… he appeared to be carrying a knife. We heard lots of gunfire.”

Witness Jayne Wilkinson told the Telegraph: “We were taking photos of Big Ben and we saw all the people running towards us, and then there was an Asian guy in about his 40s carrying a knife about seven or eight inches long.”

Commons speaker John Bercow suspended the session as police responded to an incident.

George Eaton, a journalist with the New Statesman, said that from the window of Parliament’s Press Gallery, he saw police shoot a man who charged at officers.

“A large crowd was seen fleeing the man before he entered the parliamentary estate,” he wrote on the publication’s website. “After several officers evaded him he was swiftly shot by armed police.”

 

The incident Wednesday comes on the one-year anniversary of the terror attacks in Brussels in which 32 people were killed and more than 300 injured. ISIS claimed responsibility for the coordinated suicide bombings — two at the Brussels Airport in Zaventem and one at Maalbeek metro station in central Brussels. The bombings were the deadliest terror attack in Belgium’s history.

ISIS has long promoted the use of vehicles and knives in attacks by so-called “lone wolf” terrorists, particularly in Western countries. The terrorist group has not claimed responsibility for Wednesday’s attack.

U.S. Senator Asks Supreme Court Nominee That ‘100 Duck-Sized Horses or…

On Day Two of his marathon Supreme Court nomination hearings, Neil Gorsuch was served up a question from the teenage son of Arizona senator Jeff Flake, which you may or may not have heard before—depending upon how much time you spend on Reddit.

“Ask him if he would rather fight 100 duck-sized horses or 1 horse-sized duck,” the Republican from Arizona said, voicing the direction/commands of his son, Dallin. Gorsuch, for his part, was unaware of just how one would respond to such a bizarre query (for the record, Obama said he’d fight the horse-sized duck):

Flake asks Gorsuch question from his teenage son: Would he rather “fight 100 duck-sized horses or one horse-sized duck?” Gorsuch is stumped.

Flake posed the internet-famous hypothetical after asking his family what question they would ask. What followed was a moment of levity (or a total waste of a question, your call).

Anyway, here’s the video of Gorsuch’s bewildered response. Feel free to point out that we’re looking for someone who can make decisions here:

Democracy in action, people. If there’s a flaw, we haven’t seen it.

Colin Kaepernick Responded To Donald Trump’s Insults In The Best Way Possible…

Colin Kaepernick Responded To Donald Trump’s Insults In The Best Way Possible

GETTY IMAGE

President Donald Trump is championing a budget that includes a significant cut for Meals On Wheels funding. Now, one member of the sports world is trying to offset that with a personal monetary donation, and the timing does not appear to be any sort of coincidence.

On Monday, Trump made reference to former San Francisco 49ers and current free agent quarterback Colin Kaepernick being out of work. In short, the President took some level of credit for keeping him out of the league.

This is, of course, a fairly preposterous notion. Kaepernick will almost certainly find work somewhere in the NFL for 2017 and beyond, even if a number of teams were put off by his decision to kneel for the national anthem. As Spike Lee noted, it’s hard to imagine that Kaepernick is worse than every other quarterback on an NFL roster right now. Beyond that, Trump’s direct influence on personnel decisions in the country’s most popular sports league would seem tenuous and this smells a great deal like bluster.

With that in mind, though, Kaepernick responded (or at least appeared to respond) with a $50,000 donation to Meals On Wheels as part of an ongoing philanthropic and socially conscious period for the quarterback.

Meals on Wheels has been in headlines lately because Office of Budget and Management Director Mick Mulvaney held a bizarre press conference last week in which he argued that cutting funding that goes towards the program is compassionate.

Any money generated for a program like Meals On Wheels is a (very) good thing and Kaepernick should be credited for continuing to donate to what he believes are worthy causes. Whether or not Trump’s direct comments led him to this are up for debate, but hopefully others will follow in Kaepernick’s footsteps to support the program.

Donald Trump Just Signed On to Send People to Mars

Damn. I was really stoked about hanging out on Mars with Leonardo DiCaprio in the near future, but now I’m worried. Is Trump gonna be there too? The former Apprentice host and star of this week’s critically acclaimed House Intelligence Committee hearing signed a bill into law Tuesday authorizing $19.5 billion in spending for NASA, the Associated Press reported. The legislation also makes human exploration of Mars an agency goal.

“We would like to thank President Trump for his support of the agency in signing the National Aeronautics and Space Administration Transition Authorization Act of 2017,” Robert Lightfoot, acting NASA Administrator, said in a statement Tuesday. “We also want to express our gratitude to a bipartisan Congress for its thoughtful consideration of the agency’s path forward. We are grateful for the longstanding support and trust of the American people, which enables our nation’s space, aeronautics, science, and technology development programs to thrive.”

Trump will likely try to take credit for all the ensuing Mars talk in a series of tweets soon, so let’s take a peek into the past before that happens. For years, NASA has been eyeing the 2030s as a target decade for having humans hanging out on Mars. Former POTUS Barack Obama, in an op-ed published by CNN last October, revived that call by explaining the need for “continued cooperation” between government agencies and private companies. “We have set a clear goal vital to the next chapter of America’s story in space: sending humans to Mars by the 2030s and returning them safely to Earth, with the ultimate ambition to one day remain there for an extended time,” Obama said at the time.

At any rate, maybe Trump took a moment while signing this to ask someone around him (NOT Ted Cruz) about climate change. Probably not. But science isn’t just something small-handed men can pluck from to brag about Mars. It’s also something that has shown climate change to be very real indeed, and thus not a hoax perpetrated against the United States by China.

In the meantime, someone on Twitter with nothing better to do is already imagining a post-Trump Mars:

Trump’s Laptop Airplane Ban Looks Historically Half-Baked But Hides Deeper…

SHUTTERSTOCK

Today, the Trump administration announced that inbound flights from certain parts of the world, notably the Middle East, can no longer allow passengers to carry large electronics such as laptops and electronic gaming systems in the cabin. The ban, swiftly implemented in the UK as well, comes due to concerns of bombs being stored in these devices. But the ban itself makes no sense on a security level. It makes a lot of sense, however, on a political one.

The rule is odd in how specific it is. Essentially, all “large electronics” — defined as anything larger than a smartphone, will need to be placed in checked baggage on direct flights to the US from ten airports: Queen Alia International Airport, Cairo International Airport, Ataturk International Airport, King Abdul-Aziz International Airport, King Khalid International Airport, Kuwait International Airport, Mohammed V Airport, Hamad International Airport, Dubai International Airport, and Abu Dhabi International Airport.

If we were really talking about security, any potential explosives would do just as much damage in the cargo hold as they would in the cabin. But here’s where it gets counter-intuitive: pilots aren’t fans of lithium batteries — which most of our portable electronics run on — and for good reason. There have been many, many incidents of lithium batteries putting flights at risk since 1994, and battery risk was what grounded the Galaxy Note 7. Pilots prefer lithium batteries where they’re closer to fire prevention tools, if they must be on the plane at all. Not burning away in the hold. So this idea could actually be making flights far less safe.

Not helping matters is the fact that the reasons behind this rule are vague at best. The DHS doesn’t even cite specific intelligence when announcing the rule:

We have reason to be concerned about attempts by terrorist groups to circumvent aviation security and terrorist groups continue to target aviation interests. Implementing additional security measures enhances our ability to mitigate further attempts against the overseas aviation industry.

In other words, there may or may not be a threat, and we may or may not be told what it is at an unspecified time. Why these particular airports (all, it should be noted, in the Middle East and most in Muslim-majority countries) and airlines? Why electronics, specifically? We don’t know. In fact, we may never know.

Furthermore, if the goal is to stymie terrorists, any terrorist who understands air routes would find it easy to get around. The rule only requires laptops in the hold for direct flights from a handful of airports. It would be simple to fly to another hub in Europe, such as Frankfurt, which isn’t affected by the rule, and fly from there.

SHUTTERSTOCK

So why pass the rule in the first place? Washington Post analysts have an alternative explanation: It’s an attempt to get back at state-funded airlines, who are facing an enormous loss of business.

Business travelers are disproportionately likely to want to work on the plane — the reason they are prepared to pay business-class or first-class fares is because it allows them to work in comfort. These travelers are unlikely to appreciate having to do all their work on smartphones, or not being able to work at all. The likely result is that many of them will stop flying on Gulf airlines, and start traveling on U.S. airlines instead.

Protectionism has been a sore spot for years among politicians and airlines across the world, and of the nine airlines most heavily affected, eight have at least some financial ties, and thus preferential treatment, to state governments. While the US has largely deregulated airline travel, thanks to Jimmy Carter, most airlines are still protected by the countries they fly from in some ways.

Of course, all of this relies on what amounts to a free-flowing system of travel, where you can more or less hop on a plane and go anywhere in the world if your credit card (or expense account) is good for it. The Trump administration seems to have found a loophole to make that more complicated, or at least annoying. The question for travelers now becomes how much work they can do on their smartphones, and how long the rule will be in place.

(via Washington Post)

Maryland lawmakers pass bill to curb immigration enforcement

Well lets see how this goes over with the federal govt.

Maryland’s House of Delegates on Monday approved legislation to bar police statewide from checking the immigration status of individuals they arrest or keeping them locked up longer than otherwise warranted at the request of federal agents seeking to deport them.

The state Senate in Annapolis, which like the lower house of the General Assembly is controlled by Democrats, has yet to consider the bill, and Republican Governor Larry Hogan issued a statement vowing to veto the measure if it reached his desk.

“This legislation would interfere with our state and local law enforcement’s ability to cooperate with federal law enforcement authorities,” Hogan said.

Supporters say the measure, which cleared the House of Delegates on a largely party-line vote of 83-55, is designed in large part to maintain the trust of immigrant communities in local law enforcement and government agencies.

It would prohibit state and local police officers from stopping, arresting, searching or detaining an individual for purposes of suspected immigration violations.

It would also bar police from honoring administrative “detainer” requests from federal immigration authorities seeking to keep jailed individuals in custody after they should otherwise be released on bond.

Other provisions would require the state attorney general to issue guidelines to public schools, courthouses and hospitals on limiting immigration enforcement in those places. And it would restrict state funds from being used to create a registry of people on the basis of immigration status, nationality, religion or ethnic origin.

The measure follows in the footsteps of dozens of municipalities and local jurisdictions across the country that have declared themselves “sanctuary cities,” including San Francisco, Chicago, Boston, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Seattle and Washington.

So far no such statewide designations have been enacted.

Republican President Donald Trump in January signed an executive order seeking to withhold federal funds from local governments that limit cooperation with federal immigration authorities.

At the time, he said local jurisdictions put U.S. citizens at risk by releasing criminals who should be deported and who, in some cases, commit additional offenses after being released from jail.

(Reporting by Steve Gorman in Los Angeles; Editing by Joseph Radford)