Story by Yashowanto Ghosh, Staff Writer
Photo courtesy of abcnews.go.com
NORTH KOREA – Supreme leader Kim Jong-un, addressing a ceremony honoring the scientists who had worked on North Korea’s missile launched on February 7, said it was his country’s “strategic goal” to “conquer” space, reports The Daily Mail.
Jong-un promised more “satellite launches.” United States’ President Barack Obama responded by signing into law a bill to strengthen U.S. economic sanctions against Pyongyang. South Korea is suspending operations in its joint industrial zone with North Korea. Japan, too, has approved several punitive measures, including banning all North Korean ships, as well as third-country ships that called at ports in North Korea, and freezing all remittances to North Korea, reports The Mainichi. The United Nations Security Council is debating harsher sanctions as well.
UNITED KINGDOM – Prime Minister David Cameron reached a compromise about his status within the European Union— exempting Britain from the EU goal of “ever closer union”—after lengthy negotiations in Brussels on Friday, February 19, reports Reuters.
The deal involves the EU being less intrusive in Britain, Britain staying outside the euro area, and British social welfare being better protected from claims of EU migrants.
Britain is scheduled to vote this summer on whether to stay in the EU or leave. Cameron said that, with the goals he had achieved in the deal, he would be able to campaign with all his “heart and soul” to stay; Britain’s eurosceptics dismissed the compromise as “Cameron’s hollow deal.”
UGANDA – Presidential candidate Kizza Besigye of the Forum for Democratic Change party was arrested (for the third time in the week) on Friday, February 19, even as votes from the previous day’s elections were being counted.
His party tweeted that police had arrested Besigye at the party headquarters; the police issued a statement to the effect that Besigye had been detained in order to prevent him from announcing election results, reports the Ugandan newspaper The Independent. Incumbent Yoweri Museveni, who has been in office for just over 30 years, is ahead, according to Deutsche Welle.
TURKEY – The terrorist group Kurdish Freedom Falcons, a faction of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, claimed responsibility on Friday, February 19, for the suicide car bombing which had killed 28 in the capital Ankara two days before.
The terrorist group said the bombing was retaliation for the Turkish military’s actions against Kurdish rebels; it threatened further violent attacks. Turkish authorities have detained 17 suspects; Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said three of the suspects are believed to have played “an active part” in Wednesday’s attack.
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