The Hill Talk’s Glance at the Globe

North Korea missile test sputters:  Amid much pomp and circumstance in Pyongyang, in which North Korea showcased 60 missiles in its arsenal, the celebration of the the birth of North Korea’s founder, Kim Il-sung, 105 years ago was marred by reports its most-recent ballistic missile test failed.

According to Yonhap News Agency and both South Korean and U.S. military officials, the missile tested blew up immediately after launch.

Fired from Sinpo, American and South Korean authorities were reportedly unaware of what type missile was tested, although former UK Foreign Secretary Malcolm Rifkind told BBC News it is possible the U.S. thwarted North Korea’s launch through a cyber attack.

Assad denies role in chemical attack:  Maintaining he surrendered his country’s chemical store in 2013, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad flatly denied utilizing chemical weapons against Khan Sheikhoun on April 4 in an interview with Agence France Presse (AFP).

President Assad declared claims Damascus masterminded the alleged chemical attack to be “100 percent fabrication.”

Assad added he would welcome an “impartial” delegation into his country to probe the suspected attack.

UN warns of starvation in Africa:  According to a report Tuesday complied by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, conditions in Africa have worsened and the fear of famine will overcome the continent.

Nations at particular risk:  Nigeria, Yemen, South Sudan and Somalia.  In South Sudan, as many as 290,000 are at risk of starvation; in Somalia, the number runs as high as 12 million.  The UN has appealed for $4 billion in assistance from members; however, less than $1 billion is available to fund humanitarian missions.

The UN report concludes regional conflict, drought and budget shortages in humanitarian assistance are to blame.

(courtesy Al Jazeera)

Facebook cracks down on fraudulent accounts ahead of French election:  In advance of two rounds of French elections where voters will choose the next French president, Facebook announced on its website it had removed 30,000 user accounts to combat fake or misleading news.

Explaining its efforts to stop the spread of misleading information, the blog post read:  “We build and update technical systems every day to make it easier to respond to reports of abuse, detect and remove spam, identify and eliminate fake accounts, and prevent accounts from being compromised.

An ongoing effort to stop misleading information, Facebook has already employed a network of fact checkers in France to spot false news.

British Navy confronts Russian warships in English Channel:  Amid rising tensions with the Kremlin over the crisis in Syria, the British Royal Navy has intercepted two Russian warships near British territorial waters.

The two Russian warships, the Boiky and the Soobrazitelny, were detected in the North Sea steaming south toward the English Channel.  Their purpose and destination is not known.

UK military officials said the British navy monitored Russian ships as they passed through the Channel, past Dover, and exited English waters.

north sea



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