The Hill Talk’s Glance at the Globe

North Korea claims whole of U.S. within range of ICBMs:  North Korea conducted a successful inter-continental ballistic missile (ICBM) launch on Friday, sources in the Pentagon have confirmed.  The missile was believed to be a “Hwasong-14.”  Pyongyang says the test is a “stern warning” and its missile range capabilities now include the U.S.

Launched from Mupyong-ni, a test facility near the Chinese border, the missile was said to have traveled over 600 miles at an altitude of 2,300 miles before plunging into the Sea of Japan.

Responding to the missile test, President Trump blasted China, tweeting that Beijing has done “NOTHING” to curb Pyongyang’s nuclear aspirations.  Similarly, the U.S. military flew two B-1 supersonic bombers over the Korean peninsula on Sunday.

Polish president vetoes proposed judicial reform:  Following protests in Warsaw and in cities across Poland denouncing legislation designed to overhaul the Polish Supreme Court, Polish President Andrzej Duda vetoed two of three proposed bills.

Under the terms of the two controversial motions Duda rejected, one would force sitting members of Poland’s Supreme Court to step down and grant sole authority to the minister of justice to determine which judge stays.  The second measure rejected by Duda would have granted authority to nominate members to the National Judiciary Council, which nominates judges to the bench, to the government.

A third bill, which Duda approved, allows the Polish justice minister the right to appoint and dismiss justices in Poland’s lower courts.

Russians denounce state-sponsored internet controls:  Over 2,000 protesters took to Moscow’s streets earlier this week to protest new legislative controls over virtual private networks (VPN) and what is believed to be government surveillance of online activity.

The State Duma passed a measure earlier this week to ban anonymizers and VPN services which do not register with the government.  Anonymizers and VPN services are used to circumvent internet controls imposed by Russia.

Russia has stated the purpose of clamping down on social media and blocking access to internet sites is to combat online extremism.

Australia arrests four alleged militants in terroristic bomb plot:  Australian Federal Police (AFP) announced it had thwarted an attempted “Islamic-inspired” bombing at Sydney Airport during anti-terror raids.

Authorities say the anti-terror sweeps in Sydney neighborhoods produced material to make improvised explosive devices and netted four arrests.

The four detained deny links to extremist groups.

Xi calls for transformation of Chinese military:  Celebrating the 90th anniversary of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) in Zhurihe, Mongolia, Chinese President Xi Jinping called for an overhaul of the PLA into an “elite” modern fighting force.

Xi made the remarks as he inspected troops at China’s expansive training facility in Mongolia.  Xi initially called for a modernization plan in 2015.  Since then, Xi has overseen a rapid streamline of the Chinese military with weapon upgrades, the addition of stealth aircraft, ballistic missiles and the expansion of a blue-sea fleet.

“Today, we are closer to the goal of the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation than any other time in history, and we need to build a strong people’s military more than any other time in history,” Xi said in his Sunday speech.


[BBC News] [Reuters] [Krakow Post] [Moscow Times] [EuroNews]