The Hill Talk’s Glance at the Globe

North Korea announces test of hydrogen bomb; Trump calls-out China:  State media in Pyongyang said Sunday the rogue nation has successfully detonated a “two-stage thermonuclear weapon” that can be mounted on an intercontinental ballistic missile.

Before the announcement was made, the U.S. Geological Survey detected a 6.3-magnitude “explosion” approximately 15 miles east of Sungjibaegam, a small village in northeastern North Korea.

After the event, South Korea said National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster spoke for 20 minutes with National Security Office director, Chung Eui-yong, who also said President Moon Jae-in will call for more UN sanctions and deployment of America’s “strongest strategic assets”.

Responding on Twitter Sunday morning, President Trump called North Korea “very hostile and dangerous to the United States . . . which has become a great threat and embarrassment to China”.

New species discovered every two days in Amazon:  In unique and uplifting news, a World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and a Mamirauá Institute for Sustainable Development report has disclosed scientists, naturalists and ecologists have discovered a new plant or animal species every two days in the Amazon Basin.

According to the study, over a 24-month period 216 plants, 93 fish, 32 amphibians, 19 reptiles and 1 bird not previously known to mankind have been recorded in the wild.

Included in the discoveries is 20 new mammals, of which two are fossils.

ISIS driven from Tal Afar in Iraq:  After a brief but fierce fight, the Iraqi city of Tal Afar has been declared free of the Islamic State (ISIS).

Regarded as the last Islamic State-held enclave held by the terror group in northern Iraq, Iraqi troops supported by Shia-led Popular Mobilization Units and U.S. airstrikes re-claimed the city on Aug. 27 after an eight-day offensive.

Map showing control of Iraq and Syria (14 August 2017)

Located 90 miles from Mosul, which was re-captured from the terror group in July, Tal Afar was considered to be held by 1,400–1,600 ISIS fighters.  Officials say the liberation of the city means the northern province of Nineveh would be entirely freed of ISIS terrorists.

Only Raqqa remains entirely in the Islamic State’s hands.

Three additional Erdogan security agents indicted in June brawl:  A Washington, D.C., grand jury indicted three more Turkish security agents on Wednesday for their role in attacking protesters during a May demonstration against Turkish President Reycep Erdogan’s visit to the U.S.

The indictments handed down bring the total number of charged in the melee to 19, 15 of whom are Turkish security officials. The May 16 protest left 11 injured.

Turkey blasted the protesters and defended the actions of its security detail saying the demonstrators were aligned with the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).  Turkey has designated PKK a terror group and claims the group is responsible for domestic terrorist acts.

Two were arrested at the scene in May.  The others remain at-large and face arrest upon return to the U.S.

North Korea sentences two South Korean journalists to death:  In an unsurprising move on Wednesday, a court in Pyongyang handed down the death sentence in absentia on two South Korean journalists and their publishers.

According to the Pyongyang court, two journalists and two publishers with Chosun Ilbo and Dong-A Ilbo, both conservative newspapers, wrote reviews of the newest edition of North Korea Confidential, which outlines a growing market in the North for the South Korean cultural experience.

According to the reviews, North Korean citizens in possession of South Korean DVDs or USBs can simply bribe corrupt North Korean officials.

In handing down the sentence, the court claimed if caught, the four would have their “dirty windpipes” cut out.

Kenyan High Court voids presidential election:  Ruling the August 8 presidential election was fraught with “irregularities and illegalities,” Kenya’s Supreme Court overturned the vote which returned President Uhuru Kenyatta to office.

The court’s ruling is the first reversal of an election outcome in the history of any African nation.

Although the Kenya’s top judicial panel cleared Kenyatta of any election meddling, the incumbent president lashed out at the ruling, saying the court was full of “crooks” in the pay of “white men” and “other trash.”

The six-judge court ruled a new presidential election must be held within 60 days.


[ABC News] [] [Financial Times] [AP] [Daily Mail] [The Telegraph]