Foreign News Round Up: 13/04/13

Your 90 round up of world news

North Korea continued to shred the nerves of the world, claiming that nuclear war is now ’inevitable’. Although followers of the situation in North East Asia will be more than familiar with the regime’s penchant for bombastic announcements, the current crisis has go on longer than and been far more fraught with outright threats. In response, the US has raised its defence preparedness to DEFCON 3, the same level as during the Cuban Missile Crisis almost 60 years ago. China is said to be massing troops on the border, though the motives for this are unclear; China does not want the regime to collapse, so may intervene to thwart a US/South Korean unification of the peninsular. Alternatively, China and the US may have agreed to jointly intervene, and so prevent North Korea’s arsenal of weapons disappearing in the chaos of a sudden collapse. A third option is that China itself may invade, and install its own puppet government in the North.

Former Pakistani leader Pervez Musharraf acknowledged in an interview with CNN that his government secretly made a deal with the US for the superpower to use its drones over the lawless tribal areas bordering Afghanistan. Drone strikes have been a source of much tension between bith the current Pakistan government and the US, as well as within Pakistan itself. Many Pakistani’s, those publically decrying the insult to its sovereignty, quietly appreciate that extreme Jihadists have been put on the back foot by the strikes, especially in the area around the Swat valley.

Soil samples taken from Syria confirm the use of chemical weapons in the war torn country. The weapon was thought to be sarin nerve gas, or a derivative thereof. Both side in the conflict have claimed to have been the victim of such weapons, but with very few foreign journalists in the country, it has been impossible to verify. Foreign backed rebel groups in Syria have spent two years fighting the government of President Assad, leaving estimated 200,000 dead.

Nicolas Maduro, heir apparent to the late Hugo Chavez, has found his lead in the Venezuelan presidential race shortening amid chronic power outages, double-digit inflation, food and medicine shortages, and crime rate that puts parts of Hounslow to shame.  The former foreign minister is still favourite to win, but will see his mandate weakened if he fails to pull off a resounding victory.

An passenger plane carrying 130 passengers today missed the runway on the Indonesian island of Bali, sliding into the sea. There were no reports of serious injuries.

And finally…

The semi official news agency in Iran, Fars, has beat a hasty retreat after claiming that Iranian scientists had created a time machine. The device’s alleged inventor, 27-year-old Ali Razeghi, said it could forecast wars and epidemics with 98 percent accuracy, and that the United States had invested several billion dollars in research on a similar machine. The machine was said to have been small enough to fit into a suitcase, and simply by touch, could predict a person’s future life. The post has since been removed from the Fars website.


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