SEOUL, South Korea – North Korea today said it test launched ballistic missiles from a train in what was seen as an apparent retaliation against fresh sanctions imposed by the Biden administration.
The report by the North state media came a day after South Korea's military said it detected the North firing two missiles into the sea in its third weapons launch this month. The launch came hours after Pyongyang's Foreign Ministry issued a statement berating the United States for imposing new sanctions over the North's previous tests and warned of stronger and more explicit action if Washington maintains its “confrontational stance.”
North Korea in recent months has been ramping up tests of new missiles designed to overwhelm missile defenses in the region amid pandemic-related border closures and a freeze in nuclear diplomacy with the United States.
Johnson apologizes to queen for party
Boris Johnson's office apologized to the royal family on Friday for staff parties held at his office and residence on the eve of Prince Philip's funeral last year – the latest in a catalog of allegedly lockdown-breaching gatherings that are threatening to topple the British prime minister.
Farewell parties for Johnson's departing spin doctor and another staffer, complete with late-night drinking and dancing, took place at No. 10 Downing St. on April 16, 2021, the night before Queen Elizabeth II sat alone at her husband's funeral because of social distancing rules in place to slow the spread of the coronavirus.
Johnson spokesman Jamie Davies acknowledged that news of the gatherings had caused “significant public anger.” Johnson's office said the prime minister wasn't present and had been unaware any gatherings were planned.
Parts of Indonesia feel earthquake
A powerful earthquake shook parts of Indonesia's main island of Java on Friday, damaging buildings and houses and sending people into the streets, but no casualties were reported. Officials said there was no danger of a tsunami.
The U.S. Geological Survey said the magnitude 6.6 quake was located in the Indian Ocean about 55 miles southwest of Labuan, a coastal town in Banten province. It was centered at a depth of 23 miles, it said.
Indonesia is prone to seismic upheaval due to its location on major geological faults known as the Pacific “Ring of Fire.” In January last year, a magnitude 6.2 earthquake killed at least 105 people and injured nearly 6,500 in West Sulawesi province.
Plastic waste kills Sri Lankan elephants
Conservationists and veterinarians are warning that plastic waste in an open landfill in eastern Sri Lanka is killing elephants in the region, after two more were found dead over the weekend.
Around 20 elephants have died over the last eight years after consuming plastic trash in the dump in Pallakkadu village in Ampara district, about 130 miles east of the capital, Colombo. Examinations of the dead animals showed they had swallowed large amounts of nondegradable plastic that is found in the garbage dump, wildlife veterinarian Nihal Pushpakumara said. “Polythene, food wrappers, plastic, other non-digestibles and water were the only things we could see in the post mortems,” he said.
Elephants are revered in Sri Lanka but are also endangered. Their numbers have dwindled from about 14,000 in the 19th century to 6,000 in 2011, according to the country's first elephant census.