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A high-profile North Korean diplomat stationed in Cuba has defected to the South, Seoul's spy agency has confirmed to the BBC.

The political counselor is believed to be the highest-ranking North Korean diplomat to escape to South Korea since 2016.

The diplomat defected in November, the National Intelligence Service (NIS) said.

Details about defections of North Koreans often take months to come to light as the defectors must take courses on South Korean society before they are formally integrated.

His work reportedly involved stopping Havana from forging official diplomatic ties with Seoul. However, in February, the two governments did establish official relations, in what was seen as a setback for Pyongyang.

"Every North Korean thinks at least once about living in South Korea," the newspaper quoted him as saying.

38
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Six people, including a policeman, have been killed and 28 others injured in a rare shooting attack near a Shia Muslim mosque in Oman's capital, Muscat, police say.

The three attackers were also killed by security forces during the incident in the al-Wadi al-Kabir area on Monday night, according to a statement.

Police gave no details about the identities of the victims and gunmen, or the motive. But Pakistan said four Pakistanis were among those killed in a "terrorist attack" on the Imam Ali Mosque. India also said one of its citizens was killed.

The Sunni Muslim jihadist group Islamic State (IS) says three of its members were involved in the attack.

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European politicians and diplomats had already prepared for changes to their relationship with the US in the event of a second Donald Trump presidency.

Now that the Republican candidate has chosen Ohio Senator JD Vance as his running mate, those differences appear even more stark on prospects for the war in Ukraine, security and trade.

A vocal critic of US aid to Ukraine, Mr Vance told this year’s Munich Security Conference that Europe should wake up to the US having to “pivot” its focus to East Asia. 

"The American security blanket has allowed European security to atrophy," he said.

113
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The bodies of six people were found Tuesday in a luxury hotel in downtown Bangkok and their deaths may have been caused by poisoning, police and officials said. 

Bangkok police chief Lt. Gen. Thiti Sangsawang identified the dead as two Vietnamese Americans and four Vietnamese nationals, and said there were three males and three females. Investigators said the bodies were foaming at the mouth, an officer from the Lumpini police station said on condition of anonymity because he wasn’t authorized to release information.

The victims had booked several rooms at the Grand Hyatt Erawan Hotel under seven names, and some were staying on a different floor from the room where they were found dead, Thiti said. Police are still looking for the seventh person included in the booking, Thiti said at a news conference at the hotel.

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European Council president responds to Hungarian PM’s note about his “peace missions.”

European Council President Charles Michel has reprimanded Viktor Orbán over the Hungarian leader’s self-declared “peace missions” to KyivMoscowBeijing and Washington.

In a letter to Orbán seen by POLITICO, Michel says the “rotating Presidency of the Council [in Hungary’s hands since July 1] has no role in representing the Union on the
international stage and received no European Council mandate to engage on behalf of the
Union.”

Michel adds that he “made this clear even prior to your visit to Moscow and this was subsequently reiterated by High Representative [Josep] Borrell in his statement of 5 July.”

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The Attal administration will now serve as a caretaker government until a new prime minister is appointed.

Governing France is about to get much harder for Emmanuel Macron.

The French president on Tuesday accepted the resignation of Prime Minister Gabriel Attal and his government, the Elysée said in a statement, officially starting a transition period during which the outgoing administration plays the role of caretaker government until a new executive is appointed

The statement added that Macron urged "all Republican forces" to reach an agreement in order to end this transition period "as soon as possible."

This transitory period has never lasted more than nine days — but these are unprecedented times in France.

247

Clarence Thomas has struck again.

To his impressive list of recent supreme court victories – abolishing the right to an abortion, eradicating affirmative action, undermining federal regulations, and more – the ultraconservative justice can now add thwarting the criminal prosecution of Donald Trump for hoarding classified documents.

On Monday, Judge Aileen Cannon astonished the judicial world by dismissing the case. She did so based on a widely discredited legal argument that the special counsel who brought the prosecution, Jack Smith, had been improperly appointed.

The argument, initially aired by the former US president’s lawyers, had received scant support in judicial circles, given that stretching back a quarter of a century it has been repeatedly rejected by the courts. But there was one jurist who encouraged Cannon to pursue such contrarian thinking: Thomas.

Two weeks before Cannon’s stunning dismissal, Thomas essentially prodded her into making the move. In a concurring opinion to Trump v US, the US supreme court ruling awarding the former president immunity over his “official acts” in the lead-up to the January 6 insurrection, the hard-right justice sketched a legal roadmap that Cannon then duly followed.

295
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Federal investigators are analyzing device’s content, although it is unclear how agency gained access

The FBI has gained access to the phone of the suspected gunman who opened fire on Donald Trump’s rally and is analyzing the device’s contents, the agency stated in a press release on Monday afternoon. The shooting, which killed one audience member and left Trump bleeding from one ear, is being investigated as an assassination attempt.

Authorities have been working to determine the motive behind the attack at Trump’s campaign rally on Saturday, but no clear picture has yet emerged. The gunman, identified as 20-year-old Thomas Matthew Crooks by the FBI, was shot and killed in the incident.

Federal investigators announced on Sunday that they had obtained Crooks’s cellphone, but had issues with bypassing its password protections to access the data within. FBI investigators then shipped the phone to a lab in Virginia, where agents successfully gained access, per the bureau’s press release.

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Elizabeth Warren calls Vance faux populist while party says he will ‘take women back decades’ on abortion

Democrats were quick to seize on Donald Trump’s decision to name as his running mate JD Vance, the hard-right Ohio senator whose past opposition to the former president and Republican nominee included calling him “America’s Hitler” but who now supports Trump with fiery populist rhetoric.

A Democratic party statement said: “Vance is an ultra-Maga extremist who’s ready to help Trump pass his Project 2025 agenda. Stop Trump-Vance. Vote Biden-Harris.”

Vance has praised Project 2025, a far-right blueprint for a second Trump term. Trump has tried to distance himself from the effort, which is co-ordinated by the Heritage Foundation. Democrats want to tie him to it.

Joe Biden’s campaign warned that Vance should not be trusted to put country over party, as Mike Pence did as vice-president when, on 6 January 2021, he refused to do as Trump demanded and block certification of Biden’s election win.

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Scientists have for the first time discovered a cave on the Moon.

At least 100m deep, it could be an ideal place for humans to build a permanent base, they say.

It is just one in probably hundreds of caves hidden in an “underground, undiscovered world”, according to the researchers.

Countries are racing to establish a permanent human presence on the Moon, but they will need to protect astronauts from radiation, extreme temperatures, and space weather.

Helen Sharman, the first British astronaut to travel to space, told BBC News that the newly-discovered cave looked like a good place for a base, and suggested humans could potentially be living in lunar pits in 20-30 years.

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Gambian lawmakers have blocked an attempt to re-legalize female genital cutting after months of debate. The practice remains common in the West African country, despite the upheld ban.

Gambian lawmakers on Monday upheld a 2015 ban on female genital mutilation (FGM), despite pressure from religious traditionalists in the West African country.

Lawmakers rejected a controversial bill, introduced earlier in 2024, that sought to enshrine "female circumcision" as a religious and cultural practice.

Following months of heated debate, legislators ended the bill's chances by rejecting all its clauses and blocking any further vote.

412

Republicans are seeking to capitalize on Trump’s assassination attempt — using it to demand everyone stop talking about his threats to democracy

As Donald Trump recovers from an assassination attempt and Republicans head to Milwaukee for his coronation this week, the GOP elite has rallied around a new messaging strategy: emotionally blackmailing Democratic politicians, journalists, Hollywood celebs, and numerous other Trump critics into shutting up about the former president’s openly authoritarian vows and his extreme policy agenda.

Since the deadly shooting at a Pennsylvania rally Saturday, prominent conservatives have been working to blame the incident on Trump’s enemies for labeling him a “fascist” and for fanning heated “rhetoric” that, in their telling, caused the would-be assassin to shoot at the former and perhaps future American president. “When the message goes out constantly that the election of Donald Trump would be a threat to democracy and that the Republic would end, it heats up the environment,” House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) saidSunday, adding: “It’s simply not true. Everyone needs to turn the rhetoric down.”

[-] MicroWave@lemmy.world 4 points 4 days ago

I used to be the only poster in health, so it’s refreshing to see you post here as well!

[-] MicroWave@lemmy.world 114 points 7 months ago

And a liar:

He brought increased scrutiny on himself, resulting in multiple damaging revelations. Despite promising in 2020 to donate “every dime” he makes in Washington to veterans’ causes, Tuberville has yet to actually do so. He appears to have completely fabricated his father’s military record, and he has lived in Florida, not Alabama, for nearly two decades.

Military leaders called him out by name, accusing him of “aiding and abetting Communist and other autocratic regimes”—a devastating insult for any Republican but especially a far-right one.

[-] MicroWave@lemmy.world 114 points 10 months ago

The Texas Democratic Party issued a scathing statement Friday, accusing Johnson of being dishonest with Dallas voters.

“[T]he voters of Dallas deserved to know where he stood before he ran for reelection as Mayor,” the chair and vice-chair of the party said. “He wasn’t honest with his constituents, and knew he would lose to a Democrat if he flipped before the election.”

[-] MicroWave@lemmy.world 130 points 10 months ago

The air-defence system fired its rounds to shoot the drones down, thus revealing its location, Rybar reported. Ukraine waited until it had fired all its ammo, then targeted it with cruise missiles.

[-] MicroWave@lemmy.world 126 points 10 months ago* (last edited 10 months ago)

Here’s some good news about that with California making its own insulins:

The state-label insulins will cost no more than $30 per 10 milliliter vial, and no more than $55 for a box of five pre-filled pen cartridges — for both insured and uninsured patients. The medicines will be available nationwide, the governor's office said.

https://www.npr.org/2023/03/19/1164572757/california-contract-cheap-insulin-calrx

[-] MicroWave@lemmy.world 161 points 11 months ago

"Liberal media has distorted my record since the beginning of my judicial career, and I refuse to let false accusations go unchecked," Bradley told the Journal Sentinel in an email. "On my wikipedia page, I added excerpts from actual opinions and removed dishonest information about my background."

What, then, was getting under her skin?

It's clear Bradley really, really disliked the section in her Wikipedia page dealing with a Republican challenge to the stay-at-home order issued by the administration of Democratic Gov. Tony Evers in response the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to her Wikipedia page, in May 2020, Bradley "compared the state's stay-at-home orders to the internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II," a case known as Korematsu v. the United States.

[-] MicroWave@lemmy.world 146 points 11 months ago

According to ABC 13 Eyewitness News in Houston, things started when school trustee Melissa Dungan declared that she had spoken to parents who were upset about "displays of personal ideologies in classrooms." When pressed for an example, according to the news report, "Dungan referred to a first grade student whose parent claimed they were so upset by a poster showing hands of people of different races, that they transferred classrooms." … Some other members of the school board did, in fact, argue that there was nothing objectionable about such a poster. But Dungan was backed up by another trustee, Misty Odenweller, who insisted that the depiction of uh, race-mixing was in some way a "violation of the law." The two women are part of "Mama Bears Rising," a secretive far-right group fueling the book-banning mania in Conroe and the surrounding area. At least 59 books have been banned due to their efforts.

WTF

[-] MicroWave@lemmy.world 219 points 11 months ago

“They attempt to legitimize these unnecessary debates with a proposal that most recently came in of a politically motivated roundtable,” Harris said in her afternoon speech at the 20th Women’s Missionary Society of the African Methodist Episcopal Church Quadrennial Convention in Orlando. “Well, I’m here in Florida, and I will tell you there is no roundtable, no lecture, no invitation we will accept to debate an undeniable fact. There were no redeeming qualities of slavery.”

Makes sense to me.

[-] MicroWave@lemmy.world 153 points 1 year ago

Last week Country Music Television, which initially aired the video, pulled it from rotation. But after Aldean defended the music video by stating that "there isn’t a single video clip that isn’t real news footage," Stark said it was easy to prove him wrong

In a TikTok video that's gotten at least 1.5 million views, Stark found that two of the clips in the video came from stock footage. One showed a woman flipping off police at at labor day event in Germany and another was a commercial stock clip of a molotov cocktail.

Lying about it and then getting caught.

Stark shared screenshots with NBC News of hateful messages she's received since posting her videos about Aldean's song, which included racist slurs, fatphobic remarks and death threats.

Just bizarre.

[-] MicroWave@lemmy.world 231 points 1 year ago

Heartbreaking

One of the plaintiffs in the suit, Samantha Casiano, vomited on the stand while discussing her baby's fatal birth defect, which she said also put her life at risk.

Casiano said she learned at 20 weeks' gestation that her baby had anencephaly, a serious condition that meant the infant was missing parts of her brain and skull. Casiano said her obstetrician told her the baby would not survive after birth and gave her information about funeral homes.

Casiano read aloud a doctor’s note that diagnosed her pregnancy as high risk, then began to sob and ultimately threw up, prompting the judge to call a recess.

[-] MicroWave@lemmy.world 149 points 1 year ago

This is why they're mad

President Joe Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act, which passed in 2022 by a narrow party-line vote, empowered Medicare to negotiate drug prices for the first time in the program’s six-decade history.

The provision aims to make drugs more affordable for older Americans but will likely reduce pharmaceutical industry profits.

[-] MicroWave@lemmy.world 123 points 1 year ago

Our billionaires are not okay. The most obvious example, of course, is Musk, who is having a midlife crisis so unhinged that it would be upsetting if he weren't such a terrible person. He purchased Twitter for $44 billion last year, out of nothing more than a fit of pique over the company's efforts to keep the social media app from being too overrun by Nazis. As the company swirls down the toilet under his watch, his public behavior gets ever more erratic. The threat from Threads, a Meta-owned competitor that launched earlier this month, caused Musk, age 52, to react with a level of immaturity that would be cause for alarm in a junior high school kid. He challenged Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg to a "cage match." And then again to a "literal dick measuring contest." He keeps throwing schoolboy insults at Zuckerberg.

Kinda hilarious and sad at the same time.

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MicroWave

joined 1 year ago