North Korea Continues to Develop Ballistic Missiles

Despite Chapter VII of the UN Charter and UNSC Resolutions, it seems that North Korea will continue developing its missiles — and eventually weaponize them with nuclear warheads.

“North Koreas ballistic and nuclear threat is very much a near-term threat. … Steady progression in their program is not harmless.” — Victor Cha, Centre for Strategic and International Studies.

On March 26, 2014, North Korea reportedly test-fired medium-range ballistic Rodong missiles — capable of reaching Japan and U.S. military bases in the Asia-Pacific region.

Since February, South Korean officials claim that North Korea has confirmed at least 90 test-firings, among which ten were ballistic missiles.


BRENDAN CARLIN speaks to the rising star MP tipped by insiders to be part of a leadership dream ticket

Rising star Labour MP Rachel Reeves last night laughed off claims that she is one half of a new ‘dream leadership ticket’ to make the party more attractive to voters.

Labour welfare spokeswoman Ms Reeves, a close ally of Ed Miliband, has vowed to toughen up the party’s stance on benefits.

In an interview with The Mail on Sunday, she said her work ethic was ‘embedded’ in her by her parents – and the jobless should work just as hard or lose their state handouts.


Scottish referendum: A useful lesson in the limits of fiery activism

So was it a glorious triumph for democracy or wasn’t it? Before we get sucked into the next constitutional adventure on which the Prime Minister has launched us, it is really important to spend a few moments meditating at the graveside of the Yes campaign.

Understanding what just happened in Scotland is absolutely critical to what is being planned, it would seem, for the rest of the Union. There certainly was an important lesson in the nature of democratic politics to be learnt from the Scottish referendum, but it is not the one that so many people – for whom the false memory of nostalgia seemed to set in almost instantly – are talking about.


The Truth about Ukraine

It now appears that the plan was for these terrorists to shoot down a Russian passenger flight over the Ukraine in order to create a casus belli [cause for war].

Putin repeatedly claims that Russia reserves the right to use nuclear weapons as a “de-escalatory measure” even against non-nuclear states.

The evidence that this war was preplanned is overwhelming. The planning for this Ukrainian operation started in 2006, when Putin offered to “guarantee Crimeas territory.

“The forces fighting in Kiev consist not mainly of “separatists” or rebels, but of trained Russian army, intelligence and paramilitary officers, as well as Russian and some Ukrainian “volunteers” recruited by Moscow.

Putin would incite disturbances in Crimea, then graciously offer to take over Crimea to solve the problems.

For the Russians, and particularly for Putin, Ukraine can have no future other than as a Russian colony. This is indeed a phased invasion of Ukraine. The U.S. did not accept Russian aggression before; it should not accept it now.


Will Hamas Be Held Accountable for War Crimes?

What Khaled Mashaal forgot to mention was that Hamas and the Islamic State do have at least one thing in common: they both carry out extrajudicial executions as a means of terrorizing and intimidating those who stand in their way or who dare to challenge their terrorism.

According to Hamass logic, all members of the Palestinian Authority government are “traitors” who should be dragged to public squares to be shot by firing squads. According to the same logic, Mahmoud Abbas himself should be executed for maintaining security coordination with and talking to Israelis.

As for the two executed women, the sources said that their only fault was that they had been observed asking too many questions about Palestinians who were killed in airstrikes.


Pistorius Judge was Wrong: What if there were armed intruders in the bathroom?

The compromise verdict reached by judge Thokozile Masipa in the Oscar Pistorius case is wrong. It should be reversed on appeal.The judge found reasonable doubt that Pistorius intended to kill his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, and concluded that the evidence supports his belief that armed intruders may have broken into his home through the bathroom window. If that is the case then he had a perfect right to defend himself, his girlfriend and his home from a home invasion by armed intruders. There would be nothing criminally culpable about a disabled man shooting through the bathroom door if he honestly believed his life was in danger.


Alex Salmond was a giant of his age

And hes gone. Alex Salmond has just resigned, although not before his people had banned various newspapers they do not like from his press conference in Edinburgh. This exclusion is a stark reminder of the nature of the narrow brush with disaster that Scotland has just endured. If Yes had prevailed, Scotland would not have been a free society. Dissent would have been squashed, journalists would have been intimidated and Salmond, with his majority in the referendum and a majority at Holyrood, would have been rampant as he constructed a constitution and led negotiations with London.