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N.Korea fires ballistic missile, US says clock has now run out

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North Korea fires ballistic missiles
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Seoul, April 5 : North Korea fired an apparent ballistic missile into the Sea of Japan, South Korea’s military said on Wednesday.

The launch came hours after US President Donald Trump described North Korea’s pursuit of a nuclear arsenal as a “humanity problem” and a senior US official told reporters that the “clock has now run out” on Pyongyang.

The Joint Chiefs of Staff in Seoul confirmed that the missile was launched from Sinpo, south Hamgyong province in eastern North Korea.

They added that the launch was made from land and not from the sea, ruling out the possibility that it was a ballistic missile launched from a submarine (SLBM), as Pyongyang has launched before from the sea off the coast of Sinpo, where its main centre of development for these projectiles is located.

Wednesday’s firing was made as South Korean and US troops were conducting annual military drills that North Korea views as an invasion rehearsal. North Korea often responds to the drills with its own military training and harsh rhetoric.

Two weeks ago, the South Korean and US militaries said they detected what they called a failed North Korean ballistic missile launch.

A White House official also said on Tuesday that “all options are on the table” for the US, though the official would not say what steps Trump was willing to take to curb dictator Kim Jong-un’s pursuit of a nuclear weapon.

Seoul and Washington are currently analysing both the missile type and the possible range of the missile launched by Pyongyang, the Yonhap news agency reported, adding that it was most likely a KN-15 medium range ballistic missile.

This latest launch comes just ahead of US President Donald Trump receiving Chinese President Xi Jinping in Florida for a meeting which will have North Korea as one of the main topics.

Trump has called on Beijing, Pyongyang’s closest ally, to exert more pressure on Kim Jong-un’s regime to abandon the development of ballistic missiles and nuclear weapons.

On March 6, the Pyongyang regime launched four medium-range ballistic missiles, three of which landed in Japan’s Special Economic Zone, just 200 km off the archipelago’s shores, and two other missile tests since then apparently failed.

IANS

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25 Taliban militants killed in raid: Afghan Army

The ANDSF also destroyed six militants’ hideouts and 25 defence positions, defusing four improvised bombs during the raid in the region 555 km southwest of Kabul.

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Kabul, Dec 5: At least 25 Taliban militants, including two commanders, were killed and eight others injured during a raid in Afghanistan’s Helmand province, the Army said on Saturday.

“The Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF) launched an operation in Naway-i-Barakzai of Helmand on Friday, leading to the above mentioned casualties,” Xinhua news agency quoted the Army’s Corps 215 Maiwand as saying in a statement.

The operation aimed at disturbing militants’ activities in the region as the militants tried to conduct attacks on ANDSF positions.

The ANDSF also destroyed six militants’ hideouts and 25 defence positions, defusing four improvised bombs during the raid in the region 555 km southwest of Kabul.

The Taliban militant group is yet to comment on the development.

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Corrupt officials to be axed, not transferred: Imran Khan

“As a Prime minister, it is also easy for me to know which minister or department is working well and which bureaucrat is performing poorly,” he added.

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Imran Khan Pakistan PM

Islamabad, Dec 5 : Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan has said that his government was introducing a new system of ‘reward and punishment under which civil servants would not be transferred but sacked if found involved in corruption and irregularities.

“We will not transfer a corrupt bureaucrat but will sack him,” Dawn news quoted Khan as saying on Friday said while addressing a ceremony held on completion of two years of Pakistan Citizen Portal at the Prime Minister House.

The Prime Minister lauded Pakistan Citizen Portal for entertaining three million complaints in two years, urging people to use the forum for their empowerment as well as to hold officers accountable.

“I want more people to use it (citizen portal). We will further strengthen the portal as it is the best method for citizens to register complaints.

“As a Prime minister, it is also easy for me to know which minister or department is working well and which bureaucrat is performing poorly,” he added.

Since its launch on October 28, 2018, around three million people registered themselves on the portal and reported 2.7 million complaints, out of which 2.5 million were resolved, according to official figures.

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Disaster

US sets record with 225,201 single-day Covid-19 cases

The country on Wednesday had set a world record of single-day case count, as 196,227 new cases were reported and hospitalizations exceeded 100,000 for the first time.

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RUSSIA CORONAVIRUS

Washington, Dec 5 : Setting a new grim record, the US reported 225,201 new Covid-19 cases in the last 24 hours, the highest single-day spike since the onset of the pandemic in the country, currently the worst-hit in the world, according to Johns Hopkins University.

The new figure on Friday increased the overall caseload to 14,343,430, the University’s Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) revealed in its latest update on Saturday.

In the same period, the country also reported 2,506 new fatalities, which increased the total coronavirus death toll to 278,605, according to the CSSE.

The two tallies are the highest in the world.

The country on Wednesday had set a world record of single-day case count, as 196,227 new cases were reported and hospitalizations exceeded 100,000 for the first time.

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