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North Korea fires ballistic missile in new test



Seoul/Washington, May 14 : North Korea on Sunday launched a ballistic missile which flew around 700 km, the South Korean Joints Chief of Staff (JCS) said.

This is the first provocative move from North Korea since South Korea appointed Moon Jae-in as the country’s new President on Wednesday.

The US calculated that the missile landed in water 60 miles south of Russia’s Vladivostok region, an American security official told CNN. Vladivostock is home to the Russian Pacific Fleet.

The US called for repercussions from the international community.

“Let this latest provocation serve as a call for all nations to implement far stronger sanctions against North Korea,” White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said in a statement.

“North Korea fired an unidentified missile at around 5.27 a.m. today (Sunday) from an area in the vicinity of Kusong, North Pyongan province,” Yonhap News Agency quoted the JCS as saying in a statement.

A US defence official confirmed that it flew that far, but said Washington was still investigating to determine the type of missile.

In response, South Korean President Moon has strongly condemned North Korea for the launch, describing it as a grave threat to regional security and a clear violation of the UN Security Council resolutions.

He also called on Pyongyang to reverse its course of provocations for the resumption of dialogue while warning that his administration would deal resolutely in order to ensure it would not “miscalculate” the situation.

“Even if dialogue is possible, (we) should show (to North Korea) that it’s possible only in case of North Korea changing its attitude,” Moon said, presiding over a session of the National Security Council.

Moon asked for a review of a missile system that is being developed to protect South Korea.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe also slammed the launch, reports CNN.

“Despite strong warning from the international community, North Korea launched a ballistic missile again,” Abe said, adding “This is totally unacceptable and we strongly protest it. North Korea’s missile launch is a serious threat to Japan and clearly violate against the UN resolution.”

The projectile launch comes two weeks after a ballistic missile test that South Korean and US officials said failed.

That missile, launched on April 29, blew up over land in North Korean territory, according to a spokesman for the US Pacific Command.

Though tensions between the United States and North Korea have been higher than usual over the past few months, a senior North Korean diplomat told Yonhap News Agency on Saturday that Pyongyang is open to talks with Washington “under the right conditions”.



Israel opens probe into Facebook after data scandal



Cambridge Analytica data scandal

JERUSALEM: Israeli authorities said Thursday (Mar 22) they had launched an investigation into Facebook’s activities following a scandal over the hijacking of personal data from millions of the social network’s users.

Israel’s privacy protection agency “informed Facebook” of the probe after revelations over data transfers from the tech giant to consultant Cambridge Analytica, the agency said.

It said it was also looking into “the possibility of other infringements of the privacy law regarding Israelis”, it said in a statement released by the justice ministry.

Britain’s Guardian newspaper has reported that Israeli hackers offered material to Cambridge Analytica.

But an Israeli justice ministry spokeswoman said the probe did not involve hackers, focusing rather on whether Israeli users’ rights were violated.

Under Israel’s privacy law, personal data may only be used with consent and for the purpose for which it was handed over, the privacy protection agency said.


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Middle East

Loud explosion heard outside busy hotel in Somalia’s capital Mogadishu

Explosion hits busy road outside popular hotel in central Mogadishu.



Somalia Car Bombing

MOGADISHU: 16 people killed and 20 injured in a bomb attack at the entrance of  Wehliye hotel in Mogadishu. Most of the casualties are auto rickshaw drivers and passengers, according to witnesses.

The death toll is expected to rise.

The attacked was claimed by al-Shabab, Reuters news agency reported, citing the armed group’s military operation spokesman.

Al-Shabab, which is fighting to overthrow Somalia’s internationally recognised government, is frequently carrying out attacks in and around the capital.

More to follow.

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Twitter’s chief information security officer quits




San Francisco, March 22: As tech companies reel under mounting pressure to prevent their platforms from data breach and fake news, Twitter’s Chief Information Security Officer Michael Coates has decided to quit.

In a tweet on Thursday, Coates who joined Twitter in 2015 announced his departure from the micro-blogging website.

“Twitter has been an amazing ride, but as I mentioned internally a few weeks back, my time is coming to an end. I’m confident to leave the program with an amazing security team,” Coates tweeted.

According to The Verge, Coates’ interim replacement is Joseph Camilleri, a senior manager for information security and risk.

Coates’ departure comes soon after reports surfaced that Facebook’s Chief Information Security Officer Alex Stamos is planning to leave the company by August.

Facebook is facing the heat after Cambridge Analytica, a British consulting company, was accused of harvesting data of up to 50 million Facebook users without permission and using the data to help politicians, including US President Donald Trump and the Brexit campaign.

Meanwhile, Michael Zalewski, Director of Information Security Engineering at Google, has also announced his departure from that company after 11 years.


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