Castle Journal - Nadeemy Haded

Castle Journal - Nadeemy Haded

 

North Korea has fired two unidentified missiles, its fourth such launch in less than two weeks, South Korea's military has said.

They were fired from South Hwanghae province across the peninsula into the sea to the east, a statement said.

The North again expressed anger at US-South Korean military drills that began on Monday.

It says they violate agreements reached with US President Donald Trump and South Korea's President Moon Jae-in.

While the main drills will start on 11 August, low-key preparation has begun.

The US said it was monitoring the situation and consulting with South Korea and Japan.

Late on Monday, Washington introduced travel restrictions on people who have visited North Korea. Anyone who would normally be eligible for the US visa waiver programme will now have to apply for a US visa if they have visited North Korea in the last eight years.

The new policy affects tourists from most European countries as well as Australia, New Zealand, and several Asian countries like Japan, Taiwan and Singapore.

A statement released by North Korea's Foreign Ministry on Tuesday does not mention the missile launches but it claims that the military drills in the South essentially force it to develop and test new weapons.

Given the drills in the South, "we are compelled to develop, test and deploy the powerful physical means essential for national defence," the statement said.

It also described the exercise as "an undisguised denial and a flagrant violation" of the recent talks between the US and North Korea (DPRK).

"We have already warned several times that the joint military exercises would block progress in the DPRK-US relations and the inter-Korean relations and bring us into reconsideration of our earlier major steps," the statement warns.

In the last two weeks they've shown they can fire short-range missiles in daylight, at night and now from a number of bases including, unusually, one on the west coast.

It takes a degree of confidence to launch a missile knowing it will fly over your own country. Pyongyang must have faith in this particular weapon.

We usually have to guess North Korea's motives, but this time it issued a statement, presumably timed to coincide with launch.

It included a stern warning to both Washington and Seoul. Once again Pyongyang declared it would consider a "new path" if the provocations, which include the joint military exercises, continued.

That could mean North Korean leader Kim Jong-un will eventually be willing to break his promise to Donald Trump and test long range missiles or nuclear weapons.

We're not at that stage yet. North Korea said it was still willing to talk - presumably once the joint military exercises are over.

Pyongyang's message is out there for Washington to hear. But with Donald Trump insisting he's in no rush to do a deal and continuing to brush off these short range tests, it's not clear if his administration is listening.

What do we know about the missile tests?

According to South Korea's military, the North's launches on Tuesday appear to be short-range ballistic missiles, flying 450km (280 miles) at an altitude of 37km.

Over the past two weeks, the North test-fired what South Korean officials said appeared to have been a new type of short-range missile.

Last Friday, two missiles landed in the Sea of Japan, also known as the East Sea, according to South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS).

On Wednesday, the North launched two missiles that flew 250km and reached a height of 30km before landing in the Sea of Japan, according to South Korea.

On 25 July, the North had fired two other missiles, one of which travelled about 690km.

That was the first launch since President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un held an impromptu meeting in June at the demilitarised zone (DMZ), an area that divides the two Koreas, where they agreed to restart denuclearisation talks

 

China has issued a strong warning to Hong Kong's protesters, saying their attempts "to play with fire will only backfire".

A spokesman for China's top policy office in Hong Kong told protesters not to "underestimate the firm resolve [of] the central government".

Anti-China forces are the "behind-the-scenes masterminds" of violence in the city, the spokesman claimed.

Hong Kong has seen nine consecutive weekends of anti-government protests.

On Monday, the city's leader Carrie Lam warned that it was "on the verge of a very dangerous situation".

In her first media address in two weeks, she also accused activists of using the extradition bill as a cover for their real goals.

The protests, first sparked by a controversial extradition bill, show no sign of abating after more than two months of demonstrations.

A city-wide strike on Monday crippled transport services and brought the city to a standstill.

Protests later took place in several districts, with police firing tear gas at demonstrators who rallied into the night, setting fires and besieging police stations.

Why are people protesting?

The rallies began with fears over a proposed bill that would allow suspected criminals to be sent to mainland China to face trial.

Critics said it would undermine Hong Kong's judicial independence and could be used to target those who spoke out against the Chinese government.

Though the bill has now been suspended, demonstrators want it fully withdrawn - and have broadened their demands to include an independent inquiry into alleged police brutality, an amnesty for protesters accused of rioting, and the resignation of Hong Kong's leader Carrie Lam.

The protests have become a wider challenge to Beijing's authority - and a reflection of the anxiety some Hong Kongers feel about the terms of its handover to China.

Hong Kong is part of China under a "one country, two systems" principle, which ensures that it keeps its own judicial independence, its own legislature and economic system.

But many are increasingly worried about China's influence in the territory - of which the extradition bill is just one example.

Rights groups cite examples such as legal rulings that have disqualified pro-democracy legislators, and the disappearances of five Hong Kong booksellers, and a tycoon - all of whom eventually re-emerged in custody in China.

The Chinese army has so far stayed out of the dispute, but China's top policy office in Hong Kong has condemned the protests, calling them "horrendous incidents" that have caused "serious damage to the rule of law".

Last week, China's army in Hong Kong prompted unease by posting a video of soldiers conducting anti-riot drills on the Chinese social media network Weibo

 A British Airways flight was evacuated after smoke filled the cabin shortly before landing.

The airline confirmed an "incident" on flight BA422 which departed London Heathrow at 15:10 BST on Monday and landed in Valencia.

Passengers had to slide down emergency chutes to the runway, with one describing the "terrifying" experience as "like a horror film".

BA has apologised to the 175 passengers on board the aircraft, an Airbus A321.

A statement from the airline said the flight had "experienced a technical issue" as it approached Valencia.

Three passengers were taken to hospital and have since been discharged, BA added. It said staff members had assisted customers in the airport terminal after the evacuation.

BA said there were two pilots and six cabin crew members on the flight.

Passenger Gayle Fitzpatrick, who was on holiday with her husband, said: "There were no communications from the crew, some of which started to wear full oxygen masks and protective fire wear."

"People were crying and hyperventilating. It was genuinely scary," Mrs Fitzpatrick, from Glasgow, added.

Rachel Jupp, who was on the flight with her children, told BBC News smoke filled the cabin "very quickly" about 10 minutes before its scheduled landing.

Ms Jupp, the editor of BBC Panorama, said there had been no official announcement about what was happening as white smoke appeared to come through the air conditioning system into the cabin.

"Very quickly, you couldn't see the passengers two seats down from you," she said.

As the plane began to descend quickly Ms Jupp said she heard calls to "get down" in order to breathe the cleaner air near the floor of the aircraft.

She said the pilot did a "really good job" to make a "pretty smooth landing".

"We later found out the cockpit was full of smoke and he had a gas mask on," she added.

Passengers then slid down the emergency chutes to the runway.

As members of the emergency services ran towards the plane, Ms Jupp said: "We were just told to run and get as far away as we could from the plane."

Pictures have emerged on Twitter of the plane cabin filled with smoke.

Mrs Fitzpatrick said fire crews were waiting on the runway when the plane landed and passengers were directed to the terminal.

Another passenger at Valencia airport told the BBC a member of staff on the ground had said there had been a "fire in the motor" of the aircraft.

In an email to affected passengers BA said it was "sourcing an alternative aircraft" to operate flights back to London.

Travellers who were delayed overnight were given free accommodation at a local hotel

 The daughter of the late former US President Ronald Reagan has said there is "no defence" for racist comments he made in a 1971 phone conversation.

Newly unearthed tapes reveal Reagan - then Governor of California - described UN African delegates as "monkeys".

His daughter Patti Davis condemned the remarks in a newspaper article.

"There is no defence, no rationalisation, no suitable explanation for what my father said," she wrote.

Ms Davis wrote in an article for the Washington Post that she was preparing to defend her father before she heard the tapes, but was appalled to hear what the former president said.

"I can't tell you about the man who was on the phone," she writes. "He's not a man I knew."

What did Ronald Reagan say?

He was referring to Tanzanian delegates at the UN, who had just sided against the US in a vote to recognise China and expel Taiwan.

Reagan - a supporter of Taiwan - called the president the next day, telling him: "To see those... monkeys from those African countries - damn them, they're still uncomfortable wearing shoes!"

Nixon can be heard laughing loudly after the comments.

What did Reagan's daughter write?

Patti Davis said the tapes shocked her. "I wanted to immediately go back in time to before I heard my father's voice saying those words."

Her father, she wrote, stood up against segregation when he played football in college and later on when he was in office, when given membership to "a ritzy country club in Los Angeles".

"He turned it down because the club didn't allow Jews or African Americans."

Regardless, she wrote that the words she heard "will stay with me forever", and said her father if alive "would have asked for forgiveness" if he had heard the recording.

His comments "cannot be interpreted as anything but ugliness", Ms Davis wrote. She added that she hopes people will forgive the former president "for words that should never have been uttered in any conversation," and which "for those of us who knew Ronald Reagan, will always be an aberration."

Critics accused Reagan of racism throughout his career.

When running for California governor in 1966, the former actor said that "if an individual wants to discriminate against Negroes or others in selling or renting his house, it is his right to do so".

As president, he tried to block a bill that would impose sanctions on apartheid South Africa. The House overrode his veto.

Reagan denied any suggestions he was racist

Heathrow Airport is to cancel 177 flights on Monday and Tuesday after a union vote rejected a pay offer.

Around 4,000 Unite members including engineers, firefighters and security staff voted on the airport's revised deal, with 88% opting to strike.

If the walk-outs go ahead, Unite says, almost 2,500 staff will miss work.

Heathrow is yet to announce which flights will be cancelled, and said passengers should check with their airlines to see if they were affected.

Affected passengers might be offered other flights or refunds by their airline, it added.

Heathrow said the flight cancellations, which affect 91 airlines including British Airways, were a pre-emptive measure in case a solution was not found.

Talks between union leaders and Heathrow management at the conciliation service Acas, aimed at averting the strike action, lasted until late on Friday and resumed on Saturday.

The airport, which advised passengers to check its website for updates, said its contingency plans would keep Heathrow open and safe on both strike days, albeit with some disruption.

Passengers still scheduled to fly on Monday and Tuesday have been warned to arrive at least three hours ahead of long-haul departures and two hours ahead of short-haul departures, because it may take longer to get through security.

A Heathrow spokeswoman said: "I can confirm that we are working with our airline partners to consolidate and reduce the number of flights operating during the strike period.

"We have proactively cancelled 177 flights departing Heathrow across Monday and Tuesday.

"Passengers on these flights will have either been rebooked onto alternative services or provided a refund."

Unite regional co-ordinating officer Wayne King said: "This latest vote for strike action points to growing anger among the airport's workers in a whole range of vital jobs which are essential to the smooth and safe running of Heathrow.

"Airport bosses need to heed this latest strike vote and the overwhelming rejection by our members of the revised pay offer which offers little over and above the original offer of £3.75 extra a day for many workers."

Meanwhile, talks aimed at averting a separate strike by British Airways pilots are to continue next week.

Leaders of the British Airline Pilots Association (Balpa) met the company last week to try to resolve the dispute over pay.

The union would have to give two weeks' notice of any industrial action.

Can I claim compensation if my flight has been cancelled?

If your flight out of Heathrow has been cancelled, you should contact your airline to see what you are entitled to in terms of a refund or compensation.

However, if your flight has been cancelled due to airport (rather than airline) staff striking, it is unlikely you will be able to claim compensation as this would be considered "extraordinary circumstances" outside of the airline's control, the Civil Aviation Authority said.

The CAA added that the airport is not obliged to pay compensation directly to passengers, and whether the airport gives its customers (the airlines) compensation is a commercial issue between the two parties.

If your flight has been cancelled because airline staff are striking, the CAA said, then this would be considered within the airline's control, and therefore you have a legal right to either:

A full refund, and this includes flights in the same journey that might be from a different airline (for example, an onward or return flight)

A replacement flight to get to your destination

Or, if you are part way through your journey and don't want a replacement flight, you are entitled to a flight back to the airport you originally departed from

If the cancellation delays you by two hours or more, you are also legally entitled to compensation and help with any costs you may incur as a result of the delay

 Nine people have been killed and at least 16 injured in a mass shooting in Dayton, Ohio, police have confirmed.

First reports came in at about 01:00 local time (05:00 GMT) of a shooting outside a bar in the Oregon district of the city.

Police confirmed they killed the shooter at the scene. Casualties have been taken to a number of hospitals.

"We had officers in the immediate vicinity when this shooting began and were able to respond and put an end to it quickly," Dayton Police Department wrote in a tweet. The authorities have appealed for witnesses.

Assistant Police Chief Matt Carper told reporters that officers on patrol managed to take down the shooter.

"Our people are very well trained for a situation like this," he said, adding it was "very fortunate that the officers were in close proximity".

Nothing is yet known about him, but Officer Carper said they were "anxious to discover" a motivation.

What happened in Dayton?

Footage posted on social media showed people running as dozens of gunshots echoed through the streets.

It is thought the shooting took place outside Ned Peppers Bar on E 5th Street. A note saying staff members were safe appeared on Ned Peppers Instagram page and on the nearby Hole in the Wall bar's Facebook page.

Jae Williams told the BBC he was at a nearby rap performance when they were told to evacuate.

"I was very shocked," he said. "We all evacuated quickly and safely. We were told to avoid the Oregon district."

"I got to my car, I could see cops, multiple ambulances. When I drove past I saw a lot of cops and ambulances."

Emergency services gathered at the corner of E 5th Street and Wayne Avenue in the wake of the shooting.

FBI agents are also at the scene to help in the investigation.

 Nine people have been killed and at least 16 injured in a mass shooting in Dayton, Ohio, police have confirmed.

First reports came in at about 01:00 local time (05:00 GMT) of a shooting outside a bar in the Oregon district of the city.

Police confirmed they killed the shooter at the scene. Casualties have been taken to a number of hospitals.

"We had officers in the immediate vicinity when this shooting began and were able to respond and put an end to it quickly," Dayton Police Department wrote in a tweet. The authorities have appealed for witnesses.

Assistant Police Chief Matt Carper told reporters that officers on patrol managed to take down the shooter.

"Our people are very well trained for a situation like this," he said, adding it was "very fortunate that the officers were in close proximity".

Nothing is yet known about him, but Officer Carper said they were "anxious to discover" a motivation.

What happened in Dayton?

Footage posted on social media showed people running as dozens of gunshots echoed through the streets.

It is thought the shooting took place outside Ned Peppers Bar on E 5th Street. A note saying staff members were safe appeared on Ned Peppers Instagram page and on the nearby Hole in the Wall bar's Facebook page.

Jae Williams told the BBC he was at a nearby rap performance when they were told to evacuate.

"I was very shocked," he said. "We all evacuated quickly and safely. We were told to avoid the Oregon district."

"I got to my car, I could see cops, multiple ambulances. When I drove past I saw a lot of cops and ambulances."

Emergency services gathered at the corner of E 5th Street and Wayne Avenue in the wake of the shooting.

FBI agents are also at the scene to help in the investigation.

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