NORTH KOREA SAYS U.S. AMBASSADOR “DESERVED” ATTACK
North Korea’s official state media KCNA has described Thursday’s knife attack on the U.S. ambassador to South Korea Mark Lippert by a Korean nationalist as “deserved punishment for the warmongering United States.” It also called it “the knife of justice,” adding that it reflected the anger of South Koreans opposed to military drills between the U.S. and their country.
- The attacker, identified as 55-year-old Kim Ki-jong, attacked Lippert with a small fruit knife, according to NK News, while he was giving a speech on Korean unification near the U.S. embassy in Seoul.
- Kim’s past involves several acts of nationalist violence. In 2010, he was sentenced to a two-year prison term for throwing a piece of concrete at a Japanese ambassador to Seoul, Yonhap news agency reports.
- Dressed in traditional Korean clothing, the assailant shouted that North and South Korea should be united and that the ongoing military drills between the South and the U.S. were interfering with such a reconciliation, Reuters reports.
- Mark Lippert, 42, was bleeding from deep injuries to his face and wrist, but he was taken to the hospital where he was successfully treated and underwent surgery that required 80 stitches, according to The Korea Times.
UKRAINE MOURNS DEAD MINERS
Photo above: Igor Golovniov/ZUMA
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has declared today a day of national mourning for the miners killed Wednesday in a gas explosion in the Zasyadko coal mine, in the rebel-controlled region of Donetsk, the Kyiv Post reports. The blast killed 32 miners, and one man is still reported missing.
“We have only 5% left to prepare,” Indonesian Attorney General Muhammad Prasetyo told reporters in Jakarta Wednesday of the imminent executions of convicted drug smugglers, including Australians Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran and possibly five other foreigners. Chan and Sukumaran were sentenced to death in 2006 after being accused of heading a gang that transported heroin out of the country. The sentence has damaged relations between Indonesia and Australia. Jakarta rejected Australia’s attempt to save the two men’s lives by proposing a prisoner swap. The convicts are expected to face a firing squad in days, Reuters reports.
ON THIS DAY
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On March 5, 1953, Soviet leader Joseph Stalin died after a stroke. Time for your 57-second shot of history.
KIDNAPPED IRANIAN DIPLOMAT FREED
Nour Ahmad Nikbakht, an Iranian diplomat kidnapped in July 2013 in Yemen by suspected al-Qaeda gunmen, has been freed, Al Arabiya reports. As Nikbakht returned to Tehran Thursday, Iranian intelligence minister Mahmoud Alavi said none of the terrorist demands were accepted and the lowest possible price was paid, according to IRNA.
As Le Nouvel Observateur’s Aurélien Viers reports, 32-year-old Lilou lives a double life as a married mother of an infant and “libertine” blogger in France. Her endless string of lovers are shared on Twitter, with pictures as evidence. “For the past eight years, she has been taking the train every morning to work from the outskirts of Paris and writing about her extramarital affairs in the evening,” the journalist writes. “She has written more than 600 posts on her blog. But her husband knows everything. He doesn't say anything, he doesn't do anything. He approves, even likes, imagining his wife in the arms of other men. Libertine? She is, he isn't. She writes it, claims it, tweets it. He stays aside, in the shadows.”
Read the full article, Lilou, The French Mother And Libertine Blogger Who Shares It All.
FLOOD VICTIMS COULD TRIPLE BY 2030
The number of people affected by global river flooding could triple in the next 15 years, a study published today by the World Resources Institute says. Climate change and population growth are believed to be the main causes of this increase. In 2030, up to 50 million people worldwide could be affected by floods, costing the global economy almost $520 billion per year.
MY GRAND-PÈRE’S WORLD
HILLARY TO MAKE EMAILS PUBLIC
Amid a growing scandal over Hillary Clinton using a personal email address when she was Secretary of State, she has urged officials to make them public. “I want the public to see my email,” she wrote in a tweet. “I asked State to release them. They said they will review them for release as soon as possible.” The controversy erupted as a congressional committee subpoenaed the possible 2016 presidential candidate’s emails as part of an investigation into the deadly 2012 U.S. embassy attack in Benghazi. According to the BBC, the U.S. State Department is examining whether her use of a personal email account at the time was a breach of the law.
“IT WAS HIM,” The Boston Globe wrote on today’s front page alongside a courtroom sketch depicting Dzhokhar Tsarnaev entering the courtroom on the first day of testimony in the Boston Marathon bombing trial. Read our Extra! feature for more.
“EXCEPTIONAL” GRAVE FOUND IN FRANCE
A group of archaeologists has discovered a so-called “Celtic princely grave” — the grave of a rich Celtic prince — in very good condition near the French city of Troyes, the team announced Wednesday. The researchers described the discovery as “exceptional,” saying it dates back to around 500 B.C. and could be one of the most well-conserved of its time.
The world’s oldest person, Japan’s Misao Okawa, celebrates her 117th birthday today. Misao was born on March 5, 1898, and has said the key to a long life is eating sushi and sleeping at least eight hours a night, according to the Guinness World Records. She said yesterday that 117 years didn’t seem like such a long time.