All of the missiles fired so far this year have been small, short-range weapons, such as the KN-24 fired during the last launch on March 21.But Kim has warned that North Korea is developing a new “strategic weapon” to be unveiled this year, with analysts speculating that it could be a new long-range ballistic missile, or a submarine capable of launching such missiles.United Nations Security Council resolutions bar North Korea from testing ballistic missiles, and the country has been heavily sanctioned over its missile and nuclear weapons programs.This month’s military drills have been conducted despite a border lockdown and quarantine measures imposed in North Korea in an effort to prevent an outbreak of the new coronavirus.South Korea and the United States have postponed some of their joint military exercises because of the coronavirus outbreak in South Korea.Politically and economically isolated, North Korea has not reported any confirmed cases, though some foreign experts have expressed doubts.In the past, North Korea has typically conducted military drills, including tests of its ballistic missiles, in March as the wintry weather turns warmer. For the previous two years, however, it had avoided such springtime launches amid denuclearisation talks with the United States.Those talks have since stalled, and this year’s string of tests and military drills appear aimed at underscoring North Korea’s return to a more hard-line policy, said Ankit Panda, a senior fellow at the Washington-based Federation of American Scientists.”There is an element of projecting a business-as-usual image amid the COVID-19 situation, but I think it’s not overriding,” he said. “These tests do allow Kim Jong Un to show that he’s sticking to the hard-line policy he laid out in December 2019.” Topics : North Korea fired what appeared to be two short-range ballistic missiles into the ocean off its east coast on Sunday, the latest in an unprecedented flurry of launches that South Korea decried as “inappropriate” amid the global coronavirus pandemic.Two “short-range projectiles” were launched from the coastal Wonsan area, and flew 230 kilometers at a maximum altitude of 30 kilometers, South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff reported.”In a situation where the entire world is experiencing difficulties due to COVID-19, this kind of military act by North Korea is very inappropriate and we call for an immediate halt,” South Korea’s JCS said in a statement, according to Yonhap news agency. Japan’s Ministry of Defense said they appeared to be ballistic missiles, and they did not land in Japanese territory or its exclusive economic zone.They would be the eighth and ninth missiles launched in four rounds of tests this month as North Korean troops conduct ongoing military drills, usually personally overseen by leader Kim Jong Un.That would be the most missiles ever fired in a single month by North Korea, according to a tally by Shea Cotton, senior researcher at the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies.”Coming this early in the year, the only time we’ve seen tests this frequently were in 2016 and 2017, both of which were huge years for North Korea’s missile program,” he said in a post on Twitter.
The Ireland Strategic Investment Fund (ISIF) would be “very interested” in small-scale public-private partnerships (PPPs), its investment director has disclosed.Eugene O’Callaghan, who currently oversees investments at the National Pensions Reserve Fund (NPRF) prior to the full launch of the ISIF, also said that he was less interested in offering Irish small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) access to further loans than allocating some of the €6.8bn portfolio to equity investments boosting the economy.Speaking at the joint Oireachtas committee on jobs, enterprise and innovation earlier this month, O’Callaghan spoke of the problem of attracting large institutional investors to some of the smaller scale PPP projects proposed by the Irish government.“Financial institutions such as insurance companies and pension plans would typically write cheques of €100m or more each,” he said. He added that smaller scale projects would be of interest to banks, but said there was also an opportunity for ISIF to support them.“Certainly, on the smaller to medium-sized projects there is every possibility that there will be financing gaps in those and we would certainly be very interested in participating in the projects where such gaps might exist.”Discussing the NPRF’s €500m commitment to three SME funds, made last year in anticipation of the launch of the domestically-focused ISIF, he noted that that Irish companies were currently “disproportionately” reliant on debt funding.“In our view, the solution to excessive corporate debt levels is not necessarily more debt but greater use of other financing means such as equity, where the ISIF can particularly make a difference.“Its flexibility to invest up and down the capital structure and over longer time periods means it can provide alternative funding options to complement those provided by traditional banking.”O’Callaghan said the three SME funds had identified over 400 investment opportunities in the past year, but that only 45 had progressed to the stage where detailed proposals were drawn up by managers.He echoed previous sentiment that the ISIF would look to be co-investor in a “suite of funds” to assist SMEs, but that the higher operational costs associated with ventures targeting small firms made it hard to “establish a commercial case” in favour of investment.In an interview with the February issue of IPE, O’Callaghan said that the ISIF would have a dual bottom line of stimulating economic growth and investing on a commercially viable basis.Minister for finance, Michael Noonan has previously said it was “essential” that the ISIF act as an alternative source of financing to a broad range of projects – including agriculture, construction and technology ventures.
The United Nations has denied having tried to bury confidential report on alleged sexual abuses by French troops in Central African Republic.This follows accusations from several non-governmental organizations.Several NGO’s slammed the United Nations for the suspension of a UN officer who leaked the report to French authorities.The organizations accuse the UN of attempts to bury the potential scandal.The UN has denied the claimsRupert Colville a spokesman for , OHCHR was quoted saying: “First, this does not concern UN peacekeepers. French force in CAR was not under the umbrella of the UN. This pegs the question why would have Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights / OHCHR (OHCHR) or indeed the wider UN tried to protect French troops accused of such odious acts against children by sitting on such information, I just pose that question to you.”The UN also says the leak of an unedited report constituted a serious breach of protocol. The circulation of report with the names of victims, witnesses and investigators also puts them at risk.“As a concrete illustration of this concern, and why really it is a life concern, we know for a fact that at least one of the individuals, named in this document, has been contacted by a number of different media organizations within the last few days. This is very worrying. And I repeat, the core issue here is that the protection of witnesses and victims and investigators and whether or not this was compromised. And indeed is still being compromised if names are circulating,” added Colville.Anders Kompass is the UN staffer who leaked the report to French authorities. He has since been suspended French President Francois Holande has promised to take action against anyone who will be found guilty
Degillo wasreportedly been drivingunder the influence of liquor. BACOLOD City –A man was killed and four other people were injured in a road accident inBarangay Bulata, Cauayan, Negros Occidental. Policeidentified the fatality as 42-year-old Noe Alvarez Degillo. He died of injurieson the head and body. He was rushedto the Mercidetas Montilla District Hospital in Sipalay City, Negros Occidentalwhere the attending physician declared him “dead on arrival.” Based on policeinvestigation, the vehicle driven by Degillo crashed into a concrete wall infront of a house owned by Allan Magarce. Residents GeneHildore Elardo, 59; Mark Guillen Ebarat, 42; Rogelio Degillo, 60; a 5-year-oldminor were also hurt. Cauayan policestation chief Major Lowell Garinganao said the incident happened around 4 p.m.on Tuesday.
Melbourne Heart’s move for Norwich striker Grant Holt is not dead in the water, according to the Australian club’s chief executive Scott Munn. The 32-year-old has become a cult hero at Carrow Road since arriving from Shrewsbury four years ago. However, the impending arrival of Holland international Ricky van Wolfswinkel has led to reports the club captain could leave, with Melbourne a potential destination. The A-League side have made an official approach for Holt and, despite reports the offer was rejected, Munn insists a deal could still be struck. Press Association “We made an approach and we always knew that it would be made public, and that with him being contracted for two more years it might be complicated,” Munn told SBS. “But we haven’t closed the door on it as yet and will be pursuing it. “He’s a proven finisher and showed that by scoring against Manchester City on the last day of the Premier League season.”
The defender will be looking to keep out reigning Barclays Premier League champions Chelsea on Sunday afternoon when the now-struggling Blues visit the Emirates Stadium. And Koscielny thinks the Gunners’ form in front of their own fans will be crucial if they are to maintain their challenges on three fronts. A victory over Chelsea will almost certainly keep Arsenal top of the Premier League while their quest to win a third successive FA Cup sees them host Sky Bet Championship side Burnley next weekend. Add to that a tantalising Champions League clash with Barcelona on the horizon and it amounts to exciting times for the club’s supporters. But, with a gruelling run of games away from home still to come in the league, Koscielny knows how important home success, including Sunday’s visit of their London rivals, will be. “If you want to win the Premier League, you need to win all your home games,” he told Arsenal Player. “Our seven away games will be very difficult because we play against Man City, Man United, Tottenham, West Ham, Everton, so we need to do the job well at home so we have the points.” West Ham are the only Premier League team to leave the Emirates with three points so far this season, winning on the opening day of the campaign. Since then Arsene Wenger has guided the Gunners to the top of the table and now, entering a crucial period of the season, Koscielny is right behind the adage of not getting too far ahead of himself. “We take each game and we will see,” he added. Press Association Laurent Koscielny believes the road to any Arsenal trophy success this season begins at home. “We want to play and win all games. We are in a period where we play many different competitions, we play the Champions League, the FA Cup, Premier League. “This weekend is an important game and next weekend too, because it is the FA Cup and we won it twice and we want to continue like this. “In February, March, we will have Champions League so we need to take it game by game and that’s it.” Defeat at Stamford Bridge was a rare low-point in the season for Arsenal as the 2-0 reverse was compounded by red cards for Gabriel and Santi Cazorla. Chelsea striker Diego Costa, who may not be available on Sunday due to injury, harassed and harangued both Gabriel and Koscielny – with both players involved in separate altercations with the Spain forward. It was the latest incident in a long-running, bitter saga between Wenger and Jose Mourinho – who has since paid the price for Chelsea’s woeful title defence by losing his job. But Wenger does not expect a different challenge this weekend purely because it is Guus Hiddink, and not Mourinho, in the opposing dugout. “Honestly no,” Wenger replied when asked if the dynamic of the game changes with Mourinho not involved. “I look at the quality of the players on the football pitch and never at who sits on the bench. Look at the characteristics of the team, of the players. “We do not analyse the character of the manager who sits on the bench on the other side.” “More than a manager, it’s down to the characteristics of the players. They have the same players. “It will be an intense game. As usual in the Premier League. Overall, I think because of the qualities of the players on the pitch and what is at stake for both teams, it will be a very intense battle.”
MADRID: Real Betis became the first La Liga club to sack a coach since the season re-started after being halted by the COVID-19 pandemic, firing Rubi who failed to win any of the team’s first three matches in their return to action. Betis lost their first game back 2-0 to Sevilla and drew 2-2 with Granada in mid-week while the final straw proved to be Saturday’s 1-0 defeat by Athletic Bilbao, after Sergio Canales missed a late penalty. Betis released a statement in the early hours of Sunday saying Rubi had been relieved of his duties and that sporting director Alexis Trujillo, a former Betis player, would take charge of the team for the final eight games of the season. AgenciesAlso Watch: Another 1050 Bedded Quarantine Centre Ready in Guwahati
Football: Wisconsin rallies from 14-point, fourth quarter deficit to defeat Purdue in triple-OT thriller
Jonathan Taylor rushed for a career-high 321 yards and scored three touchdowns, including a 17-yard game-winner in triple overtime to give the University of Wisconsin football team a 47–44 come-from-behind victory at Purdue Saturday.At first, Saturday’s affair in West Lafayette was far from a thriller. With the Badgers down 10–3 at halftime and the offense struggling to make plays once again, Wisconsin seemed poised to suffer back-to-back losses for the first time this season.Purdue’s senior QB David Blough carved up the Badger secondary for the majority of the game, throwing for 386 yards and four touchdowns in his final home game as a Boilermaker. After a 46-yard touchdown to freshman Rondale Moore with 57 seconds remaining in the third quarter, Purdue was up 24–13 and dominating a banged-up Wisconsin defense. Purdue added a field goal early in the fourth quarter to widen the advantage to 27–13.But the Badgers showed some resiliency, refusing to give in thanks to a superb effort from Taylor and wide receiver Danny Davis in the fourth quarter. Davis made a sensational one-handed, five-yard touchdown grab from quarterback Jack Coan to cut the Purdue lead to seven. Then, with 2:51 left in regulation, Coan again connected with Davis in the end zone from 18 yards out to tie and send the game to overtime.Football: At Purdue, Wisconsin looks to extend win streak to 12 gamesThe University of Wisconsin football team (6-4, 4-3 Big Ten) will travel to West Lafayette, Ind., this weekend to take Read…Both teams traded touchdowns in the first and second overtime, but after Purdue could only muster a 41-yard field goal to go up 41–44 in the third overtime, the Badgers had an opportunity to seal the game with a touchdown.Wisconsin got the ball back, and two plays later, Taylor did what he does best — find the end-zone — and the Badgers escaped with a 47–44 victory.Taylor’s 321 yards came on 33 carries, matching his career-high.In his second consecutive start, Coan finished 16 for 24 with 160 yards and two touchdowns. Junior wide receiver A.J. Taylor contributed with 89 yards on five catches to go with Davis’ two touchdowns.The Badgers finish the regular season Nov. 24 when they host rival Minnesota at Camp Randall Stadium.
Photo © Pat Flynn Ahead of their clash with Scarletts Connacht welcome back Darragh Leader who starts on the right wing for his first game in 18 months having returned from long-term injury.Sean O’Brien and Eoghan Masterson are promoted to the starting back row where they join Jake Heenan.Connacht are without Bundee Aki for the next 3 games including their Champions cup play-off semi final due to suspension.Tonight Leinster host Glasgow at the RDS.Kick off is at 7.35 Centre Stuart McCloskey returns in the centre for Ulster’s must win match away to Ospreys tomorrow.The other backline change sees fellow Irish international Craig Gilroy brought in at full back.Robbie Diack is the sole change in the pack as he will slot in at number 8.
NEWTON, Iowa (AP) — The Iowa Department of Corrections says two correctional officers were assaulted by an inmate at the Newton Correctional Facility.The department says the inmate became combative when the guards began putting restraints on him around 6 p.m. Monday. One officer was punched in the head and bitten, and the other officer suffered minor injuries while trying to restrain the inmate.The department says the guards were treated at the prison and says the inmate didn’t seem to have suffered “any notable injuries.”The names of those involved were not released..