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US kicks as North Korea fires ballistic missile into Japanese waters



Yasukazu Hamada, Japan’s defence minister, says North Korea has launched an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) which landed in the country’s waters.

Hamada said the weapon, launched on Friday, reached an altitude of 6,000km and could travel as far as 15,000km.

The test missile landed in the sea roughly 210km west of Hokkaido, Japan’s second-largest island.

According to the defence minister, the missile has the potential to launch strikes on all US mainland.

“We naturally lodged a strong protest against North Korea, which has repeated its provocations with unprecedented frequency,” Kishida told reporters in Thailand.

“We have told Pyongyang that we absolutely cannot tolerate such actions, ” the PM added.

The latest missile test by North Korea comes just a day after Choe Son Hui, the country’s foreign affairs minister, warned of a “fiercer” response to an increased US military presence in the region.

The missile launch was a reaction to the meeting between US president Joe Biden and the leaders of South Korea, Japan and Cambodia where all countries present agreed on more military cooperation.

The US has vowed to take “all necessary measures” to assure the safety of its territory and its allies – South Korea and Japan.

Kamala Harris, the US vice president, met with the leaders of Japan, South Korea, Canada, Australia and New Zealand in an emergency meeting, where she described the missile launch as a “brazen violation.”

“We again call for North Korea to stop further unlawful, destabilizing acts. On behalf of the United States, I reaffirm our ironclad commitment to our Indo-Pacific alliances,” Harris said at the start of the meeting. “Together the countries represented here will continue to urge North Korea to commit to serious and sustained diplomacy, ” she said.

She’s also said to be looking to convene a meeting of world leaders to discuss the launch.


EU says ‘X’ is worst social media platform for misinformation




The European Union (EU) Commission has declared that X, formerly Twitter, is the social media platform with the largest ratio of misinformation and disinformation posts. 

The Commission’s Vice-President for Values and Transparency, Vera Jourova, stated this on Tuesday in a statement on the EU Code of Practice on Disinformation. She said X performed woefully during a pilot test of a new methodology developed by the Code signatories.

While other platforms like YouTube, TikTok, Microsoft, and Meta’s family apps were said to have taken some measures to address disinformation, X is said to be harbouring more disinformation actors.  

But for the X owner, Elon Musk, his agenda is to use the platform to promote ‘free speech’ for people all over the world. Musk has yet to respond to the EU’s claim as of the time of filing this report.  

X, former Twitter, who is not under the Code anymore is the platform with the largest ratio of mis/disinformation posts. The pilot also showed that disinformation actors were found to have significantly more followers than their non-disinformation counterparts and tend to have joined the platform more recently than non-disinformation users,” Jourova declared.

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US surgeons carry out world’s second pig-to-human heart transplant




Surgeons in the United States have carried out the world’s second transplant of a genetically modified pig’s heart to a human being.

According to a statement issued on Monday by the University of Maryland School of Medicine (UMSOM), the surgery was carried out on Lawrence Faucette, a 58-year-old patient who had terminal heart disease.

In 2022, the Maryland team had performed the world’s first transplant of a genetically modified pig’s heart into another dying man, David Bennett.

But the patient had died just two months after the procedure.

The current pig heart recipient was said to have been deemed ineligible for a traditional transplant with a human heart due to his pre-existing peripheral vascular disease and complications with internal bleeding.

This transplant of a pig’s heart was therefore the only option available.

The US Food and Drug Administration granted emergency approval for the surgery on September 15 through its single patient investigational new drug (IND) “compassionate use” pathway.

This approval process is used when an experimental medical product, is the only option available for a patient faced with a serious or life-threatening medical condition.

The pig heart, provided by Blacksburg, Virginia-based Revivicor, has 10 genetic modifications, knocking out some pig genes and adding some human ones to make it more acceptable to the human immune system.

According to the statement, Faucette is currently breathing on his own, and his heart is functioning well without any assistance from supportive devices.

“He is recovering and communicating with his loved ones. This is only the second time in the world that a genetically modified pig heart has been transplanted into a living patient,” the statement reads.

Bartley P. Griffith, who surgically transplanted the pig heart into both the first and second patient, said the doctors are grateful to Faucette for his bravery and willingness to help advance their knowledge of the field.

“We are hopeful that he will get home soon to enjoy more time with his wife and the rest of his loving family,” he said.

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34 killed, 20 injured in Benin Republic fuel explosion




A fuel explosion in Benin Republic has led to the deaths of 34 persons, while 20 others sustained injuries.

The explosion occurred at an illegal fuel depot in Seme-Podji, a town that sits near the border with Nigeria.

Speaking with reporters, Alassane Seidou, minister of interior in Benin Republic, said two babies were among the dead.

“Unfortunately we have 34 deaths including two babies. Their bodies are charred because the cause of the fire is smuggled fuel,” Seidou said.

He added that those who sustained injuries are receiving treatment in hospital.

Some of the petrol smuggled from oil rich Nigeria often ends up in Seme-Podji.

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