North Korea refuses to end its nuclear testing program.
The US sent naval warships to waters near the Korean peninsula Sunday as North Korea continues to defy calls from world leaders to end its nuclear testing program.
An aircraft carrier, along with several other ships, make up the Carl Vinson strike group which moved toward the peninsula Sunday. The ships have the ability to both fire and intercept missiles.
“The number one threat in the region continues to be North Korea, due to its reckless, irresponsible and destabilising programme of missile tests and pursuit of a nuclear weapons capability,” US Pacific Command spokesman Dave Benham told the BBC.
Allies of Damascus have threatened reprisals against any party that carries out “aggression” against Syria, two days after US missile strikes hit a Syrian airbase.
“The aggression against Syria oversteps all red lines. We will react firmly to any aggression against Syria and to any infringement of red lines, whoever carries them out,” said a statement on Sunday from the Syria-based joint operations room for government backers Russia, Iran and allied forces including Lebanon’s Hezbollah.
“The United States knows very well our ability to react,” said the statement published on the website of Al-Watan, a daily newspaper close to the regime.
The statement also accused the US of acting before any investigation into the suspected chemical attack was conducted and did not wait for any UN approval.
We continue our roundtable discussion on Syria after the United States carried out a missile attack on a Syrian airfield, saying it was a response to a chemical weapons attack that killed 86 people, including at least 30 children. Syria denies carrying out the attack. “Both these superpowers … do not give a damn about Syrian self-determination nor justice for Syrians,” says Yazan al-Saadi, a Syrian-Canadian writer who joins us from Beirut. “We do want something that will be positive for the Syrian people,” adds Medea Benjamin, cofounder of CodePink. “That means immediately lifting of the Trump ban on Syrian refugees coming to the United States, of funding of the $5 billion that the U.N. says is desperately needed to help the humanitarian crisis facing the Syrian refugees, and demand that the U.S. work with Russia to finally come to a ceasefire and work for a political solution.” We are also joined by Alia Malek, journalist and former human rights lawyer, and Phyllis Bennis, fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies.
IN EVERY TYPE of government, nothing unites people behind the leader more quickly, reflexively or reliably than war. Donald Trump now sees how true that is, as the same establishment leaders in U.S. politics and media who have spent months denouncing him as a mentally unstable and inept authoritarian and unprecedented threat to democracy are standing and applauding him as he launches bombs at Syrian government targets.
Trump, on Thursday night, ordered an attack that the Pentagon said included the launching of 59 Tomahawk missiles which “targeted aircraft, hardened aircraft shelters, petroleum and logistical storage, ammunition supply bunkers, air defense systems, and radars.” The governor of Homs, the Syrian province where the attack occurred, said early this morning that the bombs killed seven civilians and wounded nine.
The Pentagon’s statement said the attack was “in retaliation for the regime of Bashar Assad using nerve agents to attack his own people.” Both Syria and Russia vehemently deny that the Syrian military used chemical weapons.
Back-to-back severe bleaching events have affected two-thirds of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, new aerial surveys have found.
The findings have caused alarm among scientists, who say the proximity of the 2016 and 2017 bleaching events is unprecedented for the reef, and will give damaged coral little chance to recover.
Scientists with the Australian Research Council’s Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies last week completed aerial surveys of the world’s largest living structure, scoring bleaching at 800 individual coral reefs across 8,000km.
The results show the two consecutive mass bleaching events have affected a 1,500km stretch, leaving only the reef’s southern third unscathed.
Where last year’s bleaching was concentrated in the reef’s northern third, the 2017 event spread further south, and was most intense in the middle section of the Great Barrier Reef. This year’s mass bleaching, second in severity only to 2016, has occurred even in the absence of an El Niño event.