TIME North Korea

Here Are 7 of the Weirdest North Korean State Slogans

North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un (L) appl
ED JONES—AFP/Getty Images North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un (L) applauds during a military parade in honour of the 100th birthday of the late North Korean leader Kim Il-Sung in Pyongyang on April 15, 2012.

"Let us turn ours into a country of mushrooms!"

The North Korean leadership published a list of more than 300 slogans in state media on Thursday ahead of the 70th anniversary of the founding of the country’s Workers’ Party this year.

The lengthy list, comprising some 6,000 words in English translation, provides an often comical sense of some of the priorities of the government. Some of the statements are typical of the bellicose rhetoric North Korean directs toward South Korea and the United States, while others are more general declarations for improving different aspects of life, ranging from food production to the style of school uniforms.

An English translation was posted by the KCNA Watch, a website that monitors the North Korean official news agency. Here’s seven of the more bizarre slogans on the list:

  • “Let us build a fairyland for the people by dint of science!”
  • “More stylish school uniforms and quality school things for our dear children!”
  • “Should the enemy dare to invade our country, annihilate them to the last man so that none of them will survive to sign the instrument of surrender!”
  • “Let the wives of officers become dependable assistants to their husbands!”
  • “Let us turn ours into a country of mushrooms by making mushroom cultivation scientific, intensive and industrialized!”
  • “Launch more cutting-edge sci-tech satellites and applications satellites of our style!”
  • “Make fruits cascade down and their sweet aroma fill the air on the sea of apple trees at the foot of Chol Pass!”

See the full list here

 

TIME Wildlife

Hunter Kills First Wolf in Grand Canyon in 70 Years

The wolf was named Echo by school children

The first gray wolf seen near the Grand Canyon in 70 years was killed by a hunter in Utah in December, wildlife officials confirmed on Wednesday.

Echo the wolf — so-named last month in a nationwide student contest — is believed to have traveled at least 750 miles in search of a mate, including through the Grand Canyon region in northern Arizona where the last of its kind were killed off in the 1940s, the Denver Post reports.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said DNA tests confirmed the dead wolf’s identity after it was killed in Utah by a hunter who says he mistook it for a coyote. Gray wolves are considered endangered in southern Utah, and a spokesman for the Fish and Wildlife Service said the investigation into Echo’s death is ongoing, according to the Post.

[Denver Post]

TIME apps

See the SOS Button That Uber Rolled Out in India

The feature enables users to make an emergency call to local police in two taps.

Uber rolled out its new SOS button in India on Wednesday as it looks to boost security measures following the alleged rape of a customer by one of its drivers.

After introducing tougher background checks for its drivers in India, the company said earlier this week that it would add a panic button to its app. The feature, which enables users to make an emergency call to local police in two taps, became available in India on Wednesday, and the company says it would eventually be available worldwide.

Uber

The San Francisco-based company also released the “Send Status” feature in India, which allows users to share details about their driver and route with up to five contacts in a move intended to increase accountability.

Uber

Uber has faced safety concerns around the world, and a woman who says she was raped by an Uber driver in New Delhi in December is suing the company in a U.S. federal court.

 

TIME

Pierce Brosnan’s Malibu Home Damaged By Fire

"The Love Punch" Portraits - 2013 Toronto International Film Festival
George Pimentel—WireImage Actor Pierce Brosnan of "The Love Punch" poses at the Guess Portrait Studio during 2013 Toronto International Film Festival on September 12, 2013 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by George Pimentel/WireImage)

Fifty firefighters responded to the blaze

A fire broke out on Wednesday at the home of James Bond star Pierce Brosnan’s home in Malibu, Calif. on Wednesday night.

About 50 firefighters responded to the blaze that broke out in the garage of the residence, according to local ABC affiliate KABC.

No one was injured and the fire was confined to the garage, KABC reports.

[KABC]

TIME Labor

Ships Queue off California as Dock Labor Dispute Intensifies

Port Labor
Nick Ut—AP This Feb. 9 file photo the Yang Ming Masculinity, YMMS cargo ship anchored off the Long Beach Harbor waits to be unloaded due to a labor dispute in Long Beach, Calif.

Los Angeles and Long Beach ports account for 40% of America's incoming cargo

Ports on the West Coast will partially shut for four days amid an ongoing dispute between operators and workers.

The ports will see reduced activity on Thursday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday as terminal operators and shipping lines accuse workers of deliberately slowing operations, the LA Times reports. The workers would be eligible for overtime pay on Thursday and Monday, which are holidays, and it’s unclear whether a continued slowdown or even a total closure will follow.

The union representing the workers denies the allegations and blames the shipping companies for the port congestion that has delayed shipments from Asia. Los Angeles and Long Beach ports are the country’s busiest, accounting for roughly 40 percent of incoming container cargo according to the Times.

The nine-month labor dispute, which has left workers without a contract since July, has repeatedly slowed operations and prompted concerns recently of a lockout of dockworkers.

Read more at the LA Times.

TIME Jordan

Video: Jordan Military Strikes ISIS Targets in Syria

The U.S. Central Command released video footage of the coalition airstrikes.

Jordan launched a wave of airstrikes Thursday as King Abdullah vowed to avenge the execution of a Jordanian pilot captured by the Islamic State in Iraq and Greater Syria.

In the video above, Jordanian forces strike what the Pentagon identifies as a storage and staging facility in the northeastern city of al-Hasakah. U.S. Central Command, the regional Pentagon command that oversees U.S. military action in 20 nations stretching from Egypt to Pakistan, released that video and the two others below on Friday.

Jordan has played an active role in the U.S.-led coalition airstrikes against ISIS, but it has intensified airstrikes as the nation rallied against ISIS over the videotaped execution of Lt. Muath al-Kaseasbeh.

On Thursday, the military said dozens of fighter jets bombed ISIS targets and warplanes flew over King Abdullah as he met with the slain pilot’s father.

The strikes came under scrutiny on Friday after ISIS claimed that an American female hostage held in the city of ar-Raqqa was killed in the assault. Jordanian officials expressed skepticism over the claims and U.S. officials said they could not be confirmed.

 

TIME Syria

ISIS Claims Jordanian Airstrikes Killed U.S. Hostage

Jordan launched a wave of new airstrikes after a pilot held by ISIS was killed and video of his death was posted online.

The Islamic State in Iraq and Greater Syria has claimed that a female U.S. hostage was killed in the fierce Jordanian airstrikes that followed the execution of a Jordanian pilot held by ISIS.

The Islamist terror group said on Twitter that the woman, identified as humanitarian aid worker Kayla Mueller, was killed in the building where she was held outside the city of ar-Raqqah, according to the Site Intelligence Group.

MORE The King Who Had a Role in Star Trek is Now Going to War for Real

The claim has not been independently confirmed, and a spokeswoman for the National Security Council said in a statement that “We have not at this time seen any evidence that corroborates” the claim, the New York Times reports.

Jordanian government spokesman Mohammed al-Momani said authorities there were “highly skeptical” about the claim, the Wall Street Journal reports. “How could they identify Jordanian warplanes from a huge distance in the sky, and what was the American lady doing in a weapons warehouse? It’s part of their criminal propaganda.”

“Allah made their pursuit disappointed and deterred their cunning, and no mujahid was injured in the bombardment,” the ISIS message said. “It was confirmed to us the killing of an American female hostage by fire of the shells dropped on the site.”

Jordan launched a wave of new air strikes on Thursday after King Abdullah vowed to wage a “harsh” war against ISIS over the videotaped execution of Lt. Muath al-Kaseasbeh. The pilot was captured in Syria when his F-16 crashed in December, and a video posted online showed him burned alive in a cage.

Mueller, 26, disappeared in August 2013 in northern Syria, according to the Times, which said she is the only known remaining American hostage held by ISIS.

TIME Yemen

Yemen’s Rebel Group Disbands Government and Takes Power

Mideast Yemen
Hani Mohammed—AP Houthi Shiite Yemenis hold their weapons during a rally to show support for their comrades in Sanaa, Yemen, Feb. 4, 2015.

The Houthis' move to seize power could alienate Sunni Muslims and empower al-Qaeda's powerful affiliate in Yemen

The Shi’ite rebel group that controls the Yemeni capital dissolved parliament on Wednesday, bringing to an abrupt and potentially explosive end the political deadlock among rival factions.

The Houthi movement, which overran Sana’a in September, had been overseeing talks to form a new government since the group’s aggression prompted President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi to resign last month. But with the lapse of a Wednesday deadline, the Houthis moved to act on their own terms.

In a televised statement, the rebels said they would form a five-member presidential council to lead the country during a transitional period of up to two years, proclaiming the developments marked “a new era that will take Yemen to safe shores,” according to the Associated Press.

But the move threatens to plunge the fractured nation deeper into sectarian turmoil. While the Houthis, members of a minority group of Shi‘ite Muslims from the north, have seen a recent surge in support, their power grab risks further alienating Sunni tribesman and empowering al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, the powerful affiliate of al-Qaeda that controls swathes of the country’s south.

As TIME reported when tensions spilled over in Sana’a last month, the rise of the Houthi movement and the removal of a key ally in Hadi has posed a particularly acute problem for the U.S. in its fight against al-Qaeda:

For years, the U.S. has struck at AQAP in Yemen with drones and Special Ops, but it has also invested in the Yemeni government to help repel AQAP on the ground, pouring nearly $1 billion of economic, military and humanitarian aid into the country since 2011. That strategy has been hailed as a success by President Barack Obama and was used as a blueprint for the fight against the Islamic State in Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS). But as the government has focused on the Houthi rebellion, AQAP has regained a foothold in southern Yemen. U.S. officials now fear that a prolonged power vacuum in Sana‘a could give AQAP free rein to grow—and to pose new threats to the West.

The Houthis, though, are no friends of the Sunni al-Qaeda militants. The group, which is believed to be backed by the Shi‘ite leadership of Iran, has clashed with al-Qaeda in Yemen and criticized Hadi’s failure to quash Sunni extremism. The problem for the U.S.’s counterterrorism operations is that it also has no interest in an alliance with the U.S.; it has been equally critical of Hadi’s dependence on U.S. support, and it’s motto reads in part, “Death to Israel, Death to America.”

So far, Washington appears to be adapting to developments in Sana’a. A drone strike on Jan. 31 killed a top al-Qaeda cleric, and a senior U.S. official indicated the U.S. maintains intelligence ties with the Houthis. But whether the Houthis can maintain stability and prevent a prolonged sectarian conflict remains to be seen.

TIME Drones

3 Out of 4 Americans Want Drones to Be Regulated

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Richard Newstead—Getty Images/Moment RF Beneath a Drone

42% said they didn't support any kind of private ownership of drones at all

Nearly three quarters of respondents said they want lightweight, remote control planes to be regulated according to a new poll that suggests widespread unease with the private and commercial use of drones.

According to the online poll conducted by Reuters/Ipsos, 73% of respondents supported regulation for drones. Forty-six percent of respondents said they don’t want the media using drones for newsgathering, and 42% said they oppose private ownership altogether.

The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration is expected to soon publish draft regulations covering commercial drone use that will be open for review and won’t go into effect for at least several months.

(See more: My Drone Landed in Someone’s Yard—Is it Theirs Now?)

Private drone users have faced criticism for their vehicles’ potential to breach individuals’ privacy as well as for a series of near misses with aircraft and people. Last month–while the poll was being conducted–a private drone operated by a man who admitted he had been drinking landed inside the White House grounds, triggering a lockdown at the White House.

“In regular peoples’ hands, it’s easy for them to get misused,” one respondent said in the poll.

But the poll found strong support for the use of drones in law enforcement. Over two-thirds (68%) of respondents said they support using drones to solve crimes, and 62% approved of their use to deter crime.

TIME Transportation

DNA Tests Confirm NYC Subway Is a Germaphobe’s Worst Nightmare

There really are lowlifes on the subway

A study of the New York City subway system had identified thousands of unseen critters and microbes dwelling among the commuters.

A team from Weill Cornell Medical College collected DNA samples from places like handrails and benches across 466 stations over a period of 18 months and sequenced the genetic material to determine exactly who—or what—was living in the underground metropolis, the Wall Street Journal reports.

The researchers identified 15,152 types of life forms, ranging from rodents and insects to the bacteria that cause the bubonic plague — though the city’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene disputes that last claim, noting that bacteria doesn’t occur naturally in the region.

Among the most commonly identified DNA came from bacteria that cause food poisoning and bacteria that cause urinary-tract infections, though the researchers said the levels detected did not pose a public health risk, the Journal reports. Other genetic material found throughout the system provided something of a map of New Yorker’s culinary tastes, including the bacteria found in the mozzarella cheese on pizza and the bacteria found on kimchi and sauerkraut.

The most fertile station? The Myrtle-Willoughby Avenues G train stop in Bed-Stuy, where at least 78 unique bacteria were identified. (The Journal has put together an interactive graphic to show you the specimens found at your station)

Read more at the Wall Street Journal

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