NEED TO KNOW
And that bomb makes two. North Korea has moved a second mid-range missile to its eastern seaboard, according to South Korean officials, who say that both have been loaded onto mobile launchpads ready to be fired “without prior warning.” In response, South Korea has deployed missile-intercepting warships on either side of the peninsula.
We’ll be tracking the latest anxious-making developments here. In the meantime, read what the experts tell GlobalPost about the US’s role in all this and whether there’s reason to hope something good will come of it (short answer: not much). Or you could just relive the whole thing in memes – because memes make everything better, even potential war. Phew.
WANT TO KNOW
Avian angst in Shanghai. China’s biggest city has closed its sprawling poultry marketsdue to the outbreak of H7N9 bird flu. Authorities say the temporary measure is for the sake of “public safety.”
At least six people have now died after contracting the H7N9 virus, a strain never before seen in humans. Doctors aren’t yet sure how the infection is spreading, but as a precaution, the markets are closed, hospitals are on high alert, and birds are being culled by the thousand.
High-rise disaster in India. More than 30 bodies have been recovered from the rubble of a seven-storey building that collapsed last night on the outskirts of Mumbai. Scores of people are still feared trapped after the high-rise toppled over them “like a pack of cards.”
The block, which was still under construction, was being built illegally, without authorities’ permission. Police say shoddy building materials probably caused the collapse, whose victims were mainly construction workers and their families living on site. The lead builders face charges of negligence.
A jibe too far? Egypt’s judiciary created an international firestorm this week when the top judge called the country’s foremost political satirist in for questioning. Bassem Youssef is accused of using his weekly satirical news show to “insult the president” and “insult Islam”; his supporters call it an unprecedented attack on freedom of speech.
Egypt is well known for taking a humorous approach to its ills, but Youssef has pioneered a new, blunt style that may have proved too much for the country’s fledgling rulers. GlobalPost asks: How funny is too funny in the new Egypt?
Farewell, Roger Ebert, who died yesterday aged 70. He had cancer.
Tributes to the veteran US movie critic have been paid from Hollywood and beyond. Steven Spielberg called it “the end of an era,” while President Barack Obama said Ebert “was the movies.” RIP to the man whose reviews were often better than the movies themselves.
STRANGE BUT TRUE
Everybody must get stoned, even if you have to raid a pensioner’s lawn to do it. The gardens of Germany are being pillaged by teenagers in quest of the most fragant of natural highs: hydrangeas. The pastel blooms so beloved of front-yard horticulturalists can, it turns out, have an intoxicating effect when smoked – a property that’s led to them being pilfered by the bunch from homes across sleepy southern Germany.
Medical experts warn that the flowery joints, if smoked to excess, can lead to poisoning, brain damage and even death. You hear that, kids? Don’t get high-drangeaed.