North Korea fires missile over Japan in longest-ever flight
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — North Korea fired an intermediate-range missile over Japan into the northern Pacific Ocean on Friday, U.S. and South Korean militaries said, its longest-ever such flight and a clear message of defiance to its rivals.
Since President Donald Trump threatened the North with “fire and fury” in August, Pyongyang has conducted its most powerful nuclear test and launched two missiles of increasing range over U.S. ally Japan. It tested its first-ever intercontinental ballistic missiles in July.
The growing frequency, power and confidence displayed by these tests seems to confirm what governments and outside experts have long feared: North Korea is closer than ever to its goal of building a military arsenal that can viably target both U.S. troops in Asia and the U.S. homeland. This, in turn, is meant to allow North Korea greater military freedom in the region by raising doubts in Seoul and Tokyo that Washington would risk the annihilation of a U.S. city to protect its Asian allies.
South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said the missile travelled about 3,700 kilometres (2,300 miles) and reached a maximum height of 770 kilometres (478 miles).
North Korea has repeatedly vowed to continue these tests amid what it calls U.S. hostility — by which it means the presence of tens of thousands of U.S. troops in Japan and South Korea. Robust diplomacy on the issue has been stalled for years, and there’s little sign that senior officials from Pyongyang and Washington might sit down to discuss ways to slow the North’s determined march toward inclusion among the world’s nuclear weapons powers.
Deal or no deal? ‘Dreamers’ wait as Trump, lawmakers joust
WASHINGTON (AP) — The fate of 800,000 young immigrants hung in the balance Thursday as top lawmakers, White House officials and President Donald Trump himself squabbled over whether an agreement had been struck to protect them — and if so, exactly what it was.
In the face of an intense backlash from conservatives inside the Capitol and out, Speaker Paul Ryan and other GOP House members adamantly insisted that there was no agreement to enshrine protections for the immigrants brought to America as children and now here illegally.
John Cornyn of Texas, the No. 2 Senate Republican, put it this way: There was “a deal to make a deal.”
Trump himself said he was “fairly close” to an agreement that could protect the young “Dreamers” while also adding border security, as long as his long-promised wall with Mexico was also separately addressed. Democratic leaders Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer — whose dinner with Trump Wednesday night was at the heart of the controversy — insisted there was discussion and even agreement on legislation that would offer eventual citizenship to the immigrants in question.
“We agreed it would be the DREAM Act,” Schumer told reporters, referring to a bipartisan bill that would allow immigrants brought here as children and now in the U.S. illegally to work their way to citizenship in as little as five years if they meet certain requirements.
10 Things to Know for Friday
Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about Friday:
1. WHY ‘DREAMERS’ ARE ON EDGE
The fate of 800,000 young immigrants hangs in the balance as top lawmakers and Trump’s White House argue over whether an agreement has been struck to protect them — and if so, what it is.
2. NORTH KOREA FIRES ANOTHER MISSILE
The projectile, launched from Pyongyang, flies over Japan before landing in the northern Pacific, South Korea’s military says.
Catch 22: Indians rally, win AL-record 22nd straight game
CLEVELAND (AP) — The Cleveland Indians added a walk-off win to a streak that has had everything.
Jay Bruce hit an RBI double in the 10th inning as the Indians rallied for their 22nd straight win to extend their AL record, beating the Kansas City Royals 3-2 on Thursday night to move within four wins of matching the 1916 New York Giants for the longest streak in major league history.
After blowouts, shutouts and oh-so-easy wins, the Indians, who tied it in the ninth on Francisco Lindor’s two-out, two-strike RBI double, went into extras for the first time to keep the longest streak in 101 years intact.
Ramirez led off the 10th with a hard hit into right-centre off Brandon Maurer (2-2) that he turned into a double with a head-first slide. After Edwin Encarnacion walked, Bruce, the recent arrival who hit a three-run homer in win No. 21 on Wednesday, ripped a 2-0 pitch into the right-field corner.
As Progressive Field shook like it usually does in October, Bruce reached second base and was quickly mobbed his teammates, who doused him with ice water and talcum powder while tearing the front of his jersey.
For Red Cross, hurricanes bring both donations and criticism
NEW YORK (AP) — Confronted with back-to-back major hurricanes, the American Red Cross has received a huge outpouring of financial support — and a simultaneous barrage of criticism based on its struggles to respond to several past disasters.
To date, combined donations to the Red Cross for hurricanes Harvey and Irma have topped $300 million. Former President Barack Obama tweeted a link to a Red Cross fundraising site. Many pro sports teams, celebrities and major corporations have announced large donations.
Yet even in the early stages of the response to Harvey in Texas, a NoRedCross hashtag circulated widely on Twitter. Some prominent journalists wrote articles suggesting that people should not donate to the organization. The New York Times, in an editorial, urged prospective donors to be skeptical.
“Its record on large-scale operations is spotty,” said the editorial, asserting that “there has been less accountability than Americans might expect emanating from its grand marble headquarters in Washington.”
The criticism has been stinging to Red Cross volunteers, many of whom have taken to social media to rebut the negative commentary.
Trump revives debate on hate groups, then condemns them
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump on Thursday signed a resolution condemning white supremacists and hate groups, hours after reviving his assertion that there were “bad dudes” among the people who assembled to oppose a white nationalist protest in Charlottesville, Virginia, last month.
“You know, you have some pretty bad dudes on the other side also,” the president told reporters aboard Air Force once, sparking another round of criticism that the president has failed to adequately condemn hate speech.
The resolution, passed by Congress earlier this week, condemns “the violence and domestic terrorist attack that took place” in Charlottesville as well as white supremacists, neo-Nazis and other hate groups.
It also urges the president and his administration to “speak out against hate groups that espouse racism, extremism, xenophobia, anti-Semitism and white supremacy,” and calls on the Justice Department and other federal agencies to “use all resources available” to address the growing prevalence of those groups.
“As Americans, we condemn the recent violence in Charlottesville and oppose hatred, bigotry, and racism in all forms,” Trump said in a statement announcing the signing. He called on Americans to move forward “as one people” and “to rediscover the bonds of love and loyalty that bring us together as Americans.”
Victim told suspect: I knew you would ‘shoot up the school’
ROCKFORD, Wash. (AP) — Caleb Sharpe rode the bus to his high school in a tiny Washington state town, carrying a black duffel bag. The 15-year-old walked to a second-floor hallway, pulled an assault weapon from the bag and tried to load it, authorities said.
It jammed, and a classmate walked up.
“I always knew you were going to shoot up the school,” the student said, according to court documents released Thursday. “You know this is going to get you in trouble.”
Sharpe pulled a pistol from his coat pocket and shot his classmate, also 15, in the abdomen and then in the face, killing him, according to the documents.
He then walked down the hallway, firing at other students or into the ceiling, authorities say. Three female students were wounded but were expected to survive.
Equifax’s troubles deepen amid new disclosure about breach
NEW YORK (AP) — Credit agency Equifax traced the theft of sensitive information about 143 million Americans to a software flaw that could have been fixed well before the burglary occurred, further undermining its credibility as the guardian of personal data that can easily be used for identity theft.
Equifax identified a weakness in an open-source software package called Apache Struts as the technological crack that allowed hackers to heist Social Security numbers, birthdates, addresses and full legal names from a massive database maintained primarily for lenders.
SECURITY FOR DUMMIES
The disclosure , made late Wednesday, cast the company’s damaging security lapse in an even harsher light. The software problem was detected in March and a recommended software patch was released shortly afterward. Equifax said the database intrusion began in May and continued until July.
Security experts said Equifax had more than enough opportunity to block intruders by sealing the security hole. “There is no excuse for not following basic cybersecurity hygiene,” said Nate Fick, CEO of the security firm Endgame. “Some heads should definitely roll for this; it’s only a question of how many.”
CIA director cancels Harvard speech over ‘traitor’ Manning
WASHINGTON (AP) — CIA Director Mike Pompeo scrapped his appearance Thursday at Harvard University over the school’s decision to make Chelsea Manning, who was convicted of leaking classified information, a visiting fellow.
Pompeo called Manning an “American traitor.” He said he agreed with military and intelligence officials who believe Manning’s leak endangered the lives of CIA personnel.
Pompeo was scheduled to appear at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government to discuss allegations of Russian involvement in last year’s presidential election, the nuclear standoff with North Korea and other global security concerns.
Minutes after the event was to begin, Douglas Elmendorf, dean of the John F. Kennedy School of Government, took the stage and told the audience Pompeo was not there and would not speak.
“We will try to reschedule it as soon as we can, but the CIA director, is obviously, in charge of his schedule,” Elmendorf said. “We are not in charge of his schedule and he gets to decide when and where he speaks, of course.”
Cassini spacecraft: ‘Magnifying glass’ at Saturn until end
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — For more than a decade, NASA’s Cassini spacecraft at Saturn took “a magnifying glass” to the enchanting planet, its moons and rings.
Cassini revealed wet, exotic worlds that might harbour life: the moons Enceladus and Titan. It unveiled moonlets embedded in the rings. It also gave us front-row seats to Saturn’s changing seasons and a storm so vast that it encircled the planet.
“We’ve had an incredible 13-year journey around Saturn, returning data like a giant firehose, just flooding us with data,” project scientist Linda Spilker said this week from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. “Almost like we’ve taken a magnifying glass to the planet and the rings.”
Cassini was expected to send back new details about Saturn’s atmosphere right up until its blazing finale on Friday. Its delicate thrusters no match for the thickening atmosphere, the spacecraft was destined to tumble out of control during its rapid plunge and burn up like a meteor in Saturn’s sky.
A brief look back at Cassini: