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North Korea missile

With many journalists taking time off over Easter, news is a little short.  However, the main story in many papers is the failed missile test by North Korea.  The Telegraph says:

North Korea launched a missile early on Sunday morning, but the weapon failed shortly after it was fired from a site near the port city of Sinpo.
South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said analysts have not yet identified the type of missile that was launched, but it comes just a day after the North Korean military paraded through the streets of Pyongyang with an array of weapons that included what might be a new generation of intercontinental ballistic missile that is capable of striking the American mainland.
The parade was part of celebrations marking the 105th anniversary of the birth of Kim Il-sung, the founder of the North Korean state, and included a total of 56 missiles of 10 different models.
They included Pukkuksong-1 submarine-launched ballistic missiles, which the regime has been testing off its east coast.

The Star reports:

KIM Jong-un has suffered an embarrassing failure after trying to launch another ballistic missile.
North Korea tried to fire a new ballistic missile this morning – but the launch ended in failure.
The communist regime attempted to launch an unidenitified projectile from North Korea’s east coast.
But the rocket blew up “almost immediately”, US Pacific Command said.
The attempted launch was from the port city of Sinpo in the early hours of Sunday, South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said.
A spokesman said: “The North attempted to launch an unidentified missile from near the Sinpo region this morning but it is suspected to have failed.”
South Korea’s military gave no further details but said it was analysing the launch.

BBC News says the situation is being monitored.

North Korea’s attempt to launch a test missile is concerning and UK officials are closely monitoring the situation, the Foreign Office has said.
The US said the launch of a land-based ballistic missile from the eastern port of Sinpo was detected but it had exploded almost immediately.
It comes after the regime warned the US it would not shy away from conflict.
Earlier, UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said Pyongyang must adhere to UN resolutions.
US Vice-President Mike Pence is flying to the South Korean capital, Seoul, where he is expected to discuss the best way to deal with North Korea’s missile and nuclear programmes.
North Korea has already conducted five nuclear tests and a series of missile launches.
On Saturday, it marked the 105th anniversary of the birth of its founding president, Kim Il-sung, with a huge military parade in Pyongyang amid speculation that current leader Kim Jong-un could order a new nuclear test.

ITV News claims the country is preparing for war.

North Korea has staged a failed missile test a day after parading its military might and warning the US it was ready for war.
The unidentified missile exploded on launch from a base on the east coast of North Korea on Sunday, American military officials said.
The test comes amid heightened tensions between the US and Pyongyang over the reclusive country’s nuclear weapons programme.
International concern has been mounting, with China expressing fears that “conflict could break out at any moment” and all parties against provocations.

The Mail calls it a ‘game-changer’.

North Korea has attempted to fire a missile it introduced just hours ago at a military parade – but the launch was an embarrassing failure after the weapon blew up almost immediately.
It is thought to be one of the country’s new ‘game-changer’ intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM) which was revealed to the world in a display of military might yesterday.
The South Korean defence ministry said it had detected a failed launch from Sinpo – where North Korea’s biggest submarine base is located.
According to a military official the weapon is ‘presumed to be a new ICBM’ as it is longer than the existing KN-08 or KN-14 missiles.
US defence secretary James Mattis said Donald Trump is ‘aware’ of the launch and has no further comment.
The South Korean defence ministry said in a statement: ‘North Korea attempted to test an unidentified type of missile from Sinpo area in the South Hamkyong Province this morning, but we suspect the launch has failed.

ISIS

In other news, the Mail quotes a former soldier’s words about ISIS.

The former head of the Armed Forces has issued a stark warning that ISIS are a bigger concern to the UK than North Korea because they are a ‘daily threat’.
General Sir David Richards, 65, revealed that Britain is being ‘threatened every day’ by Islamic State.
He suggested that the UK is ‘some way short’ of receiving direct threats from North Korea and that the priority should be trying to stop ISIS.
It comes as North Korea attempted to fire a missile it introduced on Friday at a military parade in Pyongyang.
But the launch was an embarrassing failure after the weapon blew up almost immediately.
Sir Richards, who was formerly the Chief of the Defence Staff, stressed Syria and nullifying ISIS should be the UK’s prime concern, reports The Sunday People.
He said: ‘We are some way short of being threatened by North Korea, but you could say we are being threatened daily by ISIS.’

Brexit

The Guardian reports EU plans to take agencies away from the UK

The EU is set to inflict a double humiliation on Theresa May, stripping Britain of its European agencies within weeks, while formally rejecting the prime minister’s calls for early trade talks.
The Observer has learned that EU diplomats agreed their uncompromising position at a crunch meeting on Tuesday, held to set out the union’s strategy in the talks due to start next month.
A beauty contest between member states who want the European banking and medicine agencies, currently located in London, will begin within two weeks, with selection criteria to be unveiled by the president of the European council, Donald Tusk.
The European Banking Authority and the European Medicines Agency employ about 1,000 people, many of them British, and provide a hub for businesses in the UK. It is understood that the EU’s chief negotiator hopes the agencies will know their new locations by June, although the process may take longer. Cities such as Frankfurt, Milan, Amsterdam and Paris are competing to take the agencies, which are regarded as among the EU’s crown jewels.

Green energy

The Independent reports that the UK is preparing to scrap the EU’s green energy targets.

Ministers are reportedly preparing to scrap the European Union’s green energy targets after Britain’s exit from the bloc.
Government sources told The Daily Telegraph the target – under the EU’s Renewable Energy Directive – is likely to be binned after Brexit.
It requires the EU to fulfil at least 20 per cent of its total energy needs with renewables by the end of the decade through the attainment of individual national targets.
“All EU countries must also ensure that at least 10 per cent of their transport fuels come from renewable sources by 2020,” the EU commission adds.
The targets in individual nations range from a low of 10 per cent in Malta to 49 per cent in Sweden.

NHS

It seems that some drugs are on ration, reports the Times

Hospital doctors have revealed how some of the best available medicines are being rationed by the NHS in a cost-cutting drive.
Doctors including gastroenterologists, rheumatologists and dermatologists say they are being prevented from prescribing the most appropriate drugs by their local clinical commissioning groups (CCGs).
CCGs are already reducing the number of hip and knee operations by using pain thresholds to ration procedures.
Now a survey of 200 clinicians, commissioned by the drugs company UCB and conducted by ComRes, has found that seven out of 10 clinicians claim NHS funding pressures have restricted their ability to prescribe approved medications.

Education

The Times claims thousands of children are being taught in illegal schools.

Up to 6,000 pupils are being taught in schools operating illegally, according to new figures.
In the past 15 months inspectors have identified 241 suspected illegal schools in England — far more than previous estimates.
Most are still open and more than half have not been visited by the inspectors, prompting fears that some children are at risk of radicalisation.
The figure for illegal schools, from Ofsted, comes less than two years after inspectors were given powers to crack down on unregistered schools. Any provider offering 20 hours or more of lessons a week must be registered with the Department for Education.

And the Guardian claims industrial action by the NUT could happen this summer.

Schools in England could be closed by strikes before the end of the summer term, after the National Union of Teachers backed industrial action over the education funding crisis at its annual conference.
The vote to strike came after delegates were told of children at one school who spent two weeks wearing hats and coats in their classroom this winter because of budget pressures.
The motion passed means the union will consider industrial action in the parts of the country hardest hit by funding cuts. The NUT general secretary, Kevin Courtney, said that any government moves to reduce funding further could lead to national strike.

Turkey elections

Turkey is going to the polls today, reports ITV News.

Polling stations across Turkey opened for a hotly-contested referendum which could place sweeping new powers into the hands of President Tayyip Erdogan, radically changing the country’s political system.
Opinion polls have shown a narrow lead for a “yes” vote, which would replace parliamentary democracy with an all-powerful presidency, and could see Erdogan in office until at least 2029.
The outcome of the referendum will also shape Turkey’s relationship with the EU – while Turkey has curbed the flow of migrants into the bloc, Erdogan says he may review the deal after the vote.
Around 55 million people are eligible to vote at 167,140 polling stations across the country, with voting starting at 7am or 8am.
Turkish voters abroad have already voted.

Diesel cars

And the Telegraph claims drivers of diesel cars are to be targeted

A new diesel car scrappage scheme will be targeted at the most polluted areas under plans being considered by ministers, The Telegraph can disclose.
Car owners will only be able to qualify for cash to scrap their diesel vehicles if they are old enough and registered at an address where air pollution is already at dangerous levels.
Ministers are hoping that this “postcode” diesel scrappage scheme will be cheaper than a general scheme open to all owners of diesel cars.
They also do not want to “demonise diesel drivers”, one source said, adding: “Older diesel cars are disproportionately driven by those who are less well off.”
Uptake of diesel cars rocketed over the past decade, after they were taxed less than petrol cars, with the proportion of diesel vehicles on British roads increased from 20 per cent in 2005 to 37.8 per cent in 2015.
This was a deliberate policy because diesel cars emitted less carbon dioxide. However it ignored their nitrogen dioxide emissions which cause or worsen health conditions like asthma and bronchitis. Last year four in 10 local authorities breached legal NO2 limits.
Ministers have now been given until April 24 to publish court-mandated new plans for tackling illegal levels of air pollution.

El Nino

The Star speculates that we’re going to have another super sunny summer.

A FREAK climate event that has been known to send temperatures fluctuating wildly in Britain is “very likely” to occur this summer.
Britain has high hopes for three months of sunshine after weather experts gave a solid chance of “the warmest category” of temperatures for spring.
Thermometers dipped slightly for the Easter holidays as polar air drifted in from the Atlantic.
But now a natural climate pattern dubbed El Nino has boosted dreams of sizzling weather when summer kicks off from June to the end of September.
El Nino is a natural climate phenomenon that causes sea temperatures in the tropical Pacific Ocean to rise.
During El Nino events, climate patterns that can cause blistering heatwaves and violent hurricanes are disrupted around the world.
As for the UK, the consequences of El Nino are much less clear.
But last year the Met Office said a strong El Nino “increased the probability” of above average temperatures for summer 2016.

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