Sunday, October 08, 2006

Random News & Views Roundup

- According to AP North Korea has performed its first nuclear test. (more on this as details come in...all of this is breaking quickly and various news agencies and pundits are expressing different perspectives and opinions about what has actually happened and what the repercussions may be.)

Via CNN: The US military is saying that they believe a test has been conducted as reported.

Via Reuters:

South Korea's presidential Blue House said a tremor had been detected in North Korea on Monday.

It said South Korea's Institute of Geoscience and Mineral Resources had detected a tremor of a magnitude 3.58 to 3.7 at 0135 GMT.

Officials in neighboring Japan and China had no immediate comment on the reports.

South Korea's government is currently holding an emergency meeting.

Here is the text of N Korea's announcement:

"The field of scientific research in the DPRK successfully conducted an underground nuclear test under secure conditions on October 9, 2006, at a stirring time when all the people of the country are making a great leap forward in the building of a great, prosperous, powerful socialist nation.

"It has been confirmed that there was no such danger as radioactive emission in the course of the nuclear test as it was carried out under scientific consideration and careful calculation.

"The nuclear test was conducted with indigenous wisdom and technology 100 percent. It marks a historic event as it greatly encouraged and pleased the KPA and people that have wished to have powerful self-reliant defense capability.

"It will contribute to defending the peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula and in the area around it."

Sidebar: The right-wing blogosphere is already blaming the Clinton administration for this. What else is new? How long has Bush been in power now? I'm just sayin'...

Tony Snow gave the initial White House response calling it 'provocative'. Not to worry - Bush was told about the test around 10pm ET - just in time to get a good nite's sleep (not that he actually runs the country anyway).

Foleygate Update:

A former page claims he had sex with Foley when he was 21.
Newsweek and Time both have cover stories on the scandal this week.
In Time as well, Frank Luntz had this to say:

The Republican Party of 2006 is a tired, cranky shell of the aggressive, reformist movement that was swept into office in 1994 on a wave of positive change. I knew those Republicans. I worked for them. They were friends of mine. These Republicans are not those Republicans.

New revelations in the WaPo show that Rep. Jim Kolbe (R-Ariz.) was shown page internet messages with Foley in 2000.

The NYT reports that Evangelicals Blame Foley, Not the G.O.P..

- Senator George 'Macaca' Allen is in more trouble:

RICHMOND, Va., Oct. 8 (AP) — For the past five years, Senator George Allen, Republican of Virginia, has failed to tell Congress about stock options he got for his work as a director of a high-tech company.

Say goodbye to your '08 presidential run, George.

- 11 Iraqi police have reportedly died from poisoning and several hundred others are ill.

BAGHDAD, Iraq - Hundreds of Iraqi policemen fell sick from poisoning Sunday at a base in southern
Iraq after the evening meal breaking their daily Ramadan fast, and officials said they were investigating whether the poisoning was intentional.

An official with the Environment Ministry said 11 policemen had died. However, the governor of Wasit province — where the poisoning took place — denied any deaths, though he said some of the victims were in critical condition. There was no immediate explanation for the contradictory reports.

Some of the policemen began bleeding from the ears and nose after the meal, said Jassim al-Atwan, an inspector for the Environment Ministry, who was serving as a liaison in the investigation between the Health Ministry and the base, located in the town of Numaniyah.

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