World News week of March 17th

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Author: Clark Scally

Korea The 1953 Korean War armistice was nullified by North Korea on March 11, increasing tension between the two Korean nations which are still technically at war. The North Korean government then claimed to have a nuclear warhead able to reach the North American mainland. South Korea and the United States began joint military drills starting on March 1 and brought thousands of American troops into the region. The Pentagon will spend $1 billion to deploy additional ballistic missile interceptors in South Korea.

New York Times

India A Swiss tourist was gang raped and her husband beaten while camping during an extended cross-country cycling trip to the Taj Mahal. The local Madhya Pradesh provincial police were not forthcoming with the details. Senior officers denied statements that arrests and confessions were made as originally reported by international news agencies. Initially, 20 people were reportedly detained, and the belongings stolen from the hospitalized Swiss couple were recovered. Madhya Pradesh attracted about 650,000 foreign tourists in 2012, and an average of nine rapes are reported daily in the province.

BBC World Service, New York Times and Washington Post

Rome Pope Francis I delivered his first Sunday sermon to St. Peters Square to a crowd of over 200,000. Speaking in Italian, the Piedmontese pope offered a traditional prayer to the Virgin Mary and told stories of mercy and forgiveness from Argentina, where he was raised by his Italian parents. He wished his audience to have a righteous and fulfilling lunch.

New York Times

Canada Two prisoners escaped from St. Jerome prison near Montreal in a hijacked helicopter previously owned by a tour company. The escape was first reported last Sunday at 2:20 p.m. The fugitive duo flew 85 kilometers northward with their pilot before being apprehended. Police have not released how the arrests were made, but three suspects were detained. One escaped inmate was still at large as of press time. St. Jerome prison holds 480 inmates and experienced a riot by a dozen prisoners last month.

CBC News and Huffington Post

Japan Water has reached over 30 degrees Celsius in the cooling ponds storing spent fuel rods of the stricken Fukushima Dai’ichi nuclear power plant. A switchboard broke and the intense heat of the radioactive fuel rods is unable to be cooled to keep the containment water under the safety limit of 65 degrees Celsius. The electrical failure occurred on Monday, March 18 at 1:57 a.m. PST. “There is no immediate danger. It will take four days for the hottest pond to hit safety limits. We are trying to restore power by then,” Kenichi Tanabe, a Tokyo Electric Power Company spokesman, said. The nuclear power plant was rendered inoperable in the earthquake and tsunami in March 11, 2011. Airborne adiation leak has been confirmed in the two years since the damage.

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