Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : September 4th 2013 Contents A23
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Former NBA star Dennis Rodman is
back in North Korea to visit his "friend,"
authoritarian leader Kim Jong Un.
Rodman, who made a high-profile
visit to the isolated country in February,
landed again yesterday just days after
Pyongyang rejected a visit by a US envoy
hoping to bring home an American mis-
sionary jailed in North Korea, the Asso-
ciated Press reports.
The bombastic basketball player
declined to tell reporters whether he
would seek the American missionary
Kenneth Bae s release before he boarded
his plane. "I just want to meet my friend
Kim, the marshal, and start a basketball
league over there or something like that,"
Rodman first met Kim during a visit
in February to promote the sport and
film a Vice show. He has called Kim an
"awesome guy" and suggested that "bas-
ketball diplomacy" could repair relations
between the US and North Korea.
Rodman again visits his 'friend'---North Korean dictator
Israel has carried out a joint missile test
with the US in the Mediterranean, amid
heightened tension over possible Western
military strikes on Syria.
The test came as the US Congress pre-
pared for its first public hearing on a possible
military response to alleged chemical
weapons use by Syria.
Earlier, the UN confirmed that more than
two million Syrians were now refugees from
the 30-month conflict. More Syrians were
now displaced than any other nationality,
The defence ministry said Israel s Arrow
missile defence system had successfully
detected and tracked a Sparrow medium-
range guided missile fired as part of the
The test is a sign that Israel is taking very
seriously the possibility that any US air
strikes could lead to retaliatory attacks on
Israel---either by Syria itself or by its ally,
the Shia militia Hezbollah in Lebanon.
The US Congress is set to begin its hear-
ings on the case for intervention, with Pres-
ident Barack Obama seeking to persuade
sceptical politicians and the American people
of the need for a military response to the
suspected chemical weapons attack on the
outskirts of Damascus on 21 August.
President Obama is also meeting the lead-
ers of a number of House and Senate com-
mittees, including armed services, foreign
relations and intelligence.
He said that Syrian President Bashar al-
Assad had to be held accountable for the
chemical attack and that he was confident
Congress would back military action.
Obama said he was proposing limited
military action that would degrade President
Assad s capacity to use chemical weapons
"now and in the future", while the US would
also conduct a broader strategy of upgrading
the capabilities of the opposition.
Amid fear of Syria escalation...
Israel, US test missile
Thai prosecutors were poised to issue an arrest
warrant yesterday for the grandson of the creator
of the Red Bull energy drink who failed to appear
in court this week over a fatal hit-and-run case that
sparked nationwide anger.
Prosecutors allege Vorayuth Yoovidhaya, 28, was
behind the wheel of his Ferrari on September 3, 2012,
when it collided with an on-duty policeman on a
motorbike in downtown Bangkok.
He is charged with reckless driving causing death,
speeding and failing to stop following an accident.
Thai prosecutor Ruecha Krairiksh said his no-show
meant that the speeding charges would lapse but the
more serious charges of reckless driving and failing
to stop would still apply. The reckless driving charges
carry a maximum penalty of 10 years in jail under
Thai law. His case provoked outrage in Thailand last
year with online forums denouncing the Thai justice
system for its perceived leniency towards defendants
with money and connections. (CNN)
Police to issue
for Red Bull heir
German voters say they are hostile to any further
transfers of funds within the eurozone, according
to a new survey published yesterday, less than three
weeks before they are due to elect a new govern-
A clear majority of voters said their next govern-
ment should have no mandate to forgive the debts
of its eurozone partners, or to guarantee their bor-
rowing in the form of mutualised eurozone bonds,
according to the YouGov poll. Seventy per cent object
to any suggestion of direct fiscal transfers to eurozone
partners, while 52 per cent oppose any further loans,
it says. (The Financial Times)
Germans hostile to
further transfer of
funds to eurozone
A new skyscraper in London---dubbed the Walkie
Talkie---is reflecting ultra-bright light with such
intensity that is has caused serious damage to a
Jaguar XJ parked nearby, according to the British
The owner of the car, Martin Lindsay, told the
business and financial publication that the developers
of the building "are going to have to think of some-
thing. I m gutted. How can they let this happen."
Lindsay said that he left his car for about an hour
on Thursday only to return to the smell of burning
plastic. The joint developers of the building, Land
Securities and Canary Wharf, said they are inves-
tigating. (USA Today)
melts car in London
BAGHDAD---Syria s neighbours are bracing
for an influx of refugees fleeing their coun-
try in fear of US-led military action, com-
pounding what the UN has branded a "dis-
graceful humanitarian calamity."
The movement could deepen an already
enormous regional refugee crisis.
The numbers of Syrians seeking safety
abroad have increased nearly ten-fold from
a year ago, the latest grim milestone in a 29-
month battle between President Bashar al-
Assad and rebels bent on overthrowing him.
Witnesses have reported an even greater
exodus of Syrians into neighbouring countries
since US President Barack Obama warned
last week he was ready to launch military
strikes on Assad s regime over its alleged use
of chemical weapons.
"A lot of governments that have been gen-
erous until now, they also see that it s not
sustainable. They were ready for a six-month
crisis, a one-year crisis," said Muriel Tschopp.
The UN s refugee agency said from Geneva
yesterday that more than two million Syrians
had fled the country, up from about 230,000
a year ago, lamenting that Syria was "haem-
orrhaging women, children and men who
cross borders often with little more than the
clothes on their backs."
Neighbours brace for refugees fleeing US strike
Demonstrators shout and hold placards as they take part in a protest organised by the Stop the War coalition against any US
military intervention in Syria, outside the US embassy in London, yesterday. AP PHOTO
STOP THE WAR
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