North Korea, as expected, launched a long-range missile today as part of its celebration of the hundredth anniversary of Kim Il-Sung’s birth. The ostensible reason for the launch was to put a satellite into orbit, but most analysts considered it a test of North Korea’s ballistic missile capability. In any event, the test failed — after the first stage separated, the missile broke into pieces that dropped harmlessly into the sea, without putting a payload into orbit.
In other news, the case of the Moroccan man who beat his daughter with a broom handle for failing to recite the Koran correctly made it all the way to the Italian Supreme Court. In its appeal the defense maintained that “cultural differences” had caused the defendant to be unaware that his brutal punishment of his daughter was wrong, and that therefore his sentence should be lighter. The judge rejected the argument, and upheld the lower court’s sentence.
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