That Missile Went
For A Swim
At Least 27 Are Dead as Buildings Fall After Quake in Italy
By RACHEL DONADIO
Published: April 6, 2009
ROME – At least 27 people died and thousands were left homeless when an earthquake with a magnitude of 6.3 shook central Italy early Monday morning, seriously damaging buildings in the mountainous Abruzzo Region east of Rome, officials told Italian news media.
The epicenter was in L’Aquila, a picturesque Medieval fortress hill town, where eight people died and more were trapped under rubble, officials said.
The situation is “extremely critical, as many buildings have collapsed,” Luca Spoletini, a spokesman for Italy’s Civil Protection Agency, told the ANSA news agency. Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi declared a state of emergency in the region.
UN divided on North Korea rocket launch
By Jon Herskovitz and Louis Charbonneau, Reuters
Monday, 6 April 2009
The United Nations failed to agree on a response to North Korea’s long-range rocket launch despite pressure from Washington and its allies for action, while regional powers weighed the extent of the new security threat.
Analysts said Sunday’s launch of the rocket – which flew over Japan during its 3,200 km (2,000 mile) flight – was effectively a test of a ballistic missile designed to carry a warhead as far as the US state of Alaska.
They said an emboldened North Korea would use the first successful launch of its Taepodong-2 missile to extract concessions for showing up at any future round of six-party talks on ending its nuclear programme. It could also seek to water down obligations it signed onto under previous negotiations.
“With this capability, North Korea is equipped with the infrastructure to play the nuclear game and raise the stakes in the six-way talks,” said Kim Tae-woo, a nuclear and weapons expert at the Korea Institute for Defence Analysis.
“As a result, more will have to be given to persuade North Korea to give up its nuclear programme.”
Blacks at Odds Over Scrutiny of President
By Krissah Thompson
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, April 6, 2009; Page A01
Jeff Johnson knows how to make his audiences squirm. The young, black radio and TV political commentator waits for the discussion to turn to the topic being talked about ceaselessly, incessantly, ad nauseam: the meaning of the barrier-breaking election of Barack Obama.
Then, in his laid-back style, he says, “The real issue for me is that history is not enough.” That’s when the mood becomes tense.
“Black folks, in particular, get irritated,” says Johnson, who travels the lecture circuit, hosts a half-hour show on Black Entertainment Television and has a weekly spot for social criticism on a radio program popular with black listeners.