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Friday, April 12, 2013

US Says New N.Korean Missile Test Would Be ‘Huge Mistake

US Secretary of State John Kerry said during a visit to South Korea on Friday that North Korea would be making a “huge mistake” if it went ahead and tested a medium range missile, adding that the country “will not be accepted as a nuclear power”. “I would say ahead of time that it is a huge mistake for him to choose to do that because it will further isolate his country and further isolate his people, who frankly are desperate for food, not missile launches”, said Kerry after meeting with South Korean President Park Geun-hye. He later told an assembled gathering of US executives in Seoul that he thought China should do more and use its influence on North Korea to try temper the country’s belligerent declarations. “The reality is that if your policy is denuclearisation and it is theirs as it is ours, as it is everybody’s except the North at this moment. If that’s your policy, you’ve got to put some teeth into it”, said Kerry. North Korea is believed to have begun preparations for the test of a Musudan missile, with a range of 3,500 kilometres, to coincide with Monday’s anniversary of Kim Il-Sung’s birthday, who founded the country.

Cyprus In Continued Crisis as EU Refuses Extra Aid

Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades has written to the EU asking for “extra assistance” to help the country get through the period of trying to find an extra €5.5 billion in the cost of its bailout, with the extra amount taking the total cost of the package to over 135 percent of the island’s GDP. Despite an original deal worth €17.5 billion agreed last month, the lenders now estimate that the cost of recovering Cyprus will rise to €23 billion, with all of the additional money having to be brought to the table by the country. Germany has insisted that eurozone countries will not put more money forward. “The contribution from international creditors will not change”, said a spokesman for the German government. The Austrian Finance Minister, Maria Fekter, has warned the country that the bailout could be blocked if the “figures don’t add up”. She said there probably “won’t be consent in the national parliaments” if the figure is not met.

Cameron in Berlin for EU Talks

British Prime Minister David Cameron has flown to Berlin on Friday and is expected to argue his case that the EU needs reforms and that a treaty change will be necessary to solve the current problems in the eurozone. The prime minister has told European newspapers that the bloc has “sometimes overreached itself with directives and interventions and interference” and that he thinks a flexible Europe is possible, one where “we don’t all have to do the same things in the same way at the same time”. This is the first time Cameron takes his whole family on an official trip and it is seen as a display of German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s willingness to prevent the UK from leaving the European Union. They will spend the weekend at Merkel’s official residence, the Schloss Meseberg, a Baroque castle in the outskirts of the German capital.

‘Human Ancestor’ Reconstructed

A study of human ancestors discovered in South Africa has revealed that an unknown humanlike species had a human pelvis, hands and teeth, but a chimpanzee-like foot. The specimens were found to the northwest of Johannesburg in 2008 and have since been analysed by six different teams. One skeleton was referred to as MH1, a male, and the other MH2, a female. They were pulled from a depression left in the ground by a cave complex that suddenly lost its roof, suggesting that the pair might have been a mother and son who were tragically stuck inside the complex after an accident. One of the teams, from Boston University, analysed their lower limb anatomy and suggested that they walked in an unique way, because their heels resembled that of chimpanzees, so they might have walked with an inward rotation of the knee and hip, a compromise between upright walking and tree climbing.

Weekend Read: Life Without Sleep

Around the turn of this millennium, the biological imperative to sleep for a third of every 24-hour period began to seem quaint and unnecessary, with designer stimulants poised to remove us from the archaic requirements of rest. In Aeon.

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