Asia

North Korean missilesAs expected, North Korea launched its Taepodong-2 long-range rocket on April 5, a move President Obama called "provocative" and "clear violation" of a United Nations Security Council resolution. While the ostensible purpose of the launch, according to official North Korean statements, was to launch a communications satellite, officials from South Korea, Japan, and the United States have all said that the launch was — in actuality — a test of the missile, itself. The three nations stated in advance of the launch that they wanted to level sanctions against North Korea if it proceeded. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on March 31: "Their missile launch violates UN Security Council Resolution 1718 and there will be consequences, certainly (at) the UN Security Council if they proceed with the launch."

summitLeaders of the 22-member Arab League and 12 South American countries met last week and agreed to an 11-point declaration on everything from the Israeli-Palestinian peace process to economic cooperation. The one-day Second Summit of Arab-South American Countries took place in Doha, Qatar, following the Arab League conference. Among the countries attending the summit were some of the world’s largest oil exporting nations, including Venezuela.

North KoreaLaura Ling and Euna Lee, the two U.S. journalists detained by North Korea on March 17, will be tried for "illegal entry and hostile acts," the communist nation's state-run KCNA news agency announced on March 31. The news organ said, "The illegal entry of U.S. reporters into the DPRK and their suspected hostile acts have been confirmed by evidence and their statements." KCNA added that authorities were "making a preparation for indicting them at a trial on the basis of the already confirmed suspicions."

Protest against possible North Korean missile launch. AP ImagesQuoting from a senior U.S. military official, CNN has reported that North Korea has begun fueling its long-range missile. Such knowledge is readily discernible from viewing satellite imagery.

Close up of Tibetan flagWith an average elevation of 16,000 feet, Tibet has been called "the Roof of the World." But the view was unpleasant for Tibetans this March: Chinese armored vehicles, machine-gun-wielding soldiers, and riot police ruined the landscape. It was the 50th anniversary of Tibet's uprising against communist Chinese rule, and China was taking no chances.

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