N. Korea fires 2 more projectiles into sea — South Korea’s military said North Korea fired two projectiles into the sea Friday to extend a recent streak of weapons tests believed to be aimed at pressuring Washington and Seoul over slow nuclear diplomacy. South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said the projectiles launched from the North’s eastern coast flew about 143 miles on an apogee of 18 miles before landing in waters between the Korean Peninsula and Japan. The Joints Chiefs of Staff said the U.S. and South Korean militaries were analyzing the launches but didn’t immediately say whether the weapons were ballistic missiles or rocket artillery. It was North Korea’s sixth round of weapons launches since late July when it began stepping up its weapons demonstrations while expressing frustration over stalemated nuclear negotiations with the United States and continuance of U.S.-South Korea joint military drills that the North sees as an invasion rehearsal.
Gibraltar releases Iran supertanker — The British overseas territory of Gibraltar released a seized Iranian supertanker Thursday over last-minute objections from the U.S., potentially easing tensions between London and Tehran, which still holds a British-flagged vessel. The release of the Grace 1 comes amid a growing confrontation between Iran and the West after U.S. President Donald Trump pulled Washington out of Tehran’s nuclear deal with world powers over a year ago. In past weeks, the Persian Gulf region has seen six attacks on oil tankers that the U.S. has blamed on Iran and the downing of a U.S. surveillance drone by Iranian forces. Iran denied it was behind the tanker attacks, although it has seized other tankers. Gibraltar Chief Minister Fabian Picardo said the U.S. could still begin a new legal procedure for seizing the Grace 1, but that provisions under the European Union’s sanctions regulations were ending Thursday after the Iranian government assured him in writing that the ship will not send its 2.1 million barrels of crude to a sanctioned entity in Syria.
Panel rules soap, sleep essential to migrant kids’ safety — Immigrant children detained by the U.S. government should get edible food, clean water, soap and toothpaste under a longstanding agreement over detention conditions, a federal appeals panel ruled Thursday in dismissing a Trump administration bid to limit what must be provided. A three-judge panel for the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco tossed out the U.S. government’s challenge to a lower court’s findings that authorities had failed to provide safe and sanitary conditions for the children in line with a 1997 settlement agreement. The government argued that authorities weren’t required to provide specific accommodations, such as soap, under the settlement’s requirement that facilities be “safe and sanitary” and asked the panel to weigh in. The appellate judges disagreed.
Trump has talked about buying Greenland for U.S. — Aiming to put his mark on the world map, President Donald Trump has talked to aides and allies about buying Greenland for the U.S. A Trump ally told The Associated Press on Thursday that the president had discussed the purchase but was not serious about it. And a Republican congressional aide said Trump brought up the notion of purchasing Greenland in conversations with lawmakers enough times to make them wonder, but they have not taken his comments seriously. Both spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss private conversations. Still, it wouldn’t be the first time an American leader tried to buy the world’s largest island, an autonomous territory of Denmark. In 1946, the U.S. proposed to pay Denmark $100 million to buy Greenland after flirting with the idea of swapping land in Alaska for strategic parts of the Arctic island. Neither the White House nor Denmark immediately commented Thursday. Trump is set to visit Denmark next month.
Italy’s PM: Salvini ‘obsessed’ with blocking migrants — A humanitarian boat carrying 147 migrants rescued at sea was eventually allowed to let nine persons disembark Thursday night on a tiny Italian island, but the others were stuck aboard for a 15th night, as the drama was swept up in Italy’s rapidly worsening government crisis. With a political standoff exacerbated by the migration issue, Italian Premier Giuseppe Conte rebuked his interior minister for being “obsessive” about closing Italian ports in a migrant crackdown. The Spanish rescue boat Open Arms tweeted that the “urgent” evacuation of five persons was authorized for psychological reasons and four family members were allowed to accompany them. The nine were transferred by the Italian coast guard in a motorized rubber dinghy. The fate of the remaining 138 migrants stayed unresolved.
Suicide hotline — With suicides on the rise , the U.S. government wants to make the national crisis hotline easier to reach. Once implemented, people will just need to dial 988 to seek help. Currently, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline uses a 10-digit number, 800-273-TALK (8255). Callers are routed to one of 163 crisis centers, where counselors answered 2.2 million calls last year. A law passed last year required the Federal Communications Commission to study assigning a three-digit number for suicide prevention, like 911 for emergencies or 311 for city services.