Briefing :- 8/8/17

Here is CurrentHow’s Briefing™ for the 8th of August, 2017 :-

1. North Korea ready to teach the U.S. a ‘severe lesson’ :-

North Korea is ready to give the United States a “severe lesson” with its strategic nuclear force if it takes military action against it, and will not put its nuclear programme or its missiles on the negotiating table, it said in a statement to a regional meeting on Monday.

In a transcript of a statement by Foreign Minister Ri Yong-ho, which was distributed to media in Manila, Pyongyang called new U.N. sanctions “fabricated” and warned there would be “strong follow-up measures” and acts of justice. It said the resolution showed the United Nations had abused its authority.

It said its intercontinental ballistic missile tests in July proved that the entire United States was in its firing range, and those missiles were a legitimate means of self-defence.

It was not immediately clear whether the statement was read to the ASEAN Regional Forum on Monday.

2. Truck bomb injures 34 in Pakistan’s Lahore :-

A truck bomb injured at least 34 people late Monday in Pakistan, officials said, in the latest bombing to rattle the eastern city of Lahore.

“The explosive material was planted inside a truck which was loaded with fruit,” Abdullah Khan Sumbal, a top government official in Lahore, told AFP.

“At least 34 people have been injured, most of them were passer-bys,” Sumbal said, adding that the injured have been taken to two hospitals.

Authorities have launched an investigation to determine how and when the truck arrived in the area, Sumbal said.

Jam Sajjad Hussain, a rescue service spokesman, told AFP that at least three of the injured were in a critical condition.

The powerful explosion destroyed a nearby building and damaged several vehicles, he added.

Rai Ijaz, a senior police officer at the site, told reporters that the explosion created a big crater.

The blast came weeks after a bombing claimed by the Pakistani Taliban killed at least 26 people and injured dozens at a vegetable market in Lahore.

The city has been hit by significant militant attacks in Pakistan’s more than decade-long war on extremism, but they have been less frequent in recent years.

Lahore, a city of around six million, is Pakistan’s cultural hub and the capital of its most powerful province, Punjab.

3. Typhoon Noru brings pouring rain in Japan – over 51 people injured :-

Typhoon Noru dumped heavy rain on Japan Tuesday as it moved back out to sea, causing flooding and property damage while the number of injured reportedly rose to 51.

After making landfall in western Japan the previous day, the storm packing winds of up to 108 kilometres per hour ploughed across the main island of Honshu.

The typhoon was 40 kilometres off the coast of northern Niigata prefecture by 1:00 pm (0400 GMT) Tuesday, slowly moving towards the northeast, Japan’s meteorological agency said. The storm earlier killed two people on outlying islands Saturday.

Public broadcaster NHK said the number of people injured in accidents related to the typhoon had reached 51.

Aerial footage showed a flooded river in western Japan’s Shiga prefecture, while houses, rice paddies, and roads were submerged.

On Saturday, a man in his 60s on the southern island of Yakushima died after falling in strong gusts generated by Noru and hitting his head.

Another man in his 80s on neighbouring Tanegashima island drowned the same day after he went to check on his boat and was swept into the water.

A total of 65 flights were cancelled Tuesday due to Noru, NHK reported.

4. Chicago sues Trump administration :-

The city of Chicago filed suit Monday against the Donald Trump administration for withholding funds from so-called “sanctuary cities” that fail to cooperate with tougher federal efforts cracking down on undocumented immigrants.

The lawsuit, the first of its kind, challenges the Trump administration’s requirement that cities detain suspects for questioning by federal immigration authorities or see their grant funding for municipal police departments withheld.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel on Monday called the policy counterproductive.

“By forcing us, or the police department, to choose between the values of the city and the philosophy of the police department… I think it’s a false choice, and it undermines our actual safety agenda,” Emanuel told CNN.

“We will always be a welcoming city,” he continued, adding that local police departments rely on the cooperation of the immigrant community — both documented and undocumented.

“Our police department is part of a neighborhood, part of a community, built on the premise of trust,” the mayor said.

“We want you to come to Chicago if you believe in the American dream,” he added.

The federal grant at the center of the lawsuit provided $2.3 million to Chicago last year to purchase police equipment, such as cars, computers, radios and Tasers, Emanuel said.

The federal government’s new rules would tie the grant to requirements that, among other things, cities give federal immigration authorities unlimited access to local police stations to interrogate arrestees, Chicago officials said.

The city is asking a federal court to declare such requirements unlawful.

Trump has targeted sanctuary cities as part of his promised crackdown on illegal immigration, and the Department of Justice implemented the new funding requirement last month.

Supporters of “sanctuary city” policies say requiring local police to fully cooperate with immigration enforcement erodes with the communities they serve and frustrate law enforcement efforts.

The Department of Justice (DOJ) criticized the lawsuit in a statement that accused Emanuel of “protecting criminal aliens and putting Chicago’s law enforcement at greater risk.”

The head of the DOJ, US Attorney General Jeff Sessions, last week said the policy would improve safety for immigration officers who now have to track down suspects who already had been detained and released by local police.

“By forcing police to go into more dangerous situations to re-arrest the same criminals, these policies endanger law enforcement officers more than anyone,” Sessions said.

5. Boko Haram kill 51 fishermen in Nigeria:-

At least 31 fishermen have been killed by Boko Haram jihadists in two separate attacks on islands in Lake Chad in northeastern Nigeria, fishermen and vigilantes fighting the Islamists told AFP late Monday.

Armed jihadists stormed the fishing islands of Duguri and Dabar Wanzam in the freshwater lake Saturday, attacking fishermen working in the area and shooting and hacking their victims.

“Boko Haram attacked Duguri and Dabar Wanzam islands and killed 31 people,” a member of a local militia fighting the jihadists in Maiduguri, Babakura Kolo told AFP.

“They (Boko Haram) killed 14 in Duguri and another 17 in Dabar Wanzam,” Kolo said.

The fishermen had returned to the fishing hub of Baga on the lake’s shores days earlier and had paddled out to the two islands in wooden canoes on Friday, looking for fish, said another militia Musa Ari, who gave a similar account.

News of the attacks was slow to emerge with communication in the area difficult as Boko Haram has destroyed telecom masts in the region in attacks over the last few years.

The Boko Haram jihadists first attacked Duguri island where they killed 12 fishermen and injured two others who later died, said fisherman Sallau Inuwa.

“The attackers split into two groups. While the first attacked Duguri the second went to nearby Dabar Wanzam where they laid in wait for those who fled the attack in Duguri. They killed 17 in Dabar Wanzam,” Inuwa told AFP.

The attackers spared one fisherman in Duguri and loaded the 12 bodies of the men they killed in a canoe and ordered him to take them to Baga as a warning that no one should fish in the lake, said another fisherman Dauda Tukur.

“They told the man they spared to inform the troops in Baga that they were waiting for them on the islands,” he said.

The military and Nigerian officials have not yet commented on the attacks.

The attacks happened a week after military authorities lifted a two-year ban on fishing in the freshwater lake that straddles Nigeria, Niger, Cameroon, and Chad.

Nigerian military banned fishing on the Nigerian side of the lake following accusations that Boko Haram was using proceeds from fishing to fund its armed campaign.

The ban left thousands of displaced residents impoverished, forcing them to rely on food handouts from government and aid agencies.

The lifting of the ban drew many fishermen back to the area.

Although the military reclaimed Baga from Boko Haram in February 2015 allowing some residents to move back, jihadists continued to launch sporadic attacks from their hideouts on several islands dotting the lake, where dense vegetation provides cover against military attacks.

In November 2014 Boko Haram killed 48 fishermen near Baga who were on their way to neighbouring Chad to buy fish, in one of the deadliest attacks against fishermen by the jihadists in the area.

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