North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un makes a statement regarding U.S. President Donald Trump’s speech at the U.N. general assembly, in this undated photo released by North Korea’s Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) in Pyongyang September 22, 2017. KCNA via REUTERS
North Korea struck back at U.S. President Donald Trump’s threats to destroy it, with Kim Jong Un warning of the “highest level of hard-line countermeasure in history” and his foreign minister suggesting that could include testing a hydrogen bomb in the Pacific ocean.
“[Personally I think] it should be a hydrogen bomb test on the ground of an unprecedented scale,” said North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho.
Kim said in the statement carried by the North’s official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) that U.S. threat to “totally destroy” the north in his U.N. speech on Tuesday confirmed Pyongyang’s nuclear programme has been “the correct path.”
Trump had warned the North Korean leader on Tuesday that the United States if threatened, would “totally destroy” the country and mocked Kim as a “rocket man” on a suicide mission.
North Korea’s foreign minister reacted and called Trump’s U.N. address ‘sound of a dog barking’.
“If [Trump] was thinking about surprising us with the sound of a dog barking then he is clearly dreaming,” said the foreign minister.
It can be recalled that North Korea’s ambassador to the United Nations Ja Song Nam exited the hall just as Trump walked on stage on Tuesday to deliver his speech.
“His remarks have convinced me, rather than frightening or stopping me, that the path I chose is correct and that it is the one I have to follow to the last,” said North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
“As a man representing the DPRK and on behalf of the dignity and honor of my state and people and on my own, I will make the man holding the prerogative of the supreme command in the U.S. pay dearly for his speech,” said the North Korean leader.— Reuters
Australians hand over 51,000 illegal firearms in gun amnesty
Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said about 51,000 illegal firearms, a fifth of all illegal guns in the country, were surrendered in a three-month amnesty ending on Friday.
“And as you’ve just seen some of the 51,000 firearms that have been handed in as part of the national firearms amnesty. This has been a three-month amnesty. It is an example of the way in which we are relentless in doing everything we can to keep Australians safe,” said Turnbull.
The illegal weapons surrendered will be destroyed.
Turnbull said Australia’s tough gun ownership laws, which ban all semi-automatic rifles and semi-automatic shotguns, severely limits the chances of a Las Vegas style mass shooting that killed 58 people before killing himself.
The shooting has focused attention on gun ownership rules in the United States.
“Every single one of those 51,000 guns could be used, could’ve been used in a crime where Australians could be killed. now they can’t. They’ve been collected and they will now be destroyed. Every single one of them will now be off the streets and out of harms way,” said the Australian prime minister.
Australia’s tough gun ownership laws were introduced after the massacre of 35 people by a lone gunman at the former prison colony of Port Arthur in the island state of Tasmania in 1996.
The country has had no mass shootings since. — Reuters
U.S. gun lobby agrees to examine ‘bump stocks’ after deadly mass shooting in Las Vegas
The U.S. gun lobby, which has seldom embraced new firearms-control measures, voiced a readiness on Thursday to restrict the use of bump-stock devices that allow semi-automatic rifles to operate as if they were fully automatic machine guns, which are otherwise outlawed in the United States.
Authorities said Stephen Paddock’s ability to fire hundreds of rounds per minute over the course of 10 minutes was a major factor in the high casualty count of 58 people killed and hundreds wounded.
The White House said on Thursday it welcomed efforts by both political parties to address the use of “bump stock” gun accessories.
“We know that both – members of both parties and multiple organizations are planning to take a look at bump stocks and related devices. We certainly welcome that, would like to be part of that conversation, and we would like to see a clear understanding of the facts. And we’d like to see input from the victims’ families, from law enforcement, from policymakers. And we’re expecting hearings in other important fact-finding efforts on that,” said White House Spokeswoman Sarah Sanders.
The influential National Rifle Association, which staunchly opposed moves to tighten gun control laws, said that bump stocks, which remain legal, “should be subject to additional regulations.”
Democrats are already urging new legislation, as the shooting reignited the long-standing U.S. debate over regulation of gun ownership.
U.S. Representative Steve Scalise, a member of the Republican House leadership who is himself a victim of gun violence, voiced concern that hasty congressional action to restrict bump stocks could lead to wider limits on “the rights of gun owners.” — Reuters
Puerto Ricans wash clothes in rivers as utilities remain offline
Large parts of the U.S. territory are still without running water or electricity and are facing food shortages almost three weeks after Hurricane Maria made landfall there on September 20.
Still struggling without water or electricity, some of the families washing their clothes in the Anon River in ponce on the south side of the island.
They just say they are making the journey a family outing.
“So we’re taking advantage of the time to wash clothes because we have to do it and so we’re spending time with the kids and with the family. We brought stuff for a barbecue and we’re enjoying the day,” said Alexis Vega.
“We’re looking at it from a positive point of view and spending a lot of time with family. You have to do it. We have to. It’s going back to olden days,” said Heidi Vazquez.
President Donald Trump is scheduled to visit Puerto Rico on Tuesday in the US amid questions over whether his administration has acted with enough urgency in helping distribute emergency supplies throughout the island. — Reuters