Monday, August 9, 2010

FP morning brief 8/9

North Korea fires artillery, seizes fishing boat

Top news: North Korea fired 110 rounds of artillery near its disputed sea border with South Korea on Monday, shortly after the conclusion of a massive South Korean military drill. South Korean authorities considered the firing, which fell harmlessly into the water, to be part of a retaliatory military drill by the North. Pyongyang had promised to respond to the south's drills with "strong physical retaliation."

On Sunday, North Korea seized a South Korean squidding boat which is believed to have entered the North's exclusive economic zone. There were four South Korean and three Chinese crew members on board, who are now being towed to the eastern port of Songjin for interrogation.

In response to the sinking of the warship Cheonan in March, the South has conducted its largest ever anti-submarine drills, including more than 4,500 troops and two dozen ships. The five-day drills ended today.

Gulf spill: BP's costs for responding to the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico have now exceeded $6 billion. Tests indicate that the cement plug placed in the broken well haw now hardened.

  • The Kabul-based International Assistance Mission says it has no plans to leave Afghanistan after 10 of its medical workers were killed by the Taliban on Thursday.
  • More than 1,000 people are missing after flash floods hit northwestern China.
  • South Korean President Lee Myung-bak reshuffled his cabinet, appointing a new prime minister.
Middle East
  • Suicide bombings throughout Iraq killed at least 8 people over the weekend as the U.S. formally handed over control of combat operations to Iraqi forces.
  • An Israeli citizen arrested while photographing Jewish sites in Libya last March will be freed by the Libyan government.
  • Israel's inquiry into last May's flotilla raid has begun.
  • Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez says he will meet with newly elected Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos.
  • Rival groups of Mexican police fought in Ciudad Juarez over allegations of corruption.
  • Former Cuban President Fidel Castro made a rare speech to parliament.
  • A Hamburg mosque once used by the 9/11 hijackers was shut down by German authorities.
  • Russian President Dmitry Medvedev visited the breakaway region of Abkhazia to commemorate the anniversary of the 2008 war with Georgia.
  • The city of Moscow has opened more than 12o "anti-smog" centers as the city continues to be engulfed by smoke from nearby wildfires.
-By Joshua Keating

Lee Jin-Man-Pool/Getty Images

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