N. Korea might test ballistic missiles

Updated 14 April 2016

N. Korea might test ballistic missiles

SEOUL: North Korea has been making preparations to launch mid-range ballistic missiles, possibly to mark the birthday of the country’s late founding president on Friday, South Korean media reported.
The North deployed one or two Musudan ballistic missiles around the eastern port of Wonsan about three weeks ago, Yonhap news agency said Thursday, citing an unnamed Seoul official.
“There is an ample possibility that the North would launch them around Kim Il-Sung’s birthday,” Yonhap quoted the official as saying.
The North lavishly celebrates Kim’s April 15 birthday, often with massive military parades featuring its most impressive-looking weapons or with missile launches.
The nuclear-armed state has staged several short- and mid-range missile launches but has yet to test the Musudan missile, known to have a range of up to 4,000 kilometers (2,485 miles).
Seoul’s Defense Ministry spokesman said there was a “possibility” the North would carry out such missile test around Friday’s anniversary, but declined to elaborate.
On Tuesday, CNN reported US intelligence satellites had spotted signs that North Korea may be preparing for an unprecedented launch of a mobile ballistic missile.
Seoul military declined to confirm the report. Tension has been running high on the divided peninsula since the North conducted its fourth nuclear test in January and a rocket launch a month later that was widely seen as a disguised ballistic missile test.
The UN Security Council responded with its toughest sanctions to date, angering the North, which has since made repeated threats of attacks targeting Seoul and Washington. They have been accompanied by claims of success in miniaturising a nuclear warhead to fit on a missile and developing a warhead that can withstand atmospheric re-entry.


Man suspected of killing wife, three children in Australia fire

Updated 20 February 2020

Man suspected of killing wife, three children in Australia fire

  • Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the country was ‘shocked, saddened and devastated’ by the tragedy
  • A passer-by who tried to intervene in the situation was also taken to hospital to be treated for facial burns

SYDNEY: An ex-rugby league player is suspected of murdering his three children and estranged wife in Australia by burning them alive inside their car, in what police described as one of the most horrific incidents they have encountered.

Officers said 31-year-old Hannah Clarke died in a Brisbane hospital on Wednesday just hours after her three children aged three, four and six were found dead in the car on a suburban street.

Her husband, Rowan Baxter, who also died, allegedly approached the vehicle and doused it with petrol before setting it alight, The Australian newspaper reported.

The paper said Clarke jumped from the burning car and rolled on the ground, saying “he’s poured petrol on me.”

Officials said she was rushed to hospital with severe burns following the “horrific” incident but later succumbed to her injuries.

Baxter, a 42-year-old former rugby league player for the New Zealand Warriors, was believed to be in the burning vehicle but got out and died on a footpath.

Queensland Police detective inspector Mark Thompson said Thursday that Baxter died as a result of burns and a self-inflicted wound.

“Information that’s to hand has led us to believe that the Baxter children and Hannah Clarke were killed and I don’t believe there’s any suspicious circumstances around the death of Rowan Baxter,” he said.

Clarke’s sister-in-law, Stacey Roberts, set up a fundraiser to pay for funeral costs and support Hannah’s parents, who she said had “exhausted themselves to try and help Hannah escape this monster.”

“All those who knew Hannah or had even just met her once would know how much of a beautiful soul she was. Her children (were) her life,” Roberts posted on Facebook.

The page has so far raised almost Aus$100,000 ($67,000).

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the country was “shocked, saddened and devastated” by the tragedy, which has led to an outpouring of grief on social media.

“Hannah and her three children were so senselessly and maddeningly murdered in what has occurred in a terrible act of violence and it just grieves our hearts terribly today,” he said.

Natasha Stott Despoja, a former senator and chair of anti-violence group Our Watch, called for stronger action to address violence against women in Australia, which she described as a “national emergency.”

“I know people want change, people are angry & sad today,” she tweeted. “How long before we stop this slaughter in our suburbs?“

A passer-by who tried to intervene in the situation was also taken to hospital to be treated for facial burns, a Queensland Ambulance Service spokesperson said.

The emergency responders who attended the scene have been stood down from their duties and will receive support, he added.