Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Oklahoma Trooper, Paramedic Scuffle on Video

Bothered that an ambulance driver failed to yield to him as he raced to provide backup on a call state Trooper Daniel Martin decided to stop the ambulance and give the driver a piece of his mind. (June 16)

Jewels missing after Lohan shoot

Lindsay Lohan is reportedly "happy to co-operate" with police over $250,000-worth of jewellery which went missing after a photo shoot in London.

The necklace and diamond earrings were loaned to Elle magazine by fashion house Dior for the shoot on 6 June.

They were reported missing two days after the shoot with the 22-year-old.

Elle said it had no reason to believe she was "in any way responsible". Her spokeswoman told US website Radar she had "shot her cover story and left".

"We haven't been contacted yet by anyone," Leslie Sloane-Zelnik said.

"Lindsay hopes they find the missing items."

The shoot took place at Big Sky Studios, near King's Cross.

A police spokesman said no arrests had been made.

"We had an allegation of theft made to us on 8 June and that is being investigated," he added.

"We want to speak to a number of people in connection with the inquiry."

New Book Helps African American Youth "Do Anything"

Author - Carolyn Mattocks

Baltimore - Carolyn Mattocks has created a new educational program for African American youth called I Can Do Anything. This powerful program features famous African Americans who have excelled in various professions to give African American children a practical introduction to potential career choices and a greater knowledge of the historical achievements and successes of those who have come before them.

The I Can Do Anything book helps youth examine various career options and opportunities by demonstrating the significant achievements that well-known African Americans have made in mathematics, architecture, science, law and entrepreneurship.

The book is the first of its kind to combine career options and show the outstanding historical achievements of African Americans in each field. Youth will learn history that is not being taught in the classrooms. This book is a great reference tool for both youth and adults.

The I Can Do Anything book consists of an (1) Overview of 17 career options with skills needed to excel in each field (2) Historical References (3) Famous African Americans who have excelled in each field and (4) Exercises in skills assessments, self-assessments, research, writing, and history quizzes.

The I Can Do Anything program is available to schools, cultural institutions, churches, and youth and community service groups. The book is available in E-Book format and paperback. You can purchase the book at www.historicalinspirations.net

Historical Inspirations is a company that keeps the spirit of the past alive by creating products that motivate, inspire, and educate individuals about history in a positive way.

Carolyn Mattocks has a B.A. in History from North Carolina Central University. She also has a M.P.A. in Public Administration from North Carolina State University.

Carolyn Mattocks
Historical Inspirations

Court Records: Singer Usher Files for Divorce

ATLANTA (AP) — R&B singer Usher filed for divorce Friday from Tameka Foster Raymond, less than two years after their glitzy wedding at a Georgia resort.

The 30-year-old Grammy-winning artist, whose real name is Usher Raymond IV, filed the petition in Superior Court in Atlanta. Records posted to the court's Web site did not give any details about the split between the R&B star and his wife, who were married in August 2007.

About 200 people attended the wedding between the two at resort built in the style of a 16th-century-style French chateau on 3,500 hilly acres outside Atlanta.

They have two young sons, 1 1/2-year-old Usher Raymond V and 6-month-old Naviyd Ely Raymond. His wife has three children from a previous marriage.

E-mail and telephone messages to Usher's publicist were not immediately returned.

In a May 2008 interview with The Associated Press, Usher addressed negative feedback from bloggers over his relationship with his wife, who's 8 years older than him and was once his stylist.

"People are so attracted to drama. That's easier to take than a story of righteousness," Usher said at the time.

"I decided to marry this woman, then I decide to be a father to my child," he said. "... It's not like I got caught with a gram of coke in my car or speeding or was caught for murder, so why would I be ridiculed, that's why I don't understand — that's the part that is mind boggling. Why would I be ridiculed for that, even a year later."

Prior to the marriage, Usher had a string of public romances, most notably his three-year relationship with Chilli from TLC.

His hits include "Confessions," "Burn," "You Make Me Wanna" and "Yeah!"

A New York State of Mind Could Impact NJ

By Richard A. Lee

When I worked in the Governor’s Office, one of the strategies we employed during difficult budgetary times was to show that things were even worse in other parts of the country.

One year, I authored an op-ed article pointing out that Arkansas was eliminating scholarships to state colleges, Arizona was closing parks, Maine was raising its gas tax, and Kansas was doubling franchise fees for companies conducting business in the state.

On paper, demonstrating that the grass is not always greener on the other side sounded like a good strategy. But in practice, its impact was minimal. No matter what draconian actions were being taken elsewhere, New Jerseyans were not about to forget about taxes and fees, cutbacks in programs and services, and the use of one-shot revenue sources to balance the budget.

But things could be different this year thanks to our neighbors to the north.

In case you haven’t been following the adventures of the New York State Senate over the past week or so, lawmakers in the Empire State have engaged in a bizarre series of activities that make politics in New Jersey look good by comparison. As former New York mayor Edward Koch told The New York Times. “I believe it’s not only disgraceful, but it makes New York look like a banana republic.”

Democrats held a 32-30 majority in the New York Senate until June 8 when two of their members joined with the 30 Republicans to form a new majority. But before the new majority could vote to elect one of its members to lead the Senate, Democrats abruptly adjourned the session. Republicans then argued that the session was not properly adjourned and proceeded to elect a new Senate President and Majority Leader. Meanwhile, Democrats maintained that the vote was illegal and that they still held the leadership posts.

The new Republican-led coalition attempted to conduct business, but was unable to do so because the bills that required action had been locked in a desk by Democratic lawmakers. In addition, Democrats asked Governor David Paterson to change the locks on the Senate chamber (a request that was denied), and one of the Democratic Senators who had joined with the Republicans to form the new majority returned to the Democratic caucus, creating a 31-31 deadlock among the 62 members in the upper House.

So why might this situation be a more effective tool for New Jersey strategists than the drastic fiscal steps that other states were taking several years ago?

To paraphrase Dorothy: it’s because this isn’t Kansas anymore. It’s one thing to run off a list of tax hikes and funding cuts from unfamiliar states that many New Jerseyans may never visit, let alone take the time to scrutinize their budgets. It’s much different when the action is taking place closer to home. Not only do we share a border with New York, we also share a media market. With all respect to the news organizations and journalists in our state, the truth is large numbers of New Jerseyans obtain their news from New York television, which has given extensive coverage to the battle over leadership of the New York Senate – as have New York newspapers and radio, which also have sizeable audiences in the Garden State.

All of this creates an opportunity for Governor Jon Corzine and the Democratic majority in the New Jersey Legislature as they put the finishing touches on this year’s state budget. Given the current fiscal climate, the budget may not offer much in the way of good news, but it will look much better in the context of what is transpiring in New York State. New Jersey Democrats can rightfully argue that – even if citizens are unhappy with components of the budget – at least they made tough decisions and managed to enact a budget on time, in difficult economic times, and without the bedlam taking place in our neighboring state, where legislators cannot even agree on who is in charge.

Of course, New Jersey Republicans can just as easily point to 2006 when Democrats were unable to come to agreement on the budget before the June 30 Constitutional deadline, leading to a shutdown of state government. But that was three years ago, and people’s memories are short – even shorter when the images of the chaos in New York are being emblazoned in their minds by the New York-based media organization from which many of our residents obtain their news and information.

# # #

Richard A. Lee is Communications Director of the Hall Institute of Public Policy – New Jersey. A former journalist and Deputy Communications Director for the Governor, he also teaches courses in media and government at Rutgers University, where he is completing work on a Ph.D. in media studies.

Newt Gingrich Speech at 2009 CPAC

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich spoke to conservative activists about the future of the conservative movement, the political climate in Washington, DC, and proposed solutions to the current economic crisis. In his remarks he criticized the Obama administration's budget proposals and recent remarks by Attorney General Holder about race relations in America. He also talked about ways in which conservatives could make their voices heard.

Fresh torture claims against CIA

Accused al-Qaeda mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed has said he was tortured into lying while in CIA custody, newly-released documents show.

The Guantanamo Bay detainee said that US interrogators had forced him to "make up stories", although he admitted to being behind nearly 30 terror plots.

The latest transcripts were released by the CIA as part of a lawsuit by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).

Meanwhile, Italy has agreed to take three Guantanamo Bay detainees.

US President Barack Obama announced the agreement after talks at the White House with Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi.

Last month, Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini revealed Italy was considering a US request to take two Tunisian prisoners from the detention centre in Cuba.

'Brutal torture'

The ACLU said that the newly released government transcripts "provide further evidence of brutal torture" by the CIA.

Most of the new material centres on claims of abuse by Guantanamo inmates while being held in CIA custody.

Detainee Abu Zubaydah said that "after months of suffering and torture, physically and mentally, they did not care about my injuries".

"Doctors told me that I nearly died four times," he said.

Another detainee, Abd al-Rahim Hussein Mohammed al-Nashiri, complained that interrogators used to "drown me in water", in an apparent reference to the interrogation technique known as waterboarding.

The ACLU - which is seeking uncensored transcripts of the US government's terror detainee programmes - said the latest documents were "still heavily blacked out" by the CIA.

It said in previously released documents the CIA had removed virtually all references to the abuse of prisoners in custody.

"There is no legitimate basis for the [US President] Obama administration's continued refusal to disclose allegations of detainee abuse, and we will return to court to seek the full release of these documents," ACLU attorney Ben Wizner said.

Carter says Palestinians treated 'like animals'

GAZA CITY (AFP) — Former US president Jimmy Carter on Tuesday met Hamas leader Ismail Haniya in the Gaza Strip, where he called for a lifting of Israel's blockade, saying Palestinians are being treated "like animals."

Following the talks, Carter called for an end of "all violence" against both Israelis and Palestinians.

"This is holy land for us all and my hope is that we can have peace... all of us are children of Abraham," he said at a joint news conference with Haniya, prime minister of the Hamas government in the Palestinian enclave.

Hamas, a group pledged to the destruction of Israel which violently seized power in Gaza two years ago, is listed as a terrorist organisation by Israel, the United States and the European Union.

Carter was expected to pass on a letter from the parents of Gilad Shalit, an Israeli soldier seized by Gaza militants including Hamas in a cross-border raid almost three years ago, and who remains in captivity.

Earlier Carter denounced the Israeli blockade and the destruction wrought by its 22-day military offensive against Gaza in December and January.

"My primary feeling today is one of grief and despair and an element of anger when I see the destruction perpetrated against innocent people," Carter said as he toured the impoverished territory.

"Tragically, the international community too often ignores the cries for help and the citizens of Palestine are treated more like animals than like human beings," he said.

"The starving of 1.5 million human beings of the necessities of life -- never before in history has a large community like this been savaged by bombs and missiles and then denied the means to repair itself," Carter said at a UN school graduation ceremony in Gaza City.

The United States and Europe "must try to do all that is necessary to convince Israel and Egypt to allow basic goods into Gaza," he said.

"At same time, there must be no more rockets" from Gaza into Israel, said Carter, who brokered the historic 1979 peace treaty between Israel and Egypt.

"I have to hold back tears when I see the deliberate destruction that has been wracked against your people," he said at a destroyed American school, saying it was "deliberately destroyed by bombs from F16s made in my country."

Israel's offensive killed more than 1,400 Palestinians and left large swathes of the coastal strip sandwiched between Israel and Egypt in ruins. Thirteen Israelis also died in the conflict.

"I feel partially responsible for this as must all Americans and Israelis," Carter said.

Israel has insisted that the Gaza blockade, which bars all but essential humanitarian supplies from entering the enclave, is necessary to prevent Hamas from arming, but human rights groups have slammed it as collective punishment.

Shortly after entering Gaza, Carter's convoy of white UN 4x4 vehicles stopped briefly in the area of Ezbet Abed Rabbo, one of the most ravaged during the Israeli onslaught at the turn of the year.

The massive destruction in the area has made it a regular stop for the succession of foreign dignitaries who have come to Gaza since the war.

As Carter briefly emerged from his vehicle to look at the damage, one resident ran up, yelling that he wanted to talk to the former US leader, and getting into a brief shoving match with bodyguards.

"They all come here and look at us like we're animals and then they go home," said Majid Athamna. "We're not animals, we're human beings."

"If he wants to come and visit us, he has to listen to us."

Iran clamps down on foreign media

Authorities in Iran have announced sweeping new restrictions on foreign media, effectively confining journalists to their offices.

The move comes as the powerful Guardian Council says it is ready to recount some votes from Friday's disputed presidential poll.

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was declared the winner and thousands of his supporters are rallying in Tehran.

But his rival Mir Hossein Mousavi and other candidates are seeking a rerun.

The BBC's Jon Leyne in Tehran says they may not accept the recount offer.

Several people died in a huge pro-opposition rally on Monday and Mr Mousavi urged followers not to take part in another demonstration planned for Tuesday, amid fears of new violence.

"This headquarters calls on people to avoid the trap of planned clashes," a Mousavi spokesman told AFP news agency.

See map of central Tehran

The march was due to have taken place in Tehran's Vali Asr Square at the same time as a demonstration there by supporters of Mr Ahmadinejad.

Thousands of the president's followers have converged there, some waving the national flag, as well as ones of orange, yellow and green.

Media clampdown

The new restrictions on foreign media require journalists to obtain explicit permission before leaving the office to cover any story.

Journalists have also been banned from attending or reporting on any "unauthorised" demonstration - and it is unclear which if any of the protests are formally authorised.

Press cards have been declared invalid.

Our correspondent says they are the most sweeping restrictions he has ever encountered reporting anywhere.

He says the clampdown comes amid shock and fear among authorities at the show of defiance by opposition supporters who attended Monday's huge illegal rally, insisting the vote was rigged.

The Guardian Council - Iran's top legislative body - said votes would be recounted in areas contested by the losing candidates.

But a spokesman for the council told state television it would not annul the election - as moderate candidates have demanded.

The opposition says millions of ballots may have gone astray.

Hospital officials said eight people died at the end of Monday's protest, in violence which a report on state radio blamed on "thugs".

Supporters of President Ahmadinejad rally in Tehran on Tuesday

Dozens of people have been arrested since the protests began. Mohammad Ali Abtahi, a close aide of ex-President Mohammad Khatami, was detained at his home in Tehran on Tuesday.

Those detained also include prominent journalist and academic Ahmad Zeidabadi. His wife says he was picked up in the middle of the night on Saturday.

Iran's most powerful body, currently controlled by conservatives
Includes six theologians picked by Supreme Leader and six jurists approved by parliament
Half the members change every three years
Approves bills passed by parliament and can veto them if deemed inconsistent with the constitution or Islamic law
The council can also bar candidates from standing in elections

Q&A: who's who in Iran
How Iran is ruled
Profile: Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
"There is no explanation from the authorities about why he was arrested or where he is," she told the BBC.

Meanwhile, Iranian state television said the "main agents" behind the unrest had been detained, and guns and explosives seized.

There are reports of fresh demonstrations at Tehran University - one of the main centres of tension in recent days. About 120 university lecturers have resigned.

The powerful Speaker of parliament, Ali Larijani, has condemned an attack by police and militia on a student dormitory.

Iranian media quoted him as saying: "The interior minister is responsible in this regard."

Unrest has been reported in other parts of Iran. One of Mr Mousavi's websites said a student had died on Monday in clashes with hardliners in the southern city of Shiraz.

Foreign concern

Our correspondent Jon Leyne says the authorities appear to be weakening in their support for Mr Ahmadinejad.

Jon Leyne in Iran: 'A huge battle behind scenes'
The country's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has ordered an inquiry into the allegations of vote-rigging.

The authorities' handling of the protests has drawn international criticism.

EU foreign ministers expressed "serious concern" and called for an inquiry into the conduct of the election.

US President Barack Obama said he was "deeply troubled" by the violence in Iran.

Meanwhile, President Ahmadinejad arrived in Russia on Tuesday.

He told a regional summit that the "age of empires" had ended, but made no mention of the protests.

India tightens swine flu advice

The Indian government is urging people not to travel abroad until swine flu in the country is under control, after seven more people tested positive.

The new cases come from the Indian city of Jalandhar where a group of students had recently returned from a trip to the US space agency, Nasa.

The total number of those infected by swine flu throughout India now stands at 30.

Last week the World Health Organization (WHO) declared a global flu pandemic.

The swine flu (H1N1) virus first emerged in Mexico in April and has since spread to at least 74 countries.

Official reports say there have been nearly 30,000 cases globally and 141 deaths, with figures rising daily.

'Suspend visits'

Doctors in Jalandhar city said the affected students are between 14 and 17 years of age. One of them had already tested positive over the weekend.

They were part of a group of 31 students and three teachers who returned over the weekend after a 10-day educational trip to Nasa in the US.

Indian officials say they have tracked down eight people who were sitting near the group of students on the flight to Delhi from New York.

"They have been advised to watch for flu symptoms and take adequate precautions against possibly spreading the virus," an official said.

Federal health minister Ghulam Nabi Azad has urged Indians, especially students, to put off travelling abroad until the flu is under control, the Press Trust of India reported.

"Till the disease is controlled globally, I would like to request young people from educational institutions going abroad that they can suspend their visits from the time being," he was quoted as saying.

As well as in Jalandhar, fresh cases of swine flu have also been detected in the southern cities of Hyderabad and Bangalore.

Earlier this month, India issued an alert against the flu and tightened screening for the virus at airports.

The government has said India is fully equipped to deal with the outbreak.

Iran Does Have Some Fishy Numbers

A most strange storyline has emerged with regard to the provincial vote totals for the Iranian election. Around 1600 GMT Sunday, the ministry of Interior released the official vote totals by province. As others have mentioned, by law candidates have three days following voting to contest the result, before the final totals are approved by the Supreme Leader. As such, it is notable that both the aggregate totals and provincial totals were certified, approved and released before the three day deadline.

Another curious turn of events was that somewhere between 1600 and 2000 GMT, the provincial vote totals mysteriously disappeared from the English language (and all other languages other than Persian) versions of www.presstv.ir and other Iranian news outlets, where the interior ministry had distributed the results. As such, we are in debt to Daniel Berman and his colleagues for their translation of the official provincial numbers.

Although widespread allegations of fraud, manipulation, intimidation and other all too common elections tactics have been be common, statistically detecting fraud or manipulation is a challenge. For example, while mathematicians have been evaluating vote returns for irregularities in normal situational random number distribution , determining what the "correct" results should be is very difficult.

However, given the absolutely bizarre figures that have been given for several provinces, given qualitative knowledge - for example, that Mahdi Karroubi earned almost negligible vote totals in his native Lorestan and neighboring Khuzestan, which he won in 2005 with 55.5% and 36.7% respectively - there is room for a much closer look.

Two things are of particular interest to us, the first being whether it is plausible for Pres. Ahmadinejad to have received as high of a total as the results indicate (and the sub-question of whether it was plausible for him to have received an outright majority in the first round). The second question is whether the vote totals for his rivals are reasonable, given the fact that they have run for elected office before. Iranian politics, as in many countries, is dominated by a relatively small number of individuals who in many cases have held several of the key posts in government since 1979. Those with strong connections to founding Supreme Leader Khomeni and his associates have fared particularly well. Evaluting their support by province in previous election cycles, particularly in a Presidential race, is one way to provide some evidence for or against them.

First, we will have a look at the trend-related numbers for Iran's recent Presidential history to see if Friday's totals make intuitive sense, given the overall trend towards higher turnout, and decreasing first round victor percentages.

As discussed last week, higher turnouts and lower winning percentages have been the trend. With reported turnout through the roof (between 80 and 85 %), the 2009 elections were expected to be quite competitive.

This second chart integrates the first round data from 2005, which resulted in the first-ever run-off vote in the Islamic republic. A regression using just first round data projects that in 2009, the first round winner would pick up just 31.5% of the vote, quite a low figure - but with two nationally competitive candidates, and two regionally competitive candidates, certainly not impossible. Using just the overall victor's winning percentage, a 2009 projected figure of 58.7% comes out - higher than any polling would have suggested, but certainly within a range of normal. We would have expected Ahmadinejad's result from Friday, informed by the polling, historical trends and a bit of bet-hedging, to be between 40% and 55%.

These figures would suggest that Ahmadinejad's reported 65% of the national vote is at minimum outside of the trend, and more likely, an exaggerated figure. Whether they overstate the will of the Iranian public by 3-5 points or say, 20-30 points, is up for interpretation.

Second, with regard to the challengers, the focus on Mousavi's vote totals has dominated most of the discussion, for example, his unexpectedly soft support coming from the northern provinces of East and West Azerbaijan, including his home city of Tabriz. It is likely more useful in a context of numbers-checking to instead compare the Ahmandinejad totals to those of someone he has run against before. Medhi Karroubi, over whom Ahmadinejad advanced to the 2005 runoff round by just 700,000 votes, was surrounded by controversy in that election as well, arguing that Ahamdinejad's totals had been inflated by conservative hardliners. His openly accusatory allegations to the Supreme Leader resulted in his resignation from several top political posts.

Karroubi was the leading reform candidate of the 2005 election cycle, in close competition with one other reform candidate, one centrist, and two conservatives, including Ahmadinejad. He won in 11 of Iran's 30 provinces, the most of any candidate that year, and was within 2 points of advancing to the run-off. It was a strong showing, which encouraged him and his backers to challenge Ahmadinejad again this year.

Polling put his candidacy at around 7-10% of the national vote this time around, with the strong incumbent expected to pull more in the first round than he did in 2005 (19.1%). Karroubi's numbers in his provinces of strength were better, with polling regularly put him at around 20-25% in his home region, with particular strength in the provinces of Lorestan, Ilam, and Khuzestan. This is where the provinicial results get fishy:

Not only did Ahmadinejad beat Karroubi in his base of support, he crushed him beyond all recognition. Karroubi's share of the vote in Lorestan was cleaved by a factor of ten, and in only two other of the provinces did he break above 1%. Even with a consolidation of conservative support, and possible defection of Karroubi supporters to Mousavi (who was likely perceived as the candidate more likely to win) this large of shift is hard to imagine.

Again, as we have mentioned on several occasions, the numbers still do not prove any wrongdoing, as large scale changes in public opinion do happen regularly around the world. However, given the polling data in the run-up to the balloting, and the historical trend away from electoral domination in the first round by one candidate, this very fishy regional data tends to strongly support that which the canceled Mousavi protest was meant to express.

Letterman's Palin Joke Costs CBS an Advertiser

David Letterman's comments about Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin and one of her daughters has prompted a hotel chain to pull its advertising on CBS' site -- and spawned a campaign to fire the 'Late Show' host. Embassy Suites, part of Hilton Hotels, pulled its ads on CBS' site because of complaints. The company was not an advertiser on Letterman's show.

"We received lots of e-mails from concerned guests and assessed that the statement was offensive enough ...that we elected to take the ads down," says an Embassy Suites rep.

Michael Patrick Leahy, one of the organizers of a "Fire David Letterman" campaign calls it "disgraceful for a 62-year-old man to sexually insult a 14-year-old girl." His campaign has urged advertisers, including Embassy Suites, to pull their ads. Leahy says 50 to 300 people would attend a protest planned outside Letterman's studio in New York City today. Earlier this year, Leahy helped organize the anti-tax "tea parties" in cities across the country.

Obama to Meet with South Korean President

South Korean President Lee Myung-bak in Washington, 15 Jun 2009
South Korean President Lee Myung-bak will hold talks with U.S. President Barack Obama in Washington Tuesday, with the North Korean nuclear threat expected to dominate the talks.

Mr. Lee met with U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton late Monday about the North Korean situation. His spokesman, Lee Dong-kwan tells South Korea's Yonhap news agency that Clinton said North Korea "must understand that bad behavior will always bring bad consequences."

The spokesman said Mr. Lee expressed appreciation for Washington's support of Seoul's North Korea policy.

Before leaving Seoul, the South Korean president said that despite recent North Korean rhetoric, the danger of a regional nuclear conflict is remote. He said the real threat is that Pyongyang might sell its nuclear technology to rogue states or terrorist groups.

A story in The New York Times Tuesday says the Obama administration will order the U.S. Navy to confront North Korean ships suspected of carrying arms or nuclear technology. The newspaper says the Navy will request permission to inspect the ships, but will not board them by force. Instead, the ships will be tracked to their next port, where Washington will press for the inspections refused at sea.

The Times says the administration will report any ship that refused inspection to the United Nations Security Council. The council passed a resolution Friday giving member states the authority to inspect all cargo heading to or from North Korea. It also bans weapons exports from the North and tightens financial restrictions.

North Korea's official news agency said more than 100,000 people gathered in the capital Monday to condemn the new sanctions.

Pyongyang has threatened to "weaponize" its remaining supply of plutonium and begin enriching uranium in order to build more nuclear weapons.

Meanwhile, Japan's Asahi newspaper is reporting that the youngest son of North Korean leader Kim Jong Il, secretly visited China last week on behalf of his father. The report says Kim Jong Un met with Chinese President Hu Jintao and other high-level Chinese officials, and told them he has already been appointed to succeed his father as leader of the family dynasty.