World Wrap

Koreas on edge amid missile deployment report

North Korea reportedly deploys two missiles, Africa improves at democracy, and Spain’s royal family scrambles to save face. Today is Friday, April 5, and this is the World Wrap, brought to you by @dwbronner and @clarerrrr.


North Korean soldiers attend military drills in this picture released by the North’s official KCNA news agency in Pyongyang, March 20, 2013. REUTERS/KCNA

North Korean mid-range missiles may be launch-ready.  South Korean media thinks the North has placed two intermediate-range rockets on mobile launchers. If fired from North Korea’s east coast, the missiles could reach Japan or U.S. Pacific bases. This latest display of force upset South Korea’s markets and could have a long-term financial impact:

“The market usually doesn’t get jittery over North Korea threats. But this time is different, because they look willing to sacrifice [joint industrial park] Kaesong, which has never happened before,” said Park Hyung-joon, macroeconomics team leader at Meritz Securities.

North Korea blocked access to Kaesong, the last vestige of its cooperation with the South, since Wednesday. The U.S. said on Thursday that it will send missile defenses to Guam to protect it from a possible strike. The reported missile move follows a weeks-long escalation of threats from the North, prompted by heightened U.N. sanctions and joint military drills between the U.S. and South Korea. Analysts disagree over whether the North’s threats are sincere or mere posturing.

U.S. to send missile defenses to Guam over North Korea threat

North Korea and U.S. make missile moves, Syria hits up Iran for training, and deadly flash floods ravage Argentina. Today is Thursday, April 4, and this is the World Wrap, brought to you by @dwbronner and @clarerrrr.


North Korean leader Kim Jong-un (C) presides over an urgent operation meeting on the Korean People’s Army Strategic Rocket Force’s performance of duty for firepower strike at the Supreme Command in Pyongyang, early March 29, 2013, in this picture released by the North’s official KCNA news agency. REUTERS/KCNA

Guam to get defense system after North Korea’s missile move. The U.S. said it will send a missile defense system to Guam to protect it from North Korea, which Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said posed a “real and clear danger.” Hagel spoke hours before the North reportedly moved a mid-range missile to its east coast:

New exodus flows from Syria

A new wave of Syrians escape violence in Damascus, North Korea bars entry to joint factory zone, and rockets fly over Israeli-Gaza border. Today is Wednesday, April 3, and this is the World Wrap, brought to you by @dwbronner and @clarerrrr.


Free Syrian Army fighters enter a kindergarten building in Sidi Meqdad area in the suburbs of Damascus, March 25, 2013. REUTERS/Ward Al-Keswani/Shaam News Network/Handout

More Syrians flee as conflict spreads in Damascus. Following the deadliest month in Syria’s war, more families living in the increasingly volatile capital city are fleeing:

North Korea to reopen nuclear plant

North Korea plans to revive a defunct nuclear plant, a blaze kills 13 children in Myanmar, and Cyprus’ foreign minister steps down. Today is Tuesday, April 2, and this is the World Wrap, brought to you by @dwbronner and @clarerrrr.

A combination photo shows a cooling tower being demolished at a North Korean nuclear plant in Yongbyon, in this photo taken June 27, 2008, and released by Kyodo. REUTERS/Kyodo

North Korea tones down bluster, plans to restart Soviet-era reactor. North Korea plans to rebuild and reopen a nuclear reactor that was shuttered in 2007 and partially destroyed in 2008. In restarting the plant, Pyongyang said it wants nuclear power as an energy source and war deterrent:

Big Pharma loses landmark case

India’s Supreme Court makes an historic patent ruling, Cyprus puts forth a plan, and South Korea vows a counter-strike should the North attack. Today is Monday, April 1, and this is a Fools’ Day-free zone. Here’s the World Wrap, brought to you by @dwbronner and @clarerrrr.


People gather at Novartis’ India headquarters in Mumbai, April 1, 2013. REUTERS/Vivek Prakash

Blow to Big Pharma. India’s Supreme Court ruled against Swiss pharmaceutical firm Novartis AG’s plea for patent protection for its cancer drug Glivec, tipping the scale in favor of local generic drugmakers:

Panic avoided as Cyprus banks reopen

Cypriots remain orderly as banks finally reopen, the U.S. warns Kim Jong-un by flying Stealth bombers over South Korea, and an investigation into Russian oligarch’s mysterious death opens. Today is Thursday, March 28, and this is the World Wrap, brought to you by @dwbronner and @clarerrrr.


Customers line up outside a branch of Laiki Bank as they wait for it to reopen in Nicosia, March 28, 2013. REUTERS/Yorgos Karahalis

Calm after the storm.  Cyprus finally reopened its banks on Thursday after shuttering them for nearly two weeks while a 10 billion euro bailout plan was decided upon. Cypriots waiting in line to withdraw cash were surprisingly calm. Cyprus enacted temporary but strict capital controls to avoid a feared bank run, which appears to have been averted for now:

North Korea to sever last communication channel with South

North Korea announces it will cut communication channels with the South, a new pope profile reveals a keen political mind, and Syria’s opposition says denied missile request sends message of support to Assad. Today is Wednesday, March 27, and this is the World Wrap, brought to you by @dwbronner and @clarerrrr.


North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un (L) watches soldiers of the Korean People’s Army (KPA) taking part in the landing and anti-landing drills of KPA Large Combined Units 324 and 287 and KPA Navy Combined Unit 597, in the eastern sector of the front and the east coastal area on March 25, 2013, in this picture released by the North’s KCNA news agency in Pyongyang, March 26, 2013.

North Korea threatens South with the silent treatment. Facing new U.N. sanctions and continuing a trend of hyperbolic threats, North Korea announced today that it will break off its single line of communication with South Korea in anticipation of war that could break out at “any moment”:

Syrian opposition takes seat at the table at Arab Summit

Resigned opposition leader takes Syria’s seat at Arab Summit, North Korea boasts battle readiness, and Thailand’s government agrees to meet jihadist group. Today is Tuesday, March 26, and this is the World Wrap, brought to you by @dwbronner and @clarerrrr.


The Syrian opposition flag is seen in front of the seat of the Syrian delegation at the opening the Arab League summit in Doha on March 26, 2013. REUTERS/Ahmed Jadallah

Back so soon? The recently-resigned leader of the Syrian National Coalition, Moaz Alkhatib, took Syria’s seat at an Arab Summit in Doha today, marking the first time the opposition has been included in such talks. Alkhatib asked the U.S. for aid during the meeting:

Cyprus strikes last-minute bailout deal

Cyprus and the EU strike bailout deal hours before deadline, John Kerry makes surprise visit, and the Free Syrian Army founder loses his leg in a blast. Today is Monday, March 25, and this is the World Wrap, brought to you by @dwbronner and @clarerrrr.



A combination of four pictures shows Germany’s Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble as he addresses a news conference in Berlin on March 25, 2013.  REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch

An end to the bitter Cyprus bailout saga. After nearly a week of uncertainty, the Cypriot parliament finally agreed on a bailout plan that will close its second-largest bank and seize funds from uninsured bank accounts. Cyprus rejected on Tuesday an EU plan requiring a tax of roughly ten percent on bank accounts above 100,000 euros, and a comparable but more modest figure on smaller accounts. The parliament was forced to revisit the offer after Russia rejected requests for aid. The final plan takes pressure off of small depositors:

Without Russian aid, Cyprus is at EU’s mercy

Cypriot officials must agree on a bailout plan without Russia, Putin’s pick to head the central bank raises eyebrows, and Myanmar officials declare a state of emergency after days of violence. Today is Friday, March 22, and this is the World Wrap, brought to you by @dwbronner.


Police officers stand guard outside parliament during a rally by employees of Cyprus Popular Bank in Nicosia, March 21, 2013.  REUTERS/Yannis Behrakis

Cyprus teeters on the brink. Russia rejected Cyprus’ plea for financial aid, leaving the Cypriot parliament with few options as the European Central Bank’s deadline for a bailout plan approaches on Monday. If Cyprus does not reach a decision, the ECB will cut funds to Cypriot banks, potentially forcing the country to abandon the euro:

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