Chatter: North Korea stands down missiles




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Ready, aim, don't fire. North Korea has moved two mid-range missiles away from its eastern seaboard, signalling that it's not planning on firing them at South Korean or US targets any time soon.

North Korea's military moved the weapons there last month, at the height of the neighborly dispute. Since then, Pyongyang has toned down the war talk in favor of non-military threats, including imprisoning a US national and pulling its workers out of a joint North-South industrial complex. Just enough to ensure that South Korean President Park Geun Hye and President Barack Obama still have plenty to complain about at their summit in Washington later today.


The longest decade. Three young women have been found imprisoned in a house in Cleveland, ten years after each separately went missing. Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michele Knight finally managed to escape yesterday, after attracting the attention of a neighbor. Police say the women, all in their 20s, are now in hospital and as well as can be expected.

Three brothers have been arrested, including the home owner. They have 10 years' worth of questions to answer.

Where's the world's worst place to be a mother? According to UK charity Save the Children, it's the Democratic Republic of Congo. A woman or girl in the DRC has a one-in-30 chance of dying from maternal causes, compared to a one-in-12,200 risk in the world's safest spot, Finland.

That difference is part of a much larger pattern: 10 countries in sub-Saharan Africa score lowest for maternal health, child mortality, education and levels of women's income and political status, while all the top three are Nordic countries. (The USA, by the way, is 30th.) Save the Children is calling for dedicated investment to end what it calls the "startling" disparity.  

Gangsters? Grenades? Turf wars? It's not 1920s Chicago, it's current-day Japan. Faced with a shrinking pot of spoils, five mafia syndicates are waging an unusually vicious gang battle in the coastal prefecture of Fukuoka, home to the largest number of organized crime groups in the country. Authorities' attempts at a crackdown have been met with increasingly audacious fighting that's sucking in police and, at times, innocents.

GlobalPost reports on Japan's yakuza wars.


Arachnophobia: it's the only reasonable response. So the "black widow spiders eat the males after sex" thing is a myth, they say. They're not as cannibal-ly like everyone thinks, they say. No – because they're even cannibal-ier.

Researchers have discovered that it's not just female spiders that kill and eat their mates, it's the males too. And they do it before they've even got anywhere, simply because they don't consider them an attractive mate. It's almost enough to make tarantulas seem positively cute. Almost... except, y'know, not.