A grainy photograph showing smoke rising in the distance from a destroyed building.

A smoke rises from Kaesong Industrial Complex in this picture taken from the south in Paju, South Korea, June 16, 2020.

Credit:

Yonhap via Reuters

Top of The World — our morning news round up written by editors at The World. Subscribe here.

In a dramatic escalation of tensions, North Korea blew up the liaison office used to improve relations with South Korea on Tuesday. Surveillance video released by South Korea's Ministry of Defence showed the building, located in the border town of Kaesong, in a large explosion that appeared to bring down the four-story structure. The office, which effectively served as a de facto embassy for the two countries, has been closed since January due to the novel coronavirus.

The destruction of the office adds to tensions that have been rising over recent weeks, as North Korea has threatened to cut ties with the South for what it says is retaliation over propaganda leaflets critical of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un that have been sent over the border by human rights activists. The liaison office between the North and the South was established in 2018 as part of a series of projects aimed at reducing tensions.

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In a move to stop a flare-up of new coronavirus cases, Beijing has imposed restrictions on public transport and banned high-risk people, such as those in close contact with others who have tested positive for COVID-19, from leaving the city. The new outbreak in China’s capital, where more than 100 cases have been reported since Thursday, has been traced to a large wholesale food center in the southwest of the city. 

Three Indian soldiers were killed today in a confrontation with Chinese troops in the disputed border region of Kashmir. They are the first casualties in decades to result from a clash between India and China in the disputed border region. The two nuclear powers have been locked in a standoff for weeks over boundary disputes.

France is now backing away from an ban on police use of chokeholds announced last week. France reversed course on the ban after officers voiced concerns that the move would threaten their lives. France had announced the ban after weeks of protests following the killing of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer, which for many recalled the similar death of Adama Traoré in police custody in France in 2016.

From The World

Why many in public health support anti-racism protests — with some precautions amid coronavirus

Visitors look at a memorial at the site of the arrest of George Floyd, who died while in police custody, in Minneapolis, June 14, 2020.

Visitors look at a memorial at the site of the arrest of George Floyd, who died while in police custody, in Minneapolis, June 14, 2020.

Credit:

Eric Miller/Reuters 

Many health care workers say the coronavirus pandemic and systemic racism are intertwined. So when protests erupted across the globe in response to George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis, many health professionals understood the public outcry, despite the risks of being in large crowds.

When ‘oh, fudge’ won’t do: Researchers find benefits to swearing

A man poses for the camera with his hands over his mouth in this stock photo

Researchers at the Swear Lab at Keele University in the UK have studied the benefits of swearing. 

Credit:

iStockphoto

When you stub your toe, there’s nothing like letting out a string of expletives. But it turns out, there’s more to this release than you might think. Researchers have found that swearing can actually increase a person’s pain tolerance — and no, you can’t substitute in a PG equivalent like “Oh fudge!” Only the real thing will do.

Morning meme

What should replace recently toppled statues in the US, Britain and elsewhere? One suggestion that gained some viral traction on social media recently — air dancers.


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Listen: Public health consequences of protests during a pandemic

A large group of people are shown kneeling while spaced apart from each other in Trafalgar Square.

People wearing masks and holding signs kneel during a Black Lives Matter protest in Trafalgar Square in London, Britain, June 5, 2020.

Credit:

Toby Melville/Reuters

Thousands have taken to the streets around the world to protest police brutality and systemic racism. But many public health experts are not as distressed about these large demonstrations as one might think. And, as the US targets the International Criminal Court with sanctions, the court makes a breakthrough in Sudan. Also, a team of psychology researchers in the UK has found that swearing can increase a person's pain tolerance.

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