Pakistan yesterday tested its longest-range missile yet, capable of carrying a nuclear warhead and hitting targets deep inside neighboring India, a defense ministry official said. \nThe official, who did not want to be named, said the test was "100 percent successful." The official did not disclose where the test was conducted. \n"It can carry both conventional and unconventional warheads," he said. \nThe surface-to-surface Shaheen 2 missile has a range of 2,000km. Pakistan's previous longest-range missile was the Ghouri, tested in 1997, which has a range of 1,300km. \nPakistan's Foreign Ministry spokesman Masood Khan said on Monday that "neighbors and concerned countries," including India, would be informed in advance of the test -- which comes despite peace moves in recent months between the South Asian rivals. \n"We have to test these missiles from time to time," he told a press conference on Monday. \nDomestically, the test appeared aimed at allaying concerns that President Pervez Musharraf was rolling back the country's nuclear program under international pressure, after Pakistan's top nuclear scientist admitted spreading sensitive technology to other countries. \nMusharraf has vowed to retain Pakistan's nuclear deterrent against larger neighbor India. Pakistan conducted a nuclear test in 1998. \nTalat Masood, a former army general and military analyst, said the missile test demonstrated Pakistan's advances in missile technology and would help ease criticism at home in the wake of the nuclear proliferation scandal.
POLAND-GERMANY RIFT: Warsaw’s response to Berlin over a NATO system that would increase the alliance’s involvement in the war came as Kyiv accused Russia of war crimes Anti-missile systems that Germany offered to send to Poland should instead go to Ukraine, the Polish government said on Thursday, a proposal that is likely a nonstarter for Berlin because it would significantly ratchet up NATO involvement in Ukraine. Poland’s surprising response to Berlin’s offer was welcomed by Ukraine, which is desperate to protect its airspace as barrages of Russian missiles have knocked out power across the country. German Minister of Defense Christine Lambrecht said that use of NATO defense systems outside its territory needs to be agreed by all member states. “It is important to us that Poland can rely on allies
MONEY-MAKING SCHEME: Some students said they were misled about study or work opportunities, or were not told that they were coming to a self-proclaimed republic Foreign students are big business in northern Cyprus, a tiny, breakaway statelet only recognized by Turkey, but some warn that university recruiters are selling “dreams” in the internationally and economically isolated territory. One Nigerian student, who asked to remain anonymous, said he expected to arrive in the country whose soccer teams compete in European tournaments. Instead, when he saw the currency was the embattled Turkish lira, he realized this was “not the Cyprus I thought it was.” The Mediterranean island is divided between the internationally recognized Republic of Cyprus and a northern statelet established after Turkey launched a 1974 invasion in
COUNTERING CHINA: The vice president said on the island of Palawan that the US supports the Philippines ‘in the face of intimidation ... in the South China Sea’ US Vice President Kamala Harris yesterday visited a Philippine island near waters claimed by Taiwan and China to show support for the longtime US ally and counter Beijing’s growing influence in the region. Harris is the highest-ranking US official ever to visit the western island of Palawan, the closest Philippine landmass to the Spratly Islands (Nansha Islands, 南沙群島) in the hotly contested South China Sea. Beijing claims sovereignty over almost the entire sea and has ignored an international court ruling that its claims have no legal basis. Taiwan, the Philippines, Brunei, Malaysia and Vietnam have overlapping claims to parts of
CRACKDOWN ON DISSENT: The prosecution had shelved sedition charges against the six in exchange for the defendants pleading guilty to ‘conspiring’ with Jimmy Lai Six former employees of a now-defunct Hong Kong pro-democracy newspaper yesterday pleaded guilty to a collusion charge under the National Security Law that has silenced and jailed most opposition voices in the southern Chinese territory. The staff members of the Apple Daily were arrested last year during a crackdown on dissent after Beijing imposed the sweeping security law in response to the widespread anti-government protests in 2019. They were charged with conspiracy to commit collusion with foreign forces to endanger national security. The six have been in pre-trial custody for almost a year-and-a-half. The law criminalizes acts of secession, subversion, terrorism, and collusion