North Korea ups threats
The White House said Saturday it is taking seriously new threats by North Korea, but also noted Pyongyang’s history of “bellicose rhetoric.”
North Korea warned Seoul on Saturday that the Korean Peninsula had entered “a state of war.” It also threatened to shut down a border factory complex that is the last major symbol of cooperation between the Koreas.
“We’ve seen reports of a new and unconstructive statement from North Korea. We take these threats seriously and remain in close contact with our South Korean allies,” said Caitlin Hayden, a spokeswoman for the White House National Security Council. “But, we would also note that North Korea has a long history of bellicose rhetoric and threats, and today’s announcement follows that familiar pattern.”
Mandela breathing better
Nelson Mandela is breathing “without difficulty” after having a procedure to clear fluid in his lung area that was caused by pneumonia, the spokesman for South Africa’s president said Saturday.
Mandela, the 94-year-old former president and anti-apartheid leader, had a recurrence of pneumonia, said presidential spokesman Mac Maharaj. South African officials previously had not specified that Mandela had pneumonia, saying instead that he had a lung infection.
Mandela’s medical team reported that the increasingly frail ex-leader “had developed a pleural effusion which was tapped,” the office of President Jacob Zuma said in a statement. “This has resulted in him now being able to breathe without difficulty. He continues to respond to treatment and is comfortable.”
Kenyan election upheld
Kenya’s Supreme Court on Saturday upheld the election of Uhuru Kenyatta as the country’s next president, and the loser accepted that verdict, ending an election season that riveted the nation with fears of a repeat of the 2007-08 post-election violence.
Jubilant Kenyatta supporters flooded the streets of downtown Nairobi, honking horns, blowing plastic noisemakers and chanting.
But supporters of defeated Prime Minister Raila Odinga angrily protested after the verdict; police fired tear gas at them outside the Supreme Court as well as in the lakeside city of Kisumu, Odinga’s hometown.
Two young men participating in riots were fatally shot in Kisumu, police spokesman Masoud Mwinyi told The Associated Press, although it was not clear by whom, and residents there said they could hear gunshots late in the night.
Couple deny mistreatment
A couple from the Philadelphia area say they are shocked and hurt by accusations of mistreatment by an adopted son who left and went back to Russia.
Alexander Abnosov, 18, who was renamed Joshua Salotti when he and another youth were adopted five years ago, told Russian state-controlled media that his adoptive family treated him badly and that he lived on the streets of Philadelphia and stole just to survive.
“My reaction to that, it’s very hurtful because we poured our lives into these boys,” Abnosov’s adoptive father, an emotional Steve Salotti, told a Philadelphia TV station.