PYONGYANG, North Korea
Tranquility replaces tension
As the world braced for a provocative missile launch by North Korea, with newscasts worldwide playing up tensions on the Korean Peninsula, the center of the storm was strangely calm.
The focus in Pyongyang on Wednesday was less on preparing for war and more on beautifying the capital ahead of the nation’s biggest holiday: the April 15 birthday of the nation’s founder, Kim Il Sung. Soldiers put down their rifles to blanket the barren ground with sod and students picked up shovels to help plant trees.
But the impoverished, tightly controlled nation that has historically used major holidays to draw the world’s attention by showing off its military power could well mark the occasion by testing a missile designed to strike U.S. military installations in Japan and Guam.
Imposter guilty in killing
A notorious Rockefeller impostor was found guilty Wednesday of first-degree murder in the death of a man whose bones were found buried beneath the backyard of a suburban home.
Christian Gerhartsreiter was tried 28 years after the disappearance of newlyweds John and Linda Sohus in a heavily circumstantial cold case. Much of the prosecution’s evidence focused on the strange behavior of the man who adopted many names including Clark Rockefeller. He masqueraded as an heir to the fabled oil fortune for 20 years.
The case went to the jury late Tuesday morning and the verdict was reached shortly after the panel returned Wednesday.
Weiner mulls mayoral run
Former U.S. Rep. Anthony Weiner, who resigned over a sexting scandal in 2011, says he’s weighing a run for New York City mayor this year.
The Democrat told The New York Times Magazine in a story posted online Wednesday that “it’s now or maybe never for me” but acknowledged that it’s a long shot because some people “just don’t have room for a second narrative about me.”
Weiner said that his political committee spent more than $100,000 on polling and research by Obama’s longtime pollster, David Binder, but said he doesn’t know when he’ll decide on entering the race.
Weiner represented a Brooklyn-Queens district for more than a decade before resigning over his lewd interactions with several women on Twitter and elsewhere online.
Report: Expect bumpy flight
Tourists, exchange students, masters of the financial universe and other business travelers: It’s time to buckle up.
More pollution is likely to mean bumpier flights for trans-Atlantic travelers, researchers say, predicting increased turbulence over the North Atlantic as carbon dioxide levels rise.
University of East Anglia climate expert Manoj Joshi said scientists have long studied the impact of the carbon-heavy aviation industry on climate change but he took a new tack. In a paper published Monday in the journal Nature Climate Change, Joshi and colleague Paul Williams ran a climate simulation that cranked up the level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere to twice its pre-industrial level — roughly 50 percent more than now.