North Korea’s Long-Range Missile Fails After Liftoff

Defying international pressure, North Korea launched a long-range missile Friday morning. However, U.S. officials say they believe the attempted launch failed before the missile was able to leave the Earth’s atmosphere.

U.S. officials confirm that a North Korean long-range missile appears to have broken apart midair after launch. Officials say they believe the missile fell apart within the Earth’s atmosphere before crashing into the sea. South Korea’s Defense Ministry first reported the launch, which is seen as defying international warnings and widely viewed as a provocation from the rogue state. The U.N. Security Council will meet Friday to discuss a response to the North’s attempted launch.


South Korean and U.S. intelligence reports say the launch was made from the west coast launch pad in the hamlet of Tongchang-ri. The launch comes after weeks of speculation regarding the possible launch, which North Korea’s government says was being done to send a weather satellite into orbit. If true, it would represent the third failed attempt by North Korea to send a satellite into space since 1998.

North Korea says it was timing the launch to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the birth of the country’s former leader, Kim Il Sung, which they are celebrating Sunday. However, most observers say the launch is actually tied to the country’s missile program. Japan has already given its military clearance to shoot down the rocket if it crosses into Japanese airspace.

There was no word from North Korea’s capital, Pyongyang, about the launch. North Korean television was reportedly broadcasting popular folk music at the time of the launch and has only said it will offer an announcement on the launch “soon.”

Source: Yahoo News

Image: Times 24/7

Feds Shut Down 150 Websites in Counterfeit Probe

U.S. officials used Cyber Monday to announce court orders shutting down 150 domain names of commercial websites they say were selling “many millions” of dollars worth of counterfeit goods. Sports jerseys and uniforms, DVDs, shoes and handbags, golf sets and exercise equipment were among the more popular purchases of “knock off” versions of name brand products, officials said.

Investigations show the majority of those engaged in defrauding rights-holding companies and consumers are from China, but the phony goods are also produced in other countries, according to top law enforcement officials. The officials say they conduct undercover purchases with the help of legitimate rights holders to confirm the goods are bogus.

They acknowledge the operators of the websites are beyond the reach of U.S. agents, and when the sites selling counterfeit goods are shut down, the same criminal enterprises sometimes simply change domain names and continue to prey on customers. Officials are concerned that some of the millions of dollars in proceeds may end up in the hands of organized crime.

The government places banners on the seized websites explaining why they were shut down. Last year, the banners registered 77 million hits, so authorities are hopeful public awareness of the criminal nature of the problem is increasing.

Beyond clothing and electronic knock-offs, he said, officials are especially worried about the threat to safety and health when counterfeit goods involve such things as air bags, drugs, car batteries and engine parts. They encourage consumers to be on the lookout for misleading labels and spelling errors to avoid getting ripped off.

 

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