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Why can’t North Korea launch a spy satellite?

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North Korea’s second attempt to deploy a spy satellite into orbit has failed as its rocket booster encountered a malfunction in its third stage, according to reports from state media.

The setback has not deterred the nation’s space authorities, who are determined to make another attempt come October.

This recent mishap marks the second unsuccessful effort by North Korea to launch a spy satellite, following its initial try in May, which saw the Chollima-1 rocket plunge into the sea.

The launch, executed before dawn, took place within the opening hours of an eight-day window that North Korea had initially announced for the operation. The secretive nation has expressed its ambition to place its inaugural military spy satellite in orbit, as part of a broader plan to establish a constellation of satellites aimed at surveilling the movements of U.S. and South Korean military forces.

State news agency KCNA attributed the failure of Thursday’s launch to an anomaly in the emergency blasting system during the third-stage flight. According to South Korea’s military, which closely monitored the mission from the North’s Sohae Satellite Launching Ground, the flight ended in failure, and efforts are underway to locate and potentially retrieve any debris.

The launch event triggered an emergency alert in Japan shortly before 4 a.m. local time (1900 GMT), prompting residents in Okinawa to seek shelter. Approximately 20 minutes later, the Japanese government declared that the missile had passed and consequently lifted the emergency warning.

In a press conference, Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno voiced concern over the recurring missile launches, labelling them as a genuine threat to regional security. “We will strongly protest against North Korea and condemn it in the strongest possible terms,” Matsuno stated, revealing that sections of the rocket had descended into the Yellow Sea, the East China Sea, and the Pacific Ocean.

The launch garnered swift international condemnation. South Korea’s National Security Council deemed the event a provocation and a violation of U.N. Security Council resolutions that prohibit North Korea’s utilisation of ballistic missile technology.

The White House also denounced the launch, citing its infringement on multiple U.N. Security Council resolutions. The U.S. State Department called upon North Korea to cease “further threatening activity” and urged Pyongyang to engage in earnest diplomatic discussions.

A spokesperson from the U.S. State Department emphasised that the technologies employed in space launch vehicles (SLVs) closely resemble those found in ballistic missiles, including intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs).

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President Biden says it’s time to ‘pass the torch’

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President Joe Biden said on Wednesday he is “passing the torch to a new generation” as he explained his abrupt departure from the 2024 presidential race to Americans for the first time, in an Oval Office address capping over 50 years in politics.

“I revere this office,” Biden said. “But I love my country more.”

Biden, 81, rebuffed weeks of pressure from Democrats to step aside after a disastrous debate performance on June 27, saying at one point that only the “Lord Almighty” could convince him to go.

Unite the nation

“I have decided the best way forward is to pass the torch to a new generation. That is the best way to unite our nation,” Biden said.

Biden made his decision after days of soul-searching and agonizing over internal polling that predicted he could lose against Republican Donald Trump in November and drag down fellow Democrats with him.

“The great thing about America is here, kings and dictators do not rule. The people do. History is in your hands. The power is in your hands. The idea of America – lies in your hands,” Biden will say, according to the speech excerpts.

It will be Biden’s first extended public remarks since he relented to pressure from fellow Democrats and announced on Sunday via social media that he had decided not to seek reelection on Nov. 5.

Biden is the first incumbent president not to seek reelection since 1968 when Lyndon Johnson, under fire for his handling of the Vietnam War, abruptly pulled out of the campaign on March 31.

Biden also joins James K. Polk, James Buchanan, Rutherford B. Hayes, Calvin Coolidge and Harry Truman as presidents who all decided not to stand for a second elected term.

Biden faced calls to step aside after his rocky performance in the debate against Trump raised troubling questions about his mental acuity.

Since he stepped aside, however, Democrats have rallied around him, paying tribute to his character and his record as president.

Watching together

A crowd of staff walked into the White House earlier in the evening to watch the speech together. An official said a reception and “viewing party” were being held across the White House’ state floor for Biden’s address.

The White House has denied that Biden has any cognitive issues despite a recent increase in verbal slipups.

Biden said he will focus on his job as president over his remaining six months in office. He is to meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday on efforts to negotiate a Gaza ceasefire.

It was the fourth time Biden used the formal setting of the Oval Office since taking office in 2021. His last Oval Office speech was on July 15 when he urged Americans to cool the political rhetoric after the attempted assassination of Trump.

Biden’s political career began when he was elected to the Senate in 1972 at age 29, becoming the sixth youngest U.S. senator. He will conclude his White House tenure on Jan. 20, 2025, as the oldest American president when he will have already turned 82.

“The defense of democracy is more important than any title,” Biden said. “I draw strength, and find joy, in working for the American people. But this sacred task of perfecting our Union is not about me. It’s about you. Your families. Your futures. It’s about ‘We the People.’”

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AI enters the Big Brother house, raising concerns around the truth of reality TV

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How will the integration of AI into reality TV impact audience engagement and what role will this have on the future of entertainment?

The latest season of Big Brother has left fans scratching their heads with the introduction of Big Brother AI, also knowns as BB AI, taking centre stage.

Tom Finnigan from Talkingbrands.ai joins to discuss all the curious AI cases of the week. #featured

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UN initiative aims to set international standards for AI ethics

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The United Nations has launched a comprehensive initiative aimed at establishing international guidelines for the governance of artificial intelligence.

The UN seeks to address ethical concerns, regulatory frameworks, and human rights implications associated with AI advancements.

Dr. Karen Sutherland from the UniSC joins to discuss the latest. #featured

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