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North Korea Launches Long Range Rocket, Claims to Put Satellite in Orbit: VIDEO

Nkorea

North Korea launched a long-range rocket and claimed to have launched a satellite into space yesterday, in a move that angered the world community, particularly South Korea and Japan, which the rocket's path traversed, NBC News reports:

U.S. officials told NBC News that it appeared the North Koreans had indeed launched an object, possibly a satellite, into space.

In a statement, the White House said the rocket launch was a highly provocative act that threatens regional security and violates U.N. resolutions. A spokesman for U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said he "deplores" the launch.

Ban said it was "all the more regrettable because it defies the unified and strong call from the international community." He added that he was "in close touch with the government concerned."

Missile warning systems detected the launch at 7:49 p.m. ET, and initial reports indicate that the first stage fell into the Yellow Sea. The second stage was predicted to fall into the Philippine Sea, according to a statement issued by the North American Aerospace Defense Command.

Pyongyang's official KCNA news agency said earlier that the rocket was fired from the Sohae Satellite Launch Center on the secretive country's west coast, and said that the Kwangmyongsong weather satellite went into orbit as planned.

Watch RT's report and the Japanese and South Korean reaction, AFTER THE JUMP...

The White House has condemned the launch. Said National Security Council spokesman Tommy Vietor:

"North Korea is only further isolating itself by engaging in such provocative acts. Devoting scarce resources to the development of ballistic missiles and nuclear weapons has not brought it security and acceptance by the international community — and never will. North Korea will only truly strengthen itself by abiding by international norms, living up to its commitments and international obligations, and working to feed its citizens, to educate its children, and to win the trust of its neighbors."

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Christians Protest Lady Gaga's Concert In Seoul; Pray It Won't Go Through

Gagagag

Lady Gaga is currently in South Korea, where she'll launch her Born This Way Ball tour on April 27th in Seoul's Olympic Stadium. Many thousands will be in attendance, but Seoul's most devout protestants will not be among them. Indeed, if the protestants had their way, nobody would see Gaga, and the pious are petitioning their deity to prevent the concert from going ahead.

PrayFrom Raw Story:

About 300 Protestant church members will gather in downtown Seoul Sunday night to hold a group prayer against the concert in the capital, Kang Ju-Hyun, a prayer organiser told AFP.

“We will pray to God that the concert will not be realised so that homosexuality and pornography will not spread around the country,” he said.

Kang, who leads a group called Alliance for Sound Culture In Sexuality, said other major church groups would join his campaign by holding protests around the Seoul headquarters of Hyundai Card, the concert organiser.

The Korean Association of Church Communication vowed last month to take “concerted action to stop young people from being infected with homosexuality and pornography.”

Last week, the Alliance for Sound Culture In Sexuality set up "street banners" around Seoul, which accused Gaga of spreading sin and sodomy with her "lewd lyrics and performances." The banners were removed by the city, but that's only a partial defeat for the Alliance: they and their censorious fellows have already succeeded in limiting concert attendance to fans 18 years of age and older.

Raw Story points out that South Korea is East Asia's second most Christian country after the Philippines. The Born This Way Ball will visit the Philippines in a few weeks, but the devout there are mostly Catholics, and less likely to be offended by pageantry.


News: DOMA's Dems, Bradley Manning, Jerry Springer, Microsoft's Move

CGorham  road Bradley Manning as an "unconventional revolutionary:" "In the gravityless world of the web, Manning could be all he wanted to be—gay, patriotic, and powerful, too... When the computer was turned off and his Army comrades returned, his superpowers disappeared."

 road Football player DeSean Jackson had some choice words for a "gay ass" radio caller.

 road Christopher Gorham, perhaps best known for playing Henry on Ugly Betty, has some serious guns.

 road South Korea hopes to digitize all school books by 2015.

 road Freshman Republicans in the House propose term-limit amendment.

 road Lesbian soccer team hits the pitch.

 road French LGBT activists arrested outside Russian Embassy in Paris while protesting Moscow's anti-gay pride violence.

 road Three in ten Americans think the Bible is literally the word of God.

 road The decline of real estate value has cost the American people $7.38 trillion.

 road Jerry Springer is prepared to pay Casey Anthony $1 million for a post-trial interview.

 road Here's a complete list of the 19 Democrats who supported Virginia Foxx's defense budget amendment that reinforces DOMA: Reps. Jason Altmire (D-​Pa.), John Barrow (D-​Ga.), Sanford Bishop (D-​Ga.), Dan Boren (D-​Okla.), Ben Chandler (D-​Ky.), Jerry Costello (D-​Ill.), Mark Critz (D-​Pa.), Henry Cuellar (D-​Texas), Joe Donnelly (D-​Ind.), Gene Green (D-​Texas), Tim Holden (D-​Pa.), Larry Kissell (D-N.C.), Dan Lipinski (D-​Ill.), Mike McIntyre (D-N.C.), James Matheson (D-​Utah), Collin Peterson (D-​Minn.), Nich Rahall (D-W.V.), Mike Ross (D-​Ark.) and Heath Shuler (D-N.C.).

TheVatican road The Vatican's representative at the United Nations, Archbishop Silvano Tomasi, disapproves of the UN's resolution supporting LGBT rights: "The resolution marks a change. It is seen as the beginning of a movement within the international community and the United Nations to insert gay rights in the global human rights agenda.” Yeah, that was the point.

 road Will News of the World's closing impact Fox News?

 road European tabloids react to News of the World's closing.

 road Atlantic City gets a new gay bar. Does this make you want to take a trip?

 road Tom Ford makes wide generalizations: "Americans are too fat. And in London they are starting to get fat too. So I have to say that if we have to talk about race system and nationalism, I find it refreshing that everyone Chinese is slim."

 road DOWNLOAD: Michelle Williams' new track, "Love Gun."

 road Um, it's about time: "Adolf Hitler is now formally persona non grata in the town of his birth. The town council in the Austrian village of Braunau has unanimously decided to withdraw honorary citizenship from the community's most infamous son, 78 years after the Nazi dictator was given the title."

 road Plane crashes in Democratic Republic of Congo, 127 dead.

AndrewLincoln  road Microsoft removed itself from Stephen Baldwin and Michael Lohan's Christian Values Network. Will Wells Fargo, Delta, Apple and other companies follow suit?

 road San Francisco's lawyers shoot down circumcision ban's language: "The city of San Francisco weighed in for the first time Thursday on a local ballot measure that would ban the circumcision of male children, arguing that the proposed law would be unconstitutional if it applies to Jewish mohels but not pediatricians and other doctors"

 road From Chicago: "Three teens are charged with a hate crime after making derogatory statements and threatening someone Thursday night near Millennium Park."

 road Here the unofficial trailer for season two of AMC's adaptation of the comic book The Walking Dead.


Towleroad Guide to the Tube #904

MARRIAGE WATCH: Matt Baume on new polls in Minnesota and New York.

SANTORUM: Woman faints during Santorum's 2012 presidential announcement.

KOREA'S GOT TALENT: The lastest 'Susan Boyle moment' from the international franchise.

GAY SOFTBALL: The NAGAAA gay softball discrimination suit recently in the news gets the Taiwanese animation treatment.

For recent Guides to the Tube, click HERE.


Anti-Gay Military Ban Upheld In South Korea

A South Korean court has upheld a military law banning homosexual behavior. AFP reports:

Korea "In a 5-4 split decision, the court ruled that the military criminal code which punishes homosexual behaviour with up to one year in prison is constitutional. 'The legal code cannot be seen as discrimination against gays because such behaviour, if left unchecked, might result in subordinates being harassed by superiors in military barracks,' it said in a statement. The law's purpose was to ensure discipline within the whole military organisation, the court said. The ruling came after an army military court filed a petition with the Constitutional Court. It asked whether the military criminal code, written in 1962, was discriminatory against gay soldiers and thus unconstitutional. Homosexuality is not illegal under the civil legal code."

Last year, South Korea's Human Rights Commission criticized the military saying that the unfair law violated soldiers' human rights.


South Korea in 'Crisis Status' After North Korean Shelling

Skorea

Tensions are high on the Korean peninsula following shelling of areas of South Korea earlier today by North Korea:

"Two South Korean soldiers were killed, 15 were wounded and three civilians were injured, said Kiyheon Kwon, an official at the Defense Ministry. The South Korean military went to 'crisis status,' and fighter planes were put on alert but did not take off. South Korean artillery units returned fire after the North’s shells struck South Korea’s Yeonpyeong Island at 2:34 p.m., said Mr. Kwon, adding that the North also fired numerous rounds into the Yellow Sea. Television footage showed large plumes of black smoke spiraling from the island, and news reports said dozens of houses were on fire."

White House statement from Robert Gibbs

"Earlier today North Korea conducted an artillery attack against the South Korean island of Yeonpyeong. We are in close and continuing contact with our Korean allies. The United States strongly condemns this attack and calls on North Korea to halt its belligerent action and to fully abide by the terms of the Armistice Agreement. The United States is firmly committed to the defense of our ally, the Republic of Korea, and to the maintenance of regional peace and stability."

Watch some raw footage, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "South Korea in 'Crisis Status' After North Korean Shelling" »


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