World briefs

NORTH KOREA has conducted a ground test of a new type of high-thrust rocket engine that leader Kim Jong Un is calling a revolutionary breakthrough for the country’s space program, the North’s state media said yesterday. Kim called the test “a great event of historic significance” for the country’s indigenous rocket industry, the KCNA report said.

PHILIPPINES President Rodrigo Duterte said yesterday that he would not be intimidated by an impeachment complaint and threats of an international lawsuit for his anti-drug crackdown and added that he’d rather have criminals dead even in the “thousands or billions” if they threaten law enforcers than see his men killed.

MYANMAR Four men accused of involvement in the murder of a top legal adviser to Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi’s ruling party appeared in a Yangon court on Friday to hear the charges against them. Three of the suspects are former army officers, fueling speculation the military was involved with the crime — an accusation it denies.

JAPAN The government held its first-ever drill Friday to protect citizens in case a ballistic missile is launched toward Japan. More than 100 residents were warned by loudspeakers of a possible missile threat and urged to seek shelter indoors because missile parts might fall. 

RUSSIA About 4,000 people have demonstrated in St. Petersburg to protest the handover of the city’s landmark St. Isaac’s Cathedral to the control of the Russian Orthodox Church, which they see as a leader of social conservatism.

MALDIVES The Maldives’ government said Friday that Saudi Arabia’s king has postponed an official visit because of the spread of swine flu in the archipelago nation.

ITALY’s president, whose brother was murdered by Cosa Nostra, traveled on Sunday to an organized crime stronghold to honor hundreds of Italians slain by the country’s crime clans over the past decades. President Sergio Mattarella also praised the judges, prosecutors, police officers, union leaders, businessmen and politicians who courageously combatted or denounced organized crime.

PERU The intense rains, overflowing rivers, mudslides and flooding being experienced in the country are the worst seen in two decades, Peruvian authorities said Saturday, affecting more than half the nation as the death toll since the beginning of the year hit 72. 

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