More than 100,000 troops and civilians staged a mass rally in Pyongyang to celebrate North Korea’s nuclear test and praise the “matchless” bravery of leader Kim Jong-Un, state media said.
The rally in the capital’s sprawling Kim Il-Sung square on Thursday was attended by top party and military officials, as well as police workers and students, the official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said.
A number of speakers addressed the rally, praising Tuesday’s test as the “brilliant fruition of the extraordinary decision and matchless gut of the dear respected Kim Jong-Un”, KCNA said, in reference to the leader’s courage.
The young leader, who took over after the death of his father Kim Jong-Il in December 2011, did not attend the rally.
It was the North’s third test, following previous detonations in 2006 and 2009, and seismic data suggested it was significantly more powerful.
“It serves as a striking demonstration of the might of a scientific and technological power and a military power capable of manufacturing any strike,” KCNA said.
North Korea said the test — widely condemned by the international community — was a direct response to UN sanctions imposed on Pyongyang after its long-range rocket launch in December.
Pyongyang accused the United States of leading the sanctions charge in the UN Security Council, and speakers at Thursday’s rally threatened “merciless retaliatory blows” if the US pushed tougher sanctions after the nuclear test.
LGBTQ pride ‘forces’ people to accept ‘a perverted and non-biblical view of sexuality’: West Virginia Republican
West Virginia state Sen. Mike Azinger penned an angry op-ed for the Parkersburg News and Sentinel, scorning the idea of LGBTQ acceptance and warning that it is a massive plot to indoctrinate people against Christian values.
"Tolerance, in the face of the violation of the commandments of God, is no virtue at all," said Azinger, a manager of a contracting firm with a master's degree in pastoral theology. He ripped into the local newspaper for covering an LGBTQ pride event the previous Saturday, thundering that, "Sexual deviancy is going mainstream."
The Italian job: 2026 Winter Olympics will be staged in Milan/Cortina d’Ampezzo
Milan/Cortina d'Ampezzo was named as hosts of the 2026 Winter Olympics on Monday, beating off a bid from Stockholm/Are in Sweden and giving Italy the showpiece event for the third time.
The 2026 Olympics will run from February 6-22, said the International Olympic Committee.
Italy has twice previously hosted the Winter Games -- in 1956 in Cortina d'Ampezzo and 2006 in Turin. Sweden has only hosted the Summer Olympics, in 1912 in Stockholm.
IOC members gave the Italian bid the nod by 47 votes to 34.
"It's an historic day and a victory of all Italians," said Italy's interior minister Matteo Salvini.
Christian university president quits after massive backlash over inviting Mike Pence
Vice President Mike Pence's role in toxic administrations caused such a backlash that a Christian university is now searching for a new president.
"Taylor University President Paul Lowell Haines has resigned from the nondenominational Christian university a month after hosting Vice President Mike Pence as commencement speaker," Religious News Service reported Monday.
Students and alumni had protested the invitation.