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Chatter: North Korea cuts off contact

North Korea isn't speaking to South Korea, SCOTUS hears more about gay marriage, David Petraeus says sorry, and scientists make a real-life invisibility cloak... kinda.
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Graphic. (Antler Agency/GlobalPost)
           

                      

   

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NEED TO KNOW

Koreas cut off. North Korea has severed its last remaining channel of communication with the South, since "war may break out at any moment." As of today, calls to the military hotline used to liaise on the countries' shared industrial complex will go unanswered.

That's one way to block out unwelcome advice. North Korean officials earlier warned the South's President Park Geun-hye that she'd better "watch her tongue" after urging Pyongyang to give up its nuclear ambitions. North Korea would never be so indiscreet, of course: its politburo has announced that it will meet in the coming days to discuss an "important issue" and a "drastic turn" – though on what or when that'll be, it's remaining typically tight-lipped.

WANT TO KNOW

DOMA or don't? The US Supreme Court will soon complete its hearings on same-sex marriage, on which basis justices will have to decide whether to strike down or uphold the Defense of Marriage Act. Today's session will focus on whether legally wed gay couples should be denied federal benefits because their marriage does not fit DOMA's legal definition of "a union between a man and a woman."

A ruling on both that and yesterday's case (the legality of California's ban on same-sex marriage) is due by the end of June. Here's what SCOTUS might or might not decide.

Myanmar's Muslims are under attack. The government has imposed curfews in three more towns where mosques and Muslim-owned shops and homes have been the target of violence, the escalation of riots that began in Meikhtila one week ago. The UN's special envoy says the attacks are no indiscriminate rampage, but have been staged with "brutal efficiency."

The people whipping up anti-Muslim malice the loudest are nationalist Buddhist monks. GlobalPost goes inside their efforts to divide Buddhist from Muslim.

His bad. David Petraeus, the former CIA director who resigned abruptly four months ago when he could no longer conceal an affair with his biographer, has apologized for, well, all that. In his first public address since the unpleasantness, Petraeus said he was "keenly aware that I am regarded in a different light now than I was a year ago," and that if so it was no one's fault but his own.

He deeply regrets what happened, Petraeus says, but "life doesn't stop with such a mistake. It can and must go on." Does this show of humility mean that the general believes his once illustrious career can and must go on, too?

STRANGE BUT TRUE

It's not magic, it's science. Researchers at the University of Texas say they've created a real-life invisibility cloak, just like the ones fantasized about by sci-fi fans, oh, forever. OK, so it's not just like those: for a start, it only works in microwave light. (Don't ask us to explain exactly how. Something to do with scattering incoming light waves, apparently.)

The developers say the same technique could in principal be applied in visible light, but only to very tiny objects. Objects only micrometers big. Objects so small as to be practically... invisible, in fact.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatches/globalpost-blogs/chatter/chatter-north-korea-cuts-contact

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