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Chatter: North Korea's rockets on stand-by

Kim Jong Un orders North Korea's rockets ready for action, a Taliban suicide bomber strikes in Pakistan, Nelson Mandela is said to be "doing well" in hospital, and we learn what a Whizzinator's for.
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Graphic. (Antler Agency/GlobalPost)
           

                      

   

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NEED TO KNOW

Have rockets, will fire. Kim Jong Un has ordered North Korea's missile units to be put on stand-by, ready to strike the US, its Pacific military bases and South Korea at "any time."

Kim's latest words of war come in response to US stealth bomber flights over the Korean peninsula, part of joint military drills by American and South Korean forces. That move constituted an "ultimatum," Kim claims, and "the time has come to settle accounts." Let's hope the fighting talk doesn't translate into fighting action.

Suicide attack in Pakistan. Riding a motobike and clad in explosives, a suicide bomber blew himself up today next to a military convoy in Peshawar. At least six people are dead and a dozen more injured, though the apparent target of the attack, a senior police commander, survived.

The Taliban, whose stronghold in Pakistan's northwest tribal region lies next to Peshawar, has claimed responsibility. It's just their latest strike in a surge of violence ahead of general elections in May.

WANT TO KNOW

Nelson Mandela is doing "very well." So says South African President Jacob Zuma, as he seeks to dispel the morbid murmurings that accompany any change in the aging icon's health.

Mandela remains in hospital for a second day, where he is said to be responding "positively" to treatment for a lung infection. As South Africa watches, waits and hopes for good news about its founding father, Zuma tells the country it "must not panic."

Six hours to space. A Russian space capsule has made it to the International Space Station in record time, shaving off more than 40 hours from what used to be a two-day expedition.

An extremely precise set of steering maneuvers allowed the Soyuz capsule and its three-man crew to make the journey in just four orbits, rather than the usual 30. One cosmonaut joked that the trip's now so quick, they could bring ice cream to their Space Station colleagues.

STRANGE BUT TRUE

They call it "the Whizzinator." It's – how shall we put this – a fake willy. Complete with fake pee. And just one of the many (really?) uses it's been put to is helping people beat drug tests, as one man is accused of doing in Missouri last week.

Sydney Levin, 34, was allegedly spotted with the device by a parole officer as he gave a probation-mandated urine sample. He has now been charged with "possessing a forging instrument." That's one word for it.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatches/globalpost-blogs/chatter/chatter-north-koreas-rockets-stand