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Chatter: US and South Korea show off their strength

South Korea and the US begin joint naval drills under North Korea's nose, Iraq sees its second suicide bombing in two days, and we've finally found King Richard III.
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NEED TO KNOW

This old thing? Oh, that's just our nuclear submarine. The US has begun a series of joint naval drills with South Korea off the east coast of the Korean Peninsula, and it hopes that North Korea is watching.

The three-day exercises were planned even before North Korea started talking about a new nuclear test, which, to believe Kim Jong Un, is imminent. South Korean officials agree that the North has the technology ready to go – all that remains is for Kim to give the final order. While he makes up his mind, the joint show of force is intended to remind him what might happen if he does.

In Mali, it's the same war but a new battle. Having secured the rebels' former strongholds, French warplanes are now directing their airstrikes over the remote north where the insurgents have retreated. The aim is to destroy bases and cut off supply routes, flushing the rebels out of their desert hideouts.

The operation is complicated, however, by the fact that militants are thought to be holding at least seven French civilians hostage.

Another suicide bomber strikes in Iraq. At least four people are dead and 21 wounded after an attacker blew himself up in the town of Taji, north of Baghdad. The targets were members of a Sunni militia paid by the Iraqi government to help the fight against Al Qaeda.

The blast comes the day after another suicide bombing on a police headquarters in the Iraqi city of Kirkuk, one of a spate of recent attacks linked to Al Qaeda.

WANT TO KNOW

A skeleton, a skeleton, our kingdom for a skeleton. Bones found beneath a parking lot in central England have been confirmed as the long-lost remains of King Richard III, after researchers matched DNA samples with the medieval monarch's living ancestors.

Now that it's official, authorities will have to decide on a more appropriate final resting place for Richard. Five centuries after his death in battle, the much-maligned king might finally get a funeral.

In India, the truth might set you free. Or it might land you behind bars. Or even dead. Over the past five years, some 150 activists and reporters have allegedly been harassed or jailed for exposing corruption. As many as 20 have been killed.

From New Delhi, GlobalPost's Jason Overdorf reports on India's war on whistleblowers.

STRANGE BUT TRUE

Enfin! It's now OK for women to wear pants in Paris. Until last week, the covering of a lady's leg was a matter not just for France's fashion police but its actual police – should they have decided that they had nothing more pressing to do than enforce a 200-year-old law forbidding women to trouser up in public.

Now, France's minister for women's rights has repealed the decidedly démodé decree. Mesdames: to your Yves Saint-Laurent pant suits!

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatches/globalpost-blogs/chatter/chatter-us-and-south-korea-show-their-strength