Not-so-veiled threat. A North Korean official said today his country would launch a nuclear attack against the United States, engulfing Washington in a “sea of fire” in retaliation for sanctions the UN Security Council adopted earlier this week. Army Gen. Kang Pyo Yong said during a rally in Pyongyang his country was ready to fire a long-range missile at Washington. U.S. officials called the threats “absurd.” Apparently unconcerned, the UN approved additional sanctions today.
Al-Qaeda video star captured. Sulaiman Abu Ghaith, the son-in-law of Osama bin Laden who often appeared in al-Qaeda propaganda videos, has been captured and extradited to the United States. He reportedly is in New York, where he is expected to stand trial. According to sources, Ghaith was arrested in February as he entered Turkey from Iran using a fake passport. U.S. officials intercepted him when Turkey tried to deport him to Kuwait via Jordan.
Hopeful sign. House Speaker John Boehner called President Barack Obama’s outreach to congressional Republican’s a “hopeful sign” for progress in the nation’s budget impasse. The president met with 12 GOP leaders on Wednesday. Now, he wants to meet with one of his toughest opponents—Rep. Paul Ryan.
Delayed decision. A federal judge in Detroit announced this morning he would postpone his decision on Michigan’s same-sex “marriage” ban until the U.S. Supreme Court rules on two marriage cases later this year. Michigan’s voters approved the ban as a constitutional amendment in 2004. Opponents had hoped the federal judge would strike the ban down immediately.
Cat attack. A 24-year-old woman working as an intern at a California sanctuary died Wednesday after being mauled by a 2-year-old lion. Sheriff’s deputies shot the cat. The woman’s parents said she knew the dangers of working with the animals, but the sanctuary’s owners say the woman was alone in the cat’s cage, something they could not explain.
More people working. Fewer Americans filed for unemployment last week, offering an unexpected sign of economic improvement. First-time jobless claims fell by 7,000 in the last week of February, hitting the lowest point in the last month. Economists expected jobless claims to increase. The four-week average dropped to a five-year low.