Proving Evolution by Devolution

first_imgA sadly misinformed press release tries to illustrate Darwinian evolution by breaking things.Two scientists at Uppsala University make a big claim: “Evolutionary ‘selection of the fittest’ measured for the first time.” This is quite astounding on two fronts. One, that fitness could be measured, since it is merely a manifestation of the Stuff Happens Law. Two, that it took so long for someone to do it for the first time. Let’s see what this is about. (Prepare to pardon the translator from Swedish to English; Science Daily republished the story without criticism or proofreading.)Darwin’s Theory of Evolution introduced the concept of ‘survival of the fittest’. At each generation the ‘fittest’ individuals are selected and this is a major force shaping the biological world we see today. Selection can explain why a cheetah runs fast – cheetah’s [sic] that run fast catch the food to feed their cubs. Those that don’t run fast get less food, and fewer cubs survive. Over time evolution selects against cheetahs that cannot run fast enough. But, how fast is fast enough, and big does [sic] the difference have to be before selection is effective? This question was asked by two researchers at Uppsala University, graduate student Gerrit Brandis and Professor Diarmaid Hughes.Brandis and Hughes used Salmonella (a bacterium that causes infections in humans and animals) to measure the power of selection to choose the fittest individuals. Salmonella is similar to animals like cheetahs in the sense that it competes for food and is under intense selection to use that food to grow as fast or faster than any other individuals in the same environment. Evolution selects for the fittest variants.Unfortunately, unless the reporter has misrepresented their views, Dr. Hughes and his grad student don’t get it. Natural selection is not a force, let alone a major force. If it forced all living things to get faster, then anything slower than a cheetah should have gone extinct. Why are there sloths? Why are there amoebas and worms? If natural selection produces opposite outcomes, it is merely a restatement of “stuff happens,” the antithesis of scientific explanation. It cannot explain why a cheetah runs fast or a sloth loafs all day. The cheetah could have learned to build antelope traps, or the antelope could have evolved to fly or climb trees. If whatever happens happens, natural selection has explained nothing. And if fitness equates to survival, the concept reduces to a tautology (see “Time to Ditch Natural Selection?“).But it gets worse. The method they used to measure fitness actually measures the opposite: i.e., intelligent design. The Salmonella they played with were actually “fit” (or shall we say, robust) at the start of the experiment. The only thing they demonstrated was how many ways you can reduce a cell’s health by breaking things.The genetic code has ‘redundancy’, meaning that there are several different ‘codons’ that can be translated into any one amino acid. For some amino acids up to 6 different codons can be used. Brandis and Hughes asked whether it mattered which particular codons were used to make EF-Tu, one of the most important proteins in Salmonella.Brandis and Hughes changed many different codons and showed that changing even a single codon in the gene for this protein into any one of the alternative ‘synonymous’ codons reduced the ‘fitness’ of Salmonella. The codons that are actually used by Salmonella are the very best, and any change reduces the fitness of the bacteria.To give this farce of an experiment the appearance of scientific rigor, Hughes and his hopeful novitiate determined that “On average, changing a single codon reduced the fitness of the bacteria, by 0.01 procent [sic] per generation.” No kidding; bugs in the code reduce fitness! This should have been predictable. If the codons are optimal to start with, any change is going to take them downhill. But Brandis and Hughes reasoned backward; that natural selection must have pushed the cells toward the optimum by small, incremental steps in the unobservable past.The message is that evolution, working over very long time scales (hundreds of millions of years), can select tiny differences in relative fitness, as small or smaller than 0.01procent [sic] per generation for Salmonella. Cheetahs need to keep running fast!The non-sequiturs in this statement should be beneath the dignity of scientists. Salmonella are not cheetahs. What happens in a petri dish under controlled conditions has nothing to say about mammals that can run fast. Brandis and Hughes worked at most for a few months by intelligent design, not hundreds of millions of years by blind, unguided forces. Worst of all, the triumphal tone of the news release about victory for Darwin actually demonstrates the opposite, that Salmonella cells are already optimally fit and cannot tolerate much change.The role of synonymous codons is actually an interesting question. Some research has indicated that alternate codons are not less “fit,” as these researchers assume, but have a purpose. They regulate the speed of translation in the ribosome, and can actually result in different proteins from the same code (see Evolution News & Views). This makes synonymous codons further evidence for intelligent design, not Darwinian evolution. What may have appeared to Brandis and Hughes as a reduction in fitness may have been expression of a design feature that allows the cells to survive environmental stress.To celebrate natural selection, they would need to observe the cells reaching the fitness peak without their help, not drag them down from the summit with their guided hands. They would also need to explain why different organisms within the same environment achieve “fitness” by opposite outcomes (see “Fitness for Dummies,” 6/19/14). Is it possible for evolutionary biologists to be this misinformed about neo-Darwinism? Sadly, yes (see “Misuse of Term Natural Selection Continues,” 2/11/16), and “Who Misunderstands Evolution?” (2/20/16).Isn’t it tragic to see a grad student being congratulated for being stupid? Brandis looks like a sorcerer’s apprentice working for a clueless prof playing the part of the Blunderful Wizard of Flaws (see “How Not to Prove Positive Selection,” 9/05/08 commentary). This is how Darwinism perpetuates itself. Stupid professors teach their students how to think stupidly (defined not as lack of mental capacity, but as thinking uncritically and being misinformed about the subject matter). The students becomes professors who continue the vicious cycle.Knowing how to keep germs alive in a petri dish has nothing to do with it. Knowing how to tinker with synonymous codons has nothing to do with it. Measurement has nothing to do with it. Science requires logic! “Experimental verification is not a new kind of assurance coming in to supply the deficiencies of mere logic,” C.S. Lewis said. “We should therefore abandon the distinction between scientific and non-scientific thought. The proper distinction is between logical and non-logical thought.”We try to be charitable to evolutionists, but it’s hard sometimes. This is really an illogical news release. Anything illogical, by definition, is stupid. Brandis, before you become thoroughly anesthetized to logic, try to do something worthwhile with your life, like your smart colleagues at Uppsala who are working on a cure for cancer. (Visited 23 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Colorado to deploy self-driving crash truck to shadow road crews

first_imgTags:#Autonomous#Colorado#crash truck#DOT#driverless#featured#infrastructure#Kratos Defense#road#Self-Driving#top#truck Related Posts Break the Mold with Real-World Logistics AI and… IT Trends of the Future That Are Worth Paying A… The Colorado Department of Transportation has said it will deploy a self-driving truck to protect road crews from speeding vehicles by the end of this fall, potentially extending the program to cover all road maintenance if the trial is a success.The self-driving truck will act as a “crash truck”, which moves slowly behind road crews. The trucks are currently manned by a single driver, who faces the brunt of the damage if an accident happens.See Also: Forrester: self-driving to make global economy “unrecognizable” by 2035In Colorado, 21,898 crashes and 171 fatalities were reported on work zones between 2000 and 2014, according to CNN Money, highlighting the need for crash trucks and other buffers.The self-driving truck will follow a lead vehicle further ahead via radio waves, taking notice of worker movements and other factors. The self-driving technology is developed by Kratos Defense, a supplier of autonomous vehicles for the U.S. army.“People talk about automation and will this displace workers. Here’s a case where I think everyone will agree we want to get workers out of these trucks,” said Shailen Bhatt, the executive director of the Colorado Department of Transportation.One truck so farColorado has purchased one truck for the trial and will buy more if the trial is successful. Officials said that former drivers of crash trucks will be given other roles in the road crew.Trucks are expected to make up a significant amount of the self-driving industry’s value, according to a report by Strategy Analytics and Intel. The business-as-a-mobility sector could be worth $3 trillion by 2050, most of the value coming from long-haul shipping, another job with a high turnover rate.center_img For Self-Driving Systems, Infrastructure and In… 5 Ways IoT can Help to Reduce Automatic Vehicle… David Currylast_img read more

Glen Rice Jr. drops triple-double as TNT nips NLEX

first_imgLOOK: Loisa Andalio, Ronnie Alonte unwind in Amanpulo for 3rd anniversary Nonong Araneta re-elected as PFF president Fire hits houses in Mandaluyong City MOST READ Frontrow holds fun run to raise funds for young cancer patients  Duterte tells PSC to include IPs, out of school youth in recruitment LATEST STORIES Glen Rice Jr. PBA IMAGESANTIPOLO — Glen Rice Jr. did a little bit of everything and TNT scraped past NLEX, 112-107, in the 2017 PBA Governors’ Cup Wednesday night at Ynares Center here. Rice notched a triple-double with 25 points, 15 rebounds and 10 assists with five blocks while Troy Rosario added 17 points and 12 rebounds.ADVERTISEMENT BSP sees higher prices in November, but expects stronger peso, low rice costs to put up fight “Practice was emotional yesterday. Ranidel dropped by practice to say goodbye. Fortunately, the guys were able to focus.”De Ocampo won six championships at Talk ‘N Text during his eight seasons with the franchise.Aaron Fuller led the Road Warriors, who remained in second place despite sliding to 7-3, with 28 points and 18 rebounds while Alex Mallari had 19 points, nine rebounds and five assists.Larry Fonacier, the former longtime TNT swingman, who was traded to NLEX four months ago late in the Commissioner’s Cup, played against his former team for the first time and had 10 points off the bench.ADVERTISEMENTcenter_img Read Next E.T. returns to earth, reunites with grown-up Elliott in new ad  WATCH: Streetboys show off slick dance moves in Vhong Navarro’s wedding Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles02:14Galvez OK with ‘selective’ martial law in Mindanao01:53Gov’t, MNLF creating panels to ‘move forward’ in peace talks01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Jayson Castro had 13 points, including a clutch 3-pointer that gave the KaTropa a 110-106 lead with 1:12 remaining.“That was a hard-fought win. It’s good that we’re able to play together especially on the defensive end. We struggled a bit offensively but we’re able to organize ourselves in the endgame,” TNT coach Nash Racela told reporters.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutout“The last few days were really tough for us. And for us to really have a good chance today, important thing is we accept the change, embrace the change right away and move forward right away,” Racela, whose squad improved to 6-3, said.The KaTropa played their first game without veteran forward Ranidel de Ocampo, who was sent to Meralco on Monday in a shocking three-team deal. Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. View commentslast_img read more

Urban Meyer Buckeyes moving forward after win against Michigan State Dontre Wilson

Fresh off a win that moved Ohio State into solo first in the Big Ten East Division, coach Urban Meyer met with the media to discuss the win against Michigan State and an upcoming matchup with Minnesota.Meyer praised the offensive performance against Michigan state, but added the Buckeyes have room to improve defensively as they prepare for a Minnesota team that gives “relentless effort.” He also addressed the play of a few particular Buckeyes and said one OSU sophomore made a big play on a broken foot during Saturday’s 49-37 win in East Lansing, Mich.He said sophomore H-back Dontre Wilson has a broken foot. “He actually caught a touchdown pass with a broken foot.”Wilson is “out for a few weeks,” Meyer said. Added he might have to have a pin put in his foot.He said the Buckeyes are “fortunate” and “blessed” to have both Barrett and injured senior quarterback Braxton Miller set to return to OSU next season.Meyer said the Buckeyes “played their best game” against Michigan State, but added there’s still a lot of room for improvement.Meyer said the players to grade as champions on defense were sophomore safety Vonn Bell, senior defensive lineman Michael Bennett and senior cornerback Doran Grant. Grant was the defensive player of the game.He said the players who graded out as champions on offense were senior wide receiver Evan Spencer, sophomore H-back Jalin Marshall, redshirt-sophomore wide receiver Michael Thomas, senior tight end Jeff Heuerman, redshirt-sophomore offensive lineman Pat Elflein and redshirt-freshman offensive lineman Billy Price.Meyer on Spencer: “He’s my MVP, as far as just all around what we ask him to do.”He said the offensive players of the game were junior offensive lineman Jacoby Boren, redshirt-freshman quarterback J.T. Barrett, senior wide receiver Devin Smith and sophomore running back Ezekiel Elliott.Meyer said Devin Smith played his best game against Michigan State.Meyer said Spencer and redshirt-junior wide receiver Corey Smith were the top special teams players. He said Corey Smith should be in the wide receiver rotation going forward.He praised Minnesota coach Jerry Kill and called him a friend. He added Minnesota gives “relentless effort” and is “very well coached.”Meyer on moving on from the win at Michigan State: “We’re done with the celebration part, now we’re learning from it. The players will receive their directive tomorrow, and now we’re moving forward.”Meyer on performance against Michigan State: “We didn’t play as well as we could on defense, and we expect to play much better.”He said Barrett has to be in the Heisman Trophy conversation statistically, but conceded he hadn’t watched many other players nationally.Meyer on the offensive performance against the Spartans: “It’s our best performance we’ve had since we’ve been here.”He said he’s “upset” that the Buckeyes haven’t found a strong rotation on the defensive line.Meyer said he’s very comfortable with redshirt-freshman H-back Jalin Marshall running the wildcat. Added the Buckeyes have “a couple passes ready for” Marshall.He said Barrett’s biggest improvement has come from his “understanding of the game.”Meyer: “Early in the season, we were not a great team.”“This is the most improved team I’ve been apart of,” he said.Meyer praised the play of OSU’s wide receivers, said he’s comfortable with that group for the first time in a long time.The Buckeyes are scheduled to play Minnesota on Saturday in Minneapolis. Kickoff is set for noon. read more

Juventus announce squad for ICC tour

first_imgA record of seven consecutive Serie A titles and counting, Juventus head into this summer looking to continue their historic run this year and will begin their pre-season preparations with a challenging encounter against Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich in the International Champions CupWhile they may be making history in Italy with seven successive league crowns and four straight domestic doubles, Juventus are aiming higher this year in finally winning the one piece of silverware that continues to elude them – the Champions League.And their hopes have undoubtedly been boosted by the timely arrival of Cristiano Ronaldo from Real Madrid and the five-time Champions League winner is determined to deliver the crown to Turin.“As the president has told me, it’s not an obsession but a dream,” said Ronaldo.“I’m here to help Juventus make it come true. It’s possible.”But unfortunately, Juventus will have to make do without their record signing for their tour in America ahead of a testing schedule that will see them face Bayern, Benfica and finally Real Madrid.World Cup stars Mario Mandzukic, Marko Pjaca and Blaise Matuidi have all been given extra time off by head coach Massimiliano Allegri.Franck Ribery, FiorentinaFiorentina owner: “Ribery played better than Ronaldo!” Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Fiorentina owner Rocco Commisso was left gushing over Franck Ribery’s performance against Juventus, which he rates above that of even Cristiano Ronaldo’s.But Gonzalo Higuain, Paulo Dybala, Rodrigo Bentancur and Douglas Costa and Juan Cuadrado are injured.Juventus squad for International Champions CupGoalkeepers: Wojciech Szczesny, Mattia Perin, Carlo Pinsoglio, Mattia Del Favero,Defenders: Mattia De Sciglio, Giorgio Chiellini, Mehdi Benatia, Alex Sandro, Mattia Caldara, Andrea Barzagli, Joao Cancelo, Daniele Rugani, Pietro Beruatto, Roman Macek, Grigoris KastanosMidfielders: Miralem Pjanic, Sami Khedira, Claudio Marchisio, Emre Can, Leandro Fernandes, Matheus Pereira da Silva, Alessandro Di Pardo, Nicolo FagioliForwards: Federico Bernardeschi, Luca Clemenza, Stefano Beltrame, Andrea Favilli(as announced on the club website).last_img read more

Gattuso wants winning attitude to continue

first_imgGennaro Gattuso is impressed with AC Milan’s new winning mentality and wants them to continue in that run as they gear up to face Chievo Verona.Gattuso’s men have overcome their poor start to return to winning ways with a 4-1 win over Sassuolo then came from behind to defeat Olympiacos in the Europa League.“Every game has a different story,” said Gattuso in his Press conference. “We had started well against Olympiacos, and that goal knocked the wind out of our sails, but we did well to react.“This type of attitude is what I want to see, as over the last two months we’ve been missing that. We focused on passing but were missing something.“The last two games have broken the ice psychologically. We’ve shown this season that we have some defects and are working to correct them, but it’ll take time. We’re not far off the top teams and must continue believing in our work.”Cristiano Ronaldo, JuventusSerie A Betting: Match-day 3 Stuart Heath – September 14, 2019 Considering there is a number of perfect starts so early in the Serie A season, as well as a few surprisingly not-so perfect ones….Cutrone has earned a senior Italy call-up for games against Ukraine and Poland, but Gattuso doesn’t suggest more playing time is in the works.“I don’t enjoy putting Cutrone on the bench, and I was distraught when he was injured. He is someone who changes games with his enthusiasm and dynamism.“Patrick can change a match when he comes off the bench. He has also done well when starting, but always makes an impact as a substitute.“Cutrone should be proud of the call-up, as it must give him incredible joy. We’ll see if he actually goes because his ankle still hurts, but I’m proud he got the nod.”last_img read more

Barcelona at risk of being expelled from the Copa del Rey

first_imgBarcelona could be expelled from the Copa del Rey after allegedly choosing to play an ineligible player in Juan Brandariz “Chumi”19-year-old Chumi was named as a starter in Barcelona’s first leg against Levante last week in the Copa del Rey, which they surprisingly lost 2-1.But El Mundo broke the story that the young defender had in fact been suspended by the Spanish FA (RFEF) for receiving a fifth booking in a second division game against Castellón on Sunday for the B team.Now Barcelona could be kicked out of the Copa del Rey as a result of playing Chumi at Levante.“To the club that sets an ineligible line-up with a footballer who does not comply with the regulations to be able to participate in a game, this will be given as a defeat, declaring the opponent the winner by a score of three goals to zero, unless the winning margin was greater,” reads Article 76 of the RFEF’s disciplinary code.Jose Mourinho, Lionel MessiMourinho: “Lionel Messi made me a better coach” Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Jose Mourinho believes the experience of going up against Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi at Real Madrid made him a greater coach.“In the case of a knockout tie, it will be resolved in favour of the opponent.”Barcelona won the second leg of their last-16 tie against Levante 3-0 to book their place in the quarter-finals, which could turn out to have been a pointless effort.Real Madrid had in fact been eliminated from the competition themselves for similar circumstances after playing the suspended Denis Cheryshev in 2015.Barcelona have defended their actions on the matter based on a memo entitled circular 28, which states that the suspension was not relevant.last_img read more

Boeing pledges 100M to families of those killed in 737 Max 8

first_img 49 Photos Share your voice The official causes of the crashes, which appear to be similar, are still under study. Investigation teams in Indonesia and Ethiopia are focusing on faulty sensors and a flight control system designed to push the nose down in the air. Boeing says it has completed the necessary update for review by the FAA. But as of now, the agency has not said when that will happen.”We at Boeing are sorry for the tragic loss of lives in both of these accidents and these lives lost will continue to weigh heavily on our hearts and on our minds for years to come,” said Dennis Muilenburg, Boeing CEO, in a statement. “The families and loved ones of those on board have our deepest sympathies, and we hope this initial outreach can help bring them comfort.” Boeing Tour a B-17 and other aircraft at the Palm Springs Air Museum Boeing’s 737 Max 8 is grounded after two crashes that killed 346 people. Boeing Boeing will spend $100 million in the coming years to aid the families affected by two 737 Max 8 plane crashes. The planes have been grounded since March following the crashes, which left 346 people dead. The company said the funds will address “family and community needs” and support “education, hardship and living expenses for impacted families, community programs and economic development in impacted communities.” Boeing will work with local governments and non-profit organizations to carry out the aid. The first 737 Max 8 crash occured Oct. 29, when Lion Air flight 610 crashed in the Java Sea 13 minutes after takeoff from Jakarta, Indonesia, killing 189 people. Then, on March 10, Ethiopian Airlines flight 302 departed Addis Ababa Bole International Airport bound for Nairobi, Kenya. Just after takeoff, the pilot radioed a distress call and was given immediate clearance to return and land. But before the crew could make it back, the aircraft crashed 40 miles from the airport at 8:44 a.m., six minutes after it left the runway.center_img 0 Tech Industry null Tagslast_img read more

Sunny Leone birthday Husband Daniel Weber wishes her with most special message

first_imgSunny Leone with husband and children.InstagramSunny Leone was born on May 13, 1981, as Karenjit Kaur Vohra in Sarnia, Ontario, Canada, and celebrates her 38th birthday today. On the occasion, her American husband Daniel Weber has posted an emotional post on Instagram that shows what a doting husband he is, and more importantly, how simple a person Sunny Leone is.Sunny Leone’s husband Daniel Weber thinks she is still the sexiest woman in the world. On her birthday, he has posted a message and three pictures of Sunny and their three kids. The images read, “The way people see you!!! The way I see you!!! Who you really are!!!”Daniel Weber writes on Instagram for his gorgeous wife Sunny Leone, “@sunnyleone – So many things to write and so much that comes to mind that it’s impossible to express in a post!!! You are the greatest , warmest, kindest human I have ever met !!! I have watched you do more for others then yourself over and over in life !!! I have been by your side through every crazy Jouney and road we choose to travel on !!! Happy Birthday and Happy Mother’s Day to the greatest women on earth !!! I love you forever !!! You are still the sexiest women EVER !!! Xoxo”.Sunny Leone has three children with Daniel Weber – Baby Nisha Kaur Weber who was adopted from a village in Maharashtra and their twin sons Asher and Noah, who are their biological children born out of surrogacy.The actress who was a geek in her childhood and went on to be a pornstar in the US and Canada, quit it all to come to India and work here in the entertainment industry. After being a contestant on the reality show Bigg Boss, Sunny Leone was offered a Bollywood film by Mahesh Bhatt – Jism 2, directed by Pooja Bhatt.There has been no looking back for Sunny Leone after her Bollywood debut. She has starred in movies down south as well and in advertisements. A two-part web series on Sunny Leone’s life has been made for Zee 5.Here’s wishing Sunny Leone a very happy birthday. Check out her husband’s birthday message here! I took over part of this station to make the Noah and Asher some banana wheat pancakes and apple sauce 🙂 #momlifeso nice of the kitchen staff and @dominiquefieux to let me make my boys their food sometimes. 🙂 thanks! pic.twitter.com/cA1OxIDEUu— Sunny Leone (@SunnyLeone) 8 May 2019last_img read more

UN vows sanctions over N Korea missile test

first_imgPeople gather at a street-side newsstand showing a copy of the Rodong Sinmun newspaper featuring coverage of a May 14 North Korean rocket test, in Pyongyang. Photo: AFPThe UN Security Council has strongly condemned North Korea’s latest ballistic missile test and vowed strong measures, including sanctions, to derail Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons programme.North Korea’s long-term bid to develop a credible nuclear attack threat to the US mainland saw it launch Sunday what appeared to be its longest-range missile yet.Pyongyang said the new weapon—called the Hwasong-12 — was capable of carrying a “heavy nuclear warhead”.In a unanimous statement backed by the North’s main ally China, the council on Monday vowed to punish Pyongyang’s “highly destabilizing behavior” and demanded a halt to any further nuclear or missile tests.Pyongyang carried out two atomic tests last year, and has accelerated its missile launch programme, despite tough UN sanctions aimed at denying leader Kim Jong-Un the hard currency needed to fund his weapons ambitions.“There’s a lot of sanctions left that we can start to do, whether it’s with oil, whether it’s with energy, whether it’s with their maritime ships, exports,” US Ambassador Nikki Haley told ABC television’s “This Week”.“We can do a lot of different things that we haven’t done yet. So our options are there.”The United States is in talks with China—Pyongyang’s main trading partner—on a possible new sanctions resolution and the Security Council is expected to hold a closed-door emergency meeting starting around 2000 GMT Tuesday.‘A substantial advance’Kim personally oversaw Sunday’s test, the official Korea Central News Agency (KCNA) said, and pictures by state media showed him gazing at the missile in a hangar before the launch.The missile was launched on an unusually high trajectory, before splashing down in the Sea of Japan (East Sea).Analysts said the test suggested an actual range of 4,500 kilometres (2,800 miles) or more if flown for maximum distance.“This is the longest-range missile North Korea has ever tested,” Jeffrey Lewis of the Middlebury Institute of International Studies in the US told AFP.On the respected 38 North website, aerospace engineering specialist John Schilling said it appeared to be an intermediate-range ballistic missile that could “reliably strike the US base at Guam” in the Pacific, 3,400 kilometres away.“More importantly,” he added, it “may represent a substantial advance to developing an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM)”.The North has made no secret of its quest to develop a missile capable of delivering a nuclear warhead to the continental United States—something President Donald Trump has vowed “won’t happen”.KCNA cited Kim as saying the North would never succumb to what it called the “highly ridiculous” US strategy of “militarily browbeating only weak countries and nations which have no nukes”.“If the US dares opt for a military provocation against the DPRK, we are ready to counter it,” it said.‘Reckless provocation’In April Pyongyang put dozens of missiles on show at a giant military parade through the capital, including one that appeared to be the type launched on Sunday.There are doubts whether the North can miniaturise a nuclear weapon sufficiently to fit it onto a missile nose cone, and no proof it has mastered the re-entry technology needed to ensure it survives returning into Earth’s atmosphere.Sunday’s test came less than a week after South Korea elected a new president, Moon Jae-In, who advocates reconciliation with Pyongyang and had expressed a willingness to visit the North to ease tensions.But Moon slammed the latest launch as a “reckless provocation” and said dialogue would be possible “only if the North changes its attitude”.Russian President Vladimir Putin said the test was dangerous, but warned against attempts to “intimidate” Pyongyang.Pyongyang could find itself the target of further global censure after security researchers reported Monday signs of a potential North Korean link to cyberattacks that have wreaked havoc on computer networks around the world.In the first clues of the origin of the massive ransomware attacks, Google researcher Neel Mehta posted computer code that showed similarities between the “WannaCry” malware and a vast hacking effort widely attributed to Pyongyang.Other experts quickly jumped on this as sign—although not conclusive—that North Korea may have been behind the outbreak.last_img read more