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North Korea launches 3 short-range ballistic missiles

KRT via AP Video

South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff said several "projectiles" have been fired into the sea between the Koreas and Japan, per the AP. U.S. Pacific Command spokesman, Commander David Benham, said there were three short-range ballistic missile launches, the NYT reports. Two of them may have failed in flight, one appears to have blown up almost immediately, and they did not pose a threat to North America or Guam, per Benham. Pacific Command is still assessing whether the first two failed in flight.

Why it matters: This comes during the U.S.-South Korean joint military exercises, which North Korea tends to perceive as rehearsals for invasion — the North has already responded by likening the drills to "pouring gasoline on fire." This launch could be bluster and propaganda, a demonstration of force, or a real test of capability. Last year North Korea tested a submarine-launched ballistic missile during the biannual exercises.

Dave Lawler 15 hours ago
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What Trump and Putin did and didn't discuss

President Trump spoke with Vladimir Putin this afternoon, and congratulated him on winning re-election on Sunday. After the call, Press Secretary Sarah Sanders was asked whether Trump felt the election had been free and fair, and said it wasn’t up to the U.S. to “dictate" how Russia holds elections.

The bottom line: Trump is not alone in congratulating Putin — leaders in France, Germany and elsewhere have done so this week, as Barack Obama did in 2012. But past administrations certainly have seen it as America’s role to call balls and strikes when it comes to elections abroad, and weigh in when democratic institutions are being undermined. A departure from that approach would be welcomed not only by Putin, but other leaders of pseudo democracies around the world.

Haley Britzky 11 hours ago
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Another explosion rattles Austin, unrelated to prior package bombings

Police and FBI Agents investigate at the Sunset Valley FedEx store in Austin, Texas, which is linked to the package bomb.
Police and FBI Agents investigate at the Sunset Valley FedEx store in Austin, Texas, which is linked to the package bomb. Photo: Suzanne Cordeiro / AFP / Getty Images

Officials are responding to a sixth explosion in Austin, Texas, on Tuesday night, the Austin American-Statesman reports. The Austin Police Department said they don't believe it is connected to the previous explosions around the city.

The details: Per the Statesman, the explosion occurred at a Goodwill and one man is being treated for "potentially serious injuries." KVUE in Austin reports that "the victim was an employee who was looking through donations."