Two minutes after liftoff, the rocket carrying North Korea’s Bright Shining Star 3 satellite exploded, sending fragments to the bottom of the Yellow Sea. South Korean officials have estimated the cost of the failed satellite at roughly $450 million.
Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda has announced that he will be pushing for restarting some of the nation’s deactivated nuclear power plants, hopefully before the summer brings increased demand. Due to the earthquake that hit the western shore of Japan last summer, 53 of the nation’s 54 nuclear power plants have been shut down. Noda is hoping to avoid power shortages by bringing some of the working power plants back on line.
The Cholera vaccine Shanchol is now being distributed en masse in Haiti, in an effort to minimize the spread of the deadly disease. Since 2010, the disease has infected over 530,000 people, and killed more than 7,000. The vaccine is being administered to poorer neighborhoods first, as they have less access to medical care.
London police officials have announced that they believe the London anti-terrorist hotline has been hacked, citing youtube videos playing what appeared to be a recording of a conversation between a caller and the anti-terror hotline staff. An activist group has claimed responsibility for the incident, saying they have “terrorized the anti-terrorists.” The hotline will remain in operation while the incident is being investigated.
Egypt’s election commission barred ten presidential candidates from running including three of the top runners. Farouk Sultan, the head of the Supreme Presidential Election Commission, did not give a reason for this action, leaving candidates with 48 hours to appeal the decision. The final candidates will be announced on April 26, 2012. The decision would remove powerful and controversial candidates opening the presidential election to moderates such as Islamist Abdel-Moneim and former minister Ahmed Shafiq. The winner of Egypt’s presidential election will be announced on June 21, 2012.