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NewsFlash: US Considers to Re-Enter North Korea to ‘Terrorism’ List, Defense Department Returns Four Afghan Prisoners Home, Undocumented Immigrants Can Apply for Arizona Drivers Licenses

Uprising’s guest expert Rahul Mahajan, a sociologist and news analyst and author of Full Spectrum Dominance: US Power in Iraq and Beyond, analyzes today’s news headlines:

President Obama, in an interview on CNN yesterday said the US is considering putting North Korea back on its list of state sponsors of terrorism over the recent Sony hacking controversy. The President labeled the incident one of, “cybervandalism,” which does not rise to the level of an act of war or terrorism. At the heart of the matter is a Sony film project depicting an assassination attempt against North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, which the hackers targeted. The film’s release has now been canceled. The North Korean regime has responded saying it is not responsible for the cyberattack, and even claimed it has evidence that the White House was behind it. In a statement the North Korean government referred to the US as a “cesspool of terrorism.” China, which says it opposes all such attacks, has come to the defense of North Korea, considered a major ally.

Click here for the Reuters article, China condemns cyberattacks, but says no proof North Korea hacked Sony.

Click here for The Guardian article, North Korea threatens US, claiming White House was involved in film plot.

Click here for the Aljazeera article, US mulls returning N Korea to terror list, as Obama slams ‘cybervandalism.’

The Defense Department on Saturday announced it had returned four Afghan prisoners to their home country. It was the first time inmates from Guantanamo were repatriated to Afghanistan and the move was apparently in response to a request by newly seated President Ashraf Ghani. Earlier this month the US released six other prisoners into the custody of Uruguay. There are now 63 men remaining at Guantanamo. Meanwhile in Pakistan, the horrific armed attack on a school that left 132 children dead, has sparked public support for a return to the death penalty. After a 6 year moratorium against capital punishment, Pakistan’s government has been rapidly executing death row prisoners, including ones who had no connection to the recent attack. Among those whose executions are planned is a young man who was arrested when he was only 14 years old. He says he was tortured into confessing to a kidnapping and murder.

Click here for The Atlantic article, U.S. Releases Four Afghan Detainees From Guantanamo.

Click here for The Guardian article, Pakistan hangs four more prisoners as execution campaign widens.

And finally, undocumented immigrants in Arizona will begin today, to be able to apply for drivers licenses, after the US Supreme Court refused to take up a 9th Circuit Court of Appeals decision overturning Governor Jan Brewer’s license ban. Up to 20,000 immigrants are now eligible for licenses in Arizona. These are young immigrants who qualified under President Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Program, which temporarily protects them from deportation. California has already been issuing licenses to undocumented immigrants for more than a year.

Click here for The Christian Science Monitor article, Why 20,000 immigrants will seek driver’s licenses in Arizona.