The security think tank 38 North, at Johns Hopkins University, believes that the regime of Kim Jong Un may be restarting North Korea’s nuclear program. Though they cautioned that “it remains too soon to reach a definitive conclusion on this,” based on activity at one of the country’s nuclear reactors, the group said that it was possible that “the North Koreans are in the early stages of an effort to restart the reactor after an almost five-month hiatus in operations.” The reactor has the ability to produce the plutonium used to make atomic bombs. The Kim regime has made repeated threats against the United States and South Korea, and is already under a variety of economic sanctions ... Discuss

After killing at least 40 people in their latest series of raids on villages in northern Nigeria this week, Boko Haram militants appear to have Maiduguri and its 2 million residents surrounded. From CBC News: “In Maiduguri, some 200 kilometers north of Michika, people fleeing militant attacks in neighboring Borno state say that Boko Haram fighters warned they are preparing ‘a big grave’ for them in Maiduguri and that ‘there will be no mercy.’” Though Nigerian military forces were able to fight off Boko Haram militants this weekend in Maiduguri, there are reports that the city is now surrounded and several roads in have been taken over Boko Haram. Authorities fear that the terrorist group my be planning a massive attack soon ... Discuss

According to reports from the region, more than 200 individuals were killed in the latest face-off between the Nigerian military and Boko Haram militants in the northern part of the country. The battle comes as Secretary of State John Kerry visited the capital city, urging officials to ensure that the nation’s upcoming elections will be peaceful and fair. Kerry visited with both candidates and told the leaders that the U.S. would offer more help in the fight against the brutal terrorist group if the democratic elections remained “credible, transparent and accountable.” Though many of the deaths in the latest attacks were Boko Haram fighters, according to The Guardian, the militants specifically targeted innocent civilians: “Survivors reported that the rebels rampaged through villages slitting throats of residents, looting and burning homes and abducting dozens of trapped women and children” ... Discuss

A major story is developing in Yemen, where the president and his entire government have suddenly resigned. With no one officially in charge, the opportunity now exists for Houthi rebels to formalize a takeover. The move comes after President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi met with the rebel group’s representatives in meetings hosted by the U.N. envoy to the country. As The New York Times reports, Armed Houthi fighters recently took over the capital city of Sana and several large regions in the northern part of Yemen. The meetings were seen as an effort to prevent a full military take over by Houthi, but with the mass-resignations, it appears that the agreements between the two sides have broken down. Gunmen from the rebel group are still holding a presidential aid hostage and have not with drawn from the capital ... Discuss

Authorities have arrested a 23-year-old Palestinian man for allegedly stabbing nine people on a bus in Tel Aviv. Five of the victims sustained serious injuries. Police say it was an act of terrorism. The alleged perpetrator was shot by police and wounded while attempting to flee. In a statement, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the Palestinian Authority is responsible for inciting the knife attack on civilians. He told Haaretz, “We will continue to act with force against terrorism that has tried to hit us since the establishment of the state, and we will make sure that it does not achieve its goals” ... Discuss

New studies from NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) have found that 2014 was the hottest year ever recorded on planet earth. Temperature records were broken across the world, including in parts Alaska, North Africa, Europe, Eastern Russia and South America. The director of NASA’s Goddard Institute of Space Studies said the findings clearly suggest man-made climate change is a reality we must deal with. “The data shows quite clearly that it's the greenhouse gas trends that are responsible for the majority of the trends.” The new studies underscore concerns from the U.N. that increasing extreme weather could effect how much of the world is able to access food and clean water ... Discuss