Pyongyang was a city of orchestrated mass motion Thursday, as the North Korean capital was primped and primed for the mother of all birthday parties. In squares across the city, brass bands rehearsed, flag-waving children marched and women dressed in traditional, brightly coloured hanbok dresses went through their dance routines ahead of Saturday's grand celebration of ruling Workers' Party 70th anniversary. The centrepiece spectacle will be a massive military parade on Saturday through the capital's Kim Il-Sung square, with wave after wave of goose-stepping troops opening a muscular display of military hardware, including tanks, artillery pieces and mobile missile launchers.
The unrest has sparked fears that a third Palestinian uprising, or intifada, could erupt. With a spate of stabbings deeply unnerving Israelis and riots rocking east Jerusalem and the West Bank, Netanyahu vowed to pursue those "who stand behind" the attackers. "We are in the midst of a wave of terror of knives, firebombs, stones and live fire," Netanyahu told reporters.
European Union nations agreed on Thursday to speed up the deportation of failed asylum seekers as they took a harder line toward tackling the worst migration crisis since World War II. Interior ministers from the 28-nation bloc endorsed a dedicated programme to send back those they described as economic migrants -- who are largely from poor African nations -- and not refugees from conflict-torn Middle East countries. After months of tensions over the wave of nearly 600,000 people who have flooded into Europe this year, the EU is now taking a tougher stance by focusing on tightening border controls and reducing the incentive for people to come to the continent in the first place.