**Obama Calls for Strengthened Missile Defense In Response to N.Korean Threat **
U.S. President Barack Obama is calling for a strengthened missile defense system in order to counter the threat of North Korea, which defied U.N. sanctions by conducting its third nuclear test.
Speaking Tuesday at the annual State of the Union address, President Obama vowed to take "firm action" in response to the test.
Mr. Obama's speech came just hours after the U.N. Security Council unanimously condemned the underground nuclear test, calling it a "grave violation" of previous international sanctions against North Korea's weapons program.
**Tibetan in Critical Condition after Self-Immolating in Nepal**
A Tibetan exile set himself on fire in Nepal's capital on Wednesday in what appears to be the latest in a series of self-immolation protests against China.
Police say the man is in critical condition after he poured gasoline on himself and set himself on fire at a restaurant before collapsing near Kathmandu's Boudhanath Stupa, considered one of Buddhism's holiest sites.
Some eyewitnesses say he was chanting anti-China slogans before police and other locals rushed in to put out the flames. A local Tibetan community leader says the suicide attempt was "respectable."
Pictures of the self-immolation in Reuters video show shocked bystanders watching as a team of police rush in to help a man covered in a blanket of flames standing in the street. The authenticity of the pictures could not be confirmed.
About 100 Tibetans have self-immolated since 2009 to protest what they say is Chinese repression of their culture and homeland. China denies the charges and says the suicide protests are acts of terrorism.
More than 20,000 Tibetan exiles are living in Nepal, after a failed 1959 uprising against Chinese rule. Nepal has prohibited demonstrations by Tibetan exiles and cracked down on such gatherings in recent years, to avoid angering China.