China Confirms Hypersonic Missile Delivery Test
China has conducted an experimental flight of a hypersonic missile delivery vehicle designed to travel several times faster than the speed of sound.
Beijing's Defense Ministry did not comment on the outcome of the test, which it called scientific in nature and not targeted at any particular country.
The Pentagon confirmed, but would not comment on, the Chinese test, which comes as some in the U.S. worry about China's rapid military growth.
If perfected, hypersonic technology could allow countries to strike targets anywhere in the world within minutes, going undetected by missile defense systems.
The test was first reported by the Washington Free Beacon, which quoted U.S. officials who said the vehicle flew at Mach 10, or 10 times the speed of sound.
Thai Authorities to Investigate Rice Program for Corruption
Thai authorities say they will start a corruption investigation into a government subsidy program for rice farmers, in the latest setback for embattled Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra.
The country's anti-corruption agency on Thursday announced the move. It was welcomed by Thai opposition protesters who have staged days of anti-government demonstrations in Bangkok calling for Mrs. Yingluck to step down.
Under the program, the government purchased rice from Thai farmers for above market prices. The government is now stuck with large stockpiles of rice it has been unable to sell.
Critics say the program cost the country millions of dollars. They say Mrs. Yingluck used the initiative to win support among the rural population, which represents the main base of her ruling Pheu Thai party.
It is yet to be seen whether the announcement will breathe life into the opposition protest movement, which is showing signs of losing momentum.
Opposition protesters marched outside government revenue offices in Bangkok on Thursday. Though thousands showed up for the march, and many more remained camped out in key intersections throughout the city, the numbers are dwindling.