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Kim Jong Un test fires short-range missile in North Korea

North Korea test-fired a short-range missile off its east coast on Monday, the same day it announced the death of leader Kim Jong-Il, South Korea’s Yonhap news agency said. The agency quoted an unnamed government official as saying the missile launch was unrelated to the announcement that Kim had died…

Kim death complicates Obama’s North Korea nuclear quandary

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The death of North Korean leader Kim Jong-il could dim hopes for fresh nuclear disarmament talks with the United States and its key Asian allies as an untested and largely unknown heir takes charge of one of the world’s most feared atomic renegade states. The most crucial…

South Koreans fearful over Kim Jong-Il’s death

News of the death of North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il hit South Koreans like a bolt from the blue on Monday with fears of conflict after it sparked a military alert along the heavily fortified border. “I’m speechless,” Kwak Bo-Ram, 24, an NGO official told AFP. “I’m just shocked and…

North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il is Dead

North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il has died, and the communist country must now follow his son Kim Jong-Un, state media announced Monday. The 69-year-old leader died on Saturday, December 17, at 8:30 am (2330 GMT Friday), a weeping announcer on state television said. No cause of death was given but…

Rebellious villagers reject talks with Chinese government

The Chinese village of Wukan, which has been in open revolt since the death of its representative Xue Jinbo in police custody ten days ago, has rejected overtures from the government to discuss ending the standoff. “Leaders at a higher level of local government summoned me for talks,” village representative…

Dozens missing as Russian oil rig sinks in storm

By Thomas Grove and Melissa Akin MOSCOW (Reuters) – A drilling rig with 67 crew on board capsized and sank off Russia’s far eastern island of Sakhalin on Sunday while being towed through a winter storm, leaving more than 50 dead or missing in the icy Sea of Okhotsk. Emergency…

Tens of thousands of Pakistanis rally against U.S.

LAHORE, Pakistan — Tens of thousands gathered in one of the biggest-ever protests in the Pakistani city of Lahore Sunday to condemn NATO and United States over the killing of 24 soldiers along the Afghan border. The protestors, mainly from Islamist groups and political parties, vowed they would march to…

Iraq to launch mediation to end Syria crisis

DAMASCUS — Iraq’s foreign minister will hold talks with the Damascus regime and opposition groups to try to end months of unrest, as deadly clashes raged Sunday between deserters and regular troops. A senior Omani government official meanwhile said the Arab League was “optimistic” that by Monday Syria will sign…

Israel plans more than 1,000 new settlement homes

JERUSALEM — Israel’s housing and construction ministry said on Sunday it was to publish tenders for the construction of more than 1,000 housing units in east Jerusalem and the West Bank. According to the ministry’s website, the tenders are for 500 new units in the east Jerusalem neighbourhood of Har…

British Tory sacked as aide after Nazi-themed party

LONDON — A Tory MP who attended a stag party where guests dressed as Nazis and toasted the Third Reich has lost his post as an aide and been placed under investigation by Prime Minister David Cameron. Aidan Burley, 32, has been sacked from his role as a parliamentary private…

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