PYONGYANG, North Korea (AP) — The execution of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's uncle brought a swift and violent end to a man long considered the country's second most powerful. But while Jang Song Thaek is now gone, the fallout from his purge is not over.
NEW YORK (AP) — When red-suited revelers throng the city's streets and taverns under the banner of SantaCon, some see an outpouring of holiday spirit, not to mention spirits. But to others, it's the blight before Christmas.
BAGHDAD (AP) — Twenty-two Iraqi suspects facing terrorism charges escaped Friday from a jail in northern Baghdad after killing a security guard and making their way through a backdoor, but most were rearrested later in the day. Officials said attacks across the country, meanwhile, killed eight people.
US Secretary of State John Kerry was to meet Friday morning in Jerusalem with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in his latest attempt at promoting elusive Israeli-Palestinians peace talks. The two were to meet in a city-centre hotel at 0630 GMT, after the US envoy held more than two hours of talks Thursday evening with Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas, in the West Bank city of Ramallah. A Palestinian source said on Friday Abbas rejected US proposals for Israel to keep troops in a future Palestinian state along its strategic border with Jordan. It is Kerry's ninth trip to Israel and the West Bank since March, and his second in less than a week.
Iran said on Friday that a new U.S. measure targeting companies and individuals for supporting its nuclear program violated the spirit of a nuclear deal reached with major powers in Geneva last month. The United States on Thursday black-listed additional companies and people under sanctions aimed at preventing Iran from obtaining the capability to make nuclear weapons, U.S. officials said. Iran says its program is purely peaceful. "We are evaluating the situation and Iran will react accordingly to the new sanctions imposed on 19 companies and individuals.
DHAKA, Bangladesh (AP) — The execution of an opposition leader in Bangladesh sparked violent protests Friday as activists torched homes and businesses belonging to government supporters, leaving at least three people dead, in a new wave of bloodshed ahead of elections next month.
KIEV (Reuters) - Ukrainian opposition leader Vitaly Klitschko will attend round- table talks with President Viktor Yanukovich on Friday aimed at finding a compromise in a crisis which has brought hundreds of thousands of protesters out on to the street. "We will be going," said a spokeswoman for Klitschko when asked if he would attend the talks. (Writing By Richard Balmforth; Editing by Elizabeth Piper)
Reigning Tour de France champion Chris Froome has revealed that he has recovered from a parasitic illness that had plagued him for over four years. The 28-year-old Briton had been suffering from bilharzia, which is usually spread by contaminated water and is most common in Africa. Froome, who was born in Kenya, has managed to reach the summit of the sport in spite of the condition, but he says he was relieved to learn that he had finally shaken it off. "I had a test when I went back to Kenya recently and it is the first time it has come back negative since the diagnosis (in 2009).
BANGUI, Central African Republic (AP) — French troops backed by a helicopter traded fire with suspected former rebels in a Bangui neighborhood rife with sectarian tensions Friday, as France's military chief arrived in the Central African Republic capital.
British Prime Minister David Cameron's Conservatives have halved the opposition Labour Party's lead to 4 points and are more trusted by voters to handle the economy, a poll showed on Friday. With an election 17 months away, the survey suggested that a majority of voters thought they would be worse off or no richer if Labour had held on to power in 2010. Labour is pinning its 2015 election campaign on the argument that Cameron has allowed living costs to spiral, squeezing voters who are faced with rising bills and flat wages. But Friday's YouGov poll for the Sun newspaper suggested Labour has yet to convince voters that their policies would have lifted living standards.
Perth (Australia) (AFP) - A vital century by Steve Smith put Australia in a strong position and frustrated England in the third Ashes Test after they had threatened to bowl the hosts out cheaply on Friday. Australia's fragile top order again stuttered as the hosts slumped to 143-5 on the first day, before Smith came to the rescue with his second Test ton in what could be the series decider. At stumps, Australia were 326-6 with Smith unbeaten on 103 and Mitchell Johnson on 39, further loosening England's grip on the trophy at 2-0 down and three to play.
LONDON (AP) — British author Colin Wilson, who gained fame with his first book, "The Outsider," has died. He was 82.
North Korea said Friday it has executed the uncle of leader Kim Jong-Un, branding veteran fixer Jang Song-Thaek a "traitor for all ages", as the US and South Korea voiced concern at the shock purge. In a stunning downfall, Jang -- who had been seen as Kim's political regent and the country's unofficial number two -- was executed on Thursday immediately after a special military trial, state news agency KCNA. Jang, 67, played a key role in cementing the leadership of the inexperienced Kim when he succeeded his father Kim Jong-Il in 2011, but analysts said his power and influence had become increasingly resented. "If confirmed, this is another example of the extreme brutality of the North Korean regime," US State Department deputy spokeswoman Marie Harf said, adding that Washington was following developments closely.
Western powers should stop meddling in Ukraine's affairs and manipulating the "opinions of the people" about a trade pact with the European Union, China's official government newswire said on Friday. The commentary, which came days after a visit to China by Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich, criticized western leaders for voicing support for the thousands of protesters who have rallied in Kiev's Independence Square for three weeks. "The West must keep its hands off the domestic affairs of a sovereign nation," the commentary said. "Showing support for the anti-government protesters is a serious blow to Ukrainian democracy, not to mention that it could complicate regional affairs." The commentary accused the West of "stoking confrontation" and turmoil in the region by pushing Ukraine towards the European Union "in a direct challenge to Moscow".
By Peroshni Govender PRETORIA (Reuters) - Mourners flocked in their tens of thousands to South Africa's central government buildings on Friday to say a personal goodbye to anti-apartheid hero Nelson Mandela on the final day of his lying in state in Pretoria. Such was the crush of people wanting to see Mandela's body in the Union Buildings, that the government asked others to stay away from the park-and-ride facilities set up to take mourners to the area. The body of South Africa's first black president was lying in state for a third and final day before being flown on Saturday to the Eastern Cape for a funeral on Sunday at his ancestral home in Qunu, 700 km (450 miles) south of Johannesburg. I am who I am and where I am because of this man," said Johannesburg resident Elsie Nkuna, who said she had taken two days off work to see Mandela.
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