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Rebels in South Kordofan region announced they are holding 29 Chinese workers who became caught up in a battle with the Sudanese army. The rebel Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N) said the workers are safe and “in good health”. China’s foreign ministry confirmed that some of their nationals were missing, but did not specify how many. South Kordofan is one of...

North Korea has removed two medium-range missiles from a coastal launch site, indicating a lowering of tension on the peninsula

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...threatened attacks in the region. The threats followed tough new UN sanctions imposed on North Korea in March after its third nuclear test. North Korea has been angered by wide-ranging annual US-South Korea military drills, which ended a week ago. The news that the missiles had been removed from the site on the east coast came on the eve of a summit in Washington between the US and South Korean pr...

Churches across South Africa are holding prayers for Nelson Mandela, who has been in hospital for four days being treated for pneumonia

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Churches across South Africa are holding prayers for former President Nelson Mandela, who has been in hospital for four days being treated for pneumonia. Several hundred people gathered at the Regina Mundi church in Soweto – once a focal point of the struggle against apartheid. On Saturday, South Africa’s presidency said Nelson Mandela, 94, was breathing without difficulty. It said ex...

Barack Obama was speaking in the executive capital, Pretoria, after talks with President Jacob Zuma

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Kim Jong-uk has appeared before North Korean media to read an apology

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South Korean missionary Kim Jong-uk, who is detained in North Korea, has appeared before media to read from a statement publicly apologizing for “anti-state crimes”. Kim Jong-uk, 50, said he was arrested after entering via China with religious materials in October. Religious activity is restricted in North Korea, with missionaries arrested on multiple occasions in the past. Foreign na...

North Korea and South Korea are to hold rare high-level talks ahead of family reunions

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...scussed, he said. The agreement followed a proposal from North Korea to hold talks. North Korea and South Korea are to hold rare high-level talks ahead of family reunions There is hope in Seoul that it might kick-start a regular dialogue, our correspondent adds. North Korea and South Korea are due to hold reunions of families divided by the partitioning of the Korean Peninsula at the end of the 1...

South Korean workers have crossed the North Korean border to return to the Kaesong industrial park after five months

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South Korean workers have crossed the North Korean border to return to the Kaesong industrial park, five months after work was halted amid high political tension. Trucks and cars began crossing the border into North Korea at exactly 08:00 a.m. local time. More than 800 South Koreans were due to cross to the jointly-run centre for what is being called a trial restart. The zone, just inside North K...

South Korean officials announce they incorrectly linked a Chinese IP address to a cyber-attack on local banks and broadcasters earlier this week

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...ier this week. On Thursday, the Korean Communications Commission said it had traced the attack to an internet address in China, although the identity of those behind the attack could not be confirmed. But it said further investigation showed the malware came from a local computer in one of the affected banks. However, South Korean officials still believe the attack was orchestrated from abroad. We...

South Korean activists have sent propaganda leaflets to North Korea, a week after Pyongyang threatened military action over a similar launch

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South Korean activists have sent propaganda leaflets to North Korea, a week after Pyongyang threatened military action over a similar launch. The group floated 50,000 leaflets in several balloons from a park near the border town of Paju, watched by a heavy police presence. Local residents trying to stop the move got into minor scuffles with activists. Authorities prevented a similar launch last w...

North Korea says it has missiles that can hit the United States mainland

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North Korea says it has missiles that can hit the United States mainland, in a statement two days after South Korea unveiled a missile deal with the US. The North Korean statement said US bases in “Japan, Guam and the US mainland” were within its “scope of strike”. It follows Seoul’s announcement on Sunday that it would almost triple the range of its own missile syst...

The changes to Jacob Zuma's Nkandla private home, including a pool and cattle enclosure, cost South African taxpayers about $23 million

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...a over the use of state money to improve his Nkandla private residence. The move follows a report by South Africa’s top corruption fighter accusing President Jacob Zuma of unethical conduct over the upgrade of Nkandla house. The changes to Jacob Zuma’s Nkandla private home, including a pool and cattle enclosure, cost South African taxpayers about $23 million. Police are now obliged to...

Jill Kelley, the Florida socialite who exposed the affair which brought down CIA Director David Petraeus, has been sacked as an honorary consul for South Korea

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...elling the FBI about “threatening” emails she had received from author Paula Broadwell. A subsequent investigation revealed that Paula Broadwell had been having an affair with David Petraeus, who was subsequently forced to resign as director of the CIA. Jill Kelley was appointed honorary consul for South Korea in August after becoming close to former ambassador Han Duk-Soo, who is said to be troub...

Kurt Masur, 84, lost his balance while conducting the National Orchestra of France on Thursday night

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Kurt Masur, the former principal conductor of the London Philharmonic Orchestra (LPO) is recovering in hospital after falling off the stage at a concert in Paris. Kurt Masur, 84, lost his balance while conducting the National Orchestra of France on Thursday night. According to the orchestra’s website, Kurt Masur is expected to be released soon. France’s president, Nicolas Sarkozy, has...

Bank of America's Countrywide Financial unit was found liable for defrauding two US government-backed mortgage companies

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A federal jury has found Bank of America’s Countrywide Financial unit liable for defrauding two US government-backed mortgage companies. Countrywide, which was acquired by Bank of America in 2008, was accused of selling thousands of defective loans to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The ruling is a major win for the US government, which launched the case in the wake of the financial crisis. The...

Bank of America is being sued for $1 billion for an alleged mortgage fraud

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Bank of America is being sued for $1 billion for an alleged mortgage fraud. The civil lawsuit has been brought by the US Attorney Preet Bharara, the top federal prosecutor in Manhattan, New York. Preet Bharara accuses Countrywide Financial, which Bank of America bought in 2008, of selling thousands of toxic home loans to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are government agenci...

Warren Buffet Bank of America

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Omaha, NE (NYSE: BRK.A; BRK.B)—An editorial in today’s Wall Street Journal says that “Berkshire Hathaway will enjoy an effective tax rate of 10.5% on the $300 million in dividends it will receive each year from Bank of America.” That statement is incorrect. Warren Buffet saves Bank of America Virtually all of the stocks that Berkshire owns are held in its property-casualty subsidiaries, an...

Most dangerous places to live in America

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A series of maps have been published illustrating the most deadly places in America. The data may look spectacular laid out in colorful graphics, but they clearly identify the deadly effects of Mother Nature. The maps were created by John Nelson, a UX & Mapping manager at IDV Solutions and were reported by the Business Insider . Using a spreadsheet he converted the data into a pixelated map o...

South Korean President Lee Myung-bak has apologized to the nation over corruption investigations involving his brother and former aides

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South Korean President Lee Myung-bak has apologized to the nation over corruption investigations involving his brother and former aides. “I bow my head and apologize for causing the public concern as a result of these incidents,” Lee Myung-bak said in a short address on television. His brother, Lee Sang-deuk, was detained by police on corruption charges earlier this month. Lee Myung-b...

South Africa's governing African National Congress is holding its party congress at which members will vote for its next leader

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...l vote for its next leader But Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe was nominated by at least three of South Africa’s nine provinces and is hoping for a surprise victory. He only confirmed his candidacy last week. If Kgalema Motlanthe is appointed, the ANC’s control of parliament means he will almost certainly become South Africa’s next president in elections in 2014. The results o...

Park Geun-hye of the governing Saenuri party is looking to make history as South Korea's first female president

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Millions of South Koreans have cast ballots in a presidential election seen as too close to call. Park Geun-hye of the governing Saenuri party is looking to make history as South Korea’s first female president. But she faces a tough challenge from Moon Jae-in of the Democratic United Party, who has been steadily eroding her lead in the polls. Whoever wins will replace President Lee Myung-ba...

Park Geun-hye, the daughter of former dictator Park Chung-hee, defeated her liberal rival Moon Jae-in in South Korea’s presidential election

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...ark Geun-hye, the daughter of former dictator Park Chung-hee, defeated her liberal rival Moon Jae-in in South Korea’s presidential election. Park Geun-hye will be South Korea’s first female leader. Votes are still being counted, but Moon Jae-in has admitted defeat. Turnout was high in a poll dominated by economic and social welfare issues. Park Geun-hye, 60, will replace her party colleague...

South Korea has decided to cut its growth forecast for this year and for 2013, underlining the effect of a slowdown in its key export markets on its growth

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South Korea has decided to cut its growth forecast for this year and for 2013, underlining the effect of a slowdown in its key export markets on its growth. The finance ministry has forecast a growth of 3% for 2013, down from its earlier projection of 4.3%. Meanwhile, the growth forecast for 2012 was lowered to 2.1% from 3.3%. South Korea’s exports, which account for almost half of its over...

Kim Kardashian and her sisters have been forced to find a home in the unfashionable area of North Beach after residents blocked their application to move to South Beach

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When Kim Kardashian plotted a move to Miami it seemed a given that she’d be settling into the exclusive South Beach area of the city. But Kim Kardashian and her sisters have instead been forced to find a home in the unfashionable area of North Beach, after residents blocked their application to move to South Beach. When the sisters tried to rent beach homes on Sunset Islands, De Lido Island...

Kim Jong-Un, believed to be in his late 20s, has since adopted a warm public persona, being photographed at fun fairs and pop concerts with his young wife Ri Sol-Ju

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...otographed at fun fairs and pop concerts with his young wife Ri Sol-Ju. Kim Jong-Un, believed to be in his late 20s, has since adopted a warm public persona, being photographed at fun fairs and pop concerts with his young wife Ri Sol-Ju That – together with the recent removal of army chief General Ri Yong-Ho – has fuelled hopes in the South that he could be planning to open up North K...

The powdered flesh, which officials said came from dead babies and foetuses, is reportedly thought by some to cure disease and boost stamina

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Customs officials in South Korea have discovered thousands of pills filled with powdered human flesh coming from China, it was revealed today. South Korea says it will increase customs inspections targeting capsules containing powdered human flesh. The Korea Customs Service said it had found almost 17,500 of the capsules being smuggled into the country from China since August 2011. The powdered f...