Originally published on Wed December 3, 2014 2:28 pm
North Koreans cannot name their children Jong Un, and those who already share the name of the country's leader must change it. That's according to a directive from 2011 obtained recently by KBS, South Korea's state-run broadcast network.
It's unclear how many people the ban affects, but Kim is a common Korean last name, and both males and females can be named Jong Un. The North Korean directive was dated January 2011, the KBS report said.
Originally published on Thu December 4, 2014 8:34 am
Manfred Karg says he doesn't know how his eldest son, Alfons, became mixed up with radical Islamists.
Whatever happened, the German pensioner's 19-year-old son from Hamburg is now dead, one of at least 60 Germans killed fighting alongside ISIS militants, nine of them in suicide attacks, according to German authorities.
Karg says two young men with an "immigrant background" knocked on Alfons' mother's door to tell her of his death in Syria last summer.
"When she opened up, they said: 'Congratulations, your son is now in paradise,' " he says.
Originally published on Wed December 3, 2014 2:54 pm
Matthew and Grace Huang, an American couple who had been forced to remain in Qatar over the death of their adopted 8-year old daughter in 2013, have left the country en route to the United States.
On Sunday, an appeals court cleared the Huangs of all charges in their daughter's death, but as they arrived at the Hamad International Airport in Doha later that day to fly home to California, the couple were detained again. Qatari authorities said another appeal had been filed in their case and that they could not travel.
Originally published on Wed December 3, 2014 3:04 pm
Sometimes you stumble across statistics that just scream at you. I was looking this week through some reports on the Liberian Ministry of Health's website. The screaming statistic was an "8" listed as the number of people "currently in treatment" at the ELWA 3 Ebola treatment unit run by Doctors Without Borders in Monrovia.
Originally published on Wed December 3, 2014 11:00 am
Meeting with representatives of nations that have joined the United States in its fight against the so-called Islamic State, Secretary of State John Kerry said the offensive was having "significant impact."
Originally published on Wed December 3, 2014 12:54 pm
Four Scandinavian nations and New Zealand are the world's least corrupt countries while North Korea and Somalia are the most corrupt, according to the Corruption Perception Index released today by Transparency International.
Originally published on Wed December 3, 2014 9:09 am
There's a clearing in the jungle in central Liberia that now serves as an Ebola burial ground. Every day, a woman who works as a nurse in the nearby Ebola treatment unit, or ETU, changes from her scrubs into traditional dress, walks into that clearing and sings a song of mourning.
The song is meant to prepare the space for the dead. There is a burial every day. So far, nearly 100 people have been buried in this clearing. Sixteen are from one village about 45 minutes away, a place called Taylortown, or Taylata in the local dialect.
Originally published on Tue December 2, 2014 6:24 pm
With his coalition government splintering, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has sacked two senior Cabinet ministers, said Parliament should be dissolved and called for early elections.
The Israeli media reported that new elections could be held as early as March.
Netanyahu has been prime minister for the past five years — an extremely long tenure in a country marked by fractious politics and unstable coalition governments. He has more than two years left in his current term before new elections are required in 2017.
Originally published on Tue December 2, 2014 11:23 am
An Indian television host and actress was slapped during the filming of a talent show by a man who said her dress was too short.
Police arrested 24-year-old Akil Malik for allegedly slapping Gauhar Khan on Sunday during the filming of India's Raw Star, a televised singing contest that she hosts. Security guards overpowered Malik before summoning the police.
Police quoted Malik as telling Khan that "being a Muslim woman, she should not have worn such a short dress." Malik, like Khan, is Muslim.
Iraq's government and Kurdish regional authorities have announced a deal that could end a dispute between them over oil exports and the budget.
Under the deal, announced by Iraqi Finance Minister Hoshyar Zebari, a Kurd, the Kurds will release 300,000 barrels per day of oil from Kirkuk. Another 250,000 barrels per day would be exported from the semiautonomous Kurdistan Region through Turkey.