More purges may follow execution of Kim's uncle 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. In a stunning reversal of the popular image of Jang as a mentor and father figure guiding young Kim Jong Un as he consolidated power, North Korea's state-run media on Friday announced he had been executed and portrayed him as a morally corrupt traitor who saw the death of Kim's father, Kim Jong Il, in December 2011 as an opportunity to make his own power play.
Uncle rose with NKorean leader before brutal fall SEOUL, South Korea (AP) - The execution of leader Kim Jong Un's uncle marks the unprecedented fall from grace of one of the most powerful figures in North Korea and the most serious political upheaval in the country in decades. Jang Song Thaek rose from municipal bureaucrat to vice chairman of the National Defense Commission and member of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the Workers' Party - posts that put him in second in power only to Kim.
10 Things to Know for Today Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about today: 1. AP REVEALS MISSING AMERICAN BACKSTORY
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Missing American in Iran was on unapproved mission WASHINGTON (AP) - An American who vanished nearly seven years ago in Iran was working for the CIA on an unapproved intelligence-gathering mission that, when it came to light inside the government, produced one of the most serious scandals in the recent history of the CIA - but all in secret, an Associated Press investigation found. The CIA paid Robert Levinson's family $2.5 million to head off a revealing lawsuit. Three veteran analysts were forced out of the agency and seven others were disciplined.
House GOP conservatives help propel budget bill WASHINGTON (AP) - After a sweeping vote by conservative Republicans controlling the House and President Barack Obama's Democratic allies, a bipartisan budget pact is in the hands of the Senate, where it will encounter stronger but probably futile resistance from Republicans. The modest package passed by the House on Thursday would ease the harshest effects of another round of automatic spending cuts set to hit the Pentagon and domestic agencies next month. Supporters of the measure easily beat back attacks on it from conservative organizations that sometimes raise money by stoking conflict within the Republican Party.
Ukrainian opposition to go to presidential talks KIEV, Ukraine (AP) - A leader of the massive anti-government protests in Ukraine's capital says opposition members will attend roundtable talks with President Viktor Yanukovych in order to push their demands for early elections. The announcement by Vitali Klitschko came about 30 minutes before the talks, which also include religious, student and labor representatives, were to begin.
Iran's fears of being a target cloud nuke talks VIENNA (AP) - Assassinations, cyber-attacks and possible military strikes: As nuclear negotiations with Iran enter a crucial stage, Tehran is voicing fears that tougher oversight of its activities will increase the risks of an attack on its atomic facilities and the scientists working on them. Iranian fears that the country's nuclear activities are a target are plausible but some nuclear experts say such concerns are overblown.
Huge crowds gather in hopes of seeing Mandela body PRETORIA, South Africa (AP) - About 100,000 South African mourners waited in line on Friday to view the body of Nelson Mandela, which was lying in state for the third and final day, but most were likely to be turned away before officials remove the casket in the late afternoon. In one waiting area in Pretoria, people pushed open a gate that the police had closed, shouting that they wanted to see Mandela. Some fell to the ground as the crowd surged, and several were slightly injured. The government said some 92,000 people had gathered by late morning, but closed nearby parking facilities around midday because of the huge crowds.
Chaos, gunbattles, hungry kids in C. African Rep. BANGUI, Central African Republic (AP) - French troops backed by a helicopter traded fire with suspected rebels in a tense Bangui neighborhood on Friday, as France's military chief arrived in Central African Republic to see how his troops are doing trying to stabilize the lawless country. The violence that has left the country verging on anarchy showed few signs of abating Friday in the capital's Miskine neighborhood, where about a dozen Muslim men with machetes faced off against a group of Christian youths.