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Monday, October 6, 2014

Cheat Sheet - Has Kim Jong-Un Been Toppled?

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October 06, 2014
Kim Jong-un hasn't been seen in public since September 3, fueling rumors of illness and political impotency. North Korea's No. 2, Hwang Pyong So, is confident enough of his power that he's even traveled to South Korea for diplomatic talks, writes Gordon G. Chang. Does that mean North Korea's young dictator has been deposed?

The parents of Peter Kassig, the former U.S. Army Ranger being held captive by ISIS and threatened with beheading, have released a letter written by their son earlier this year in which he says he is afraid to die but is at peace with his conversion to Islam. In the letter, the 26-year-old hostage thanked his parents, Ed and Paula Kassig, and writes, "I am obviously pretty scared to die but the hardest part is not knowing, wondering, hoping, and wondering if I should even hope at all." He goes on to write, according to his parents, that he prays every day, is not angry about his situation, and "I am at peace with my belief." Kassig, who took the name Abdul-Rahman, voluntarily converted to Islam sometime between October and December last year, his parents said.

Shiite militias threatening to kill U.S. troops have actually been ordered by Iran not to attack Americans, Eli Lake reports. Iran's protection could come at a high price: a bargaining chip for striking a nuclear deal with the U.S.
A landmark piece of legislation would impose steep penalties on websites that display ads for child prostitutes. But are major tech firms trying to sink it?

ISIS militants are close to entering Kobani, a mostly Kurdish city in northern Syria near the border with Turkey, which the extremist group has been laying siege to for weeks. According to Kurdish officials, U.S. airstrikes have done little to deter ISIS from advancing on the city and militant forces are two kilometers from its center. "Airstrikes alone are really not enough to defeat ISIS in Kobani," said Idris Nassan, a senior spokesman for the Kurdish fighters. "They are besieging the city on three sides, and fighter jets simply cannot hit each and every ISIS fighter on the ground." Many fighters who have been defending the town were attempting to cross into Turkey. It appeared a final battle was underway for Kobani, and authorities fear a massacre will ensue if ISIS seizes control. The city is important because ISIS wants to claim a swath of land running from its self-declared capital of Raqqa, Syria, all the way to the Turkish border 60 miles away, as part of its so-called Islamic caliphate.

3 Win Nobel For Brain 'GPS' Research
One Brit and two Norwegians nab the honor.
Hewlett-Packard to Split in Two
One for PCs and printers, the other for tech services.
5th U.S. Man With Ebola Returns Home
Will be treated at Nebraska hospital.
Millionaire Denies Honeymoon Murder Plot
Wife killed by gang in South Africa.
1 U.S. Airman Dead in Japanese Typhoon
Two missing as it heads to Tokyo.

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