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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 reported. 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.
Qualcomm said Friday it had promoted Steve Mollenkopf to chief executive, succeeding Paul Jacobs at the helm of the world's dominant mobile chipmaker. Mollenkopf will retain his title as president of Qualcomm while Jacobs becomes executive chairman. Mollenkopf "will assume overall responsibility for Qualcomm, including all lines of business and all functional groups" while Jacobs will take the new role "helping guide development of new technology and Qualcomm's long-term opportunities," a statement from the California company said. "With today's announcement, we enable a smooth transition to a proven executive in Steve Mollenkopf, while providing for ongoing executive guidance and board-level leadership from Paul Jacobs," said Sherry Lansing, presiding director of Qualcomm's board.
QUNU, South Africa (AP) — The rural home where Nelson Mandela grew up in the 1920s had mud walls, a grass thatched roof, and a floor polished smooth with cow dung. When throngs flood Mandela's hometown on Sunday for his burial, they will visit a simple place steeped in old ways but which now has become the center of a massive state operation to honor the anti-apartheid leader.
Manchester (United Kingdom) (AFP) - Manchester United received another setback on Friday when manager David Moyes revealed that striker Robin van Persie will be out for a month with a thigh injury. The Dutchman recently returned from a four-game lay-off due to a groin problem, playing in last weekend's 1-0 loss to Newcastle United and the midweek victory over Shakhtar Donetsk in the Champions League. However, he injured himself as he took the corner that led to Phil Jones's 67th-minute winner against Shakhtar and Moyes expects him to be out of action until next year. "Robin Van Persie is out for a month," Moyes said.
Bangladesh was rocked by a new wave of deadly violence Friday as Islamist supporters went on the rampage to vent their fury at the execution of one of their leaders for war crimes. Abdul Quader Molla became the first person to be hanged for his role in the country's bloody 1971 war of independence from Pakistan when he was sent to the gallows at a prison in the capital Dhaka late Thursday. The hanging took place at 10:01 pm (1601 GMT) after the Supreme Court dismissed an appeal for a final review of the death sentence handed down to Molla, who was a senior figure in the Jamaat-e-Islami party. Molla had been found guilty in February by a much-criticised domestic tribunal of having been a leader of a pro-Pakistan militia that fought against the country's independence and killed some of Bangladesh's top professors, doctors, writers and journalists.
A gold and jade statue of Mao Zedong worth more than $16 million was unveiled Friday, in the latest example of Communist China's indecision over how to commemorate its founding father's 120th anniversary. The statue, 80 cm (32 inches) tall but weighing more than 50 kilograms, was put on display in the southern boom town of Shenzhen, China National Radio (CNR) reported. The city was little more than a fishing village a few decades ago, and its booming prosperity epitomises China's transformation since the days of Mao's command economy. A team of 20 artists took eight months to complete the 100 million-yuan ($16.5 million) work, which is accented with precious stones and rests on a base of white jade, CNR said.