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Former NBA star's lavish birthday gifts for 'friend for life' Kim Jong-un may have violated international sanctions imposed on North Korea

Archie Bland: The elder Kim who chose lifestyle over compromise

The urge to hold power is so incomprehensible to those of us who aren't possessed of it. I'm always at a loss as to why the likes of Mubarak and Gaddafi didn't just cash in their chips and head off for the luxury villas that surely could have been theirs; the only explanation can be that if you're the sort of person who wants to be in charge of things, that need never leaves you, and the more human concerns that would come first for the rest of us simply don't figure. And so they choose dismal, humiliating incarceration or death over a cheery teatime pina colada. Like I said: incomprehensible.

Kim Jong-nam was banished after allegedly trying to visit Disneyland on a fake passport

Kim Jong-un won't last, says his brother

North Korea regime will collapse without reform, says Kim Jong-il's eldest son in new book

AP President Tom Curley, left, opens the new Pyongyang bureau

North Korea puts the welcome mat out for AP bureau

The Associated Press opened its newest bureau in Pyongyang yesterday, becoming the first international news organisation with a full-time presence in North Korea.

North Korea keeps door open for food-nuke deal with US

North Korea signaled today that it remains open to suspending uranium enrichment in exchange for US food aid, a deal that appeared imminent before leader Kim Jong Il died last month.

North Korea pardon convicts to boost new leader's image

North Korea issued special pardons for convicts yesterday in a rare move that appeared to be aimed at boosting the popularity of its young new leader Kim Jong-un as he attempts to fill his late father's shoes.

Dodgy, Boogaloo, London

On Dodgy’s first tour twenty years ago, their fans had to call promoters and venues to find out where they were playing.

President Lee Myung-bak says he will respond to any aggression

Two Koreas are at a turning point, says South's leader

The death of Kim Jong-il could pave the way for a sea change in relations on the tense peninsula and could bring about a breakthrough in nuclear negotiations with the North, the South Korean leader said yesterday.

Kim Jong-un takes control of N Korean military

North Korea has announced that Kim Jong-un has been officially named supreme commander of the military, further strengthening his authority after the death of his father, long-time North Korean leader Kim Jong-il.

The new supreme leader, Kim Jong-un

No change in policy, warns North Korea despite new leader

North Korea warned the world there would be no softening of its position toward South Korea's government after Kim Jong Il's death as Pyongyang strengthened his son and heir's authority with a new title: Great Leader.

The new supreme leader, Kim Jong-un

New leader stays silent as world waits for sign of Kim 'charisma'

Will North Korea's young leader stick to his father's strongman style or be open to negotiation?

Choi: 'Kim Jong-un will open up North Korea for business'

A lieutenant of the late Kim Jong-il who defected to South Korea after years of senior positions in the regime has said Kim's son will open up the isolated state to become more of a market-style export economy.

Kim Jong Un's (second left) leadership is not expected to become formal until top party, parliamentary and government representatives convene to confirm his ascension

Kim Jong-un named as 'supreme leader'

Kim Jong-il's son and successor was declared "supreme leader" of North Korea's ruling party, military and the people during a memorial today for his father in the first public endorsement of his leadership by the government.

In this image made from KRT video, North Korean successor Kim Jong Un salutes as the funeral procession of late leader Kim Jong Il returned to the Kumsusan Memorial Palace in Pyongyang

Crowds pack snowy route for Kim Jong-il's funeral

North Korea's next leader escorted his father's hearse in an elaborate state funeral on a bitter, snowy day today, bowing and saluting in front of tens of thousands of citizens who wailed and stamped their feet in grief for Kim Jong Il.

South Koreans watch a TV screen showing Kim Jong-un, right, greet the wife of former South Korean President Kim Dae-jung, Lee Hee-ho

Kim Jong-il’s funeral will provide clues to North Korea's future

A sub-zero winter wind blew across the low-lying mountains of the southern reaches of North Korea while the country seemed frozen in time awaiting the funeral tomorrow for long-ruling Kim Jong-il.

Kim Jong-Un, youngest son of former North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il, sitting during a meeting with his father and visiting Lao President

New role for Kim Jong Il's son

Kim Jong Il's son was identified today as head of a top decision-making body of the ruling Workers' Party, a post that now gives him authority over political as well as military matters in North Korea.

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Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: ‘We give them hope. They come to us when no one else can help’

Christmas Appeal

Meet the charity giving homeless veterans hope – and who they turn to when no one else can help
Should doctors and patients learn to plan humane, happier endings rather than trying to prolong life?

Is it always right to try to prolong life?

Most of us would prefer to die in our own beds, with our families beside us. But, as a GP, Margaret McCartney sees too many end their days in a medicalised battle
Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night - is that what it takes for women to get to the top?

What does it take for women to get to the top?

Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night and told women they had to do more if they wanted to get on
Christmas jumper craze: Inside the UK factory behind this year's multicultural must-have

Knitting pretty: British Christmas Jumpers

Simmy Richman visits Jack Masters, the company behind this year's multicultural must-have
French chefs have launched a campaign to end violence in kitchens - should British restaurants follow suit?

French chefs campaign against bullying

A group of top chefs signed a manifesto against violence in kitchens following the sacking of a chef at a Paris restaurant for scalding his kitchen assistant with a white-hot spoon
Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour War and Peace on New Year's Day as Controller warns of cuts

Just what you need on a New Year hangover...

Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour adaptation of War and Peace on first day of 2015
Cuba set to stage its first US musical in 50 years

Cuba to stage first US musical in 50 years

Claire Allfree finds out if the new production of Rent will hit the right note in Havana
Christmas 2014: 10 best educational toys

Learn and play: 10 best educational toys

Of course you want them to have fun, but even better if they can learn at the same time
Paul Scholes column: I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season

Paul Scholes column

I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season
Lewis Moody column: Stuart Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

Lewis Moody: Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

So what must the red-rose do differently? They have to take the points on offer 
Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
Millionaire Sol Campbell wades into wealthy backlash against Labour's mansion tax

Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

Sarkozy returns

The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?
Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game