North Korea confirmed on Monday the dismissal of Jang Song Thaek, the uncle of leader Kim Jong Un who was previously considered the second most powerful man in the secretive state, for committing "criminal acts". "Jang and his followers committed criminal acts baffling imagination and they did tremendous harm to our party and revolution," the North's KCNA news agency said in a report following a ruling Workers' Party politburo meeting on Sunday. (Reporting by Jack Kim and Ju-min Park. Editing by Dean Yates)
Afghan President Hamid Karzai agreed on a cooperation pact with Iran on Sunday, an Afghan official said, while continuing to resist signing a long-term security agreement with the United States. Karzai struck the deal with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani in Tehran in a move that will be greeted with suspicion by his U.S. ally, which is trying to convince him to sign the security accord governing any post-2014 U.S. presence in Afghanistan. "Afghanistan agreed on a long-term friendship and cooperation pact with Iran," Karzai's spokesman Aimal Faizi said. "The pact will be for long-term political, security, economic and cultural cooperation, regional peace and security." He said a formal document would be prepared and signed soon.
A powerful storm system that spread hazardous snow, sleet and freezing rain widely across the nation's midsection rumbled toward the densely populated Eastern seaboard on Sunday, promising more of the same.