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North Korea leader Kim Jong-il lies in state

Kim Jong-il's son and heir and senior officials pay their respects as the late North Korean leader lies in state ahead of his funeral next week.

(BBC NEWS) Pyongyang - Kim Jong-il died on Saturday of a heart attack caused by overwork and stress at the age of 69, state media said.

Regional powers have voiced fears over the nuclear country's future course.

The US has called on North Korea to pursue a "path of peace". It has promised to defend regional allies.

Kim Jong-il, who had been in power since the death of father Kim Il-sung in 1994, will be buried on 28 December.

The country has entered an 11-day period of official mourning, with flags being flown at half-mast at all military bases, factories, businesses, farms and public buildings.

Kim Jong-il's body is in a room of the Kumsusan Memorial Palace, a mausoleum where Kim Il-sung's embalmed body has been on display in a glass sarcophagus since 1994.

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Can machines be ironic?

Charles Barbour

What was your first reaction when you heard about Blake Lemoine, the Google engineer who announced last month the AI program he was working on had developed consciousness?

If, like me, you’re instinctively suspicious, it might have been something like: Is this guy serious? Does he honestly believe what he is saying? Or is this an elaborate hoax?

Put the answers to those questions to one side. Focus instead on the questions themselves. Is it not true that even to ask them is to presuppose something crucial about Blake Lemoine: specifically, he is conscious?

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