KIM JONG-UN’S UNCLE EXECUTED
North Korea’s official news agency KCNA announced that Kim Jong-un’s uncle and mentor, considered the second most powerful man in the country until his recent dismissal, was executed yesterday. Official media branded Jang Song-thaek a “despicable human scum” guilty of leading a “depraved life.” Read the full announcement here.
CHEMICAL WEAPONS USED IN SYRIA SINCE AUG. 21
A United Nations report shows that chemical weapons were used at least five times over the past year in Syria, both before and after the infamous Aug. 21 attack near Damascus.
Although the report doesn’t assign responsibility for the attacks, Syrian soldiers were targeted on three occasions. Civilians were also victims in three of the five attacks. Read more from the BBC.
In a scathing briefing, Amnesty International accuses the EU of failing Syrian refugees. See what Secretary General Salil Shetty said.
U.S. HOUSE APPROVES BUDGET DEAL
The U.S. House of Representatives has approved a bipartisan agreement on the federal budget for the next two years, The New York Times reports. The deal, however, does not address the issue of the debt ceiling, which must be raised again in the coming months to avoid a default.
EX-FBI AGENT IN IRAN WAS ON ROGUE CIA MISSION
Robert Levinson, a retired FBI agent who disappeared in Iran in 2007, was not just a private citizen as U.S. officials have been claiming but was in fact on an unapproved mission for the CIA, an Associated Press investigation reveals.
17 DEAD IN YEMEN DRONE ATTACK
At least 17 people were killed as two missiles fired in a U.S. drone attack in central Yemen targeted a wedding convoy, AFP reports. According to Yemeni security officials, only two of the victims were known as al-Qaeda members, while most of the dead were innocent civilians.
BELGIAN SENATE APPROVES CHILD EUTHANASIA
Belgian Senators voted overwhelmingly for a bill extending euthanasia access to terminally ill children, La Libre Belgique reports. Cécile Thibaut, a senator from Belgium’s Green Party, said the bill represented a “significant move forward.” The proposed legislation doesn’t set an age limit, merely stating that the child must be reasonably aware of the consequences of the request, which the parents must approve.
BY THE NUMBERS
Meet Austria’s new foreign minister, who is just 27 years old.
DRINK AND DRIVE
A Norwegian man was arrested for driving his wheelchair while drunk.
An unusual snowfall in Jerusalem creates a winter wonderland in the holy land (see main picture).
LIFE ON EUROPA?
Images from NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope show what appear to be giant water geysers on Jupiter’s moon Europa, raising hopes for possible signs of life.