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The cult of Kim

Every county in North Korea has been ordered to erect statues in honour of Kim Il-sung and Kim Jong-il in order to reinforce the cult of obedience and reverence for the Kim family.

According to a defector interviewed by 'The Korea Herald', the order came directly from Kim Jong-un, who recently formally assumed all the key titles in North Korea after the conclusion of a three-year official mourning period after the death of his father, Kim Jong-il.

50km walk man dies

A 60-year-old man who walked 50kim through the baking Australian outback after his car broke down died just minutes away from help.

The man, who is not being named, walked 48km after his car broke down in the remote northern Goldfields, in the south eastern corner of Western Australia.

His body was discovered only minutes from Windidda Station, less than two kilometres from safety.

Passing the buck

Nobody wanted the Zimbabwe dollar, so the southern African country dumped it for the US dollar in 2009 to stave off economic collapse and sky-rocketing hyperinflation.

Now nobody wants the "bond coins" it put in circulation last month to replace the lollipops, chewing gum and pens that have been used in lieu of change for transactions in shops.

Chan's son jailed

Jaycee Chan, the son of kung fu movie star Jackie Chan, was jailed for six months in China yesterday on a drugs charge, the latest celebrity felled by the government's aggressive anti-narcotics campaign.

The younger Chan, a 32-year-old actor and singer, was formally charged last month with "the crime of sheltering others to take drugs" after testing positive for marijuana, with police saying they found 100 grams of the drug at his home.

He faced a maximum prison sentence of three years.

2,100 Syrian deaths

At least 2,100 people died in Syrian prisons last year and the bodies of many showed signs of torture, a monitoring group said yesterday, quoting the families of deceased detainees.

The British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said it believed the true figure to be much higher but had only reported cases where families had received a corpse or a death certificate from a prison.

Irish Independent