The World

10 ESSENTIAL STORIES

1 | North Korea Dear Leader in Decline? After Kim Jong Il failed to attend a parade marking the country's 60th anniversary, rumors began circulating that the secretive North Korean leader's health was deteriorating. State media have not reported a public appearance by Kim since Aug. 14, though Western intelligence officials say the 66-year-old dictator has manipulated such reports before. White House officials could not confirm the rumors but said they are monitoring the "opaque" nation amid stalled talks over its nuclear program. The Dear Leader assumed power in 1994 after the death of his father, North Korea's founder, Kim Il...

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