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Update – North Korean leader Kim Jong-il dies of heart attack

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PHUKET MEDIA WATCH

– World news selected by Gazette editors for Phuket’s international community

Korean leader Kim Jong-il dies of heart attack
Phuket Gazette

Kim Jong-il, the mysterious Communist leader who ruled North Korea for more than seventeen years, died of a massive heart attack on early Saturday morning, the government announced today. He was 69 or 70 years old.

The state-run Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said Kim suffered an ‘advanced, acute myocardial infarction, complicated with a heart shock,’ while on a train for a ‘field guidance tour’ on Saturday morning. He was pronounced dead at 8:30am local time.

“Every possible first-aid measure was taken immediately,” KCNA said, without disclosing the exact place of his death. It added that the heart attack was the result of “great mental and physical strain caused by his uninterrupted field guidance tour for the building of a thriving nation.”

Kim’s body will be taken to the Kumsusan Memorial Palace in Pyongyang, the capital of North Korea, where mourners will be received from tomorrow until December 27. A funeral ceremony is scheduled to be held in Pyongyang on December 28.

Following the funeral ceremony, on December 29, memorial services will be held across the country. Guns will be fired in Pyongyang and in the capital cities of each province while North Koreans observe three minutes of silence. All trains and North Korean ships will also blow their sirens.

KCNA said all forms of entertainment will be banned during the mourning period, which will end on December 29 following the nationwide memorial. It said institutions and business will hoist flags at half-mast in honor of Kim.

Kim Jong-un, the third and youngest son of Kim, will lead the memorial service in Pyongyang. KCNA described Kim Jong-un as the “Great Successor” following Kim’s death, but gave no specific details although he is widely expected to take over from his father as the Supreme Leader.

Kim’s health had been deteriorating in recent years, and state-run media acknowledged for the first time on Monday that he had been receiving medical treatment for ‘cardiac and cerebrovascular diseases’ for a ‘long period’. Kim is believed to have suffered a stroke in 2008.

As his health deteriorated, Kim probably knew he didn’t have much time left to choose and prepare a successor. In September 2010, Kim Jong-un was appointed as Vice Chairman of the Central Military Commission and named a member of the ruling Workers’ Party Central Committee.

The appointments were the first publicly announced posts given to Kim Jong-un, who is believed to be in his late 20s and who was educated in Switzerland. He reportedly resembles his father the most and has always been the favorite among his three sons, although little is known about him.

Kim ruled the Communist nation since the death of his father, Kim Il-sung, in 1994. The mystery about Kim’s life extended right back to his birth. North Korea claimed he was born on February 16, 1942, at a secret military camp on the Baekdu Mountain in Japanese Korea, ‘under a double rainbow as a new star appeared in the heavens.’ But Soviet records indicate he was likely born a year earlier, in the village of Vyatskoye.

— Phuket Gazette Editors

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Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

World

Sir Sean Connery dies at 90 years of age

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Sir Sean Connery dies at 90 years of age | The Thaiger

Sir Sean Connery has died at the age of 90. The Scottish actor was best known for his portrayal of British spy 007 “Bond… James Bond”, doing his first Bond movie in 1962 in “Dr. No”. According to his son, Jason Connery, he died peacefully in his sleep in the Bahamas.

He was knighted by the Queen at Holyrood Palace in 2000. He also received the Kennedy Centre Honour, and was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II. Scottish newspaper The Sunday Herald called him “The Greatest Living Scot” while People Magazine didn’t just vote him “Sexiest Man Alive” in 1989 but “Sexiest Man of the Century” a decade later.

He was the first to bring the role of James Bond to the big screen , appearing in 7 of the Bond franchise films, and the first of 7 actors that have played the role. Sir Sean was often voted the best actor to have played 007 in the long-running franchise in many polls.

His acting career spanned 5 decades and he eventually won an Oscar in 1988 playing an Irish cop in “The Untouchables”.

Sir Sean’s other films included The Hunt for Red October, Highlander (a Thaiger favourite), Entrapment, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade and The Rock.

Jason Connery said many of his family were with him and around when he died peacefully in his sleep.

“We are all working at understanding this huge event as it only happened so recently, even though my dad has been unwell for some time.”

“A sad day for all who knew and loved my dad and a sad loss for all people around the world who enjoyed the wonderful gift he had as an actor.”

Sir Sean was also a long-time supporter of Scottish independence, saying in interviews in the run-up to the 2014 referendum that he might return from his Bahamas home to live in Scotland if it voted to break away from the rest of the UK.

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Weather

This year’s most powerful typhoon will hit Philippines tomorrow

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This year’s most powerful typhoon will hit Philippines tomorrow | The Thaiger

Typhoon Goni continues to bear down on The Philippines in one of the South China Sea’s busiest storm years. 220,000 people have now been evacuated as of today.The typhoon, packing “destructive winds’, is expected to reach the south-east of the Philippine’s main island of Luzon tomorrow morning with the eye of the storm passing over during Sunday afternoon. Forecasters are expecting wind speeds of over 200 kilometres per hour.

Typhoon Goni is known locally as “Rolly”.

A warning has been issued “moderate to high risk” of storm surges up to 3 metres high along the east coast over the next 2 days.

On Wednesday this week Typhoon Molave smashed into Vietnam’s central coast, killing up to 35 people and flooding low-lying villages and then dropping heavy rain on southern Laos and Central Thailand. Molave killed 20 people as it passed over The Philippines.
This year's most powerful typhoon will hit Philippines tomorrow | News by The Thaiger
GRAPHIC: Typhoon Goni will reach Philippine’s island of Luzon tomorrow.

Schools are being used as emergency shelters as well as government-co-ordinated evacuation centres and gymnasiums. Authorities are ramping up preparations in the Bicol region southeast of Philippine capital Manila, readying rescue vehicles, emergency response teams and relief goods ahead of the storm.

The Philippines averages around 20 storms and typhoons every year, wiping out harvests, infrastructure and homes. The deadliest storm on record for The Philippines was Typhoon Haiyan, which dumped huge wave surges on the central city of Tacloban killing over 7,300 people in 2013.

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Economy

Dow and S&P 500 take a breath after an ugly week, tech stocks lead the way down

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Dow and S&P 500 take a breath after an ugly week, tech stocks lead the way down | The Thaiger

US stocks closed lower yesterday to end an ugly week downbeat with ‘uncertainty’ remaining the overwhelming sentiment. Tech stocks led the march downwards. The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped in its biggest monthly collapse since March with investors reacting to rising Covid-19 cases in the US and Europe, peppered by nervousness ahead of next Tuesday’s US presidential election. The increased volatility forced all three major indexes seeing their biggest weekly declines since the worst of the coronavirus-inspired selloff 8 months ago.

The Dow fell around 157 points, to end near 26,502, according to preliminary figures, while the S&P 500 lost around 40 points, or 1.2%, to finish near 3,270. The Nasdaq Composite gave up around 274 points, or 2.4%, closing near 10,912. The Dow had a 6.5% weekly fall and a 4.6% monthly drop. Friday’s decline saw the Nasdaq negative for the month of October, falling 2.3%. The Nasdaq was down 5.5% for the week.

The Dow dropped more than 500 points at its session low with tech stocks – primarily Apple, Amazon, Alphabet and Facebook – leading the market decline.

A number of stocks were on the move, down, following a slew of earnings, including from the tech giants. Twitter sank more than 20% on slowing growth, while Exxon reported its 3rd straight quarter of losses.

Key moments yesterday…

  • Dow closed down 0.59% for its 5th negative day out of 6
  • S&P 500 closed down 1.21% for its 4th negative day in 5
  • Dow closed down 6.47% this week for its worst week since March 20
  • S&P closed down 5.64% this week for its worst week since March 20 when the S&P lost 14.98%
  • S&P closed down 2.77% this month for its second-straight negative month
  • Nasdaq closed down 5.51% this week for its worst week since March 20 when the Nasdaq lost 12.64%

Dow and S&P 500 take a breath after an ugly week, tech stocks lead the way down | News by The Thaiger

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