'Lawrence of Arabia' film star Peter O'Toole dead at 81
LONDON | Known on the one hand for his starring role in "Lawrence of Arabia," leading tribesmen in daring attacks across the desert wastes, and on the other for his headlong charges into drunken debauchery, Peter O'Toole was one of the most magnetic, charismatic and fun figures in British acting.
O'Toole, who died Saturday at age 81 at the private Wellington Hospital in London after a long bout of illness, was nominated a record eight times for an Academy Award without taking home a single statue.
A reformed — but unrepentant — hell-raiser, O'Toole long suffered from ill health. He began his acting career as one of the most exciting young talents on the British stage. His 1955 "Hamlet," at the Bristol Old Vic, was critically acclaimed. International stardom came in David Lean's "Lawrence of Arabia." "
Seamus Peter O'Toole was born Aug. 2, 1932, the son of Irish bookie Patrick "Spats" O'Toole and his wife Constance. There is some question about whether Peter was born in Connemara, Ireland, or in Leeds, northern England, where he grew up.
Mandela eulogized as 'great tree has fallen' in South Africa
QUNU, South Africa | Songs, speeches and the boom of artillery rang across Nelson Mandela's home village during his funeral Sunday as a tribal chief draped in animal skin declared: "A great tree has fallen."
South Africa was saying goodbye for the last time to the man who reconciled the country in its most vulnerable period.
Several thousand guests, some singing and dancing, gathered in a huge tent at the family compound of the anti-apartheid leader, who died Dec. 5 at the age of 95 after a long illness. Mandela's portrait looked over the assembly in the white marquee from behind a bank of 95 candles representing each year of his remarkable life.
"A great tree has fallen, he is now going home to rest with his forefathers," said Chief Ngangomhlaba Matanzima, a representative of Mandela's family. "We thank them for lending us such an icon."
Vietnam vet Kerry returns to Mekong Delta as diplomat
NAM CAN, Vietnam | John Kerry returned Sunday to the winding waterways of Vietnam's Mekong Delta region where he once patrolled on a naval gunboat in the search for communist insurgents.
But nearly 50 years later, Kerry is promoting sustainable aquaculture and trade in a rapidly expanding economy rather than hunting Viet Cong guerrillas, as he was at the height of the Vietnam War.
As Kerry's boat eased off a jetty onto the Cai Nuoc River, the secretary of state told his guide: "I've been on this river many times."
Despite husband's execution, wife holds rank in North Korea
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — The aunt of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has been named to an ad-hoc state committee, the country's official media reported, an indication that the execution of her husband and the country's No. 2 has not immediately diminished her influence.
The fate of Kim Kyong Hui — a younger sister of late leader Kim Jong Il, Kim Jong Un's father — was questioned after North Korea announced Friday that her husband, Jang Song Thaek, was executed for trying to overthrow the government.
But her name appeared in a state media dispatch late Saturday alongside top officials on a funeral committee for fellow senior Workers' Party official Kim Kuk Thae, who died Friday. Her name appeared sixth in the dispatch, which listed more than 50 funeral committee members.
Considered extremely close to her brother Kim Jong Il, Kim Kyong Hui has risen through the ranks in recent years, helping to groom Kim Jong Un as the country's next leader.
Electronic waste may increase by a third by 2017, study says
BERLIN | The mountain of refrigerators, cellphones, TV sets and other electrical waste disposed of annually worldwide is forecast to grow by a third by 2017, according to a U.N. study released Sunday.
E-waste — defined as anything with a battery or a cord — can pose a big problem because it often contains substances that are harmful to humans and the environment if not properly treated. On the other hand, some of it can be profitably recycled.
A U.N. think tank dedicated to the issue estimates that the amount of e-waste will rise from almost 48.9 million metric tons (53.9 million tons) in 2012 to 65.4 million metric tons (72.09 million tons) in 2017. That's nearly 200 times the weight of the Empire State Building.
The U.S. dumped the most last year, generating 9.4 million metric tons of e-waste, followed by China with 7.3 million metric tons.