In a matter of days, Jang Song Thaek went from being one of North Korea's most powerful officials to being publicly denounced as "human scum" and then, according to North Korean state-run media, being put to death.
North Korea's young ruler has a singular mission, experts say, preserve the family dynasty. And in that context, Kim Jong Un's sabre-rattling and his invitation to have Dennis Rodman visit the isolated country all makes sense.
Monday morning brought with it speculation that North Korea might be preparing another nuclear test, which would be an escalation of an already tense situation. But by afternoon, South Korean officials walked back that idea. But tensions remain high.
Just as the US and Canada face record cold temperatures this week, Australia is hitting record highs — up to 121 degrees Fahrenheit. Also, China says its women should stop turning their breast milk into novelty soaps, Saudi Arabia gets its first female law firm, and an American designer may be the world's greatest diamond counterfeiter. All that and more, in today's Global Scan.
North Korea is about to have another election. And though the winners are not in doubt, government leaders still want a huge turnout, so they are turning to poems exhorting people to vote. Plus, at the NSA, even the spies are fed up ... with being spied on. All that and more, in today's Global Scan.
Kim Jong Un is known around the world for his hair, but evidently he's a little sensitive about it. The "dear leader" of North Korea wants a London barbershop to take down a promotional photo that uses his image with the words "Bad Hair Day." That and more in today's Global Scan.
Funeral services for notorious dictator Kim Jong Il were held on Wednesday. His passing marks the end of an era for comedians, able to use comic-book like dictators as foils for their comedic endeavors.
World War I led to more than 16 million deaths and more than 20 million people wounded. To mark the anniversary of the start of the war on Tuesday, the UK went dark Monday night — a tribute to the nation's victims. That story tops our Global Scan.