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News >  Nation/World

Kim meets with Chinese envoy

North Korea’s reclusive leader has turned up for talks with a senior Chinese envoy, making his first such appearance in nearly a half year in an apparent bid to show he is fit despite reportedly suffering a stroke last August.

Kim Jong Il met with Communist Party official Wang Jiarui on Friday, toasting the representative from North Korea’s main ally and saying his regime stands by its commitment to dismantle its nuclear weapons program, state-run media in both countries said.

Wang is believed to be the first high-level outside official to have face-to-face contact with Kim since the North Korean leader fell out of the public eye amid speculation about his health. Kim appeared thinner but otherwise healthy in photos of the meeting in Pyongyang, the North Korean capital.

Dendermonde, Belgium

Man stabs babies, workers at day care

A young man with a gruesomely painted black-and-white face went on a rampage at a Belgian day care center Friday, stabbing two babies and a female worker to death and seriously wounding 12 others.

Sobbing parents rushed to the scene and to nearby hospitals. Shocked rescue workers spoke of finding crying, bleeding toddlers scattered inside the center. Medical workers at six hospitals sprang into action, performing emergency operations to save the 10 children and two adults badly wounded in the attack.

The shocking assault caused panic and outrage in the town 20 miles northwest of Brussels, where the day care center sits on a residential street.

Prosecutor Christian Du Four did not name the 20-year-old attacker but said he had no criminal record and was uncooperative under questioning. Residents said the suspect was a local man with a history of mental illness.

Kinshasa, Congo

Troops arrest rebel leader

In a stunning reversal of alliances, Rwandan troops captured Congo’s most powerful rebel leader, a longtime ally who the Congolese government says was at the heart of years of war in the east, officials said Friday.

Congo applauded the surprise arrest, hoping it would herald a new era of peace and mark the end of the Central African nation’s Tutsi rebellion. But few believe the country’s problems are over and many fear the unprecedented and unpopular deal with former enemy Rwanda is a risky gamble that could unleash more bloodshed.

Rwanda detained Laurent Nkunda apparently as part of an agreement with Congo that opened the way for thousands of Rwandan soldiers to cross the border this week in a joint operation to hunt down Rwandan Hutu militiamen.

The region has been mired in conflict since Rwanda’s 1994 genocide spilled war across the border and Hutu militias sought refuge here.

From wire reports
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