BY SHELLY YANG
His interests include travel, wine, and spas. His favorite film is “Love Actually.” Believe it or not, we’re talking about the grandson of North Korea’s Dear Leader.
South Korean media claim they’ve uncovered the Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, and YouTube accounts of Kim Jong-Il’s grandson. The 16-year-old, Kim Han-Sol, is reportedly the son of Kim Jong-Nam, the leader’s exiled oldest son. Photos show the teenager sporting dyed hair, wearing earrings, necklaces and trendy glasses, a far cry from the jumpsuited ruler. (Video source: iFeng)
Kim Han-Sol’s Facebook page even had a poll pitting communism against democracy, with the boy saying he preferred democracy. The Guardian says there is obviously a big generational, political and cultural gap between the North Korean dictator and his grandson.
“After all, North Korea's Dear Leader is probably not a fan of cross-shaped pendants, syrupy romcoms, or, for that matter, democracy…Kim Han-sol cuts a more modern, gregarious and less lonely figure than his grandfather, whose tastes are rumoured to run more to Hollywood action movies and cognac than Richard Curtis films and spa treatments.”
The South Korea newspaper Chosun Ilbo also noticed the boy might have a religious belief -- which is banned in North Korea.
“[He] identifies his religion as ‘Christian-other’ on his MySpace profile page … In his Facebook profile photo, Kim Han-sol wears a necklace with a pendant that looks like a crucifix. And on his YouTube channel, he identified himself as ‘Pro-Religious Rights.’ But when he subscribed to AsiaFind… he introduced himself as an agnostic.”
But for all their differences, the International Business Times says the boy and his grandfather share the same views on one thing: Americans.
“He reportedly engaged in an argument with a Facebook user called NickyAmerican where he expressed his disgust for ‘universally shared’ American characteristics -- such as being fat, stupid and eating cheeseburgers.”
AsiaNews reports the Fourth Kim has enrolled at United World College in Bosnia, where he will take a course called "How to rebuild a country after a conflict."
India's sex traffickers are among those planning to cash in on the Commonwealth Games when they begin on Sunday.
Escort agencies and red light zones in New Delhi are targeting foreign tourists, officials and visitors who are in the Indian capital for the games.
Prerna Suri follows a man who is searching for his daughter, believed to be caught up in a sex ring.
For the first time since 2007, India and Pakistan are set to open a historic border crossing for commercial traffic passing through the two nations.
The "integrated check post," as it is known, close to Wagah, the only road crossing between the antagonistic neighbours, is the first of 13 border posts set to open following years of negotiations between the two sides.
The opening of the crossing at Attari could see the number of trucks entering Pakistan increase from 150 to 800 a day, greatly boosting business on both sides of the border.
Al Jazeera's Prerna Suri reports from the Wagah border.
Pakistan, a country with large reserves of natural gas, is suffering from a shortage of the resource amongst industries, who rely on it to generate power.
The knock-on effect from the industries shutting down for long periods is that millions are going without work, in an economy that is already reeling from multiple shocks.
The latest gas shortage has led to widespread protests against the government, particularly in central Punjab, the heartland of Pakistan's industries.
Al Jazeera's Imtiaz Tyab reports from Faisalabad, Pakistan.
The naming of Dow Chemical as an official sponsor of the 2012 Olympic Games in London has caused outrage in India.
Dow Chemical is the parent company of the firm responsible for the world's worst industrial disaster, the Union Carbide gas leak in Bhopal, India.
Twenty-seven years after the initial leak, residents in Bhopal still suffer from the long-term medical complications of the Union Carbide disaster and are seeking justice, proper compensation and medical care.
In a statement to Al Jazeera, the London Organising Committee for the Olympic Games (LOCOG), said: "Having carefully looked in to this issue and based on everything we know and have seen from Dow, we stand behind them both as a worldwide sponsor of the Olympic movement and as a supplier to LOCOG."
Al Jazeera's Sohail Rahman reports from Bhopal, where the community still gathers every year to mourn the dead and demand justice.
Known to US soldiers as the Valley of Death, it's been the scene of the some of the most intense fighting in the war in Afghanistan.
After years of intense fighting, the US has left its remote outpost in the Korengal Valley, in the country's east.
Al Jazeera's James Bays has more on the move, which the US calls a re-positioning of forces, but which the Taliban has declared a US defeat.
In Bangladesh, "eve-teasing" is a somewhat innocent name given to sexual harassment.
But the illegal practice is becoming a greater problem as more girls start to go to school and women work outside the home.
Because of sexual bullying, the school drop out rate is higher than ever.
Nicolas Haque reports from a school in Dhaka. Bangladesh's capital.
[October 5, 2010]
Dhaka, the capital city of Bangladesh, has one of the highest rates of traffic accidents in the world.
Its roads are dominated by thousands of old and dangerous vehicles, which police are now trying to get rid of.
Among the old vehicles are dilapidated public buses, that many Bangladeshis say are the cheapest way to get around.
Al Jazeera's Nicolas Haque reports.
This week marks 100 years since the birth of Mother Teresa - the Catholic nun who dedicated her life to humanitarian missions in India as well as more than 100 other countries.
Her most famous project is a centre in the Indian city of Kolkatta that gives food, shelter, and care to the critically ill poor that can not afford hospital treatment.
But what has been called the "home of the dying" is also one of Teresa's most controversial missions, as Prerna Suri reports.
[August 25, 2010]
China has offered to buy Greek government bonds, in a show of support for the country whose debt burden pushed the euro zone into a financial crisis.
Wen Jiabao, the Chinese prime minister, made the offer before Greece's parliament on Saturday at the start of a two-day visit to the country.
But his offer has also called into question China's own financial policies.
Gerald Tan reports.
Trains providing public transportation in Bangladesh are usually filled beyond capacity.
So many people - mostly adolescents - who for one reason or another can not get a hold of a ticket, often illegally resort to the roof to get a ride.
But the 'roof riding' practice, which dates back to 1947, has become one of the leading causes of child deaths in the country because it often leads to accidents.
And as people visit their families for the Islamic holiday of Eid, the trains are even more overcrowded than usual.
Nicolas Haque reports from Dhaka, Bangladesh's capital.
[August 31, 2010]
India has described the first official visit of the Bangladeshi prime minister as a 'path-breaking and historic opportunity'.
The two nations are striving to build bridges after years of mistrust.
India has often blamed Bangladesh for sheltering separatist rebels while Dhaka has accused New Delhi of harbouring its criminal fugitives.
Al Jazeera's Prerna Suri reports from New Delhi, India's capital.
Jan 11, 2010
Black magic has been big business for years in Indonesia.
People seek help of witch doctors to fulfil their goals and dreams and remedy their problems - be it personal, financial or political.
But now there is growing fear that sorcery has gone out of control and some believe the government should regulate it.
Al Jazeera's Step Vaessen reports from Jakarta, Indonesia's capital, where she met Ki Joko Bodo, the most successful witch doctor in the country.
[June 13, 2010]
According to a study on road safety, of the 3,500 people who die in traffic accidents every day, 85 per cent come from poor countries.
A report by the FIA Foundation, a UK motoring charity, said the figure will rise to more than 5,700 a day in 10 years time, unless governments take stronger action.
In Bangladesh, which already has a high road death toll, experts are predicting such accidents could become the biggest killer there in the future.
Nicolas Haque reports.
Hundreds of people have died in northwestern Pakistan after floods triggered by monsoon rains swept through the region.
More than a million people have been affected and thousands forced to flee their homes as bloated rivers washed away villages and triggered devastating landslides.
Rescue operations are under way to save the stranded, but submerged roads and destroyed infrastructure are proving to be major obstacles.
Al Jazeera's Sohail Rahman reports from Islamabad, Pakistan's capital.
Philippine police have killed a former police officer that took hostage 15 Hong Kong tourists on a bus in Manila, the capital, on Monday.
Rolando Mendoza, who was armed with an M16 rifle when he hijacked the vehicle, had been dismissed from the police force in 2008 over corruption allegations and was demanding to be reinstated.
At least seven hostages died during the 11-hour crisis, but several others survived.
Al Jazeera Nicole Johnston reports.