‘Kim Jong-il still in control of North Korea’

North Korean ruler Kim Jong-ilLondon, Oct 23: North Korean ruler Kim Jong-il is still in control of the country despite rumours about his health. In recent times Kim Jong-il has missed significant public events including the 60th anniversary of the founding of North Korea.

“There has been a lot of speculation with no clear indication about Kim Jong-il’s whereabouts, but I do not believe there are any changes in North Korea because of Kim’s health,” said South Korean President Lee Myung-bak in a newspaper interview following reports that Kim had suffered a stroke and had brain surgery in August.

Sharp drop in OPEC crude price before Friday cartel meeting

Organization of the Petroleum Exporting CountriesVienna - Two days before the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) was set to meet in Vienna to discuss production cuts, the cartel's basket price fell by 3.53 dollars Wednesday.

Pulled down by falling stock markets and reports of growing stocks and slowing demand in the United States, one barrel (159 litres) of OPEC crude stood at 60.82 dollars at mid-week, compared with 64.35 dollars on the previous day.

“On the edge” Pak going through worst crisis of its history, say Nawaz, Imran

London, Oct 23 : Top Pakistan Opposition leaders have said that the country was heading towards its worst ever crisis, and with the renewed insurgency it was “on the edge”.

“Pakistan is going through the worst crisis of its history,” said to a leaked letter signed by the former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, the main opposition leader in Pakistan.

A similar view is shared by cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan, another opposition leader, who says that the political and economic meltdown "is leading to a sort of anarchy in Pakistan". “How does a country collapse?” the former cricketer asked.

‘Death protein’ find may lead cancer cells to self-destruct

Cancer CellsLondon, Oct 23: Scientists at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute have identified a potential target for developing new cancer drugs.

They have found a previously undetected trigger point on a naturally occurring "death protein" that helps the body get rid of unwanted or diseased cells.

The research team suggests that the newly discovered ‘trigger point’ called BAX can help design new drugs that would force malignant cancer cells to commit suicide.

Gold loses Rs 370 per 10 gram; settles the day at Rs 12,155

Gold PricesGold prices slumped sharply today to end the day with a loss of Rs 370 per 10 grams to Rs 12,155. The price of Gold in local markets dropped due to dramatic collapse in the international prices.

In the local market, standard gold (99.5 purity) ended at Rs 12,155 and pure gold (99.9 purity) also went down by Rs 355 per 10 grams to Rs 12,230 from Rs 12,585 yesterday.

Along with this, Silver also eased further on lack of industrial demand. Silver ready (.999 fineness) corrected by another Rs 70 per kilo to Rs 17,980 from Rs 18,050.

Axel Springer launches Chinese online version of car mag

Berlin - Germany's biggest newspaper group, Axel Springer, said Thursday it was launching a Chinese online edition of its car magazine Auto Bild.