9am Briefing: North Korean leader Kim Jong Il dies

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NORTH Korea’s communist leader Kim Jong Il has died of heart failure at the age of 69.

State media said Kim died on Saturday while travelling by train due to “great mental and physical strain” during a “high intensity field inspection”.

A special broadcast from the capital Pyongyang said an autopsy was carried out on Sunday and fully confirmed the diagnosis.

The White House said it was monitoring the situation closely and remained in constant contact with allies South Korea and Japan.

President Barack Obama spoke with South Korean President Lee Myung-bak at midnight and the two leaders agreed to stay in close touch.

* A MAN suffered a broken jaw and required surgery after trying to intervene in a row outside a city shop.

The 25-year-old victim was attacked by two men after he stepped in to an argument between the men and a security guard outside the Scotmid store in Nicolson Street at about 3.45am on Saturday.

The victim needed surgery after he was punched, knocked to the ground and kicked around the head.

A spokesman for Lothian and Borders Police said: “The victim was attacked after he went to the assistance of the shop’s security guard who was trying to deal with two members of the public who were remonstrating with him and, on doing so, they turned their attention to the young man when he intervened.”

* INVESTIGATIONS are underway after a man died in flat fire.

Emergency services were called to a property in Mayfield near Dalkeith at about 1.45am on Saturday.

A 42-year-old man was taken from the building in Hawthorn Crescent but was pronounced dead at the scene.

Neighbouring residents said he had kept ‘himself to himself’ and is understood to have only moved to the property in recent weeks.

* A SHAKE-UP of the mortgage market was unveiled by the financial services regulator today aimed at preventing the return of irresponsible lending.

The Financial Services Authority (FSA) said that while low interest rates have helped some borrowers, there are “real dangers” that problems are being stored away for the future when rates start to go up.

Its Mortgage Market Review said loans should only be advanced where there is a reasonable expectation the customer can repay the loan without relying on “uncertain” future house price rises.