North Korea’s official government-controlled media announced that the country’s “Dear Leader,” Kim Jong-Il, died on Saturday at age 69 from “physical and mental overwork.” A teary-eyed TV anchorwoman claimed, “It is the biggest loss by the party … and it is our people and nation’s biggest sadness … [but we must] change our sadness to strength and overcome our difficulties.”

On  Monday, President Obama, with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki (left), announced that American forces had helped create a “new Iraq.” During a closed-door meeting after the public gathering with Maliki, Obama told reporters: “People throughout the region will see a new Iraq that’s determining its own destiny, a county in which people from different religious sects and ethnicities can resolve their differences peacefully through the democratic process.”

Following the Pakistani government’s recent decision to shut down NATO supply lines into Afghanistan indefinitely, Russian officials upped the ante by subtly threatening to close off northern routes for the occupation if the U.S.-led military alliance refuses to back down on a proposed missile defense system in Europe. According to analysts, such a move by Russia at this point would either spark a new war or force a rapid withdrawal of supply-starved Western forces from the region.

The United Russia party of former President and current Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has suffered a setback at the hands of the CPRF (Communist Party of the Russian Federation), which won about 20 percent of the vote in Sunday's elections to the state Duma, the lower house of parliament.

Mainland China remains Communist China. Marxism, or perhaps Maoism, remains the political philosophy of government in this giant nation. Although Marxism has been a resounding failure everywhere it has been tried — except, of course, for the party elites — communists still propound the virtues of their system. One of those virtues is that the “dictatorship of the proletariat” means that strikes do not exist under communism because the workers hold power.

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