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Nelson Mandela, the icon of South Africa's anti-apartheid struggle and a colossus of 20th century politics, died late Thursday aged 95, prompting mass mourning and a global celebration of his astonishing life. The Nobel Peace laureate, who was elected South Africa's first black president after spending nearly three decades in jail, died at his Johannesburg home surrounded by his family, after a long battle against lung infection. The news was announced to the nation and the world by an emotional South African President Jacob Zuma, in a live late-night broadcast. "Our beloved Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, the founding president of our democratic nation, has departed," said Zuma, whose own role in the struggle against white rule saw him imprisoned with Mandela on Robben Island.
A close associate of the reportedly disgraced uncle of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is seeking asylum in South Korea, local media said on Friday. Jang Song Thaek's aide, who managed Jang's funds, requested asylum about two months ago and is currently in China under the protection of South Korean officials, South Korea's cable news network YTN said, citing a source familiar with the matter. A spokesman for South Korea's Unification Ministry, Kim Eui-do, said the defection report could not be confirmed. South Korea's National Intelligence Service said this week that Jang, the de-facto No.2 in North Korea, was removed from his positions, possibly in late November.