North Korea's young new leader, believed to be in his late 20s, is being much more open in dealing with his subjects than his father, Kim Jong Il, according to analysts who have monitored the transition in the country's power structure. North Korean state media reports and video footage of "guidance visits" to schools, military bases and factories have revealed more warmth than the same tours made by Kim Jong Il. Analysts theorize it is a bid to bond with a people facing famine and international sanctions.


The vice president confessed that he had advised President Obama not to launch the Navy SEAL mission that killed Osama bin Laden last spring. At a Democratic congressional retreat last weekend, Biden said that of Obama's security team only Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, who then ran the CIA, was unequivocal in support of the mission. As for Biden, he said he opposed the mission. " 'We owe the man a direct answer. Mr. President. My suggestion is, don't go,' " Biden said, recalling his advice.


The Cuban president defended his country's one-party political system as necessary to protect the Caribbean nation against U.S. imperialism and said the Communist Party would remain the sole holder of power in Cuba. Castro did say that previously announced plans to put term limits on the country's leaders would proceed, but did not say when. In recent years Cubans have gained the right to open small businesses and to buy and sell cars, but have seen little relief from political oppression.