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Showing posts from December, 2011

North Korean leader Kim Jong-il dead: Reuters

(Reuters) - North Korean leader Kim Jong-il died of a heart attack while on a train trip, state media reported Monday, sparking immediate concern over who is in control of the reclusive state and its nuclear program.

A tearful television announcer dressed in black said the 69-year old had died Saturday of physical and mental over-work on his way to give "field guidance."

He had suffered a stroke in 2008, but appeared to have recovered. North Korea's official KCNA news agency said he died at 8:30 a.m. Saturday (6:30 p.m. EST on Friday) after "an advanced acute myocardial infarction, complicated with a serious heart shock."

South Korea, still technically at war with the North, placed its troops and all government workers on emergency alert, Yonhap news agency reported. But Seoul's Defense Ministry said there were no signs of any unusual North Korean troop movements.

"Up until tonight, if anybody had asked you what would be the most likely scenario under …

Hitch: A personal memory from my 'Penthouse' years

Early in my editorial career, I was a managing editor working for a subsidiary of Penthouse magazine; I worked on three pubs, actually: Penthouse Letters and Penthouse Forum (I was a senior editor on both mastheads), and Penthouse Hot Talk (of which I was the managing editor).

We never had to trouble ourselves with the "dirty" stuff -- we simply ran the photographs that Penthouse, for whatever reason, had rejected. If you've ever seen Hot Talk (henceforth to be referred to as HT), you'd never imagine they were "rejects." Bob Guccione made the final selections, so I suppose that women who didn't conform with his opinion of beauty were thrown in the "recycle" pile.

General Media, the parent company of Penthouse and the special publications group of which I was part, owned and operated an eclectic batch of pubs, some of which were quite profitable, at least for a time, such as Omni. GM also owned a large portfolio of several automotive magazine ti…