Quirky World: Name calling is a serious business in North Korea

NORTH KOREA: In North Korea, there can be only one Kim Jong Un.

Quirky World: Name calling is a serious business in North Korea

A South Korean official has said that Pyongyang forbids its people from using the same name as the young absolute leader.

The measure appears meant to bolster a personality cult surrounding Kim, who took over after the death of his dictator father Kim Jong Il in late 2011.

Seoul officials have said Pyongyang also banned the use of the names of Kim Jong Il and the country’s founder, Kim Il Sung.

The South Korean official said Kim Jong Il in early 2011 ordered citizens with the same name as his son to get new names and demanded that authorities reject birth registrations of newborn babies with the name.

Kim Jong Un made his international debut in late 2010 when he was awarded a slew of top political jobs. His father, who reportedly suffered a stroke in 2008, was seen as moving fast to hand over power so his family could rule for a third generation.

Kim Jong Il inherited power in 1994 when his father Kim Il Sung died.

LOWER EXPECTATIONS - AUSTRALIA:

Australia’s government is taking steps to curb travellers’ soaring expectations of what help they can get from their embassies — such as a loan to pay a prostitute in Thailand or assistance to evict a polecat from above a ceiling in the United States.

Foreign minister Julie Bishop has announced new measures to underscore consular services as a last resort and to promote “a stronger culture of self-reliance and personal responsibility in the travelling public”.

These measures include a new policy of providing minimal consular services to Australians who willfully, repeatedly or negligently get themselves into trouble.

At the embassy in Bangkok — Australia’s busiest overall — an Australian walked in with a prostitute and was refused a loan to pay for services already provided, said Anita Downey, a senior counsellor at the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Such requests were common at that embassy, she said.

APE SUIT MAN SUES NINTENDO - USA:

A man who says he suffered a serious heart condition after wearing a Donkey Kong ape costume at Los Angeles Zoo has sued game-maker Nintendo.

Parker Mills launched the action in Los Angeles County Superior Court, according to the Los Angeles Times.

His lawyer, Tyler Barnett, says Mr Mills was hired to play the ape character in May for the launch of a Nintendo 3DS game.

Mr Mills claims he was denied breaks while talking to zoo guests and did not get a required ice pack to cool him.

Mr Mills suffered a tearing of his aortic walls and now has a permanent heart defibrillator fitted, his lawyers say.

NATIVITY RECORD - USA:

More than 1,000 people dressed as angels, wise men and religious royalty gathered at a park in Provo, Utah, and set a new Guinness record for the largest live nativity scene.

The event featured a variety of performers who made videos posted on YouTube. It is also expected to serve as a backdrop for a music video.

Guinness World Record judge Michael Empric determined there were 1,039 participants in the production, along with a camel, donkey and sheep, the Daily Herald of Provo reported.

That tops the record of 898 people last year at a nativity scene in the United Kingdom.

OrganiSers, however, said breaking the record was secondary to emphasiSing religious faith over Christmas-season shopping.

“We wanted to do it simply to show the world what Christmas is all about,” said Derral Eves, one of the producers.

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