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World/National News

March 8, 2014

Around the World and Nation

Oscar Pistorius trial: Former girlfriend says he cheated

PRETORIA, South Africa (AP) — A former girlfriend of Oscar Pistorius testified yesterday at the double-amputee runner’s murder trial that he always carried a firearm and that their relationship ended when he cheated on her with Reeva Steenkamp, the woman he fatally shot last year.

Samantha Taylor also said Pistorius carried a gun with him “all the time” when they were dating, and on one occasion he fired it out of a car’s sunroof soon after a policeman stopped the car they were in for speeding.

Taylor, who started dating Pistorius in 2011 after meeting him the previous year, described another incident in which she and Pistorius were followed by an unidentified car as he drove home.

“When we arrived at his estate, he jumped out of the car with his gun and held it to someone’s window and then they drove away,” Taylor said.

The court adjourned briefly after Taylor broke down in tears while describing how Pistorius cheated on her with another woman, before he began his relationship with Steenkamp. It adjourned again when she wept while describing problems in her relationship with Pistorius, the first amputee to run in the Olympics.

With winners already decided, North Korea uses elections to keep tabs on citizens

TOKYO (AP) — North Korean voters will make a choice tomorrow when they elect a new national legislature, but not for a candidate. The ruling elite have already done that for them, and there’s only one per district.

They get to vote “yes” or “no.” Virtually all pick “yes.”

One thing they don’t get to decide is whether to bother voting. Going to the polls is expected of all eligible voters, which effectively makes North Korean elections a powerful tool for checking up on the people.

For outsiders trying to figure out what’s going on in North Korean politics, tomorrow’s elections for the Supreme People’s Assembly may shed some light on what personalities are currently in favor and likely to dominate in the years ahead. For North Korean authorities, the elections provide both a veneer of democracy and a means of monitoring the whereabouts and loyalties of average citizens.

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