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Thursday: Quran Threat Lingers; North Korea Leadership Shake-Up?

President Obama called a Florida church’s plan to burn a Quran a “destructive act” and said it could endanger troops in an interview with ABC’s “Good Morning America” Thursday morning.

The threat from Pastor Terry Jones may cast a dark shadow over planned commemorations for the 9/11 anniversary this Saturday.

There’s more on the controversy in Thursday’s Morning Line post from our political beat.

North Korea Leadership Shake-Up?

North Korea celebrates its 62nd anniversary on Thursday, and questions are swirling as to whether long-time leader Kim Jong-Il will use the event to hand over presidential power to his youngest son, Kim Jong Un.

NPR’s Jackie Northam reports that while the speculation is rampant, details are still hard to come by on the potential new leader of the reclusive Communist country and that the task ahead will be great:

When his father and current leader Kim Jong Il assumed power 1994, he’d had many years to work his way up the political ladder. But he has suffered a stroke, and reportedly is sick and may not have as much time to groom his son.

North Korea has been hit by severe floods, the economy is a wreck; there’s anger against the government and there’s the potential that North Korea could internally collapse, says Michael Green, a senior adviser on Asia policy in the George W. Bush administration.

Time Magazine has more on the possible switch here, including a photo essay on the iconography of Kim Jong-Il.

Jobless Benefit Filings Drop, Colorado Wildfires Burn

Here are a few other headlines we’re watching today:

New filings for jobless benefits dropped to their lowest level in two months.

Crews in Colorado are battling a wildfire outside of Denver that’s only 10 percent contained.

Will White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel run for mayor Chicago?

A car bomb attack on a market in southern Russia has killed at least 15 people.

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