Mourners pay tribute in Ansan, at a temporary group memorial altar for victims of capsized passenger ship Sewol

Empty spaces mark Korean school tribute for missing ferry victims

Reuters - By Ju-min Park and James Pearson ANSAN South Korea/SEOUL (Reuters) - A floral tribute to the children who drowned in a sinking South Korean ferry displays photographs of the victims in their school …

Top Stories

  • Obama wraps up Japan visit after security pledge but no trade deal

    Obama wraps up Japan visit after security pledge but no trade deal

    By Linda Sieg and Matt Spetalnick TOKYO (Reuters) - U.S. President Barack Obama wrapped up a state visit to Japan on Friday during which he assured America's ally that Washington would come to its defence, but failed to clinch a trade deal key to both his "pivot" to Asia and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's economic reforms. Obama and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe had been seeking to display the alliance was strong in the face of a rising China, but their success in putting recent strains behind them was partly marred by a failure to reach a deal seen as crucial to a broader regional trade pact. Obama and Abe had ordered their top aides to make a final push to reach a trade agreement after the leaders met on Thursday, but Economy Minister Akira Amari told reporters that gaps remained despite recent progress. More »

    Reuters - 13 minutes ago
  • Baltic states lead push to cut Russia gas reliance

    Baltic states lead push to cut Russia gas reliance

    VILNIUS, Lithuania (AP) — Later this year, a ship the size of an aircraft carrier will arrive at Lithuania's port of Klaipeda on the Baltic Sea. The 300-meter (984-foot) vessel is not a warship, but a floating natural gas import terminal — aptly named "Independence" — that will be key to the Baltic region's plan to reduce its reliance on Russia's energy supplies. More »

    Associated Press - 21 minutes ago
  • S&P cuts Russia's credit rating

    S&P cuts Russia's credit rating

    MOSCOW (AP) — The Standard & Poor's credit agency on Friday cut Russia's credit rating for the first time in more than five years, raising the financial stakes flowing from the crisis in Ukraine as tensions rise and the United States and its allies are contemplating further economic sanctions. More »

    Associated Press - 28 minutes ago
  • Where will calorie labels appear? Not just menus

    Where will calorie labels appear? Not just menus

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Diners could soon see calorie counts on the menus of chain restaurants. More »

    Associated Press - 31 minutes ago
  • Honda's profit doubles on weak yen, strong sales

    Honda's profit doubles on weak yen, strong sales

    TOKYO (AP) — Honda said Friday that its profit for the fiscal fourth quarter zoomed to more than double the previous year's as the benefits of a weak yen added to strong sales, but momentum was forecast to ebb as the currency perk wears off. More »

    Associated Press - 37 minutes ago
  • Angry Muslims in Central African Republic call for partition

    Angry Muslims in Central African Republic call for partition

    By Emmanuel Braun BAMBARI Central African Republic (Reuters) - In this dusty town at the heart of the Central African Republic, many angry Muslims advocate a simple solution to the threat of religious violence from Christian militias terrorising the country's south: partition. Bambari lies near the dividing line separating Central African Republic's Christian south - where mobs have lynched hundreds of Muslims and torn down their homes - from a northern region controlled by the mostly Muslim Seleka rebels. But their 10 months in power - a murderous orgy of looting and extortion - sparked a sectarian backlash that is driving Muslims from the south despite the presence of French and African Union peacekeepers. Many people in Bambari say the savagery of the violence, which has displaced nearly a quarter of the country's 4.5 million people, has brought about a turning point. More »

    Reuters - 51 minutes ago
  • Cambodian garment industry protesters go on trial

    Cambodian garment industry protesters go on trial

    Twenty-three Cambodian activists and workers arrested during a deadly crackdown on a garment industry strike in January went on trial Friday despite international appeals for their release. The case has deepened concerns among human rights defenders about the recent suppression of street demonstrations intended to challenge strongman Prime Minister Hun Sen's nearly three-decade rule. Several hundred demonstrators gathered near the Phnom Penh Municipal Court as the trial began, holding a prayer at a police barricade amid cries of "Free the 23!" At least four civilians were killed in early January when police opened fire on protesting textile factory workers who were calling for a minimum wage of $160 a month to make clothes for brands including Gap, Nike and H&M. The International Trade Union Confederation has launched a campaign to "Free the 23", urging workers to lobby Cambodian embassies around the world. In January the government banned demonstrations in the capital by supporters of Hun Sen's political rivals, who accuse the premier of vote-rigging in a national election last year. More »

    AFP News - 59 minutes ago
  • ANA boosts profit forecast for past fiscal year by 20 percent

    ANA boosts profit forecast for past fiscal year by 20 percent

    The operator of Japan's All Nippon Airways (ANA) on Friday boosted its net profit forecast for the past fiscal year by 20 percent, citing a pick-up in its international business. ANA Holdings said it expects net earnings of 18 billion yen ($175 million) in the year to March 31, up from an earlier 15 billion yen estimate. The company, which will report its earnings next month, also lifted its revenue expectations to 1.60 trillion yen from a previous forecast of 1.58 trillion yen. The expected boost to ANA's bottom line comes several months after it warned that its nine-month net profit had dived by more than a third as a sharp decline in the yen jacked up fuel costs, which also hurt earnings at rival Japan Airlines. More »

    AFP News - 1 hour 0 minutes ago
  • U.S. official says MH370 search likely to last for years

    U.S. official says MH370 search likely to last for years

    By Matt Siegel and Byron Kaye SYDNEY/PERTH Australia (Reuters) - The search for missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 is likely to drag on for years, a senior U.S. defence official said on Friday, as an underwater search for any trace of the plane's wreckage off west Australia appeared to have failed. The official, who declined to be identified because he is not authorised to comment on the search effort, said two weeks of scouring the Indian Ocean floor with a U.S. Navy submersible drone had turned up no wreckage. More »

    Reuters - 1 hour 3 minutes ago
  • Ukraine forces kill up to five rebels; Russia starts drill near border

    Ukraine forces kill up to five rebels; Russia starts drill near border

    By Aleksandar Vasovic and Alexei Anishchuk SLAVIANSK Ukraine/ST PETERSBURG Russia (Reuters) - Ukrainian forces killed up to five pro-Moscow rebels on Thursday as they closed in on the separatists' military stronghold in the east, and Russia launched army drills near the border in response, raising fears its troops would invade. The Ukrainian offensive amounts to the first time Kiev's troops have used lethal force to recapture territory from the fighters, who have seized swaths of eastern Ukraine since April 6 and proclaimed an independent "People's Republic of Donetsk". Ukraine's acting president accused Moscow of supporting "terrorism at the state level" against his country for backing the rebels, whom the government blames for kidnapping and torturing a politician found dead on Saturday. "The window to change course is closing," U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry warned in a hastily arranged appearance in the State Department, where he cited President Barack Obama's comments earlier on Thursday that Washington was ready to impose new sanctions if Moscow did not alter its policy. More »

    Reuters - 1 hour 23 minutes ago
  • Honda full-year net profit surges 56% to $5.6 bn

    Honda full-year net profit surges 56% to $5.6 bn

    Japanese automaker Honda said Friday its net profit soared to $5.6 billion in the fiscal year to March, thanks to brisk overseas sales and a weaker yen. Earnings for the period came in at 574 billion yen, up 56.4 percent from a year earlier, while revenue rose about 20 percent to 11.84 trillion yen. Results for the January-March quarter were especially strong, with net profit more than doubling to 170.5 billion yen from a year earlier, Honda said. More »

    AFP News - 1 hour 27 minutes ago
  • Egypt tries to save money on wheat subsidies

    Egypt tries to save money on wheat subsidies

    CAIRO (AP) — Egypt will try to save half the money it spends on wheat subsidies by issuing a new smart card system to ensure that the cheap bread goes to only the neediest. More »

    Associated Press - 1 hour 27 minutes ago
  • Japan minister says no accord with US over TPP trade deal

    Japan minister says no accord with US over TPP trade deal

    Japan's economy minister said Friday that Tokyo had not reached a basic accord with Washington over a Pacific-wide trade deal despite intense talks after a bilateral summit. There had been hopes that Tokyo and Washington might break an impasse in the stalled talks during US President Barack Obama's visit to Tokyo. Speaking hours before Obama's departure, however, Japanese economy minister Akira Amari said what had been achieved was "not a basic accord although there was progress". More »

    AFP News - 2 hours 11 minutes ago
  • US, Japan say Pacific trade talks make headway

    US, Japan say Pacific trade talks make headway

    TOKYO (AP) — Closing two days of around the clock negotiations, U.S. officials said Friday that they reached a breakthrough with Japan to move forward a stalled regional trade pact even though gaps remain that could still upend a final agreement. More »

    Associated Press - 3 hours ago
  • US, Japan say TPP trade talks make headway

    US, Japan say TPP trade talks make headway

    TOKYO (AP) — Closing two days of around the clock negotiations, U.S. officials said Friday that they reached a breakthrough with Japan to move forward a stalled regional trade pact even though gaps remain that could still upend a final agreement. More »

    Associated Press - 3 hours ago
  • Pacquiao has lost his 'pop', Mayweather
    Pacquiao has lost his 'pop', Mayweather

    Floyd Mayweather says Manny Pacquiao has lost a step and that the Filipino's superstar slide has coincided with his decision to split from former strength trainer Alex Ariza. The 37-year-old undefeated welterweight champ Mayweather weighed in Wednesday on the latest performance by Pacquiao who beat Timothy Bradley on April 12 in Las Vegas in a rematch of their first bout in June 2012. "Actually, I did watch the fight," said Mayweather who is training to fight Argentina's Marcos Maidana in a …

  • Bad news for Samsung: 85% of people in Philippines willing to buy homegrown …
    Bad news for Samsung: 85% of people in Philippines willing to buy homegrown …

    Smartphone growth is being fueled not by big names like Samsung but by the increasing demand of homegrown smartphone brands in the country. …

  • Pyongyang's pop queens stage comeback
    Pyongyang's pop queens stage comeback

    PYONGYANG, North Korea (AP) — Step aside, Sea of Blood Opera. North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's favorite guitar-slinging, miniskirt-sporting girl group, the Moranbong Band, is back. And these ladies know how to shimmy. …

  • Eruption now engaged to GF
    Eruption now engaged to GF

    [caption id="attachment_131583" align="alignright" width="240"] Newly engaged couple Eric Tai and Rona Samson; (inset) Samson’s engagement ring (Instagram)[/caption] Eric “Eruption” Tai has already proposed to his non-showbiz girlfriend Rona Samson. The “It’s Showtime” mainstay offered Samson the ring near Mayon Volcano, Albay over the Holy week break. Tai shared during Monday’s episode of “It’s Showtime,” how he asked Samson the big question. “Umakyat kami, siyempre Eruption at Mayon Volcano. …

  • 'Gospel of Jesus's Wife': Doubts Raised About Ancient Text
    'Gospel of Jesus's Wife': Doubts Raised About Ancient Text

    Now, new information uncovered by Live Science raises doubts about the origins of the scrap of papyrus. The gospel, written in the ancient Egyptian language Coptic, has made headlines ever since Harvard University professor Karen King announced its discovery. The business-card-size fragment contains the translated line "Jesus said to them, 'My wife …'" and also refers to a "Mary," possibly Mary Magdalene. If authentic, the papyrus suggests that some people believed in ancient times that …

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  • Fight vs online libel goes to the UNHCR The Inbox
    Fight vs online libel goes to the UNHCR

    Commentary By Ellen T. Tordesillas Last Tuesday, while in Baguio City for their summer session, the Supreme Court denied all the Motions for Reconsideration on Online Libel which it upheld in its Feb. 18, 2014 decision. It will be recalled … Continue reading → …

  • Book chronicles efforts for PWD-friendly polls VERA Files - The Inbox
    Book chronicles efforts for PWD-friendly polls

    By Melissa Luz Lopez, VERA Files A lot have been done but much still need to be done for a hassle-free participation of Persons with Disabilities in elections,according to a book published by The Asia Foundation (TAF) and supported by … Continue reading → …

  • The other side of Palawan Ellen Tordesillas, Contributor - The Inbox
    The other side of Palawan

    By Ellen T. Tordesillas Mention Palawan and what comes to mind are Underground River and El Nido in the northern side of this richly-blessed province from its capital, Puerto Princesa. Three weeks ago, we went to the southern side- in … Continue reading → …

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