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  • Hundreds still missing in deadly Korea ferry accident

    Reuters - 1 hour 57 minutes ago

    By Narae Kim JINDO South Korea (Reuters) - Rescuers fought rising winds, strong waves and murky waters on Thursday as they searched for hundreds of people, mostly teenage schoolchildren, still missing after a South Korean ferry capsized more than 24 hours ago. Nine people were found dead and 179 had been rescued, according to the South Korean government, leaving 287 unaccounted for and possibly still trapped in the vessel. "I am really angry with the government," said Kwak Hyun-ok, whose daughter who was one of 340 children and teachers from one school on the vessel. The government said three cranes were being moved to the site of the accident and would arrive on Friday, and efforts were continuing to establish whether there were any survivors on the stricken vessel. More »Hundreds still missing in deadly Korea ferry accident

  • 10 Things to Know for Today

    Associated Press - 2 minutes 56 seconds ago

    Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about today: More »10 Things to Know for Today

  • Three dead in east Ukraine, Putin warns of "abyss"

    Reuters - 3 minutes 30 seconds ago

    By Aleksandar Vasovic MARIUPOL Ukraine (Reuters) - Separatists attacked a base of the Ukrainian national guard overnight and Kiev said three separatists were killed, the worst bloodshed yet in a 10-day pro-Russian uprising in east Ukraine, overshadowing crisis talks to resolve the conflict. Ukrainian, Russian and Western diplomats arrived for the emergency talks in Geneva, but there was little hope of any progress in resolving a crisis that has seen armed pro-Russian fighters seize whole swathes of Ukraine, while Moscow masses tens of thousands of troops on the frontier. President Vladimir Putin, who overturned decades of post-Cold War diplomacy last month by declaring Russia's right to intervene in neighbouring countries and annexing Ukraine's Crimea region, accused the authorities in Kiev of plunging the country into an "abyss". More »Three dead in east Ukraine, Putin warns of "abyss"

  • Iran is complying with nuclear deal with powers - IAEA

    Reuters - 7 minutes ago

    Iran is complying with the terms of last year's interim nuclear agreement with six world powers and is continuing to reduce its most sensitive uranium stockpile, a monthly update from the U.N. atomic agency obtained by Reuters showed on Thursday. But the report by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), which has a pivotal role in verifying that Iran is living up to its part of the deal, also indicated a delay in the commissioning of a nuclear conversion plant that Tehran needs to fulfil all parts of the six-month agreement by the time it ends on July 20. Under the landmark accord that took effect on Jan. 20, Iran curbed some parts of its nuclear programme in exchange for a limited easing of sanctions that have battered the oil producer's economy. The IAEA update showed that Iran had - as stipulated by the Nov. 24 agreement with the United States, France, Germany, Britain, China and Russia - diluted half of its higher-grade enriched uranium stockpile to a less proliferation-sensitive fissile concentration. More »Iran is complying with nuclear deal with powers - IAEA

  • South Sudan army battles rebels in key oil-state

    AFP News - 8 minutes ago

    Rebels in South Sudan battled government forces Thursday in a renewed offensive targeting the young nation's key oil fields, the army said, amid famine warnings by the United Nations. Fighters loyal to rebel chief Riek Machar recaptured the town of Bentiu on Tuesday, the state capital of oil-producing Unity, with UN peacekeepers reporting corpses littering the streets. South Sudan's army said fighting was ongoing Thursday as it tried to counterattack. "Bentiu is still under the hands of the rebels but we are closing in," army spokesman Philip Auger told AFP. More »South Sudan army battles rebels in key oil-state

  • Ukraine, US to alternately cajole, threaten Russia

    Associated Press - 9 minutes ago

    GENEVA (AP) — Ukraine is hoping to placate Russia and calm hostilities with its neighbor even as the U.S. prepares a new round of sanctions to punish Moscow for what it regards as fomenting unrest. More »Ukraine, US to alternately cajole, threaten Russia

  • Ukraine: Live Report

    AFP News - 10 minutes ago

    Ministers from the four parties -- Ukraine, Russia, US and EU -- are now sitting around a square table, Kerry at one end, EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton opposite him and Deshchytsia and Lavrov facing eachother. "Journalist Andrei Norkin, one time presidential candidate Irina Khakamada ask questions however that sound more like praise of Putin. Only Irina Prokhorova, the sister of oligarch Mikhail Prokhorov who leads his party, offers a vaguely critical question on civil society." 09:21 GMT - Putin phone-in - "Putin starting to hit his stride in a well-practised formula of the marathon phone-in session," Stuart Williams tells us. "Interesting he is now touting relations with China as being at an 'unprecedentedly' high level, attempting to show Russia has a big ally in the crisis. More »Ukraine: Live Report

  • Captain of capsized S.Korean ferry faces criminal investigation

    Reuters - 19 minutes ago

    By Narae Kim JINDO South Korea (Reuters) - The captain of the South Korean ferry that capsized off the southwest coast was facing a criminal investigation on Thursday, an official said, amid unconfirmed reports that he was one of the first people to jump to safety as the vessel began sinking. The captain, identified as Lee Joon-seok, 69, is being questioned by the coastguard and is the subject of a criminal investigation, a coastguard official said. "It's still an early stage and we're questioning the circumstances," said one coastguard official in the town of Mokpo, which is the centre of the investigation. Television showed the captain sitting hunched over, wearing a hooded jacket, at the coastguard centre in Mokpo on Thursday. More »Captain of capsized S.Korean ferry faces criminal investigation

  • Top Asian News at 9:30 a.m. GMT

    Associated Press - 21 minutes ago

    MOKPO, South Korea (AP) — An immediate evacuation order was not issued for the ferry that sank off South Korea's southern coast, likely with about 290 people trapped inside, because officers on the bridge were trying to stabilize the vessel after it started to list, a crew member said Thursday. The first instructions from the captain were for the passengers to put on life jackets and stay put, and it was not until about 30 minutes later that he ordered an evacuation, Oh Yong-seok, a 58-year-old crew member told The Associated Press. More »Top Asian News at 9:30 a.m. GMT

  • Rights groups ask Nepal to scrap amnesty provision

    Associated Press - 23 minutes ago

    KATMANDU, Nepal (AP) — International rights groups said Thursday that parts of a bill proposed by Nepal's government should be rejected because they might allow people who committed serious human rights violations during the country's Maoist insurgency to escape punishment. More »Rights groups ask Nepal to scrap amnesty provision

  • Obama, Abe to battle negative images at U.S.-Japan summit

    Reuters - 24 minutes ago

    By Linda Sieg and David Brunnstrom TOKYO/WASHINGTON (Reuters) - When U.S. President Barack Obama meets Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at a summit next week, they will be battling negative undercurrents that could undermine their message that Asia's most important security alliance is firm. Obama, stopping in Tokyo at the beginning of a four-nation Asian trip, must counter worries in Japan that his commitment to its defence in the face of an increasingly assertive China is weak. Abe will be trying to soothe U.S. concerns that his conservative push to recast Japan's war record with a less apologetic tone is overshadowing his pragmatic policies on the economy and security. The two leaders will also need to demonstrate at least the prospect of progress on the economic centrepiece of what the Obama administration calls its strategic "rebalance" to Asia - a Trans-Pacific Partnership trade pact that would bring together Japan, the United States and 10 other economies. More »Obama, Abe to battle negative images at U.S.-Japan summit

  • Putin says Ukraine risks abyss, dialogue only solution

    AFP News - 29 minutes ago

    Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday accused Ukraine's new authorities of driving the country towards the abyss but said that dialogue was the only way out of the intensifying crisis. "Only through dialogue, through democratic procedures and not with the use of armed forces, tanks and planes can order be imposed in the country," Putin said at the start of a major nationwide phone-in broadcast on Russian television. "It is very important today to think about how to get out of this situation and offer people a genuine dialogue and not one just for show," added Putin, saying he believed the talks opening Thursday in Geneva between top diplomats on the crisis were "extremely important". He accused the Ukrainian authorities who took over after the fall of president Viktor Yanukovych of driving the country to the abyss. More »Putin says Ukraine risks abyss, dialogue only solution

  • China factories face new challenge as growth slows

    Associated Press - 30 minutes ago

    HONG KONG (AP) — As China's growth inexorably slows, manufacturers such as Linan Meite Cable are discovering that being an efficient low cost producer is no longer enough to prosper. More »China factories face new challenge as growth slows

  • Ordnance rendered safe; Calif. evacuations lifted

    Associated Press - 35 minutes ago

    SOLVANG, Calif. (AP) — Evacuees from hundreds of homes and businesses in Solvang in Central California are being allowed to return after experts early Thursday removed a military ordnance found in the town's business district and rendered it safe. More »Ordnance rendered safe; Calif. evacuations lifted

  • Strike at China sneaker factory snowballs

    Associated Press - 35 minutes ago

    A strike at the Chinese factories of the world's biggest athletic shoe maker snowballed Thursday to about 30,000 workers, a labor group said, making it one of the largest-ever work stoppages at a private ... More »Strike at China sneaker factory snowballs

  • Blokhin resigns as Dynamo Kiev coach

    Associated Press - 48 minutes ago

    KIEV, Ukraine (AP) — Former Ukraine coach Oleg Blokhin has resigned from his job in charge of Dynamo Kiev following a 2-0 loss to bitter rival Shakhtar Donetsk in the domestic league. More »Blokhin resigns as Dynamo Kiev coach

  • Top Asian News at 9:00 a.m. GMT

    Associated Press - 51 minutes ago

    MOKPO, South Korea (AP) — An immediate evacuation order was not issued for the ferry that sank off South Korea's southern coast, likely with about 290 people trapped inside, because officers on the bridge were trying to stabilize the vessel after it started to list, a crew member said Thursday. The first instructions from the captain were for the passengers to put on life jackets and stay put, and it was not until about 30 minutes later that he ordered an evacuation, Oh Yong-seok, a 58-year-old crew member told The Associated Press. More »Top Asian News at 9:00 a.m. GMT

  • Beijing's bid to move polluting firms watched warily in nearby regions

    Reuters - 52 minutes ago

    By David Stanway BEIJING (Reuters) - China's capital has ordered more than 50 companies to shut down this year in an effort to cut pollution but pushing factories out could raise objections in surrounding areas reluctant to host Beijing's polluters. Smog-shrouded Beijing and the surrounding province of Hebei have become a front in a "war against pollution" declared by Premier Li Keqiang last month. But experts say efforts to cut coal consumption and industrial output in big cities like Beijing is likely to put pressure on other regions to endure more pollution to keep the economy growing, with overall coal consumption expected to rise by a quarter from 2011 to 2015. "Moving Beijing's plants to Hebei isn't the best way," said Yang Fuqiang, a former government researcher and senior energy and environment adviser with the National Resources Defense Council, a U.S.-based think-tank. More »Beijing's bid to move polluting firms watched warily in nearby regions

  • Kiev says three separatists killed in attempted storming of base

    Reuters - 55 minutes ago

    By Aleksandar Vasovic MARIUPOL Ukraine (Reuters) - Separatists attacked a base of the Ukrainian national guard in an eastern city overnight and Kiev said three attackers were killed in the shooting that followed, making it the bloodiest incident so far in a 10 day uprising in the east. There were some women with them, but then they left," said police major Oleksandr Kolesnichenko, deputy commander of the base. More »Kiev says three separatists killed in attempted storming of base

  • Putin says no Russian forces in eastern Ukraine

    Associated Press - 57 minutes ago

    MOSCOW (AP) — Russia's President Vladimir Putin on Thursday dismissed claims that Russian special forces are fomenting unrest in eastern Ukraine as "nonsense," but expressed hope for success of four-way talks on settling the crisis. More »Putin says no Russian forces in eastern Ukraine

  • Blast on site of explosives plants kills 1

    Associated Press - 1 hour 5 minutes ago

    NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — An explosion and fire at a Tennessee plant where several ammunition and explosives businesses are based killed one person and left three others injured. More »Blast on site of explosives plants kills 1

  • Malaysian lawmaker and lawyer Karpal Singh dies

    Associated Press - 1 hour 16 minutes ago

    KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — Veteran Malaysian opposition lawmaker and lawyer Karpal Singh, a tireless defender of human rights activists and death row prisoners who was himself detained without trial for more than a year under a security law, died early Thursday in a road accident. He was 73. More »Malaysian lawmaker and lawyer Karpal Singh dies

  • Top Asian News at 8:30 a.m. GMT

    Associated Press - 1 hour 20 minutes ago

    MOKPO, South Korea (AP) — An immediate evacuation order was not issued for the ferry that sank off South Korea's southern coast, likely with about 290 people trapped inside, because officers on the bridge were trying to stabilize the vessel after it started to list, a crew member said Thursday. The first instructions from the captain were for the passengers to put on life jackets and stay put, and it was not until about 30 minutes later that he ordered an evacuation, Oh Yong-seok, a 58-year-old crew member told The Associated Press. More »Top Asian News at 8:30 a.m. GMT

  • What's next in gay marriage's legal odyssey?

    Associated Press - 1 hour 20 minutes ago

    Thursday's hearing in Denver is the second of two hearings on gay marriage that are weighted with legal significance. The cases are the first time an appellate court has considered the ramifications of last year's U.S. Supreme Court ruling that struck down the federal Defense of Marriage Act. The 30-minute hearing on the legality of Oklahoma's gay marriage ban comes one week after a three-judge panel heard a similar case originating from Utah. More »What's next in gay marriage's legal odyssey?

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