Putin calls Russian interference in Ukraine ‘nonsense,’ backs Geneva talks

President Vladimir Putin has called claims Russia is behind eastern Ukraine’s unrest “nonsense.” He has accused the government in Kyiv of raising tensions in the region, while expressing hope for crisis talks. During the beginning of a televised call with the nation on Thursday, Putin said Ukraine’s decision to send armed forces to the country’s restive east rather than establishing a dialogue was a “grave crime.” He also dismissed Western accusations that Russian special forces […]

Formerly conjoined twins released from Texas hospital, 8 months after surgical separation

(Reuters) — Formerly conjoined twins Owen and Emmett Ezell were released from a children’s hospital in Dallas on Wednesday (April 16). The boys were born last year connected at the abdomen. On August 24, 2013, doctors at Medical City Children’s hospital in Dallas surgically separated the twins. Ever since then, the boys have stayed at the hospital. Now, both boys are breathing on their own with the assistance of a special breathing tube and are receiving food through a tube connected […]

Six-year-old girl rescued from sunken ferry in South Korea; parents and brother remain missing

(Reuters) — A six-year-old girl was rescued from the sunken ferry off South Korea on Wednesday (April 16), but her parents remain missing. Kwon Ji-yeon, who was separated from her family during the ferry sinking, was treated in a hospital in Mokpo near the coastal city of Jindo. Some video footage showed Kwon wearing a life vest being rescued by the coast guard. YTN quoting an official from the hospital said Kwon had no external injuries. Due to the media exposure, many people, […]

Number of corona virus cases in Saudi rises to 205

RIYADH, April 17 (PNA/Xinhua) — Saudi Arabia reported Wednesday one new death of a Saudi citizen, 52, and five cases of MERS corona virus, according to a statement by the Health Ministry. The total number of cases rose to 205, including 71 deaths since the first case was diagnosed in 2012. All the new cases are in Jeddah. Among the new cases are two citizens and three residents, of which two are medics. One is […]

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

By Linda Sieg and David Brunnstrom TOKYO/WASHINGTON Wed Apr 16, 2014 8:28pm EDT (Reuters) – When 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 start of a four-nation Asian trip, must counter worries in Japan that his commitment to its defense in the face […]

U.S. calls for more investment-friendly Indian government

By David Brunnstrom WASHINGTON Wed Apr 16, 2014 8:39pm EDT (Reuters) – The United States on Wednesday urged the Indian government that emerges from ongoing elections to follow economic policies that encourage investment, saying Washington would like to see bilateral trade grow to $500 billion a year. Nisha Biswal, U.S. assistant secretary of state for South and Central Asia, said future economic growth in South Asia hinged on India as the region’s growth engine. However, […]

Obama looks to salvage Asia ‘pivot’ as allies fret about China

By Matt Spetalnick and Manuel Mogato WASHINGTON/MANILA Wed Apr 16, 2014 1:51pm EDT (Reuters) – When a Philippine government ship evaded a Chinese blockade in disputed waters of the South China Sea last month, a U.S. Navy plane swooped in to witness the dramatic encounter. The flyover was a vivid illustration of the expanding significance of one of Asia’s most strategic regions and underscored a message that senior U.S. officials say President Barack Obama will […]

Hundreds still missing in deadly Korea ferry sinking

By Narae Kim JINDO, South Korea Wed Apr 16, 2014 9:39pm EDT (Reuters) – South Korean coastguard and navy divers resumed searching on Thursday for about 290 people still missing, many of them students from the same high school, after a ferry capsized in sight of land. Grieving family members gathered on the quay of the coastal city of Jindo, huddled in blankets against the spring cold as efforts to locate the missing went into […]

“Please save us quickly” — student inside ferry sends text message to father

    (Reuters) – Several people appear to have survived in an air pocket of a capsized South Korean ferry, the father of one of the school children aboard the boat told a Reuters reporter accompanying families out to the scene of the disaster on Thursday. About 290 people are still missing out of 450 passengers on the Sewol ferry, which capsized in still-mysterious circumstances off the Korean peninsula on Wednesday in what could be […]

Search continues for hundreds missing in South Korea ferry capsize

Rescue teams in South Korea are racing against time to find almost 300 people missing after a ferry sank off the country’s southern coast. The vessel was carrying a large group of high school students. A distress signal was sent from the ferry at 9:00 a.m. local time (0000 GMT), but the 6,825-ton vessel sank within two hours, after listing sharply and capsizing. It sank 20 kilometers (13 miles) off the southern island of Byungpoong. […]

More than 300 people missing after South Korea ferry sinks: coastguard

(Reuters) – More than 300 people were missing after a ferry sank off South Korea, the coastguard said on Wednesday, with a three-fold increase in the number of passengers unaccounted for put down to a miscalculation by officials. The ferry was carrying 477 people, of whom 164 were confirmed rescued, coastguard officials said. Two people were confirmed dead after the ferry listed heavily onto its side and capsized in apparently calm conditions off South Korea’s […]