South Korea investigates capsized ferry crew, stowage as rescue hampered

By Jungmin Jang and Ju-min Park (Reuters) – A junior officer was steering a South Korean ferry when it capsized two days ago, investigators said on Friday, as rescuers battled strong tides and murky waters to search for hundreds of missing, many of them school children, feared trapped in the vessel. Local media said the Sewol ferry may have made a sharp turn during its journey on Wednesday, which caused its cargo to shift and […]

Nobel winner Garcia Marquez, master of magical realism, dies at 87

By Anahi Rama MEXICO CITY Thu Apr 17, 2014 9:17pm EDT (Reuters) – Gabriel Garcia Marquez, the Colombian author whose beguiling stories of love and longing brought Latin America to life for millions of readers and put magical realism on the literary map, died on Thursday. He was 87. A prolific writer who started out as a newspaper reporter, Garcia Marquez’s masterpiece was “One Hundred Years of Solitude,” a dream-like, dynastic epic that helped him […]

Disapproval of Brazil’s president grows ahead of election

BRASILIA Thu Apr 17, 2014 8:32pm EDT   (Reuters) – Disapproval of Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff is steadily mounting less than six months away from an election in which she is still favored to win a second term, according to a poll published Thursday. Rising inflation and a slow-moving economy have undermined her popularity to the point where more Brazilians now disapprove of the way she is governing their country than those that think she […]

U.S. envoy Power urges Myanmar action to stop Rakhine violence

UNITED NATIONS Thu Apr 17, 2014 6:07pm EDT (Reuters) – U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power on Thursday urged the Myanmar government to intervene in Rakhine State to stop violence between ethnic Rakhine Buddhists and Rohingya Muslims and ensure the delivery of humanitarian aid. Power’s remarks came after U.N. special adviser on Myanmar Vijay Nambiar briefed the 15-member U.N. Security Council on Thursday on the crisis in the country formerly known as Burma. […]

South Korea ferry death toll rises, hopes fade for hundreds missing

By Ju-min Park and Jungmin Jang JINDO, South Korea Thu Apr 17, 2014 8:52pm EDT (Reuters) – The death toll from a capsized South Korean passenger ferry rose to 25 on Friday as parents of missing schoolchildren blamed the ship’s captain for the tragedy after he and shipping company officials made emotional apologies for the loss of life. Of 475 passengers and crew on the Sewol ferry, which capsized in calm seas on Wednesday, 179 […]

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 […]