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Divers comb capsized China ship, hopes fade for survivors

A relative of a passenger of the sunken cruise ship cries on a road to the site of the sinking in the Jianli section of Yangtze RiverBy John Ruwitch and Megha Rajagopalan JIANLI, China (Reuters) - Rescuers searched a sunken cruise ship in the Yangtze River on Wednesday for more than 400 missing people, many of them elderly, but hopes of finding more survivors were fading in what could be China's worst shipping disaster in almost 70 years. State television showed rescuers, some standing gingerly on the upturned hull of the Eastern Star, and scores of divers working through the night.

Date Posted : Wed, 03 Jun 2015 06:42:36 -0400
U.S. says 10,000 Islamic State militants killed in nine-month campaign

Smoke raises behind an Islamic State flag after Iraqi security forces and Shiite fighters took control of Saadiya from Islamist State militantsMore than 10,000 Islamic State fighters have been killed since the international coalition started its campaign against the militant group nine months ago in Iraq and Syria, U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Wednesday. Speaking after the coalition met in Paris, he said there had been a great deal of progress in the fight against Islamic State but that the group remained resilient and capable of taking the initiative. "We have seen a lot of losses within Daesh since the start of this campaign, more than 10,000," Blinken said on France Inter radio, using a mildly derogatory term for Islamic State.

Date Posted : Wed, 03 Jun 2015 02:58:06 -0400
Myanmar lands 700 migrants, U.S. says Rohingya should be citizens

A boat packed with migrants is attached to a Myanmar navy vessel off Leik Island in the Andaman seaBy Randy Fabi and Aubrey Belford JAKARTA/MAUNGDAW, Myanmar (Reuters) - Myanmar brought ashore more than 700 "boat people" it had kept at sea for days aboard a seized vessel, as the United States on Wednesday called on the country to help solve a migrant crisis by recognising the rights of its Muslim Rohingya minority. U.S. President Barack Obama has sought to make Myanmar's transition to democracy a legacy of his presidency, and Washington is stepping up pressure on the Southeast Asian nation to tackle what it sees as the root causes of an exodus of migrants across the Bay of Bengal that the region has struggled to cope with. Myanmar's navy brought the vessel to the coast of western Rakhine state, where they disembarked on Wednesday.

Date Posted : Wed, 03 Jun 2015 05:32:26 -0400
Syrian army battles Islamic State in northeast Syria
Syrian troops and militia fought fierce battles with Islamic State fighters in Syria's northeast overnight, war monitors and state media said on Wednesday, as both sides vie for control of territory near the Iraqi frontier. Some of the biggest battles took place near a prison just south of Hasaka city after Islamic State set off a bomb close by, the British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said. State television also reported the clashes, saying they were fought around the prison under construction.
Date Posted : Wed, 03 Jun 2015 05:42:17 -0400
U.S. envoy: Islamic State risks becoming global menace

A member from the Iraqi security forces guards as smoke rises from Baiji oil refinery, north of BaghdadA senior U.S. envoy said on Wednesday the growth of the Islamic State militant group had global implications and could "wreak havoc on the progress of humanity" if unchecked. Retired Gen. John Allen, appointed by U.S. President Barack Obama to build a coalition against Islamic State, told a conference in Qatar the group was not merely an Iraqi problem or a Syrian problem but "a regional problem trending towards global implications". The group has lost about a quarter of the populated areas it once held in Iraq, but countering its ideology might take a generation or more, he told the Brookings Institution's U.S.-Islamic World Forum.

Date Posted : Wed, 03 Jun 2015 06:13:00 -0400
South Korea test-fires missile that can strike all of the North
South Korea on Wednesday test-launched a new ballistic missile that can hit all of North Korea, the president's office said, developed under a new agreement with the United States that lets Seoul extend the weapon's range to up to 800 km (500 miles). President Park Geun-hye made a rare visit to a missile base on the west coast to watch the launch of the guided missile, which will be a key part of the South's defense against its neighbor's nuclear and missile threat, her office said. "The test demonstrated improved ballistic missile capability that can strike all parts of North Korea swiftly, and with precision, in the event of armed aggression or provocation," the presidential Blue House said in a statement.
Date Posted : Wed, 03 Jun 2015 05:41:15 -0400
Two Egyptian tourism, antiquities police killed in Cairo: sources
CAIRO (Reuters) - Gunmen on a motorcycle shot dead two members of Egypt's tourism and antiquities police force on a road near the Giza pyramids on Wednesday, security sources said. The sources said the incident happened about 30 meters from a security checkpoint leading to the tourist site on the western outskirts of Cairo. State news agency MENA confirmed that the policemen had been killed in the Haram area of Giza province. (Reporting By Stephen Kalin; Editing by Yara Bayoumy and Dominic Evans)
Date Posted : Wed, 03 Jun 2015 06:52:04 -0400
Indonesia raises alert status of volcano to highest level
JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — Indonesia has raised the alert status of Sinabung volcano in the western part of the country to the highest level following a sharp increase in activity.
Date Posted : Wed, 03 Jun 2015 06:44:59 -0400
Office of rights activists in Chechnya attacked by mob
MOSCOW (AP) — Masked men bashed their way into the office of a human rights group in Chechnya on Wednesday, smashing furniture and sending the occupants fleeing through the windows, their colleagues said.
Date Posted : Wed, 03 Jun 2015 06:43:53 -0400
Burundi police block protesters' bid to take to streets

Protestors opposed to the Burundian President's third term face a line of Police during a demonstration in the Musaga neighborhood of Bujumbura on May 20, 2015Police in Burundi were out in force in the capital on Wednesday to block all attempts by protestors to take to the streets, witnesses said, two days before a scheduled parliamentary election. After a night punctuated by sporadic gunshots, security forces were deployed throughout Bujumbura, which has seen more than a month of protests against President Pierre Nkurunziza's controversial bid to stand for a third consecutive term. Nkurunziza hopes to win a third term in a presidential vote due on June 26, but opponents say his candidacy is unconstitutional and goes against the 2006 Arusha peace deal that ended 13 years of civil war.

Date Posted : Wed, 03 Jun 2015 06:43:50 -0400
African leaders to discuss joint piracy response: Togo

A Somali, part armed militia, part pirate, carries his high-caliber weapon on a beach in the central Somali town of Hobyo on August 20, 2010African leaders will meet later this year in Togo to discuss drawing up a continental charter against maritime piracy, the country's authorities have announced. Foreign minister Robert Dussey said on Tuesday night that heads of state and government from the African Union would be in the capital Lome in November to discuss the problem. "The Lome summit aims at defining a common strategy against maritime insecurity in Africa," Dussey told reporters.

Date Posted : Wed, 03 Jun 2015 06:42:44 -0400
Hope fades as families head for stricken China ship
By Engen Tham NANJING, China (Reuters) - Holding a photo of her husband on her iPad, Chen Suhua recalled their trip to the United States where they spent nine days on a cruise ship sailing to Cuba. Half a year later, the 73-year-old retiree choked back tears as she contemplated the fate of her husband who, along with over 400 others, remained missing on Wednesday after a cruise ship capsized in the Yangtze River in southern China. Frustrated by the lack of information coming from local authorities, some family members took matters into their own hands on Wednesday and hired a bus to take them from Nanjing to Jianli county in central Hubei province where the ship capsized.
Date Posted : Wed, 03 Jun 2015 06:42:36 -0400
Blatter resignation opens new FIFA race

FIFA chief Sepp Blatter announces he is stepping down during a press conference in Zurich, on June 2, 2015Sepp Blatter's shock resignation opened up a new race Wednesday to become president of FIFA with a mission to reform football's scandal-tainted world body. The names of UEFA president Michel Platini, Prince Ali bin al Hussein, who challenged Blatter in a vote last Friday, and Portuguese football great Luis Figo were immediately pushed forward. The election will take time," commented one FIFA executive member in the hours after the 79-year-old Blatter gave in to pressure to stand down over a bribery scandal that hit the football body.

Date Posted : Wed, 03 Jun 2015 06:41:37 -0400
Greek leader heads to Brussels to defend deal proposal

Greece's Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras leads a meeting at the Education Ministry in Athens, Tuesday, June 2, 2015. Tsipras says Greece has submitted a proposal for an agreement with its creditors, as Athens seeks a deal that will to unlock desperately needed rescue money. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Greece's prime minister was heading to high-level meetings in Brussels on Wednesday to try to persuade the country's creditors to accept a proposal that might unlock much-delayed bailout loans and save the country from financial disaster.

Date Posted : Wed, 03 Jun 2015 06:40:29 -0400
The Latest on China Boat Sinking: Pope prays for victims

Rescuers work on the capsized ship, center, on the Yangtze River in central China's Hubei province Wednesday, June 3, 2015. Hopes dimmed Wednesday for rescuing more than 400 people still trapped in a capsized river cruise ship that overturned in stormy weather, as hundreds of rescuers searched the Yangtze River site in what could become the deadliest Chinese maritime accident in decades. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)12:30 p.m. (1030 GMT)

Date Posted : Wed, 03 Jun 2015 06:40:13 -0400
Airbus says three of four engines failed in Spain A400M crash

An Airbus A400M aircraft taking off from the southwestern French city of ToulouseAn analysis of the black boxes of the A400M military plane which crashed in Spain on May 9, killing four, has revealed that three of the aircraft's four engines failed, Airbus said Wednesday. Investigators "confirmed that engines one, two and three experienced power frozen after lift-off and did not respond to the crew's attempts to control the power setting in the normal way," the company said in a statement, adding that the problem was likely a technical bug.

Date Posted : Wed, 03 Jun 2015 06:39:37 -0400
Rohingya expert: Dozens of corpses wash to shore in Myanmar
YANGON, Myanmar (AP) — An advocacy group says dozens of decomposed corpses have washed to shore in Myanmar's western state of Rakhine in the last month.
Date Posted : Wed, 03 Jun 2015 06:39:10 -0400
5 Barcelona players to watch in Champions League final

Barcelona's Lionel Messi, right, smiles next to Neymar, as he sit with another player during a training session ahead of Saturday's Champions League final soccer match against Juventus, in Barcelona, Spain, Tuesday, June 2, 2015 (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti)BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — The "best player in history" for his coach, an "extraterrestrial" for his rivals, Lionel Messi is the undisputed leading man of the Champions League final in Berlin on Saturday.

Date Posted : Wed, 03 Jun 2015 06:39:02 -0400
China escalates effort to recover missing from capsized ship

Chinese soldiers stand near a wrapped body as rescuers work on the capsized ship, center, on the Yangtze River in central China's Hubei province Wednesday, June 3, 2015. Hopes dimmed Wednesday for rescuing more than 400 people still trapped in the capsized river cruise ship that overturned in stormy weather, as hundreds of rescuers searched the Yangtze River site in what could become the deadliest Chinese maritime accident in decades. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)JIANLI, China (AP) — Chinese authorities escalated efforts to recover more than 410 people believed to be trapped inside an overturned river cruise ship Wednesday, deploying scores more divers and a large crane to possibly lift the craft.

Date Posted : Wed, 03 Jun 2015 06:36:56 -0400
Softbank invests $1B in SKorean e-commerce firm Coupang
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — Coupang, a South Korean online shopping site, has secured a $1 billion investment from Japanese Internet company Softbank Corp.
Date Posted : Wed, 03 Jun 2015 06:34:01 -0400
BBC says sorry after tweets suggest UK queen hospitalized

A man talks on a mobile phone inside the BBC headquarters in LondonThe 89-year-old monarch, who will become the country's longest serving sovereign in September, had in fact briefly attended London's King Edward VII Hospital for her annual health check-up, Buckingham Palace said. When she was hospitalized in March 2013 with symptoms of gastroenteritis, it was the first time she had needed hospital treatment in a decade.

Date Posted : Wed, 03 Jun 2015 06:33:44 -0400
Top Asian News at 10:30 a.m. GMT
JIANLI, China (AP) — Chinese authorities escalated efforts to recover more than 420 people believed to be trapped inside an overturned river cruise ship Wednesday, deploying scores more divers and a large crane to possibly lift the craft. The capsizing late Monday of the multi-decked Eastern Star in the Yangtze River in southern China is on track to become the country's deadliest maritime disaster in seven decades. Chinese authorities have launched a high-profile response while tightly controlling media coverage.
Date Posted : Wed, 03 Jun 2015 06:32:39 -0400
Cyprus official: Ammonium nitrate cache under surveillance

A riot police officer stands guard outside of the house, left, which was discovered to contain two tons of a chemical compound in southern costal city of Larnaca, Cyprus, on Saturday, May 30, 2015. A Cyprus court has ordered a 26-year-old Lebanese-Canadian man to remain in police custody for eight days after two tons of a chemical compound that can be turned into an explosive was discovered at his home. (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias)NICOSIA, Cyprus (AP) — A home in Cyprus where police seized five tons of a chemical compound that can be turned into an explosive had been kept under surveillance for some time before officers moved in, a government official said Wednesday.

Date Posted : Wed, 03 Jun 2015 06:31:34 -0400
Real Madrid hires Rafa Benitez as coach to replace Ancelotti
MADRID (AP) — Real Madrid brought Rafa Benitez home as its new coach on Wednesday, giving him a three-year contract as the replacement for the fired Carlo Ancelotti.
Date Posted : Wed, 03 Jun 2015 06:28:09 -0400
Ex-UK tabloid editor Andy Coulson cleared of perjury
LONDON (AP) — Former News of the World editor Andy Coulson has been cleared of perjury after a judge said the lies he told under oath were not relevant to the trial in question.
Date Posted : Wed, 03 Jun 2015 06:26:40 -0400
Bangladesh academics get death threats from extremist group
Death threats to academics in Bangladesh, including the junior home minister, are fuelling a climate of fear following the killings this year of three online critics of religious nationalism in the Muslim-majority nation. Militants have targeted secularist writers in Bangladesh in recent years, as the government has tried to crack down on hardline Islamist groups that seek to make the South Asian nation of 160 million a sharia-based state. Police are investigating threats received by more than a dozen academics, ranging from the vice-chancellor of the capital's Dhaka University to a former chief of the university grants commission, the minister, Asaduzzman Khan, told Reuters.
Date Posted : Wed, 03 Jun 2015 06:24:55 -0400
Airbus says 3 of 4 engines failed on crashed A400M
PARIS (AP) — Airbus says three of the four engines on an A400M military plane failed before it crashed near Seville, Spain last month, killing four people.
Date Posted : Wed, 03 Jun 2015 06:23:00 -0400
Russian rights group says masked men raid its Chechnya office
Masked men, some wielding hammers, stormed the office of a human rights organization in the southern Russian region of Chechnya on Wednesday during a protest against its work, the group said. The organization is one of only two independent rights groups working in Chechnya, a turbulent, mainly Muslim region where Kremlin-appointed leader Ramzan Kadyrov has been accused of widespread rights violations and heavy-handed tactics against opponents, charges that he denies. The group's offices have been raided and its representatives beaten in the past in Chechnya.
Date Posted : Wed, 03 Jun 2015 06:22:15 -0400
Thai army general denies human trafficking charges: police

Lieutenant General Manus Kongpan arrives at National Police Headquarters as he turns himself in to authorities in BangkokA three-star Thai army general has denied charges against him for offences related to human trafficking, Thailand's police chief said, the latest in a series of arrests aimed at stamping out people smuggling. Thailand has issued 84 arrest warrants as it cracks down on smuggling and trafficking of humans through its territory. The clampdown has sparked a humanitarian crisis in Southeast Asia as criminals have abandoned boats full of people rather than risk transporting them through Thailand.

Date Posted : Wed, 03 Jun 2015 06:21:13 -0400
Pakistan recalls openers Shehzad, Masood for tests vs SLanka

In this Friday, May 22, 2015 photo, Pakistan's Ahmed Shehzad plays a shot during the first T-20 match against Zimbabwe at the Gaddafi stadium in Lahore, Pakistan. Pakistan opening batsmen Shehzad and Shan Masood have been recalled for the three-test series against Sri Lanka this month while offspinner Saeed Ajmal missed out, a Pakistan cricket board officials said on Wednesday, June 03, 2015. (AP Photo/B.K. Bangash)ISLAMABAD (AP) — Pakistan opening batsmen Ahmed Shehzad and Shan Masood have been recalled for the three-test series against Sri Lanka this month while offspinner Saeed Ajmal missed out.

Date Posted : Wed, 03 Jun 2015 06:20:08 -0400
Syria regime barrel bombs kill 24, including children: monitor

Syrians help an injured person following a reported barrel bomb attack by pro-regime forces in the northern city of Aleppo, on June 3, 2015At least 24 people, including eight children, were killed in government barrel bomb attacks in northern Syria on Wednesday, a monitoring group said. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the deaths came in two incidents, in Aleppo province in the north of the country and Idlib province in the northwest. In Tal Rifaat in Aleppo, 16 people were killed, including eight children, when government helicopters dropped at least four barrel bombs, the Britain-based monitor said.

Date Posted : Wed, 03 Jun 2015 06:18:37 -0400
In Turkish parliamentary campaign, Erdogan is everywhere

In this Thursday, May 28, 2015, photo, a man walks past a poster with pictures of Turkish Prime Minister and leader of the AKP party Ahmet Davutoglu, left, and Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and the party's former leader, in Istanbul, Turkey, ahead of the general election on June 7.(AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — As Turkey's president, Tayyip Recep Erdogan is supposed to be the invisible man in the upcoming general election, constitutionally bound to remain above the fray. Instead, it's been all about him.

Date Posted : Wed, 03 Jun 2015 06:17:37 -0400
Syria refugees stranded at Jordan border, group says
AMMAN, Jordan (AP) — Jordanian border restrictions have left hundreds of Syrians refugees stranded in a remote desert area, a leading international rights group said Wednesday, urging Jordan to let them enter the country.
Date Posted : Wed, 03 Jun 2015 06:15:19 -0400
'New era' in physics as world's biggest particle smasher cranks up

A scientist looks at a section of the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) which was used to prove the existence of the Higgs Boson -- also known as the God particle -- which confers massThe world's biggest particle smasher started experiments with nearly doubled energy levels Wednesday, with scientists hailing a "new era" in their bid to unlock more mysteries of the universe. The tests with collisions of 13 teraelectonvolts (TeV) came after a sweeping two-year revamp of the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), used to prove the existence of the Higgs Boson -- which confers mass and is also known as the God particle. The European Organisation for Nuclear Research (CERN) said everything went according to plan at the giant lab, a 27-kilometre (17-mile) ring-shaped tunnel straddling the French-Swiss border.

Date Posted : Wed, 03 Jun 2015 06:15:10 -0400
Islamic State fighters attack northeastern Syrian city
BEIRUT (AP) — Activists and Syrian state media say that militants from the Islamic State group have launched a major attack on the predominantly Kurdish city of Hassakeh in a northeastern Syrian province by the same name.
Date Posted : Wed, 03 Jun 2015 06:11:43 -0400
Cameron's idea of Europe is far from ours: Germany's Gabriel

German Chancellor Merkel and Economy Minister Gabriel attend the weekly cabinet meeting in BerlinGerman Vice-Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel hit out at British Prime Minister David Cameron's plans for European Union reform on Wednesday, saying his vision of Europe was better suited to corporate interests than to people. The criticism, which Gabriel made after talks with fellow center-leftists in Paris, is a foretaste of the resistance the conservative Cameron can expect as he pushes for changes he says are needed to keep Britain inside the 28-nation bloc. "Our idea for Europe is quite the opposite of the idea of Mr Cameron," Gabriel, who is also economy minister in Berlin's coalition between his Social Democrats and the Christian Democrats of Chancellor Angela Merkel, told reporters.

Date Posted : Wed, 03 Jun 2015 06:06:54 -0400
Nigerian central bankers in custody on fraud charges

The Central Bank of Nigeria, which handed over the suspects for prosecution, said "anomalies" came to light during a routine internal audit at its branch in Ibadan in September 2014Three senior officials from Nigeria's central bank and two others from a commercial bank have been remanded in custody after appearing in court charged with currency fraud. The five were charged with "defrauding the apex bank and two other banks", Wilson Uwujaren, spokesman for the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), said in a statement late Tuesday. The defendants pleaded not guilty to an 11-count indictment, which included conspiracy, fraud and theft, at the court in Ibadan, southwest Nigeria.

Date Posted : Wed, 03 Jun 2015 06:04:48 -0400
The Latest: Ex-FIFA vice president Chung mulls running

FIFA President Sepp Blatter speaks during a news conference at the FIFA headquarters in Zurich, Switzerland, Tuesday, June 2, 2015. Sepp Blatter says he will resign from his position amid corruption scandal and is promising to call for fresh elections to choose a successor. (Ennio Leanza/Keystone via AP)11:55 a.m. (0955 GMT; 5:55 a.m. EDT)

Date Posted : Wed, 03 Jun 2015 06:03:06 -0400
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