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WORLD NEWS

Divers comb capsized China ship, death toll jumps to 18

An aerial view shows rescue workers searching on the sunken ship at Jianli section of Yangtze RiverBy John Ruwitch and Megha Rajagopalan JIANLI, China (Reuters) - Scores of divers cautiously searched a cruise ship in the Yangtze River on Wednesday for more than 400 missing people, many of them elderly, as the death toll in what could be China's worst shipping disaster in almost 70 years jumped to 18. State television showed rescuers, some standing gingerly on the upturned hull of the Eastern Star, working through the night. The ship was on an 11-day voyage upstream from the city of Nanjing, near Shanghai, to Chongqing.


Date Posted : Wed, 03 Jun 2015 05:10:59 -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
Syrian army battles Islamic State in northeast Syria: monitor
Syrian troops and militia fought fierce battles with Islamic State fighters in Syria's northeast overnight, a group monitoring the war said on Wednesday, as both sides vie for control of territory near the Iraqi frontier. The 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. The surrounding Hasaka province, the country's northeastern triangle bordering on Turkey and Iraq, is a strategic area because it links up Islamic State-held land in Syria and Iraq.
Date Posted : Wed, 03 Jun 2015 04:30:46 -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 BaghdadU.S. President Barack Obama's envoy charged with building the coalition against the Islamic State said on Wednesday the growth of the group had global implications and if unchecked its militants could "wreak havoc on the progress of humanity". Retired Gen. John Allen 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". It was critical all anti-Islamic State forces in Iraq fell under Iraqi government authority.


Date Posted : Wed, 03 Jun 2015 05:00:39 -0400
Britain's Labour should run own pro-EU campaign: leadership favorite

Labour Party leadership contender Andy Burnham escorts children during the State Opening of Parliament at the Palace of Westminster in LondonBritain's opposition Labour Party should run its own campaign to persuade Britons to remain inside the European Union, lawmaker Andy Burnham, frontrunner to become the party's new leader, said on Wednesday. After securing an outright parliamentary election win in May, Conservative Prime Minister David Cameron plans to renegotiate Britain's relationship with Europe before putting its membership of the 28-country bloc to a public vote before the end of 2017. Cameron has said he wants to stay within a reformed EU, but has not ruled out campaigning for an exit if renegotiation does not yield the changes he wants.


Date Posted : Wed, 03 Jun 2015 03:27:54 -0400
Philippine's Aquino revives comparison between China and Nazi Germany

Philippines' President Aquino delivers a speech at the Upper House of parliament in TokyoBy Kiyoshi Takenaka TOKYO (Reuters) - Philippine President Benigno Aquino made a veiled comparison on Wednesday between China's activities in the South China Sea and Nazi Germany's expansionism before World War Two, echoing similar remarks he made last year that outraged Beijing. Aquino, who is expected to agree beefed up defense ties with Japan when he meets Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Thursday, also urged Beijing to rethink its land reclamation projects in the disputed waters. China has been taking an increasingly assertive posture in recent years in the South China Sea, building artificial islands in areas where Manila and other Southeast Asian countries have rival claims.


Date Posted : Wed, 03 Jun 2015 04:02:33 -0400
Portugal into Under-20 World Cup playoffs
WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — Portugal swept imperiously into the knockout rounds of the Under-20 World Cup with a 4-0 win over Qatar on Wednesday, while Mexico revived its campaign after a woeful opening match by defeating Uruguay 2-1.
Date Posted : Wed, 03 Jun 2015 05:08:33 -0400
Interpol issues 'red notice' for 6 linked to FIFA probe
PARIS (AP) — Interpol added six men with ties to FIFA to its most wanted list on Wednesday, issuing an international alert for two former FIFA officials and four executives on charges including racketeering and corruption.
Date Posted : Wed, 03 Jun 2015 05:05:36 -0400
Top Asian News at 9:00 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 05:02:37 -0400
Global watchdog warns on economic growth, cuts US forecast

Indian laborers work at an under construction residential building in Bangalore, India, Tuesday, June 2, 2015. India's central bank cut a key interest rate by a quarter percentage point Tuesday, the third such reduction this year in support of government efforts to boost growth. (AP Photo/Aijaz Rahi)PARIS (AP) — The world economy risks being bogged down in a low growth spiral unless measures are taken to spur demand and incite businesses to boost their stubbornly sluggish investments.


Date Posted : Wed, 03 Jun 2015 05:02:27 -0400
Ex-FIFA officials on Interpol most wanted list

Jack Warner -- the ex-chief of the North and Central American and Caribbean confederation (CONCACAF) -- is one of 14 people facing corruption charges as part of a major US investigation into corruption at FIFALyon (AFP) - Interpol on Wednesday put disgraced FIFA executive members Jack Warner and Nicolas Leoz on their most wanted list and issued an international alert.


Date Posted : Wed, 03 Jun 2015 05:01:05 -0400
Australian football chief says 2022 World Cup race 'not clean'

FIFA chief Sepp Blatter announced that Qatar was chosen as the 2022 World Cup host country during a controversial 2010 vote at ZurichFootball Federation Australia chairman Frank Lowy on Wednesday said the race for the 2022 World Cup was "not clean" and he has shared what he knows with authorities, including information on Jack Warner. Australia was vying to host the 2022 tournament, which was controversially awarded to Qatar, along with the United States, Japan and South Korea. Australia secured only one vote despite ploughing more than Aus$40 million (US$31 million) into the bid and Lowy, the founder and head of global shopping centre empire Westfield, said it left a bitter taste.


Date Posted : Wed, 03 Jun 2015 04:55:03 -0400
U.S. envoy sees no role for Assad in Syria solution
DOHA (Reuters) - President Barack Obama's envoy charged with building the coalition against the Islamic State said on Wednesday President Bashar al-Assad should have no role in any long term solution to Syria's conflict. Retired Marine General John Allen added in remarks to a conference in Qatar that there was a "very energetic" discussion among a number of countries about how to bring about a political transition in Damascus, but that such a solution would not include Assad, who has been fighting Islamist and other rebels since 2011. (Reporting by Amena Bakr, editing by William Maclean)
Date Posted : Wed, 03 Jun 2015 04:54:58 -0400
Maggi noodles ordered off India's shelves due to lead level

A basket filled with packaged food hangs with a ‘Maggi’ sign on it outside a shop in New Delhi, India, Wednesday, June 3, 2015. Indian shopkeepers withdrew the popular brand of instant noodle from their shelves Wednesday after tests revealed the snack contained lead above permissible levels. (AP Photo/Tsering Topgyal)NEW DELHI (AP) — Indian shopkeepers withdrew a popular brand of Nestle instant noodles from their shelves Wednesday after tests revealed the snack contained unsafe levels of lead.


Date Posted : Wed, 03 Jun 2015 04:54:51 -0400
S. Korea test-fires missile that can strike all of N. Korea
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — South Korea on Wednesday successfully test-fired a domestically built ballistic missile that can hit all of North Korea, an official said, amid continuing animosity between the rivals over the North's push to bolster its nuclear and missile capabilities.
Date Posted : Wed, 03 Jun 2015 04:54:17 -0400
Philippines, Taiwan coast guards engage in standoff
MANILA, Philippines (AP) — Coast guard vessels from the Philippines and Taiwan engaged in a hourslong standoff after the Philippine patrol boat tried to tow away a Taiwanese fishing vessel for alleged poaching.
Date Posted : Wed, 03 Jun 2015 04:53:52 -0400
Greek uncertainty acting as 'brake on growth' in eurozone
LONDON (AP) — Uncertainty over Greece is weighing on the eurozone economy, a closely-watched survey found Wednesday, as the clock was ticking on the country's efforts to avoid bankruptcy.
Date Posted : Wed, 03 Jun 2015 04:53:23 -0400
Qatar hits back at English football chief Dyke

FIFA president Sepp Blatter (R) and Qatar Football Association (QFA) president, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa bin Ahmed al-Thani, pose with documents after officially appointing Qatar as the host of the 2022 FIFA World CupQatar's Football Association (QFA) hit back Wednesday at English football boss Greg Dyke's claims that the organisers of the 2022 World Cup should be nervous following the resignation of FIFA boss Sepp Blatter. A statement on behalf of QFA president Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Bin Ahmed Al-Thani told Dyke that Qatar had nothing to hide over its controversial bid and urged him to make good on his pledge of trying to build an England team capable of winning the tournament.


Date Posted : Wed, 03 Jun 2015 04:52:07 -0400
Multiculturalism doesn't work in Hungary, says Orban

Boy attends a protest against Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban's immigration policy proposals in central BudapestThe era of multiculturalism is over and Hungary should be spared its effects at all costs, the country's Prime Minister said on Wednesday. In comments that appeared to toughen his already uncompromising stance on immigration, Viktor Orban was quoted as telling a Hungarian newspaper there should be no "mass-scale" mixing of different creeds. "Multiculturalism means the coexistence of Islam, Asian religions and Christianity.


Date Posted : Wed, 03 Jun 2015 04:51:44 -0400
Operator of capsized Yangtze ship one of oldest in business

Rescue workers gather on the hull of the capsized cruise 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)Chongqing Eastern Shipping Corp., the operator of the cruise ship that capsized in the Yangtze river with more than 450 people aboard, is one of China's oldest pleasure cruise companies, struggling to compete with newcomers offering much fancier accommodations.


Date Posted : Wed, 03 Jun 2015 04:50:33 -0400
Pakistan recalls openers Shehzad, Masood for tests vs SLanka
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 04:47:28 -0400
FIFA chief Blatter 'under investigation in US'

FIFA chief Sepp Blatter announces he is stepping down during a press conference in Zurich, on June 2, 2015Sepp Blatter is the focus of an FBI corruption investigation in the United States, American media reported Tuesday, shortly after his shock resignation as president of FIFA. An FBI spokesman said the bureau was "making no comment" beyond last week's announcement by Attorney General Loretta Lynch and FBI Director James Comey that FIFA was being investigated for corruption. ABC News said the FBI and US prosecutors are investigating Blatter as part of the probe that led to last week's indictments.


Date Posted : Wed, 03 Jun 2015 04:45:43 -0400
Government plane aborts takeoff due to technical problems
WARSAW, Poland (AP) — The pilots of a government plane carrying Parliament Speaker Radek Sikorski and other parliamentary leaders have aborted an attempted takeoff due to technical problems with the plane.
Date Posted : Wed, 03 Jun 2015 04:43:52 -0400
N. Korea races to boost power in time for party anniversary

In this May 5, 2015, photo, the Tower of the Juche Idea glows in the distance over the rest of Pyongyang city which is mostly in darkness, in North Korea. North Korea is racing to boost its electricity supply by 20 to 50 percent ahead of a major anniversary later this year and is pushing alternative resources like solar, which is already used extensively in the countryside, to ease its chronic shortages of energy. (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E)PYONGYANG, North Korea (AP) — North Korea is racing to boost its electricity supply by up to 50 percent with the completion of several generating stations by the end of the year and is pushing alternative resources like solar — already used extensively in the countryside — to ease its chronic shortages, a government expert told The Associated Press in Pyongyang.


Date Posted : Wed, 03 Jun 2015 04:42:58 -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 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.


Date Posted : Wed, 03 Jun 2015 04:26:46 -0400
Jailed Israeli soldier freed after pork sandwich scandal

Known as "kashrut", Jewish dietary law bars consumption of certain foods such as pork and shellfish, and also prohibits the mixing of meat and dairy productsAn Israeli soldier who was jailed earlier this week for eating a non-kosher sandwich has been freed after the army agreed to release him following a wave of public pressure. The soldier, who recently immigrated to Israel from America, was initially jailed for 11 days after eating a sandwich containing pork, which is forbidden by Jewish dietary law, public radio reported.


Date Posted : Wed, 03 Jun 2015 04:24:46 -0400
Philippine leader Aquino likens China to Nazi Germany

Philippine President Benigno Aquino delivers a speech at the "Future of Asia" forum in Tokyo on June 3, 2015Philippine President Benigno Aquino likened present-day China to Nazi Germany on Wednesday during a speech in Japan, hinting the world cannot continue to appease Beijing as it claims ever-more territory in the South China Sea. The comments come as disquiet grows over the quickening pace of China's land reclamation programme in international waters, including its construction of a runway long enough for large military planes. "If there was a vacuum, if the United States, which is the superpower, says 'we are not interested', perhaps there is no brake to ambitions of other countries," Aquino told an audience of business leaders in Tokyo when asked about China's rising might and the role of the US in checking it.


Date Posted : Wed, 03 Jun 2015 04:20:56 -0400
Growing calls for Thai owners to address Leicester sex video

In this March 4, 2015, file photo, Leicester City manager Nigel Pearson stands at his team's English Premier League soccer match with Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester, England. Pearson is also the father of player James Pearson who was with two other players engaging in an apparent orgy with Thai sex workers in a hotel room. It remains unclear how the "racist orgy" video was leaked. But it's safe to say the scandal surrounding Leicester City was not the game plan when its Thai owners and sponsors invited the club to tour Thailand. (AP Photo/Jon Super, File)BANGKOK (AP) — It remains unclear how the "racist orgy" video was leaked. But it's safe to say the scandal surrounding Leicester City was not the game plan when its Thai owners and sponsors invited the club to tour Thailand.


Date Posted : Wed, 03 Jun 2015 04:18:14 -0400
S. Korea president urges action as MERS outbreak closes schools

South Korean school students wear face masks during a special class on the MERS virus at an elementary school in Seoul on June 3, 2015South Korean President Park Geun-Hye urged officials to ease rising public panic Wednesday over an outbreak of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) that has infected 30 people, killed two and closed hundreds of schools. With the World Health Organisation predicting further infections and the government under fire for its initial response, Park convened an emergency meeting with top health officials and medical experts to map out a comprehensive quarantine strategy. Earlier in the day, Education Minister Hwang Woo-Yea said more than 200 primary schools had temporarily shut down, as concerned parents withdrew their children.


Date Posted : Wed, 03 Jun 2015 04:17:58 -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 04:16:18 -0400
Coalition strikes on rebel targets rock Yemen capital

Smoke billows from the Fajj Attan Hill following a reported airstrike by the Saudi-led coalition on an army arms depot, now under Huthi rebel control, on April 20, 2015, in SanaaSaudi-led coalition warplanes bombed a rebel-held military compound and camp in Yemen's capital on Wednesday, shaking nearby buildings and sending columns of flame shooting into the air, an AFP correspondent said. Early dawn airstrikes hit the rebel First Armoured Brigade camp in Sanaa's northern district as well as the nearby 22 May compound. Witness said both compounds had been used as arms depots by Iran-backed Huthi rebels and their allies, who overran Sanaa late last year.


Date Posted : Wed, 03 Jun 2015 04:16:12 -0400
Real Madrid hires Rafa Benitez as coach to replace Ancelotti
MADRID (AP) — Real Madrid has hired Rafa Benitez as its new coach to replace the fired Carlo Ancelotti.
Date Posted : Wed, 03 Jun 2015 04:14:29 -0400
Australian football chief says 2022 Qatar process not clean

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)The chairman of Football Federation Australia says bidding for the 2022 World Cup awarded to Qatar was not clean, explaining in an extraordinary open letter Wednesday how he felt Australia never had a chance to be given hosting rights.


Date Posted : Wed, 03 Jun 2015 04:05:25 -0400
Japan, Philippines huddle amid increasing China concerns

Philippine President Benigno Aquino III delivers a keynote speech at the special session of the International Conference on "The Future of Asia" in Tokyo, Wednesday, June 3, 2015. Aquino is in Japan for a four-day state visit. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)TOKYO (AP) — The Philippine president is on his sixth visit to Japan in less than five years, signaling his country's deepening ties with Tokyo amid increasing concerns by both sides about China's assertiveness in regional seas.


Date Posted : Wed, 03 Jun 2015 04:04:02 -0400
Tunisia TV host gets 8 months jail in fraud trial

Tunisian television host Samir El Wafi was sentenced to eight months in jail after a court ruled he offered to help a wanted businessman in exchange for an interview on his show, his lawyer saidA Tunisian television host was sentenced to eight months in jail after a court ruled he offered to help a wanted businessman in exchange for an interview on his show, his lawyer said. Samir El Wafi, one of the north African country's most well-known TV personalities, was found guilty of influence-peddling and fraud, a court spokesman said. Controversial host Wafi is best known for his weekly appearances on the private Al Hiwar Ettounsi channel.


Date Posted : Wed, 03 Jun 2015 03:59:27 -0400
Tajik police chief who joined Islamic State wanted for treason
Tajikistan has issued an international arrest warrant for the commander of its elite police force who joined Islamic State, prosecutors said on Wednesday, accusing him of treason. Khalimov's defection alarmed many in Tajikistan, an impoverished Muslim nation which borders Afghanistan and is still volatile after a 1992-97 civil war that killed tens of thousands. Countries across post-Soviet Central Asia have stepped up military drills with Russia and the United States, saying they are determined to confront militant Islam.
Date Posted : Wed, 03 Jun 2015 03:57:42 -0400
2 civilians killed in surge of shelling in east Ukraine
KIEV, Ukraine (AP) — Authorities in east Ukraine say two civilians in a government-controlled area have been killed amid a surge of shelling as combat flares between the armed forces and separatist rebels.
Date Posted : Wed, 03 Jun 2015 03:46:40 -0400
Obama signs new curbs on NSA surveillance into law

US President Barack Obama, shown in a file picture, signed into law landmark legislation ending the government's bulk telephone data dragnet, significantly reversing American policy by reining in the most controversial surveillance program since 9/11President Barack Obama signed into law landmark legislation ending the government's bulk telephone data dragnet, significantly reversing American policy by reining in the most controversial surveillance program since 9/11. The bill was given final passage earlier Tuesday by the US Senate, after being approved by the House several days earlier. The measure reauthorizes key national security programs that had lapsed early this week.


Date Posted : Wed, 03 Jun 2015 03:40:21 -0400
 

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