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WORLD NEWS

Ukraine forces, separatists fight first serious battles in months

Firefighter works to extinguish a fire at a local market which was recently damaged by shelling in DonetskBy Alessandra Prentice and Pavel Polityuk KIEV (Reuters) - Ukrainian troops and pro-Russian separatists on Wednesday fought their first serious battles in months and Ukraine's defense minister said an attempt by rebels to take the eastern town of Maryinka had been thwarted. The Ukrainian military said the Russian-backed rebels had tried to advance using tanks and up to 1,000 fighters west of the main rebel stronghold of Donetsk, in the most significant escalation of the conflict in about three months and in defiance of a ceasefire deal. The separatists, who denied their forces had launched an assault, said 15 people had been killed when government troops fired artillery into rebel-held territory near the city.


Date Posted : Wed, 03 Jun 2015 14:03:45 -0400
Families march to China shipwreck site as survivor hopes fade

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 Engen Tham JIANLI, China (Reuters) - Dozens of people broke through a police cordon on Wednesday as they marched towards the site of a sunken cruise ship in the Yangtze River to demand news of missing relatives. Rescuers searched for more than 400 missing people, many of them elderly, but hopes were fading of finding more survivors from the worst shipping disaster in modern Chinese history. Frustrated by the scarcity of information coming from local authorities, about 80 family members hired a bus to take them from Nanjing to Jianli county in Hubei, an eight-hour journey.


Date Posted : Wed, 03 Jun 2015 14:58:51 -0400
Iran nuclear talks resume at expert level in Vienna

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif speaks at the New York University (NYU) Center on International Cooperation in New YorkTalks among officials from world powers on curbing Iran's controversial nuclear program resumed in Vienna on Wednesday, and the Iranian delegation will join the negotiations on Thursday, U.S. and European Union officials said. U.S. negotiator Wendy Sherman and Helga Schmid, the EU's political director, were part of the meetings on Wednesday in the latest round of talks, which are in their final month before a June 30 deadline for a deal with Iran. Questions arose over whether a deal could be reached on time after U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry broke his leg a day after talks with his Iranian counterpart, Mohammad Javad Zarif, in Geneva over the weekend.


Date Posted : Wed, 03 Jun 2015 14:46:39 -0400
South Korea test-fires missile that can strike all of the North

A ballistic missile is launched from a firing range of the state-run Agency for Defense Development in this picture provided by Defense Ministry and released by Yonhap, in TaeanSouth 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 07:28:44 -0400
Obama: China 'putting out feelers' about joining Pacific trade pact

Obama holds a discussion with YSEALI Fellows at the White House in WashingtonU.S. President Barack Obama said in a radio interview on Wednesday that China was "putting out feelers" about participating in a Pacific Rim trade pact at some point. The White House wants to reach a trade deal with 12 Pacific Rim nations. "China is going to have to at least take those international norms into account" if its neighbors form a pact, Obama told the U.S.-based radio program Marketplace.


Date Posted : Wed, 03 Jun 2015 13:29:02 -0400
Islamic State militants use water as weapon in western Iraq

Masked Sunni gunmen walk with their weapons during a patrol outside the city of FallujaIslamic State militants have closed gates of a dam on the Euphrates River in western Iraq, reducing the water and giving them greater freedom of movement to attack government forces downstream on the southern bank, local officials said. The militants have redirected the flow of water to their advantage on the battlefield around the city of Ramadi. The Euphrates has acted as a barrier between the militants who control its northern bank and pro-government forces who are trying to advance towards Ramadi on the other side.


Date Posted : Wed, 03 Jun 2015 09:56:40 -0400
Fighting surges in Ukraine after Kiev says rebels launch assault

Armed pro-Russian rebels of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic sit atop their armoured personnel carriers in Donetsk on May 5, 2015Fighting surged in east Ukraine on Wednesday as Kiev accused pro-Russian forces of launching a "large-scale" attack in breach of a tenuous ceasefire. Rebels claimed that 15 separatist fighters and civilians were killed as fresh clashes flared, but denied that they had started a new assault. Ukraine's defence minister said seven government troops were injured.


Date Posted : Wed, 03 Jun 2015 15:05:30 -0400
Top Asian News at 7:00 p.m. GMT
JIANLI, China (AP) — Chinese authorities deployed scores more divers and a large crane as they escalated efforts Wednesday to recover more than 410 people believed to be trapped inside an overturned river cruise ship. The capsizing late Monday of the multi-decked Eastern Star in the Yangtze River 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 15:02:40 -0400
Western Canada farmers scramble for canola seed to re-plant after frost
By Rod Nickel WINNIPEG, Manitoba (Reuters) - Western Canadian farmers are scrambling to find scarce canola seed as they re-plant crops snuffed out by frost and insects. Canada is the biggest producer and exporter of canola, used to produce vegetable oil. Western Canada's Prairies are prone to crop-damaging weather, from floods to drought, but severe frost last week arrived unusually late in spring.
Date Posted : Wed, 03 Jun 2015 15:02:27 -0400
Over 4,000 foreign jihadists on Interpol radar

Interpol has identified over 4,000 foreign fighters who have joined jihadists groups in conflict zones, mainly in Syria and Iraq, Interpol head Jurgen Stock saysInterpol has identified over 4,000 foreign fighters who have joined jihadists groups in conflict zones, mainly in Syria and Iraq, Interpol head Jurgen Stock said Wednesday in Barcelona. "In September 2014 less than 900 foreign terrorist fighters had been identified by Interpol. Stock was speaking at the opening of a meeting in the northeastern Spanish city of police forces from around the world with Interpol which aims to boost cooperation in the fight against terrorism.


Date Posted : Wed, 03 Jun 2015 15:01:12 -0400
The Latest: Djokovic wary of Murray's improved form on clay

Britain's Andy Murray returns the ball to Spain's David Ferrer in after quarterfinal match of the French Open tennis tournament at the Roland Garros stadium, Wednesday, June 3, 2015 in Paris. Murray won 7-6 (4), 6-2, 5-7, 6-1. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)PARIS (AP) — The Latest from the French Open:


Date Posted : Wed, 03 Jun 2015 14:58:44 -0400
Encouraging economic news sends US stocks higher

FILE - In this Monday, Aug. 8, 2011 file photo, a man walks past the New York Stock Exchange in New York. U.S. stocks rose in early trading on Wednesday, June 3, 2015, as investors welcomed some encouraging news about the job market. (AP Photo/Jin Lee, File)NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stocks moved higher in afternoon trading on Wednesday as investors welcomed some encouraging economic news. Seven of the 10 industry sectors in the Standard and Poor's 500 index rose. The buying follows a rise in overseas markets amid hopes of a breakthrough in Greece's protracted discussions with its creditors.


Date Posted : Wed, 03 Jun 2015 14:58:16 -0400
Burundi parliamentary vote postponed amid political crisis

Protestors cheer in front of a barricade during a demonstration against the Burundian President's third term candidature in the Cibitoke neighborhood of Bujumbura on May 22, 2015Burundi's parliamentary polls scheduled for Friday will be postponed until a new date is set by the electoral commission, an aide to the president said, with the country rocked by weeks of political crisis. There will be no elections on Friday," Willy Nyamitwe told AFP on Wednesday. The announcement came as opposition parties said they were ready to resume talks to find a solution to the political crisis triggered by President Pierre Nkurunziza's controversial bid for a third term in office.


Date Posted : Wed, 03 Jun 2015 14:58:05 -0400
AP Interview: Top Yemen Shiite rebel welcomes UN peace talks

FILE - In this Wednesday, March 25, 2015, file photo, Mohammed Ali al-Houthi, who heads the Houthi rebels' powerful Revolutionary Council, center, attends the funeral procession of victims who were killed from triple suicide bombing attacks that hit a pair of mosques in Sanaa, Yemen. In an interview with the Associated Press the second-in-command of Yemen's Shiite rebels has assailed Saudi-led airstrikes targeting his fighters but insists they are ready to travel to Geneva for U.N.-mediated peace talks on resolving the country's crisis. (AP Photo/Hani Mohammed, File)SANAA, Yemen (AP) — The second-in-command of Yemen's Shiite rebels on Wednesday assailed the Saudi-led airstrikes pounding his group's positions and allied forces, insisting they are ready to travel to Geneva for U.N.-mediated peace talks on ending the country's civil war.


Date Posted : Wed, 03 Jun 2015 14:54:32 -0400
Latvia elects Vejonis, EU's first Green president

The new Latvian President, former Defence Minister Raimonds Vejonis, reacts after his election at parliament in Riga on June 3, 2015Latvia's parliament on Wednesday elected Defence Minister Raimonds Vejonis as the Baltic state's new president, making him the 28-member European Union's first Green Party head of state. "I would like to improve relations with Russia... but while Russian rockets and heavy weapons remain in Ukraine, that's not really possible," the 48-year-old Vejonis said after winning the secret ballot in which 55 out of 100 legislators backed him. The European Green Party told AFP that Vejonis, a biologist and 25-year party member, was the first Green member to become a European Union head of state.


Date Posted : Wed, 03 Jun 2015 14:54:10 -0400
Rights groups says Syrian refugees stranded at Jordan border
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 14:51:21 -0400
Washington Post reporter detained in Iran has hearing Monday
TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Detained Washington Post correspondent Jason Rezaian will face the second day of his closed-door espionage trial on Monday, Iran's semi-official ISNA news agency reported Wednesday.
Date Posted : Wed, 03 Jun 2015 14:48:38 -0400
US officials warn of encrypted communications by extremists
WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. law enforcement officials expressed concern Wednesday about the growing use of encrypted communication and private messaging by supporters of the Islamic State, saying the technology was complicating efforts to monitor terror suspects and extremists.
Date Posted : Wed, 03 Jun 2015 14:45:25 -0400
UN criticizes South Sudan for expelling aid official

The United Nations Humanitarian Coordinator in South Sudan, Toby Lanzer, talks to the media during a press conference in Juba on August 28, 2014The UN Security Council took a swipe at South Sudan on Wednesday over the expulsion of a UN aid official, saying the decision showed Juba's disregard for the plight of its people. UN aid coordinator and deputy envoy Toby Lanzer was declared persona non grata on May 29 for warning the country was headed toward collapse after 18 months of war. The Security Council noted that Lanzer's expulsion followed a warning from the World Food Programme that South Sudan was facing its worst food crisis since independence in 2011.


Date Posted : Wed, 03 Jun 2015 14:44:46 -0400
The Latest: Swiss lawmakers vote to soften graft bill

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)1840 GMT (2:40 p.m. EDT)


Date Posted : Wed, 03 Jun 2015 14:43:49 -0400
Leaders of sport, not state, to lead Paris' 2024 Olympic bid
PARIS (AP) — The head of Paris' proposed bid for the 2024 Olympics wants athletes and sports officials at the front of the candidacy, after much-criticized failures by the French capital to land the games in the recent past.
Date Posted : Wed, 03 Jun 2015 14:43:12 -0400
Chinese rescuers cut sunken ship's hull in search for survivors

Rescue workers are seen on the hull of a capsized passenger ship Dongfangzhixing or "Eastern Star" in the Yangtze river at Jianli in China's Hubei province on June 3, 2015Rescuers on Wednesday started cutting through the hull of a capsized Chinese cruise ship, state media said, in a desperate effort to find survivors among more than 400 people still missing days after the disaster. Only 14 people have been found, along with 26 bodies, since the "Eastern Star" overturned late Monday in a storm on the Yangtze river, leaving part of the boat protruding from the murky water. Chinese state media agency Xinhua warned the disaster could become the deadliest in the country for almost seven decades as rescue workers started cutting a small hole in the bottom of the ship in an attempt to free anyone still inside.


Date Posted : Wed, 03 Jun 2015 14:36:54 -0400
Renovation work at Roland Garros receives boost

Spectators do the wave as Britain's Andy plays Spain's David Ferrer during their quarterfinal match of the French Open tennis tournament, at the Roland Garros stadium, Wednesday, June 3, 2015 in Paris. (AP Photo/Francois Mori)PARIS (AP) — The planned renovation of Roland Garros has received the support of French Prime minister Manuel Valls.


Date Posted : Wed, 03 Jun 2015 14:36:51 -0400
Crowe apologizes for casting Emma Stone in part-Asian role

This photo provided by Sony Pictures Entertainment shows, Bradley Cooper, left, and Emma Stone, in a scene from Columbia Pictures' "Aloha." Cameron Crowe has apologized for offending anyone for his casting of Emma Stone in a partially Asian, partially Hawaiian role in the film “Aloha.” In a message on his website, TheUncool.com, Crowe said the character, Captain Allison Ng, was always intended to be a quarter Hawaiian woman who was frustrated by the lack of any outward signs to her ethnicity. But some, including the Media Action Network for Asian Americans, saw the casting of Stone as another example of Hollywood whitewashing Asian-American movie roles. (Neal Preston/Sony Pictures Entertainment via AP)NEW YORK (AP) — Cameron Crowe has apologized for offending anyone over his casting of Emma Stone in a partially Asian, partially Hawaiian role in his film "Aloha."


Date Posted : Wed, 03 Jun 2015 14:31:16 -0400
Obama: China 'putting out feelers' about joining trade pact
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama says China has made inquiries about potentially joining a Trans-Pacific trade agreement in the future. The agreement now involves the U.S. and 11 other Pacific rim countries and is the central goal of the contentious trade debate now unfolding in Congress.
Date Posted : Wed, 03 Jun 2015 14:29:40 -0400
Office of rights activists in Chechnya attacked by mob

Women leave an apartment building, where a human rights group office is situated, in Grozny, Russia, Wednesday, June 3, 2015. Masked men bashed their way into the office he Committee against Torture in the regional Chechen capital of Grozny on Wednesday, smashing furniture and sending the occupants fleeing through the windows, their colleagues said. (AP Photo/Musa Sadulayev)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 14:29:16 -0400
UN chief orders external probe into child sex abuse claims
UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The U.N. chief on Wednesday ordered an external investigation into how it handled allegations of child sexual abuse by French soldiers in Central African Republic, saying the world body hopes to ensure it "does not fail the victims of sexual abuse, especially when committed by those who are meant to protect them."
Date Posted : Wed, 03 Jun 2015 14:23:45 -0400
What next for Greece? A look at its options in coming days
ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Greece's bailout talks are going down to the wire.
Date Posted : Wed, 03 Jun 2015 14:22:45 -0400
Orange would cut Israel link if not for risk of penalties

Stephane Richard, the chief executive officer of French mobile phone company Orange, gestures as he speaks during a press conference in Cairo, Egypt, Wednesday, June 3, 2015. Richard said he would end his company's relationship with an Israeli operator that pays to use its name "tomorrow" if he could, but that to do so would be a "huge risk" in terms of penalties. He was holding the news conference Wednesday with Yves Gauthier, the chief executive officer of its Egyptian brand Mobinil. (AP Photo/Thomas Hartwell)CAIRO (AP) — French mobile phone giant Orange SA would end its relationship with an Israeli operator that pays to use its name "tomorrow" if it could, but to do so would be a "huge risk" in terms of penalties, its CEO said Wednesday.


Date Posted : Wed, 03 Jun 2015 14:22:36 -0400
Nigeria seeks help from neighbours in Boko Haram fight

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari said during a visit to Niger's capital that he was seeking help from neighbouring countries to eradicate the Islamist group Boko Haram before they do "more serious damage"Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari said during a visit to Niger's capital Wednesday that he was seeking help from neighbouring countries to eradicate the Islamist group Boko Haram before they do "more serious damage". "I'm coming to seek the support of our neighbours. Both Niger and Chad have common borders near the centre of the violent Boko Haram insurrection in northeastern Nigeria, which has led to more than 15,000 deaths since 2009.


Date Posted : Wed, 03 Jun 2015 14:19:15 -0400
EU and Cuba to resume talks June 15

The European group of 28 nations and Cuba are aiming to sign a political framework for dialogue and cooperation as part of the talks by the end of 2015A new round of talks to warm relations between the European Union and Cuba has been scheduled for June 15 and 16 in Brussels, a Havana official told AFP Wednesday. Cuba and the EU are in discussions to normalize their ties as the United States is similarly trying to restore relations and put an end to decades of enmity with the communist nation. The European group of 28 nations and Cuba are aiming to sign a political framework for dialogue and cooperation as part of the talks by the end of 2015.


Date Posted : Wed, 03 Jun 2015 14:18:33 -0400
Gunmen in Egypt kill 2 police officers outside Giza Pyramids

Police officers guard the Great Pyramid of Cheops in Giza, on the outskirts of CairoCAIRO (AP) — Gunmen on a speeding motorcycle opened fire outside the famed Giza Pyramids on the outskirts of Cairo early Wednesday, killing two police officers in a rare attack near one of the country's top tourist attractions, authorities said.


Date Posted : Wed, 03 Jun 2015 14:13:19 -0400
Syria regime barrel bombs kill 37, 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 37 people, including 10 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 three incidents, in Aleppo province in the north and Idlib province in the northwest. In Tal Rifaat in Aleppo, 18 people were killed, including eight children, when government helicopters dropped at least four of the devices, the Britain-based monitor said.


Date Posted : Wed, 03 Jun 2015 14:10:59 -0400
Wind damages wing of solar plane sidelined in Japan
NAGOYA, Japan (AP) — A solar-powered plane forced to land in Japan when it hit bad weather during its trip around the globe has encountered more challenges after wind gusts damaged a wing on the grounded aircraft.
Date Posted : Wed, 03 Jun 2015 14:10:23 -0400
Hamilton determined to bounce back after pits gaffe

Defending champion Lewis Hamilton, pictured in action on May 24, 2015, returns to action at the Canadian Grand Prix, one of his favourite circuits, with a resumption of his early-season superiority in his sightsThis week, however, he will relish his chance to bounce back in the way he knows best by demonstrating his previously dominant performance advantage once again on the demanding, tight and unforgiving Circuit Gilles Villeneuve. It is a track that has, nearly always, brought out the best in Hamilton and where, in head-to-head records, he has a better results sequence than Rosberg. Hamilton claimed his maiden F1 pole and victory in Montreal in 2007, won again in 2010 and 2012.


Date Posted : Wed, 03 Jun 2015 14:09:26 -0400
Nigerian to lead multinational force fighting Boko Haram
LAGOS, Nigeria (AP) — Nigeria on Wednesday named one of its generals to take over the multinational force fighting Boko Haram, suggesting a desire by the country's newly elected president to take the lead in the war against the Islamic extremists.
Date Posted : Wed, 03 Jun 2015 14:07:01 -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 14:05:59 -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 headed for a showdown with creditors on Wednesday in Brussels, where each side would present proposals in the hope of reaching a deal to unlock bailout loans and save the country from financial disaster.


Date Posted : Wed, 03 Jun 2015 14:03:29 -0400
 

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