• Korean gym is a hothouse of grief for relatives of ferry missing

    Reuters - Sun, Apr 20, 2014

    By Ju-min Park JINDO, South Korea (Reuters) - Kim Ha-na no longer sleeps or eats and is haunted by the voice of her 17-year-old brother, calling frantically to tell her the ferry he was aboard with more than 300 classmates and staff from his high school on the outskirts of Seoul was sinking. More than 50 people are now known to have died and 252, mostly children, presumed dead in the upturned hull of the stricken vessel that capsized off the southwestern tip of the Korean Peninsula on Wednesday. Kim's brother, Dong-hyup, was one of 339 pupils and teachers from Danwon High School on an annual outing to the subtropical island of Jeju, making up most of the 476 passengers and crew. Kang Min-gyu, 52, the Vice Principal of Danwon High School, went missing on Thursday and was later found hanged with his belt from a pine tree outside the gymnasium. More »Korean gym is a hothouse of grief for relatives of ferry missing

  • Daimler to sell DENZA electric car in China with local subsidy

    Reuters - Sun, Apr 20, 2014

    Daimler said its DENZA electric car will be eligible for local subsidies in China when it goes on sale there in September priced at 369,000 renminbi (35,693.04 pounds). DENZA, a local Chinese brand jointly developed with Chinese partner BYD <002594.SZ>, forms part of the German auto maker's push to expand its footprint in the world's largest car market, and to boost economies of scale for electric cars. Speaking at Auto China, the car show held in Beijing on Sunday, Thomas Weber, Daimler's head of research and development, said: "DENZA is the first complete vehicle that Daimler has developed together with BYD outside of Germany." The 5-seater car will be produced by Shenzen BYD Daimler New Technology Co. Ltd, and will have an operating range of 300 km (190 miles), Daimler said. More »Daimler to sell DENZA electric car in China with local subsidy

  • Eight killed in plane crash in northern Mexico

    Reuters - Sun, Apr 20, 2014

    A Hawker 800 jet crashed in northern Mexico late on Saturday, killing all eight people on board, the government of the state of Coahuila said. The plane came down in an industrial estate in the municipality of Ramos Arizpe, just north of state capital Saltillo, the Coahuila attorney general's office said in a statement. According to preliminary findings, the jet departed from the Mexican Caribbean island of Cozumel on the east coast of the Yucatan Peninsula and was bound for Ramos Arizpe, the statement said. Separately, authorities in Naucalpan on the northwestern fringe of Mexico City said late on Saturday that a three-way car collision there had killed at least eight people and injured 12 others, some of them seriously. More »Eight killed in plane crash in northern Mexico

  • Russia stares at recession as Ukraine crisis scars economy

    AFP - Sun, Apr 20, 2014

    Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev (L) speaks at a meeting of the expanded board of the Ministry of Finance in Moscow on April 15, 2014 More »Russia stares at recession as Ukraine crisis scars economy

  • Europe's mergers and acquisitions market heats up

    AFP - Sun, Apr 20, 2014

    A Vodafone store is pictured in London on March 17, 2014 More »Europe's mergers and acquisitions market heats up

  • Hyundai Motor unveils small SUV concept for China, to launch this year

    Reuters - Sun, Apr 20, 2014

    By Hyunjoo Jin SEOUL (Reuters) - South Korea's Hyundai Motor <005380.KS> on Sunday unveiled its small sport utility vehicle (SUV) concept targeted at the Chinese market, planning to join a flurry of rivals in tapping the growing segment in the world's biggest market. Hyundai said it had picked popular Korean actor Kim Soo-hyun to promote the subcompact SUV ix25, to capitalise on the Korean pop culture boom in wooing Chinese customers aged between 25 and 35. Small SUVs are a bright spot in key markets from China and India to the United States and Europe, offering the functionality and space of SUVs in an affordable small vehicle. In China, General Motors and Ford Motor are offering small SUVs Trax and EcoSport, respectively, among other carmakers. More »Hyundai Motor unveils small SUV concept for China, to launch this year

  • Toyota to launch China-made Corolla, Levin hybrids in 2015

    Reuters - Sun, Apr 20, 2014

    By Yoko Kubota BEIJING (Reuters) - Toyota Motor Corp <7203.T> plans to make and sell hybrid versions of its Corolla and Levin sedans in China next year, fitting them with locally-made components, in its first bid to entirely manufacture gas-electric hybrids outside Japan. The backdrop to Toyota's plans are efforts by foreign and domestic automakers to kick-start sales of hybrid cars in China, as the world's largest auto market warms to the vehicles in its efforts to cut pollution and reliance on fossil fuels. Toyota, an industry leader in hybrid vehicles, already makes the Prius and Camry hybrids in China, but has to import key parts, such as hybrid systems, making it tough to generate volume due to high import tariffs. In 2015, the Corolla and Levin hybrid sedans will carry made-in-China batteries, hybrid transaxles and inverters, Executive Vice President Yasumori Ihara, said at the Auto China car show in Beijing on Sunday. More »Toyota to launch China-made Corolla, Levin hybrids in 2015

  • China set to replace U.S. as Volvo's biggest market this year

    Reuters - Sun, Apr 20, 2014

    China is set to surpass the United States to become Volvo Car Group's biggest market in 2014 with sales of at least 80,000 cars in the world's largest auto market. Its car sales target for 2014 is around a third higher than the 61,146 cars sold in 2013, while sales in the United States in 2014 are expected to increase only in line with the broader market, it said in a statement on Sunday. In the first quarter of this year, it sold 17,286 cars in China, up 25.4 percent from a year earlier. Volvo, whose XC60 SUV is its best-selling model in China, expects the Chinese market to help boost its global sales in coming years, though it faces competition from foreign firms, such as General Motors Co , and domestic players such as SAIC Motor Corp <600104.SS>. More »China set to replace U.S. as Volvo's biggest market this year

  • Beijing auto show opens amid market slowdown

    Associated Press - Sun, Apr 20, 2014

    BEIJING (AP) — Global and Chinese automakers are looking to the Beijing auto show to help boost sales in a slowing, intensely competitive market. More »Beijing auto show opens amid market slowdown

  • German financial watchdog - Low interest rates could trouble bigger insurers

    Reuters - Sun, Apr 20, 2014

    Some bigger German life insurance companies could find themselves struggling if low interest rates persist, according to comments made by the country's top insurance regulator in an interview with a newspaper. Rock bottom capital market interest rates in Europe have slashed the income insurers can earn from their investments in bonds and other safe securities, making it increasingly difficult to fulfil obligations to policy holders. There are 93 mainly small life insurers in Germany of which many are struggling because of low interest rates. But Felix Hufeld, head of insurance supervision at financial regulator Bafin, said many small insurers were in fact doing well and that their larger counterparts may be suffering. More »German financial watchdog - Low interest rates could trouble bigger insurers

  • Iran says it watered down, converted over 200 kg of enriched uranium

    Reuters - Sun, Apr 20, 2014

    Iran said on Saturday it had completed watering down and converting more than 200 kilograms (440 lb) of enriched uranium under a deal reached in Geneva last November with world powers over its disputed nuclear programme. "Based on the agreement with the West, we were supposed to have half of our 200 kilogram stock of uranium diluted and the other half converted to uranium oxide," Iran's atomic chief, Ali Akbar Salehi, told the Arabic-language Al Alam television channel. The International Atomic Energy Agency said on Thursday that Iran has acted to cut its most sensitive nuclear stockpile by nearly 75 percent in implementing a landmark pact with world powers, but a planned facility it will need to fulfil the six-month deal has been delayed. Salehi, who heads the country's atomic energy organisation, said the fast process of uranium conversion was expected to expedite the release of frozen Iranian assets in the West. More »Iran says it watered down, converted over 200 kg of enriched uranium

  • South Korea recovers first bodies from inside sunken ferry

    Reuters - Sun, Apr 20, 2014

    South Korean divers retrieved three bodies from inside a sunken ferry overnight, officials said on Sunday, the first time they have been able to gain entry to the passenger section of the ship. "At 11:48 p.m. (1448 GMT) the joint rescue team broke a glass window and succeeded in getting inside the vessel," the South Korean government said in a statement. The discovery of the bodies brought to 36 the official death toll from what looks to be South Korea's deadliest maritime accident in 21 years. More »South Korea recovers first bodies from inside sunken ferry

  • Germany's Steinmeier urges focus on de-escalation with Russia, not sanctions

    Reuters - Sat, Apr 19, 2014

    German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said he wished as much emphasis would be placed on preventing an escalation of tensions with Russia over Ukraine as there is at the moment in threatening economic sanctions. In an interview to appear in Germany's Bild am Sonntag newspaper on Sunday, Steinmeier appeared to be referring to threats from the United States as well as from within Germany about the need for economic sanctions against Russia. "I sometimes wish that the same engagement being used for the debate about sanctions would also exist when it comes to avoiding a further escalation," Steinmeier told the Sunday newspaper, according to excerpts released before publication. "We've already exhaustively discussed the sanctions issue," he added, in comments the newspaper said were addressed at German Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen, who has called for economic sanctions against Russia. More »Germany's Steinmeier urges focus on de-escalation with Russia, not sanctions

  • Documents detail another delayed GM recall

    Associated Press - Sat, Apr 19, 2014

    DETROIT (AP) — General Motors waited years to recall nearly 335,000 Saturn Ions for power steering failures despite getting thousands of consumer complaints and more than 30,000 warranty repair claims, according to government documents released Saturday. More »Documents detail another delayed GM recall

  • Sudanese militants kill two, kidnap three at oil field

    Reuters - Sat, Apr 19, 2014

    CAIRO (Reuters) - Armed militants killed two security staff and kidnapped a Chinese, an Algerian and a Sudanese worker in an attack on an oil field in Sudan's West Kordofan state, army spokesman Al-Sawarmi Khalid Sa'ad said on Saturday. Security forces are still tracing the perpetrators, he added. West Kordofan is the main oil-producing state in Sudan. It has faced several attacks by armed militants attempting to disrupt production. The main rebel group active in the area, the Justice and Equality Movement, denied any involvement in the latest incident. ... More »Sudanese militants kill two, kidnap three at oil field

  • Iran slams U.S. justice verdict on Manhattan skyscraper

    Reuters - Sat, Apr 19, 2014

    Iran on Saturday criticised a U.S. government move to seize a Manhattan skyscraper owned largely by a foundation that promotes its language and Islamic culture, saying this violated the right to religious freedom in the United States. According to a court document filed in New York on Thursday, the U.S. Department of Justice agreed to distribute proceeds from the sale of the Fifth Avenue high-rise to families affected by alleged Iranian-aided attacks, including the 1983 bombing of the U.S. Marine barracks in Beirut. The settlement marks the latest turn in a long-running battle over the 36-storey building owned chiefly by Alavi Foundation, a non-profit Persian and Islamic cultural centre. Iran's foreign ministry spokeswoman Marzieh Afkham said the decision "lacks legal justification and negates America's commitment to protecting its citizens' religious freedom." "Confiscation of the properties of an independent charity organisation raises doubt about the credibility of U.S. justice," she was quoted as saying by the official IRNA news agency. More »Iran slams U.S. justice verdict on Manhattan skyscraper

  • Man under evaluation for alleged gun threat at L.A. Times building

    Reuters - Sat, Apr 19, 2014

    By Brendan O'Brien (Reuters) - A man who allegedly threatened to open fire in the building that houses the Los Angeles Times' headquarters was being held in custody for a mental evaluation, police said on Saturday. More »Man under evaluation for alleged gun threat at L.A. Times building

  • Big names among prospective Buffalo Bills buyers

    Associated Press - Sat, Apr 19, 2014

    BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — Hall of Fame quarterback Jim Kelly is prepared to make a bid to buy the Buffalo Bills. Donald Trump's on board, too. More »Big names among prospective Buffalo Bills buyers

  • Deadline lapses in Peru for illegal gold miners

    Associated Press - Sat, Apr 19, 2014

    LIMA, Peru (AP) — The clock has run out for an estimated 40,000 illegal gold miners who had until Saturday to legalize their status in a region of southeastern Peru where fortune-seekers have ravaged rainforests and contaminated rivers. The government's vow to enforce a ban on illegal mining is raising fears of bloody confrontations. More »Deadline lapses in Peru for illegal gold miners

  • Fiat and Chrysler to build 3 Jeep models in China

    Associated Press - Sat, Apr 19, 2014

    ROME (AP) — Fiat and Chrysler announced plans Saturday to build three new Jeep models in China for that market, the biggest for the vehicles outside the United States, as they attempt to boost sales in a country where they lag behind their competitors. More »Fiat and Chrysler to build 3 Jeep models in China

  • Mediator heads to east Ukraine, seeking surrenders

    Reuters - Sat, Apr 19, 2014

    By Alastair Macdonald and Aleksandar Vasovic KIEV/DONETSK (Reuters) - A mediator from Europe's OSCE security body headed to eastern Ukraine on Saturday seeking the surrender of pro-Russian separatists as the Kiev government declared an Easter truce following a peace accord with Moscow. Gunmen occupying public buildings in Donetsk and other Russian-speaking border towns refuse to recognise an accord in Geneva on Thursday by which Russia, Ukraine and Kiev's U.S. and EU allies agreed that the OSCE should oversee the disarmament of militants and the evacuation of occupied facilities and streets. More »Mediator heads to east Ukraine, seeking surrenders

  • Guinea to cancel BSG Resources-Vale mining rights

    Associated Press - Sat, Apr 19, 2014

    CONAKRY, Guinea (AP) — The government of Guinea is planning to revoke the mining rights to one of the largest untapped iron ore deposits in the world, following a watchdog's recommendation. More »Guinea to cancel BSG Resources-Vale mining rights

  • Italy gives wife, daughter of wanted Kazakh banker refugee status

    Reuters - Sat, Apr 19, 2014

    The wife and daughter of a Kazakh tycoon who is wanted in three countries for alleged fraud have been granted refugee status in Italy, their lawyer said on Friday. Lawyer Anton Giulio Lana said in a statement that an Interior Ministry committee had granted Alma Shalabayeva and daughter Alua a five-year, renewable permit of stay. Shalabayeva is the wife of oligarch Mukhtar Ablyazov, a political adversary of Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev who has ruled for more than two decades and tolerates no dissent. Russia, Ukraine and Kazakhstan have laid charges against Ablyazov. More »Italy gives wife, daughter of wanted Kazakh banker refugee status

  • Italy's Treasury to give Monte Paschi more time to pay interest in cash - paper

    Reuters - Sat, Apr 19, 2014

    Italy's Treasury may allow loss-making Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena more time to pay interest on a state bailout, to ensure the sum is paid in cash rather than in bank shares, Corriere della Sera reported on Saturday. Citing sources close to the Treasury, the paper said the Treasury had told the bank it may extend the July 1 deadline for paying 360 million euros $498 million (296.25 million pounds) by a few days. The Treasury said it was negotiating an agreement with the bank over changing the due date for the payment. Monte dei Paschi declined to comment. More »Italy's Treasury to give Monte Paschi more time to pay interest in cash - paper

  • VW has agreed budget car concept, design - manager

    Reuters - Sat, Apr 19, 2014

    Volkswagen has agreed the basic concept and design of a budget car for emerging markets, a VW manager told Reuters, nearing the project's completion after a long struggle to meet cost targets for the vehicle. "The concept and design are now in place," Hans Demant, responsible for the so-called budget car project at VW, told Reuters on the eve of the Beijing auto show. "We will produce all components in China." Demant's comments are more upbeat than those of VW brand development chief Heinz-Jakob Neusser who said at last month's Geneva auto show that it was becoming more difficult to hit cost goals for the budget car, adding it made no sense to approve a vehicle that was not meeting in-house targets. VW lacks a strong presence in markets such as India and southeast Asia which are dominated by no-frills models, and without a successful budget car, analysts have questioned whether the group will be able to meet its goal of becoming the world's biggest carmaker by 2018. More »VW has agreed budget car concept, design - manager

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