• One month on from US's deadliest mudslide

    Al Jazeera - 23 hours ago

    The rescue and recovery operation continues in Oso, as President Obama visits the area. More »One month on from US's deadliest mudslide

  • Obama and Abe to huddle at venerable Tokyo sushi counter

    Reuters - 23 hours ago

    By Elaine Lies TOKYO (Reuters) - U.S. President Barack Obama and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe are due to have dinner on Wednesday, bumping elbows at the counter of a tiny basement sushi restaurant run by an octogenarian chef. Sources close to Abe told Japanese media the prime minister thought a meal at "Sukiyabashi Jiro," a venerable establishment in Tokyo's bustling Ginza shopping district, would be a good way to build trust. The restaurant, with just 10 seats but three Michelin stars, is considered one of the world's best sushi restaurants. Obama will take a stool at the narrow wooden counter with Abe shortly after arriving in Japan on a state visit. More »Obama and Abe to huddle at venerable Tokyo sushi counter

  • Thai court gives PM time to defend herself; economy rudderless

    Reuters - 23 hours ago

    By Amy Sawitta Lefevre and Aukkarapon Niyomyat BANGKOK (Reuters) - Thailand's Constitutional Court on Wednesday gave Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra until early May to defend herself against charges of abuse of power, as the central bank warned that the political crisis threatened another cut in its growth forecast. The charges relate to the transfer of National Security Council chief Thawil Pliensri in 2011, which opponents say was designed to benefit her Puea Thai Party. If found guilty, Yingluck could be forced to step down and some legal experts say the whole government would have to go with her. Yingluck, who heads a caretaker government with limited powers, has been undermined by six months of street protests aimed at toppling her government as well as various legal challenges against her, which have intensified since February. More »Thai court gives PM time to defend herself; economy rudderless

  • More powerful sonar likely next step in jet search

    Associated Press - 23 hours ago

    CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — Australia's prime minister said Wednesday that failure to find any clue in the most likely crash site of the lost Malaysia Airlines jet would not spell the end of the search, as officials planned soon to bring in more powerful sonar equipment that can delve deeper beneath the Indian Ocean. More »More powerful sonar likely next step in jet search

  • Egyptian policeman, militant killed in security force operation - ministry

    Reuters - 23 hours ago

    CAIRO (Reuters) - An Egyptian police officer and a militant were killed on Wednesday during an operation by security forces to capture wanted militants near the city of Alexandria, the Interior Ministry said. Gunmen had opened fire on the security forces as the police arrived at their hideout in Borg El Arab, some 45 km (28 miles) south-west of Alexandria, the Interior Ministry said in a statement. (Writing by Tom Perry; Editing by Michael Georgy) More »Egyptian policeman, militant killed in security force operation - ministry

  • US trade rep presses Japan to take 'elevated view' in trade talks

    Reuters - 23 hours ago

    The United States put last-minute pressure on Japan to compromise in trade talks on Wednesday, shortly before President Barack Obama was to arrive for a state visit. "This a moment for Japan to take an elevated view and to choose a bold path of economic renewal, revitalisation and regional leadership," U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman told reporters after negotiating with Economy Minister Akira Amari ahead of Obama's evening arrival. The bilateral talks - focusing on Japan's agricultural market and both countries' car markets - are key to reaching a multilateral Pacific trade pact. "Its economic and strategic importance is clear." Obama is having dinner with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Wednesday and will hold a summit meeting on Thursday focusing on security issues as well as trade. More »US trade rep presses Japan to take 'elevated view' in trade talks

  • Anti-Obama protesters clash with police in Manila

    Associated Press - 23 hours ago

    MANILA, Philippines (AP) — Police armed with truncheons, shields and a fire hose clashed Wednesday with more than 100 left-wing activists who rallied at the U.S. Embassy in Manila to oppose a visit by President Barack Obama and an expected security pact that would increase the American military presence in the Philippines. More »Anti-Obama protesters clash with police in Manila

  • Dead Ukraine politician faced hostile mob, video shows

    Reuters - 23 hours ago

    The Ukrainian town councillor whose apparent torture and murder helped prompt a new government offensive in the east was mobbed by a hostile, pro-Russian crowd before he disappeared, a video of the incident shows. The footage from Thursday on local news site gorlovka.ua shows angry scenes outside the town hall of Horlivka, between the separatist flashpoint cities of Donetsk and Slaviansk, as councillor Volodymyr Rybak is manhandled by several men, among them a masked man in camouflage, while other people hurl abuse. Ukraine's Interior Ministry said he was seen being bundled into a car by masked men in camouflage later that day. Ukraine's acting president, who like Rybak is a member of the Batkivshchyna party led by former premier Yulia Tymoshenko, cited the murder as grounds for relaunching a so far limited operation against militants who have taken over around a dozen towns and public buildings in the Russian-speaking east. More »Dead Ukraine politician faced hostile mob, video shows

  • China stops prominent rights lawyer from meeting German minister

    Reuters - 23 hours ago

    By Ben Blanchard BEIJING (Reuters) - Chinese police blocked a prominent human rights lawyer from meeting Germany's deputy chancellor, the lawyer said on Wednesday, in the latest example of curbs on government critics in China. Deputy Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel was unable to hold talks with members of Chinese civil society during a visit to Beijing on Tuesday, though he declined to comment on why the planned meeting at the German embassy had not taken place. Gabriel had told reporters travelling with him to China that he would meet critics of the Chinese government, saying he believed that European politicians had an obligation to show support for such dissidents. But police came to the office of the human rights lawyer, Mo Shaoping, and said they had received orders "from above" that Mo was not allowed to attend, Mo told Reuters. More »China stops prominent rights lawyer from meeting German minister

  • Luxury automakers scramble to woo young Chinese

    Associated Press - Wed, Apr 23, 2014

    BEIJING (AP) — At age 32, Jason Jia already is the kind of customer luxury automakers are seeking as competition grows in China's lucrative but crowded market. More »Luxury automakers scramble to woo young Chinese

  • Bombing in Cairo kills senior Egypt police officer

    Associated Press - Wed, Apr 23, 2014

    CAIRO (AP) — Egyptian security officials say a senior police officer has died after an explosive device placed under his car went off in a western Cairo suburb. More »Bombing in Cairo kills senior Egypt police officer

  • S. Korea urges China to avert N. Korea nuclear test

    AFP - Wed, Apr 23, 2014

    South Korean President Park Geun-Hye on Wednesday urged Chinese leader Xi Jinping to make "further efforts" to dissuade North Korea from conducting a fresh nuclear test, warning of serious repercussions for regional stability. More »S. Korea urges China to avert N. Korea nuclear test

  • Bayern says ties with rivals Dortmund have frozen

    Reuters - Wed, Apr 23, 2014

    Relations between league champions Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund, who face each other in next month's German Cup final, have become frozen over a bitter row stemming from a decade-old loan, the Bavarian club's CEO said on Wednesday. The sides have been locked in an ongoing war of words over a two-million euro (1.64 million pounds) loan Bayern granted to then cash-strapped Dortmund in 2004, with the Ruhr valley club saying the terms of the agreement were far from charitable. "(Bayern president) Karl Hopfner represented the facts correctly after Dortmund claimed something that was incorrect," Karl-Heinz Rummenigge told sport Bild magazine. Hopfner had said Dortmund CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke was not telling the truth when he claimed that the Bavarians had demanded an extortionate interest rate on the loan. More »Bayern says ties with rivals Dortmund have frozen

  • Soccer-Bayern says ties with rivals Dortmund have frozen

    Reuters - Wed, Apr 23, 2014

    Relations between league champions Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund, who face each other in next month's German Cup final, have become frozen over a bitter row stemming from a decade-old loan, the Bavarian club's CEO said on Wednesday. The sides have been locked in an ongoing war of words over a two-million euro ($2.76 million) loan Bayern granted to then cash-strapped Dortmund in 2004, with the Ruhr valley club saying the terms of the agreement were far from charitable. "(Bayern president) Karl Hopfner represented the facts correctly after Dortmund claimed something that was incorrect," Karl-Heinz Rummenigge told sport Bild magazine. Hopfner had said Dortmund CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke was not telling the truth when he claimed that the Bavarians had demanded an extortionate interest rate on the loan. More »Soccer-Bayern says ties with rivals Dortmund have frozen

  • Drax sues UK government over U-turn on biomass conversion support

    Reuters - Wed, Apr 23, 2014

    British electricity producer Drax said on Wednesday it had commenced legal proceedings against a government decision not to support the conversion of one of its coal units to biomass under a new subsidy scheme. The government's move is a blow to Drax's plans to modernise its polluting coal plant in Yorkshire, northern England, to burn more environment-friendly biomass after two units were shortlisted to receive investment contracts in December. We have, therefore, commenced legal proceedings to challenge the decision," Drax Chief Executive Dorothy Thompson said. Shares in Drax opened 10 percent lower on Wednesday. More »Drax sues UK government over U-turn on biomass conversion support

  • Germany's private sector expands faster in April - PMI

    Reuters - Wed, Apr 23, 2014

    Germany's private sector expanded faster in April, recovering from a slight slowdown in growth in March, as both manufacturing and services industry activity rose more than expected, surveys showed on Wednesday. Markit's preliminary composite Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI), which tracks activity in the manufacturing and services sectors and covers more than two-thirds of the euro zone's largest economy, rose to 56.3 in April from March's final 54.3. "This is a nice bounce back with good broadbased growth in the services and manufacturing sector... It is looking like it will be a good year for Germany," Markit economist Chris Williamson said. Germany's economy expanded just 0.4 percent in 2013, but growth is seen picking up this year, driven by domestic demand. More »Germany's private sector expands faster in April - PMI

  • Australia unmoved by U.N. critique of asylum seeker policy

    Reuters - Wed, Apr 23, 2014

    By Matt Siegel SYDNEY (Reuters) - Australia's immigration minister dismissed on Wednesday United Nations' criticism of its asylum seeker policy, even as fresh evidence emerged of abuses at one of its detention centres in Papua New Guinea. Immigration Minister Scott Morrison hit back after the regional representative for U.N. refugee agency UNHCR said that Australia's policy of sending asylum seekers to third countries for lengthy detention might violate its treaty obligations. More »Australia unmoved by U.N. critique of asylum seeker policy

  • Momentum in French business activity recovery wanes in April - PMI

    Reuters - Wed, Apr 23, 2014

    The French private sector expanded at a much slower rate in April, surveys showed on Wednesday, underlining the fragility of the recovery in the euro zone's second-biggest economy. Data compiler Markit's said its preliminary composite purchasing managers index, which tracks services and manufacturers and covers more than two-thirds of the economy, fell in April to 50.5 from 51.8 in March. Last month, the private sector returned to growth and posted the fastest rate of expansion since January 2012, buoying hopes for a lasting upturn. "We've come down from that, but I wouldn't get too worried that it's moved in the wrong direction," said Markit Chief Economist Chris Williamson. More »Momentum in French business activity recovery wanes in April - PMI

  • Indian film awards arrive in Tampa, but why?

    Associated Press - Wed, Apr 23, 2014

    TAMPA, Florida (AP) — The so-called Bollywood Oscars have been held in Macau, Singapore, London and now ... Tampa? More »Indian film awards arrive in Tampa, but why?

  • Scottish Independence Will Boost Northern England Jobs Market, Claims SNP's Salmond

    IB Times - Wed, Apr 23, 2014

    The Scottish National Party is trying to drum up support in the North of England by claiming that bordering an independent Scotland will help boost jobs and business prospects in the region. According to extracts from a speech that the SNP's leader Alex Salmond will deliver later today - St. George's Day - the incumbent pro-independence political group will try to reinforce its belief that an independent Scotland will retain the pound, trade and transport links will stay strong, and the jobs market will improve. "It is a practical demonstration of co-operation and partnership between us - a partnership which will be strengthened by an outward looking, prosperous, independent Scotland." The latest Office for National Statistics (ONS) data showed that the UK has a North/South divide when it comes to joblessness. More »Scottish Independence Will Boost Northern England Jobs Market, Claims SNP's Salmond

  • China calls on U.S. to not take sides in territorial disputes

    Reuters - Wed, Apr 23, 2014

    BEIJING (Reuters) - China called on the United States on Wednesday to respect its promises not to take sides in territorial disputes, after U.S. President Barack Obama said that islands at the centre of a dispute between Japan and China fall within the scope of the U.S.-Japan security treaty. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang made the remarks at a daily news briefing. (Reporting by Ben Blanchard, Writing by Sui-Lee Wee) More »China calls on U.S. to not take sides in territorial disputes

  • Wizards beat Bulls 101-99 in OT to take 2-0 lead

    Associated Press - Wed, Apr 23, 2014

    CHICAGO (AP) — This one looked like it was slipping away from the Washington Wizards. Then, in a flash everything changed. More »Wizards beat Bulls 101-99 in OT to take 2-0 lead

  • Scottish Independence: Law Society Joins Universities and Firms in CBI Exodus

    IB Times - Wed, Apr 23, 2014

    The Law Society of Scotland is the latest in a long line of Confederation of British Industry members that have left the lobby group after the CBI officially pledged allegiance to the anti-Scottish independence campaign. The LSS said that it was legally forced to relinquish its CBI membership as public bodies preclude their inclusion in a political organisation. "We do not believe we could credibly retain our impartiality whilst being a member of and actively contributing to another organisation which is formally registered with the Electoral Commission to campaign for a no vote. That is why we have resigned from the CBI today," said Lorna Jack, chief executive of the LSS. More »Scottish Independence: Law Society Joins Universities and Firms in CBI Exodus

  • UK awards subsidy contracts to eight renewable energy projects

    Reuters - Wed, Apr 23, 2014

    The British government on Wednesday awarded investment contracts under a new subsidy regime to eight renewable energy projects, including five offshore wind farms and three biomass plants. The contracts were awarded on Wednesday under Britain's new contracts-for-difference scheme which gives renewable power generators certainty of a minimum electricity price over 15 years. The projects include the Dudgeon offshore wind farm, proposed by Norway's Statoil and Statkraft, Dong Energy's Burbo Bank offshore wind farm and the third biomass conversion unit at Drax's coal-fired power plant. More »UK awards subsidy contracts to eight renewable energy projects

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