|Sherpas demand Rs 1 mn for victims|
|KATHMANDU, Apr 21 (Agencies): Nepalese Sherpa guides, who play a key role in mountain expeditions, today warned of an agitation if their demand of Rs 1 million in compensation for their 13 colleagues killed in the deadliest accident on Mount Everest last week is not met.
The climbers and mountain guides, during a meeting held at the Everest Base Camp at 5,300 metre altitude, decided to ask the government to provide Nepali Rs 1 million compensation for each climber, a statement issued by the Sherpas said.
A massive avalanche struck Mount Everest last Friday killing at least 13 Nepalese Sherpa guides and injuring several others in the deadliest mountaineering accident on the the 8,848-metre-high peak.
"We will halt all mountaineering expeditions for a week to mourn the deceased climbers,...|
|Over 100 Indians detained in US on hunger strike|
|HOUSTON, Apr 21 (Agencies): Over 100 Indian youths - detained by US authorities for allegedly entering the country illegally to seek asylum - are on a hunger strike.
The men, all hailing from Punjab, have been languishing in El Paso Processing Centre in Texas in miserable condition since last year, a non-profit group that has been providing the detainees with legal support told PTI in an email.
North American Punjabi Association (NAPA) said it has urged Immigration and Custom Enforcement (ICE) authorities to immediately release the youths, currently on hunger strike.
In a statement, the group urged ICE Deputy Assistant Secretary Thomas S Winkowski to release the men, said Satnam Singh Chahal, executive director, NAPA.
Chahal said the ICE is legally bound to release detainees as soon a...|
|42 killed in road accident in south Pakistan|
|KARACHI, Apr 20 (Agencies): At least 42 people, 27 of them women and children, were killed and 17 others injured today when a speeding bus they were traveling in collided with a trailer on the National Highway in southeast Pakistan.
The accident took place near Pano Akil area in Sukkur district when the bus en route to Karachi from Dera Ghazi Khan collided head-on with the trailer coming from the opposite direction.
The dead included 14 children and 13 women, they said.
The accident occurred due to reckless driving at a place where the road was under construction, a passenger injured in the accident said.
The bus was carrying over 60 passengers when the driver lost control of the vehicle and collided with the trailer.
Most of the injured were in critical condition and many were trans...|
|PM Sharif forms panel to probe attack on Hamid Mir|
|ISLAMABAD, Apr 20 (Agencies): Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif today decided to form a three-member judicial commission to inquire into the attempt on the life of leading TV journalist Hamid Mir and also announced a reward of Rs 10 million for information leading to the arrest of the culprits.
A formal request will be made to the Supreme Court Chief Justice to nominate three members of the commission, a statement released by the Prime Minister's Office said.
Mir, 47, who faced threats from multiple quarters here including the Pakistani Taliban, was yesterday shot at in Karachi by four unidentified gunmen.
He sustained three bullet injuries in his leg and pelvic area after he was fired upon near Natha Khan bridge soon after he left Karachi airport for his office. He was rushed to ho...|
|Divers pull bodies from Sunken Ferry, death toll now 52|
|MOKPO, Apr 20 (Agencies): The confirmed death toll from South Korea's ferry disaster went past 50 today as divers finally found a way inside the sunken vessel, quickly discovering more than a dozen bodies in what is almost certainly only the beginning of a massive and grim recovery effort.
About 250 people are still missing from the ship, which had been packed with high school students on a holiday trip, and anguished families are furious with the pace of the rescue efforts. Divers had previously failed to enter the ferry, officials said, because of extremely strong currents and bad visibility arising from poor weather.
Beginning late yesterday, when divers broke a window, and continuing into today, multiple teams of divers have found various routes into the ferry, discovering bodies in...|
|'Gujarat Model' has become 'Political Currency': Montek|
|NEW YORK, Apr 20 (Agencies): The Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission, Montek Singh Ahluwalia, has said the term 'Gujarat model' had become "political currency" in the ongoing election campaign but that he was not sure of its meaning.
"The term 'Gujarat model' has become a political currency in the election campaign, but I am not sure exactly what it means," he said.
Ahulwalia was replying to questions about whether he felt the 'Gujarat model' is a good one for the rest of India at an India business conference at the Columbia Business School here.
Appearing on a video link last Friday, he told faculty, students and entrepreneurs that people describe the Gujarat model of development as one having the highest growth rate and attracting foreign capital.
"I am not aware of a single ...|
|Korean Ferry Mishap: Toll reaches 32, 270 still missing|
|JINDO (SOUTH KOREA), Apr 19 (Agencies): The arrested captain of the South Korean ferry that capsized three days ago with 476 people on board defended his decision to delay its evacuation, as divers today spotted bodies inside the submerged vessel.
32 people have been confirmed dead in the disaster, but 270 are still missing -- most of them children on a high school holiday trip.
Investigators arrested Lee Joon-Seok and two of his crew early in the morning. All three have been criticised for abandoning hundreds of passengers trapped in the ferry, as they made their own escape.
Lee was charged with negligence and failing to secure the safety of passengers in violation of maritime law.
As the arrests were being made, dive teams who had spent two days vainly battling powerful currents and...|
|13 guides from Nepal killed in Mt Everest avalanche|
|KATHMANDU, Apr 18 (Agencies): A massive avalanche today struck Mount Everest killing at least 13 Nepalese Sherpa guides and injuring several others in one of the most lethal mountaineering accidents in recent history on the world's highest peak.
An official from the mountaineering division at the Nepalese tourism ministry said 13 bodies had so far been recovered and ferried to base camp, while a further three injured climbers were being taken to Kathmandu. As many as seven climbers are still thought to be missing.
"The avalanche hit the Nepalese Sherpa guides and climbers as they were heading towards Camp I from the Base Camp of the Everest," said Tilak Pandey, an official at Mountaineering Division of Tourism Ministry.
"There were around 15 climbers from six different expeditions incl...|
|Indian-Origin doctor unfairly sacked: UK Tribunal|
|LONDON, Apr 18 (Agencies): An Indian-origin heart surgeon in the UK was unfairly sacked after he raised concerns about patient safety, an employment tribunal has ruled.
Dr Raj Mattu was dismissed by University Hospital of Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust in 2010.
In 2001, he had exposed the cases of two patients who had died in crowded bays at Walsgrave Hospital in Coventry.
Fifty-four-year-old Mattu said he was "absolutely relieved" at the ruling. The trust said it was disappointed and would examine the ruling for grounds to appeal.
Mattu was first suspended over allegations he bullied a junior doctor. He was allowed to return to work but only after re-training - which he never completed.
In 2009, General Medical Council cleared Mattu of the bullying allegations yet he was sacked...|
|Russia, west reach surprise deal on Ukraine|
|GENEVA, Apr 18 (Agencies): Russia, Ukraine, the US and EU reached a surprise deal today on deescalating the worsening crisis in Ukraine, in a ray of hope for the former Soviet republic that has plunged into chaos.
The agreement reached in Geneva comes as a strong contrast to earlier hawkish comments made by Russian leader Vladimir Putin, who left the door open for intervention in Ukraine.
A ban by Kiev on all Russian males aged 16 to 60 from entering Ukrainian territory had also ratcheted up tensions, with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov calling the measure "disgusting".
But after half a day of talks, the four parties agreed on steps to "restore security for all citizens", including a call to disband armed groups that have taken over buildings in Ukraine "illegally".
While not ...|
|LS polls figure in Pak national security committee meet|
|ISLAMABAD, Apr 17 (Agencies): Pakistan's ties with India and the ongoing Lok Sabha polls figured today during a meeting of the country's top body of civilian and military leadership held to review the internal and external security situation.
This was the third meeting of the National Security Committee (NSC) set up by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to bring the civilian authority and the military on the same table with regard to security.
Prior to this official set-up, security decisions were taken by the military alone.
"The Pakistan–India relations with special reference to the forthcoming Indian elections were also discussed," a statement released by the Prime Minister's Office said.
Lok Sabha polls are being held in India from April 7 to May 12. Counting of votes will take place on ...|
|292 missing, 3 dead in South Korea Ferry disaster|
|SEOL, Apr 16 (Agencies): A multi-storey ferry carrying 459 people, mostly high school students on an overnight trip to a tourist island, sank off South Korea's southern coast today, leaving nearly 300 people missing despite a frantic, hours-long rescue by ships and helicopters.
At least three people were confirmed dead and 55 injured.
The high number of people unaccounted for likely trapped in the ship or floating in the ocean raised fears that the death toll could rise drastically, making it one of South Korea's biggest ferry mishaps since 1993 when 292 people died.
One student, Lim Hyung-min, told broadcaster YTN after being rescued that he and other students jumped into the ocean wearing life jackets and then swam to a nearby rescue boat.
"As the ferry was shaking and tilting, we a...|
|China's NSC draws up security plan in Maiden meet|
|BEIJING, Apr 16 (Agencies): China's newly established National Security Commission headed by President Xi Jinping held its first meeting, drawing up plans to build an integrated command structure to deal with rising threats of terrorism and deepening disputes with neighbours.
"China now faces the most complicated situation it ever has, internally and externally," Xi said yesterday, presiding over the first meeting of the NSC, which was modelled on the lines of its American counterpart.
The NSC is expected to be the principal forum to advise Xi, who holds the most powerful posts of chief of ruling Communist Party, Presidency and the head of the military.
Premier Li Keqiang and head of the National People's Congress (NPC) Zhang Dejiang were the only other two members of the leadership an...|