Sunday, April 20, 2014
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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...
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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...
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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...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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...
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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...
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Robotic submarine to hunt for missing Malaysian jet
PERTH, Apr 14 (Agencies): A robotic underwater drone was today deployed for the first time to locate the crashed Malaysian jet's "final resting place" in the Indian Ocean at a depth of 4,500 metres after searchers failed to detect any signals from the plane's black boxes in a week. The Bluefin 21, a US Navy probe equipped with side-scan sonar, was launched this evening from the Australian navy ship Ocean Shield, the Joint Agency Coordination Centre (JACC) which is leading the search said on the 38th day of the hunt for the Flight MH370 that mysteriously disappeared on March 8. "We haven't had a single detection in six days so I guess it's time to go underwater," Australian chief search coordinator Angus Houston told a news conference. Earlier today, he said the Ocean Shield will cea...
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