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Separatists fly Russian flag over Ukrainian armored vehicles
Armed men stand guard near armoured personnel carriers in SlavianskBy Gabriela Baczynska and Thomas Grove KRAMATORSK/SLAVIANSK, Ukraine (Reuters) - Pro-Russian separatists hoisted the Russian flag on Ukrainian army armored vehicles in eastern Ukraine on Wednesday, mocking the pro-Western Kiev government's attempt to reassert control on the eve of crucial talks in Geneva on the country's future. Amid escalating rhetoric between Moscow and Kiev, the incident highlighted defiance by pro-Russian separatists, undermining central government efforts to push armed rebels out of captured buildings in 10 eastern towns without bloodshed. Government troops had driven armored personnel carriers flying the Ukrainian flag into the town of Kramatorsk in the early morning after securing control of a nearby airfield from the rebels on Tuesday, prompting Russian President Vladimir Putin to warn of the risk of civil war. They stopped outside the town hall, which is occupied by separatists.
Wed, 16 Apr 2014 08:16:35 -0400
Nearly 300 missing after South Korean ferry capsizes: coastguard
News ImageBy Narae Kim JINDO, South Korea (Reuters) - Almost 300 people were missing after a ferry capsized off South Korea on Wednesday, despite frantic rescue efforts involving coastguard vessels, fishing boats and helicopters, in what could be the country's biggest maritime disaster in over 20 years. It was not immediately clear why the Sewol ferry listed heavily on to its side and capsized in apparently calm conditions off South Korea's southwest coast, but some survivors spoke of what appeared to be an impact prior to the accident.
Wed, 16 Apr 2014 08:52:29 -0400
Iran expects next payment under nuclear deal, signaling compliance
Iran's President Hassan Rouhani speaks during an event to mark Nawroz, the Persian New Year, in KabulBy Fredrik Dahl and Mehrdad Balali VIENNA/DUBAI (Reuters) - Iran expects to get a fifth installment this week of previously blocked overseas funds, a senior official was quoted as saying, a payment that would confirm Tehran's compliance with an interim deal with world powers to curb its nuclear program. Separately, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said "tough issues" faced the Islamic Republic and the six major powers in negotiating a permanent accord to resolve the decade-old nuclear dispute but that it was still possible by a late July deadline. "This means removal of sanctions and restoring financial relations with the rest of the world," he said, making clear Iran's aim to have sanctions that limit oil exports and make financial transactions difficult lifted as soon as possible. Diplomats and experts say it will be difficult, but not impossible, to resolve the standoff over nuclear activities which Iran says are peaceful but the West fears may be aimed at developing nuclear weapons capability.
Wed, 16 Apr 2014 08:30:37 -0400
Yemen's al Qaeda leader vows to attack America in new video
By Yara Bayoumy DUBAI (Reuters) - The leader of Al Qaeda's wing in Yemen has vowed to attack the United States, in a video apparently showing a gathering of the group celebrating a mass jailbreak of fighters. The 15-minute video, dated March 2014 and posted on a website used by Islamists, shows masked men waving al Qaeda's black flag and celebrating the arrival of the freed prisoners. We have to remember that we are always fighting the biggest enemy," says a man speaking in the open in a mountainous area, whom the video identifies as its leader Nasser al-Wuhaishi. The video, entitled "Images from the reception of the freed prisoners from Sanaa's central prison", included testimony from fighters involved in the jailbreak. Wed, 16 Apr 2014 07:57:56 -0400
Jordanian warplanes destroy vehicles trying to cross from Syria: spokesman
Jordanian warplanes hit and destroyed several vehicles trying to cross the border from Syria, a government spokesman said on Wednesday, underlining Amman's concern about incursions from areas controlled by Syrian rebels. "There was an attempt to infiltrate across the border from Syria by a number of vehicles," said spokesman Mohammad al-Momani, also a cabinet minister, told Reuters. A Jordanian security source said the targets were Syrian rebels in civilian cars mounted with machine guns. It was unclear whether rebels who have dominated swathes of territory along Syria's southern border with Jordan might have been seeking refuge inside Jordan from fighting with President Bashar al-Assad's forces that has raged in the region. Wed, 16 Apr 2014 08:05:17 -0400
Russia mulls lawsuit against United States in WTO over sanctions
News ImageRussia is looking at the possibility of filing a lawsuit against the United States in the World Trade Organisation over sanctions hitting Russian banks, Economy Minister Alexei Ulyukayev said on Wednesday, according to Russian news agencies. St Petersburg-based Bank Rossiya was sanctioned alongside its chairman and largest shareholder Yuri Kovalchuk in March as part of punitive measures by Washington over Russia's annexation of Crimea. Russian bank SMP was also indirectly affected as co-owners Boris Rotenberg and his older brother Arkady fell under U.S. sanctions. SMP chief executive Dmitry Kalantyrsky has said that an estimated 9 billion rubles ($249 million) had been withdrawn after the sanctions were imposed.
Wed, 16 Apr 2014 07:30:06 -0400
Ukraine says pro-Russian separatists seize six of its troop carriers
Pro-Russia separatists on Wednesday seized six armored personnel carriers from the Ukrainian armed forces with the help of Russian agents, Ukraine's defense ministry said. "As a result of the blocking, extremists seized the equipment." The statement said the troop carriers were now in Slaviansk, guarded by "people in uniforms who have no relation to Ukraine's armed forces." (Reporting by Conor Humphries; Wed, 16 Apr 2014 09:21:55 -0400
Romanian poet, dissident Nina Cassian dies
BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) Romanian poet and translator Nina Cassian, who obtained political asylum in the United States after the Communist-era secret police found her critical poems scribbled in a friend's diary, has died in New York City. She was 89. Wed, 16 Apr 2014 09:21:54 -0400
Egypt Islamist sentenced to 7 years for forgery
News ImageCAIRO (AP) A criminal court in Egypt has sentenced an ultraconservative Islamist who is an ally of ousted President Mohammed Morsi to seven years in prison after convicting him of forging official documents to conceal that his mother was a U.S. citizen.
Wed, 16 Apr 2014 09:21:39 -0400
Jordanian jets strike vehicles on Syrian border
News ImageAMMAN, Jordan (AP) Jordanian military warplanes struck a convoy of vehicles as they were trying to enter Jordan from Syria, the army said in a statement Wednesday, in an unusual move at a time of tensions between the desert kingdom and Damascus.
Wed, 16 Apr 2014 09:21:26 -0400
Syria says vehicles hit by Jordanian Air Force are not Syrian Army
Syria said that several vehicles destroyed by Jordanian warplanes on Wednesday do not belong to the Syrian Army. "No vehicles belonging to the Syrian Army moved towards the Jordanian border and what was targeted by the Jordanian Air Force does not belong to the Syrian Army," Syrian state news agency SANA said, quoting an unnamed military source. A Jordanian security source said earlier that the targets were Syrian rebels in civilian cars mounted with machine guns. Wed, 16 Apr 2014 09:19:28 -0400
Russian economy hit by Ukraine turmoil
News ImageMOSCOW (AP) Russia's economy slowed sharply in the first three months of the year as uncertainty over the crisis in Ukraine spooked investors into pulling money out of the country, a government minister said Wednesday.
Wed, 16 Apr 2014 09:19:08 -0400
Rivals flex muscles on streets of east Ukraine
News ImageSlavyansk (Ukraine) (AFP) - Ukrainian and pro-Russian forces flexed their military muscles in the restive east of the country on Wednesday, a day ahead of high-level diplomatic talks on the escalating crisis. Armoured vehicles from the rival sides appeared on the streets of two neighbouring towns after Russian President Vladimir Putin warned that Kiev's decision to send in troops to put down a separatist uprising in its industrial heartland had dragged the country to the brink of civil war. NATO said it planned to deploy more forces in eastern Europe in the face of the crisis, while Germany warned of more bloodshed if the four-way talks in Geneva on Thursday fail. An AFP reporter in the flashpoint town of Slavyansk saw at least six APCs and light tanks, some flying Russian flags, parked in the city centre with dozens of unidentified armed men in camouflage stationed around them.
Wed, 16 Apr 2014 09:11:06 -0400
Passenger train derails in northern India; 42 hurt
News ImageGAUHATI, India (AP) A passenger train derailed in northeastern India early Wednesday, and dozens of passengers suffered mostly minor injuries.
Wed, 16 Apr 2014 09:09:14 -0400
Pistorius trial: Defense tries to build case
News ImagePRETORIA, South Africa (AP) Oscar Pistorius' lawyers at his murder trial Wednesday tried to roll back the prosecution's momentum, but the prosecutor sharply questioned the credentials and findings of a forensic expert for the defense.
Wed, 16 Apr 2014 09:08:02 -0400
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