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Vice-principal of South Korea school in ferry disaster commits suicide

Rescue workers install floats where the capsized passenger ship "Sewol" sank during the rescue operation in the sea off JindoBy Jungmin Jang and Ju-min Park MOKPO/JINDO, South Korea (Reuters) - The vice-principal of a South Korean high school who accompanied hundreds of pupils on a ferry that capsized has committed suicide, police said on Friday, as hopes faded of finding any of the 274 missing alive. The Sewol, carrying 476 passengers and crew, capsized on Wednesday on a journey from the port of Incheon to the southern holiday island of Jeju. Kang Min-gyu, 52, had been missing since Thursday.

Fri, 18 Apr 2014 10:00:06 -0400
East Ukraine separatists stay put despite diplomatic deal

Map of eastern UkraineBy Pavel Polityuk and Thomas Grove KIEV/SLAVIANSK, Ukraine (Reuters) - Armed pro-Russian separatists were still holding public buildings in eastern Ukraine on Friday, saying they needed more assurances about their security before they comply with an international deal ordering them to disarm. The agreement, brokered by the United States, Russia, Ukraine and the European Union in Geneva on Thursday offered the best hope to date of defusing a stand-off in Ukraine that has dragged East-West relations to their lowest level since the Cold War. Enacting the agreement on the ground though will be difficult, because of the deep mistrust between the pro-Russian groups and the Western-backed government in Kiev, which this week flared into violent clashes that killed several people.

Fri, 18 Apr 2014 12:05:23 -0400
Drone risks damage at record depth in search for Malaysian plane

The Bluefin-21 Autonomous Underwater Vehicle is craned over the side of the Australian Defence Vessel Ocean Shield in the southern Indian Ocean during the continuing search for the missing Malaysian Airlines flight MH370The U.S. Navy's Bluefin-21 and its "side scan" sonar has become the focal point of the search some 2,000 km (1,200 miles) west of the Australian city of Perth, where authorities believe Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 hit the ocean after disappearing from radars on March 8 with 239 people on board. The search has centered on a city-sized area where a series of "pings" led authorities to believe the plane's black box may be located. But the Bluefin-21's searches of the largely unmapped ocean floor have been frustrated by an automatic safety mechanism which sends it to the surface when it exceeds a depth of 4.5 km (14,763 feet). On Friday, as searchers waited for the remote-control submarine to return from its fifth mission, the U.S. Navy said the Bluefin-21 had gone to a record depth of 4,695 meters (15,403 feet) in its previous mission.

Fri, 18 Apr 2014 05:10:55 -0400
Powerful earthquake rattles Mexico, shakes buildings

People stand along a street after evacuating a building following an earthquake in Mexico CityBy Dave Graham MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - A powerful earthquake struck Mexico on Friday, shaking buildings in the capital and sending people running out into the street, although there were no early reports of major damage. The magnitude 7.2 quake was centered in the southwestern state of Guerrero, close to the Pacific beach resort of Acapulco, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) said. Luis Felipe Puente, head of the Mexican government's emergency services, said there were no immediate reports of damage and the U.S. Pacific Warning Center said it did not expect the quake to trigger a destructive tsunami. Nevertheless, residents of the capital were shaken by the quake, one of the biggest to hit Mexico in several years.

Fri, 18 Apr 2014 12:05:50 -0400
Nobel winner Garcia Marquez, master of magical realism, dies at 87

Residents pay homage in front of the house of Colombian Nobel Prize laureate Garcia Marquez in AracatacaBy Anahi Rama MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Gabriel Garcia Marquez, the Colombian author whose beguiling stories of love and longing brought Latin America to life for millions of readers and put magical realism on the literary map, died on Thursday. A prolific writer who started out as a newspaper reporter, Garcia Marquez's masterpiece was "One Hundred Years of Solitude," a dream-like, dynastic epic that helped him win the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1982. Garcia Marquez died at his home in Mexico City, where he had returned from hospital last week after a bout of pneumonia. Known affectionately to friends and fans as "Gabo," Garcia Marquez was Latin America's best-known and most beloved author and his books have sold in the tens of millions.

Fri, 18 Apr 2014 05:36:36 -0400
Turkish president rules out role swap with Erdogan

Turkey's President Abdullah Gul speaks at the Turkey-Kuwait Business Forum in Kuwait CityBy Orhan Coskun and Humeyra Pamuk ANKARA (Reuters) - Turkey's president appeared to rule out a job swap with Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan when his term as head of state ends in a few months, signaling strains between the allies following months of political tension. President Abdullah Gul's comments on Friday threw open the question of who might succeed Erdogan if he runs for president in an August election as expected, and raised the prospect of him picking a close loyalist to cement his grip on power.

Fri, 18 Apr 2014 11:48:49 -0400
US orders farms to report pig virus infections

MILWAUKEE (AP) The U.S. government is starting a new program to help monitor and possibly control the spread of a virus that has killed millions of pigs since showing up in the country last year.

Fri, 18 Apr 2014 12:55:32 -0400
Algeria's ailing president, 77, wins 4th term

An election worker empties a ballot box during the presidential elections in a polling station in the Algerian capital, Algiers, Thursday, April 17, 2014. Algerians are trickling into the polls to elect a new president of this oil-rich North African nation in an election expected to be won by the ailing incumbent. President Bouteflika has ruled this nation for the past 15 years and, despite suffering from a stroke, is running for a fourth term on a platform of stability. Six candidates are running for the powerful presidency in the April 17 elections. (AP Photo/Sidali djarboub)ALGIERS, Algeria (AP) President Abdelaziz Bouteflika won a fourth term in office with a landslide 81 percent of the vote, according to preliminary figures announced Friday by the Algerian government.

Fri, 18 Apr 2014 12:55:09 -0400
57-nation OSCE plays key Ukraine monitoring role

Local residents look at the airborne combat vehicle, which was destroyed during a Ukrainian night combat operation, in the village of Horodychevo, near Kramatorsk, Eastern Ukraine, Friday, April 18, 2014. Ukraine is hoping to placate Russia and calm hostilities with its neighbor even as the U.S. prepares a new round of sanctions to punish Moscow for what it regards as fomenting unrest. (AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky)VIENNA (AP) A 57-nation organization with a history of mediation but no enforcing powers has been tasked with helping to translate diplomatic progress on easing Ukrainian tensions into reality on the ground.

Fri, 18 Apr 2014 12:53:45 -0400
Nigeria admits most abducted schoolgirls still missing

A villager walks past razed homes in Mainok, outside Maiduguri in Borno State on March 6, 2014Maiduguri (Nigeria) (AFP) - The Nigerian military admitted on Friday that most of the 129 girls kidnapped by Boko Haram Islamists in a shocking school raid in the volatile northeast remained missing, amid fears the girls might be used as human shields or sex slaves. The military had claimed on Wednesday that all but eight of the girls snatched from their school in the state of Borno managed to escape the gunmen's clutches, contrary to comments by the state government and the school principal. He said vigilante groups and hunters were assisting the authorities in the frantic search for the girls, who were grabbed from the Government Girls Secondary School in the Chibok area of Borno late Monday. "This means about 99 girls are still missing because the principal of the school, Asabe Kwambura, confirmed that 129 girls were in the school when the gunmen arrived," late Monday, he said.

Fri, 18 Apr 2014 12:50:41 -0400
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