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Taiwan quake kills at least seven, fells apartment block

Rescue personnel help a victim at a damaged building after an earthquake in TainanBy Faith Hung and Pichi Chuang TAINAN, Taiwan (Reuters) - A powerful earthquake struck Taiwan on Saturday killing at least seven people, most in a 17-storey apartment building that collapsed, with about 35 people still feared trapped there hours into a rescue operation. Five of the dead, including a 10-day-old girl, were from the apartment building in the southern city of Tainan.

Sat, 06 Feb 2016 04:05:33 -0500
U.S. officials say North Korea may be nearing launch

Airbus Defense & Space and 38 North satellite image of the Sohae Satellite Launching Station in North KoreaBy David Brunnstrom WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Satellite images taken this week of North Korea's Sohae rocket launch site show apparent fueling activity seen in the past shortly before a rocket launch, a U.S. think-tank said, as U.S government officials signaled that a launch could occur as early as Monday. North Korea has told U.N. agencies it will launch a rocket carrying what it called an earth observation satellite some time between Feb. 8 and Feb. 25, triggering international opposition from governments that see it as a long-range missile test. On Friday, U.S. government sources said U.S. intelligence agencies believed North Korea could be ready by the U.S. Super Bowl kickoff on Sunday, which will be Monday in Korea.

Fri, 05 Feb 2016 23:38:12 -0500
As Myanmar powerbrokers talk, could Suu Kyi emerge as president?

Myanmar's National League for Democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi leaves after she attended as an observer for opening of the new upper house of parliament in NaypyitawThe parallel events summed up the complex nature of the political transition: a much-publicized election of parliament speakers at which former foes from Suu Kyi's party and the military shook hands, while behind closed doors the country's top power brokers met to hammer out how they will run Myanmar. After a quiet period following Suu Kyi's massive election win in November, negotiations have entered a critical stage since a meeting between army chief Min Aung Hlaing and Suu Kyi on Jan. 26, lawmakers and diplomats close to the process say. With its huge mandate Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy (NLD) can chose the next president but, under the constitution written by the army before it ceded power in 2011, she herself cannot take the job.

Sat, 06 Feb 2016 01:23:34 -0500
Unpaid and angry, some Chinese workers ditch holidays to protest

Migrant workers pass time at the offices of a subcontractor company at the construction site of Zixia Garden development complex in Qianan, Tangshan CityBy Natalie Thomas and James Pomfret QIAN'AN/DONGGUAN, China (Reuters) - This year, laborer Fan Fu and 20 or so colleagues working on the Zixia Garden apartment complex in Hebei province have not joined China's legion of migrant workers returning home to celebrate new year with their families. Instead, they have camped in the offices of the property developer's subcontractor, demanding almost a year's unpaid wages and too angry and proud to go back to native towns and villages empty-handed. With China's economy growing at its slowest in 25 years, more workers face Fan's predicament and labor unrest is on the rise, a concern for Beijing as it seeks to avoid social unrest even as financial pressures build.

Sat, 06 Feb 2016 03:03:42 -0500
Thousands flee as Russian-backed offensive threatens to besiege Aleppo

Men stand near a hole in the ground as they inspect the damage after airstrikes by pro-Syrian government forces in the rebel held al-Sakhour neighbourhood of AleppoBy John Davison BEIRUT (Reuters) - Tens of thousands of Syrians fled an intensifying Russian assault around Aleppo on Friday, and aid workers said they feared the major city could soon fall under a full government siege. Iran reported one of its generals had been killed on the front line, giving direct confirmation of the role Tehran is playing along with Moscow in what appears to be one of the most determined offensives in five years of civil war. The government assault around Aleppo, and advances in the south and northwest, helped to torpedo Geneva peace talks this week.

Fri, 05 Feb 2016 14:14:25 -0500
Efforts to revive Afghan peace talks continue in Pakistan

By Krista Mahr and Asad Hashim ISLAMABAD (Reuters) - Representatives from Pakistan, Afghanistan, the United States and China met in Islamabad on Saturday to continue work on a roadmap for peace talks with Taliban insurgents who have ramped up their violent campaign against the government in Kabul. The talks are part of the latest effort to find a negotiated end to nearly 15 years of war in Afghanistan, a conflict that has killed thousands of civilians and crippled the nation's economy. The Pakistani prime minister's foreign affairs adviser Sartaj Aziz said in opening remarks in the Pakistani capital that he hoped the group would finalize a roadmap on Saturday to outline a way forward for direct dialogue between the Afghan government and Taliban groups.

Sat, 06 Feb 2016 02:12:44 -0500
TSMC says quake impact on first-quarter shipments no more than 1 percent

By J.R. Wu and Emily Chan TAIPEI (Reuters) - Apple Inc supplier Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co Ltd (TSMC) said silicon wafers were damaged at a plant in southern Taiwan where a quake hit early on Saturday, affecting no more than 1 percent of first-quarter shipments. The world's biggest contract chipmaker has one of its largest and latest 12-inch wafer production facilities in the city of Tainan, where a 6.4-magnitude temblor led to the collapse of a 17-storey building and at least seven deaths. TSMC, whose customers also include Qualcomm Inc , is so far the only major Apple supplier in southern Taiwan to report damage from the earthquake.

Sat, 06 Feb 2016 04:05:33 -0500
Monkey Year inspires kung fu, predictions of fire, disease

Monkey Year inspires kung fu, predictions of fire, diseaseThe new Chinese year is the one to go bananas over. On Feb. 8, the zodiac calendar enters the Year of the Monkey the ninth of 12 animal signs. Plastic monkeys are adorning shopping centers and office ...

Sat, 06 Feb 2016 04:04:51 -0500
Top Asian News 9:03 a.m. GMT

TAINAN, Taiwan (AP) Rescuers raced to find additional survivors after a powerful, shallow earthquake struck southern Taiwan before dawn Saturday and collapsed a high-rise residential complex, killing at least seven people and sending scores to hospitals. Rescuers pulled 249 survivors from the rubble in the worst-hit city of Tainan, and about eight people remained unaccounted for. More than 1,200 firefighters scrambled with ladders, cranes and other equipment to the ruins of a 17-floor residential building that folded like an accordion onto its side. Local media said the building included a care center for newborns and mothers, and a newborn was among the dead in the disaster.

Sat, 06 Feb 2016 04:04:00 -0500
South Africa bat against England in second ODI

South African batsman Quinton De Kock plays a shot during the first ODI against England at Magaung Oval on February 3, 2016 in BloemfonteinPort Elizabeth (South Africa) (AFP) - South Africa won the toss and decided to bat in the second one-day international against England at St Georges Park on Saturday.

Sat, 06 Feb 2016 03:59:22 -0500
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