The Upshot

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  • 10 Things to Know for Today
    10 Things to Know for Today

    Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about today:

  • Japan PM makes offering to Yasukuni Shrine, angers China, South Korea

    By Elaine Lies TOKYO (Reuters) - Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has sent a ritual offering to the Yasukuni Shrine, seen by critics as a symbol of Japan's past militarism, angering both South Korea and China on Monday and putting regional ties under further strain. Adding to unease in the region, a Chinese maritime court in Shanghai seized a ship on Saturday owned by Japanese shipping firm Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, a move that Japan warned could have an adverse impact on its businesses in China. China's Foreign Ministry said the disagreement was a normal commercial dispute. Japan said the ship seizure, apparently the first time the assets of a Japanese company have been seized in a lawsuit concerning compensation for World War Two, was "extremely regrettable".

  • Putin playing the long game over Russian kin in Ukraine

    By Christian Lowe MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia's decision last week to sign a peace accord on Ukraine does not mean that the Kremlin is backing down, rather that President Vladimir Putin is prepared to be patient in pursuit of his ultimate objective. That aim, his own reflections and those of people close to his way of thinking seem to indicate, is one day to re-unite Russian speaking peoples, including those living within the borders of Ukraine, within one common home. As a skilled tactician, Putin knows that to push too fast to achieve this ambition could be damaging for Russia - as demonstrated by the Western threat of tough sanctions and Europe's rush to wean itself off Russian gas supplies. Signing the four-way agreement on Ukraine in Geneva last week, and thereby showing the West that it was willing to compromise, made tactical sense for Russia.

  • Cuba home woes endure despite real-estate reform
    Cuba home woes endure despite real-estate reform

    HAVANA (AP) — The residents of 308 Oquendo Street were jolted awake in the middle of the night by violent shaking and a noise that they likened to a freight train, or an exploding bomb.

  • Top Palestinian cleric says Israel threw stun grenades into al Aqsa; Israel denies

    The most senior Islamic cleric in Jerusalem said on Sunday Israeli police hurled stun grenades into al-Aqsa mosque, Islam's third holiest site, to quell the latest in a string of Palestinian protests at the politically sensitive holy site. Israeli police denied the allegation, saying officers threw the non-lethal devices, which emit a loud noise, on a plaza outside the mosque after protesters threw rocks and firecrackers at them. The demonstrators, who have confronted police for the past four days in a bid to stop Israeli and foreign visitors from entering the holy compound, then retreated into al-Aqsa, a police spokesman said. Tensions at the site run high during Jewish holidays - Jews are now celebrating Passover - when Palestinians are on alert against any attempt by Jews to pray on the compound in defiance of a de facto Israeli government ban on such worship.

  • South Korea's Park says conduct of ferry crew tantamount to murder
    South Korea's Park says conduct of ferry crew tantamount to murder

    By Ju-min Park JINDO, South Korea (Reuters) - South Korean President Park Geun-hye said on Monday the actions of some crew of a ferry that sank with hundreds feared dead were tantamount to murder, as a four-year-old video transcript showed the captain promoting the safety of the same route. Captain Lee Joon-seok, 69, and two other crew members were arrested last week on negligence charges, with prosecutors announcing four further arrests - two first mates, one second mate and a chief engineer - on Monday. Lee, the captain, said in a promotional video four years ago that the journey from the port city of Incheon to the holiday island of Jeju was safe - as long as passengers followed the instructions of the crew. He also told a newspaper that he had been involved in a sea accident off Japan years before.

  • Teen OK after riding in wheel well of Hawaii jet
    Teen OK after riding in wheel well of Hawaii jet

    HONOLULU (AP) — Officials say a 16-year-old boy is "lucky to be alive" and unharmed after flying from California to Hawaii stowed away in a plane's wheel well, surviving cold temperatures at 38,000 feet and a lack of oxygen.

  • Ferrari's Alonso: 'We're still in the fight'
    Ferrari's Alonso: 'We're still in the fight'

    SHANGHAI (AP) — Ferrari driver Fernando Alonso said his struggling team is "still in the fight" after he finally got on the podium for the first time this season, finishing third at the Chinese Grand Prix.

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