• At least 63 killed as speeding Congo train derails: government official

    At least 63 people were killed and 80 were seriously injured in Democratic Republic of Congo's Katanga province when a train speeding too fast round a bend derailed, a provincial minister said on Wednesday. Fifty others were trapped inside the goods train after 12 of its carriages flipped off the…

  • Children's corpses reveal desperate attempts to escape Korean ferry

    By Jungmin Jang and Ju-min Park MOKPO/SEOUL (Reuters) - South Korean divers swam though dark, cold waters into a sunken ferry on Wednesday, feeling for children's bodies with their hands in a maze of cabins, corridors and upturned decks as they searched for hundreds of missing. Writing by Nick…

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  • Hamas, Abbas's PLO announce reconciliation agreement

    By Nidal al-Mughrabi GAZA (Reuters) - The Gaza-based Islamist group Hamas and President Mahmoud Abbas's Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) agreed on Wednesday to a unity pact, both sides announced in a joint news conference. "This is the good news we tell our people: the era of division is…

    Reuters44 mins ago
  • Smaller share of US high school grads entering college. Why?

    A new annual review finds that 65.9 percent of 2013 high school graduates were enrolled in colleges or universities as of last October. That compares with a 66.2 percent enrollment rate in 2012 and 68.3 percent in 2011. All those numbers are below the all-time high of 70.1 percent in 2009,…

    Christian Science Monitor
  • From gunfights to 'mansions': Inside Brazil's smorgasbord of favelas

    As dusk falls on this tightly packed neighborhood set high above the ocean, the scene evokes Mediterranean Greece instead of one of Rio de Janeiro’s oldest favelas, Providência. Brazil’s favelas, or shantytowns, are increasingly in the news, usually in a negative light. Last night the death of a…

    Christian Science Monitor
  • Obama's Japan visit kicks off with dreams of sushi

    But for two special guests at Sukiyabashi Jiro on Wednesday evening, mouthfuls of melt-in-the-mouth tuna, squid, and octopus were the culinary backdrop to discussing urgent matters of regional security. Soon after Air Force One touched down here, Barack Obama found himself in Tokyo’s upmarket Ginza…

    Christian Science Monitor
  • Tilt towards military unbalances Egypt's ultra-conservative Salafists

    When Egyptian military leader Abdel Fattah al-Sisi made a televised address last July to announce the overthrow of President Mohamed Morsi, he was flanked by a coterie of the country’s most powerful religious figures. Less expected was the third religious leader: Galal el-Morra, a prominent member…

    Christian Science Monitor
  • Gaza official: Israeli airstrike wounds 3

    GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) — The rival Palestinian factions Hamas and Fatah on Wednesday agreed to form a unity government and hold new elections, making a new attempt to overcome a seven-year split that has left them divided between two governments.

    Associated Press
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  • FM vows response if Russians attacked in Ukraine

    DONETSK, Ukraine (AP) — Russia's foreign minister on Wednesday promised a firm response if its citizens or interests come under attack in Ukraine — a vow that came after Ukraine announced a renewal of its "anti-terror" campaign against those occupying buildings in its troubled east.

    Associated Press
  • Captain who left doomed ferry had 40 years at sea

    MOKPO, South Korea (AP) — A colleague calls Capt. Lee Joon-seok the nicest person on the ship. With more than 40 years' experience at sea, Lee could speak with eloquence about the romance and danger of a life spent on ships.

    Associated Press
  • SKorean city full of grief prepares for more

    ANSAN, South Korea (AP) — The altar of the memorial is a wall of white and yellow flowers and greens, surrounding photos of 47 students and teachers whose bodies have been identified after being recovered from the ferry Sewol. There is room for many, many more pictures.

    Associated Press
  • Obama opens Japan trip at famous sushi restaurant

    TOKYO (AP) — President Barack Obama on Wednesday opened a four-country Asia tour aimed at reassuring allies in the region that the U.S. remains a committed economic, military and political partner that can serve as a counterweight to China's growing influence.

    Associated Press
  • Amsterdam may ban pot shops in Red Light district

    AMSTERDAM (AP) — Amsterdam has won court permission to ban marijuana cafes in its famous Red Light district, stepping up a crackdown on the city's freewheeling lifestyle.

    Associated Press32 mins ago
  • Qatar says dispute with Gulf neighbours 'over'

    Qatar's dispute with three fellow Gulf states, which withdrew their envoys from Doha last month, is "over", the Qatari foreign minister said Wednesday, while insisting his country had made no concessions. "The statement issued in Riyadh on April 17 was clear ... For the brothers in the Gulf…

    AFP10 mins ago
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  • Bahrain says expels representative of Shi'ite Ayatollah Sistani

    Bahrain expelled a prominent Shi'ite religious figure on Wednesday, accusing him of acting as a representative of influential Iraqi Shi'ite cleric Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani without permission. A statement by the interior ministry said it had received information from top Iraqi government…

    Reuters14 mins ago
  • Car bomb kills seven in north Iraq

    Mosul (Iraq) (AFP) - A car bomb exploded in a village in northern Iraq mainly populated by members of the Shabak minority on Wednesday, killing seven people, police and a morgue employee said.

    AFP17 mins ago
  • Man loses eye in violence before key Cyprus match

    NICOSIA, Cyprus (AP) — Police say a 27-year-old man has lost an eye after fans of Cyprus' top two teams threw rocks at each other before a key championship match.

    Associated Press19 mins ago
  • Rio security ramped up after deadly unrest

    Just 50 days before Brazil hosts the World Cup, authorities beefed up security Wednesday in Rio de Janeiro after a violent clash between residents and police in a slum near the tourist haven of Copacabana beach. Dozens of military police, including members of a special forces battalion, moved into…

    AFP19 mins ago
  • USAF: Colombia crash caused by plane hitting hill

    NORFOLK, Virginia (AP) — U.S. Air Force investigators say a plane crash that killed four people in Colombia this past fall occurred when the plane's pilots failed to stay over water and slammed into a hill.

    Associated Press20 mins ago
  • Hole in Afghan budget stirs unease as West starts packing bags

    By Jeremy Laurence and Mirwais Harooni KABUL (Reuters) - A $375 million hole in the Afghan budget is threatening public projects and civil servants' salaries, officials say, putting the aid-dependent economy under stress just as Afghanistan awaits a new leader and foreign troops prepare to go…

    Reuters20 mins ago
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