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Obama opens 4-country, Asia-Pacific trip in Tokyo

Wednesday, 23 April 2014 05:31
TOKYO (AP) — President Barack Obama is opening a four-country visit to the Asia-Pacific region in Japan, but the West's dispute with Russia over Ukraine is looming. Obama arrived in Tokyo Wednesday night on an official state visit. He was headed straight for a private dinner with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (shin-zoh ah-bay) before bilateral talks Thursday. Obama also will be the honored guest at a state dinner. The situation in Eastern Europe remains…
Captain who left doomed ferry had 40 years at sea
Wednesday, 23 April 2014 04:30
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. But his reputation now hinges on the moments last week when he delayed an evacuation and apparently abandoned the ferry Sewol as it went down, leaving more than 300 people missing or dead, most…
Sherpas leave Everest; some expeditions nix climbs
Wednesday, 23 April 2014 03:15
KATMANDU, Nepal (AP) — Dozens of Sherpa guides packed up their tents and left Mount Everest's base camp Wednesday, after the avalanche deaths of 16 of their colleagues exposed an undercurrent of resentment by Sherpas over their pay, treatment and benefits. With the entire climbing season increasingly thrown into doubt, the government quickly announced that top tourism officials would fly to base camp Thursday to negotiate with the Sherpas and encourage them to return to…
Obama visit to Asia seen as counterweight to China
Wednesday, 23 April 2014 02:15
TOKYO (AP) — President Barack Obama's travels through Asia aim to reassure partners about the renewed U.S. commitment to the region, with an eye both to China's rising assertiveness and the fast-growing markets that are the center of gravity for global growth. The question: Will it be enough? Nearly seven months after he cancelled an Asia tour due to the U.S. government shutdown, Obama's failure to prevent Russia from annexing Crimea has sharpened concerns that…
Analysis: Putin likely to ignore West on Ukraine
Tuesday, 22 April 2014 23:45
MOSCOW (AP) — Since he took over Crimea, President Vladimir Putin has seen his popularity soar and his opposition fall silent. So when the U.S. vice president told Russia to defuse tensions in Ukraine, Putin had few reasons to listen. Emboldened by the national euphoria over the annexation of Crimea, Putin has moved against the few remaining critical voices in Russia and further neutered the news media. On Tuesday, a court cleared the way for…
Internet TV case: Justices skeptical, concerned
Tuesday, 22 April 2014 22:45
WASHINGTON (AP) — Grappling with fast-changing technology, Supreme Court justices debated Tuesday whether they can protect the copyrights of TV broadcasters to the shows they send out without strangling innovations in the use of the internet. The high court heard arguments in a dispute between television broadcasters and Aereo Inc., which takes free television signals from the airwaves and charges subscribers to watch the programs on laptop computers, smartphones and even their large-screen televisions.
Michigan affirmative ban is OK, Supreme Court says
Tuesday, 22 April 2014 22:45
WASHINGTON (AP) — A state's voters are free to outlaw the use of race as a factor in college admissions, the Supreme Court ruled Tuesday in a blow to affirmative action that also laid bare tensions among the justices about a continuing need for programs that address racial inequality in America. The 6-2 decision upheld a voter-approved change to the Michigan Constitution that forbids the state's public colleges to take race into account.
Ukraine relaunches anti-rebel operation after Biden leaves
Tuesday, 22 April 2014 22:45
Kiev (AFP) - Ukraine relaunched military operations against pro-Kremlin separatists, hours after US Vice President Joe Biden ended a two-day visit to Kiev in which he warned Russia over its actions in the former Soviet republic. The US Defence Department at the same time announced it was sending 600 troops to neighbouring Poland and to Baltic countries for "exercises". Russia already has tens of thousands of its troops massed on Ukraine's eastern border.
Sotomayor: Justices 'fundamentally misunderstand' racial bias
Tuesday, 22 April 2014 19:15
By Joan Biskupic WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The first Hispanic Supreme Court justice has been on the bench for nearly five years but had never written an opinion addressing race in America until today. Justice Sonia Sotomayor issued a sharply worded 58-page dissent on Tuesday to the court's 18-page decision upholding a Michigan state ban on race-based affirmative action in education. In strong terms that referred to the slights minorities face because of skin color, Sotomayor…
IRS workers who owe back taxes awarded $1 million in bonuses
Tuesday, 22 April 2014 18:00
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Internal Revenue Service has paid more than $2.8 million in bonuses to employees with recent disciplinary problems, including $1 million to workers who owed back taxes, a government investigator said Tuesday. More than 2,800 workers got bonuses despite facing a disciplinary action in the previous year, including 1,150 who owed back taxes, said a report by J. Russell George, the Treasury inspector general for tax administration. The bonuses were awarded from…
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