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Ukraine: 'Five Killed At Separatist Checkpoint'

Written By kom nampul on Minggu, 20 April 2014 | 23.50

A gun battle at a checkpoint manned by pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine has left five dead, it has been claimed.

Russia's state-run Rossiya 24 news station said the five died when gunmen attacked the post near the city of Slavyansk, which is under separatist control.

A separatist interviewed by Reuters at the scene said three of the dead were with the pro-Russian militia.

The attack had happened at 2am local time, he said.

"We had three dead, four wounded," a fighter called Vladimir told the news agency at the checkpoint, where there were two burned-out jeeps.

But Sky's Katie Stallard, who has been to the scene, said there are inconsistencies in the separatists' accounts and there is no coherent evidence to back up what they are saying.

Reuters TV footage of the scene showed two bodies, one of which appeared to have gunshot wounds to the head and face.

Kiev's interior ministry said one person had been killed and three injured in an armed clash.

It said police were trying to establish more details about what happened.

Slavyansk A map showing the location of Slavyansk

The separatists claimed the attackers were members of Right Sector, a hard-right fringe group that was part of the anti-Russia movement whose protests in Kiev and western Ukraine forced the former president to leave office. 

Right Sector denied being involved, instead blaming Russian special forces in an illustration of the claim and counter claim that has been rife during the crisis.

The event prompted the self-declared leader of the pro-Russian faction in Slavyansk to appeal to Moscow to send in peacekeeping troops.

Ukraine and many in the West fear reports of clashes could provide a pretext for Russia to seize more Ukrainian territory.

Russia's foreign ministry said it was outraged by the shootout, describing it as a "provocation".

Pro-Russia separatist gunmen maintain a firm grip over a string of towns across eastern Ukraine, despite an international deal signed last week demanding they leave state buildings they are occupying.

On Sunday afternoon they declared a curfew in Slavyansk.

Russia, the US, the European Union and Ukraine struck a deal on Thursday aiming at de-escalating the crisis, part of which involves the separatists agreeing to lay down their arms.

Authorities in Kiev, who vowed to remove the separatists, said they have suspended military operations against the rebels until after Easter to give the militia time to comply with the agreement.

The deadline runs out on Monday, after which the US and the EU have said they will consider further sanctions against Russia.

Earlier, Ukraine's Prime Minister Arseny Yatseniuk accused Russian President Vladimir Putin of having "a dream to restore the Soviet Union".

Meanwhile, the heads of the Ukrainian and Russian Orthodox churches traded barbs over the crisis in the country as believers flocked to church for Easter services.


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South Korean Ferry Families Clash With Police

S Korea Ferry: Final Contact From Doomed Vessel

Updated: 11:11am UK, Sunday 20 April 2014

A transcript of communications between the stricken Sewol ferry and the coastguard has lifted the lid on the final minutes before the order was given to abandon ship.

The conversations show panic setting in on board the vessel, with officers asking for help to "please come quickly" as it began to tilt to the left, three hours from its destination of Jeju Island.

The transcript also appears to back up claims that the evacuation order may have come too late for some passengers as officers said the ship was tilting so much it was "impossible to move" to check on them.

The communication, which begins with the first distress call made by the ferry on Wednesday morning, has been translated by The Associated Press.

It reads:

8.55am

Sewol: Harbour affairs Jeju, do you have reception of The Sewol?

Jeju Vessel Traffic Services Centre (VTS): Yes, Sewol, this is harbour affairs Jeju.

Sewol: Please notify the coastguard. Our ship is in danger. It's listing right now.

8.56am

Jeju VTS: Where's your ship? Yes, got it. We will notify the coastguard.

Sewol: This ship has listed a lot. Can't move. Please come quickly. We're next to Byeongpung Island.

Jeju VTS: Yes, we got it.

8.58am

Jeju VTS: Sewol, this is harbour affairs Jeju. Do you have reception? Sewol, harbour affairs Jeju.

8.59am

Sewol: Harbour affairs Jeju, this is Sewol.

Jeju VTS: Sewol, this is harbour affairs Jeju. Channel 21, please.

9.00am

Jeju VTS: Sewol, this is harbour affairs Jeju.

Sewol: Jeju, Sewol here.

Jeju VTS: What's the current situation?

Sewol: Currently the body of the ship has listed to the left. The containers have listed as well.

Jeju VTS: OK. Any damage of the human life?

Sewol: It's impossible to check right now. The body of the ship has tilted, and it's impossible to move.

Jeju VTS: Yes, OK. Please wear life jackets and prepare as the people might have to abandon ship. 

Sewol: It's hard for people to move.

Jeju VTS: Yes, got it.

9.05am

Sewol: Harbour affairs Jeju, do you have reception of Sewol?

Jeju VTS: Yes, this is harbour affairs Jeju, Sewol.

Sewol: What's going on with the coastguard?

Jeju VTS: Yes, we have notified the coastguard. Currently we are calling Jindo VTS and Wando VTS. Please hold for a moment.

After this, Jeju VTS notified other ships and Wando VTS.

9.24am

Sewol: If this ferry evacuates passengers, will they be rescued right away?

Jeju VTS Even if it's impossible to broadcast, please go out and let the passengers wear life jackets and put on more clothing. The rescue of human lives of Sewol ferry... the captain should make your own decision and evacuate them. We don't know the situation very well. The captain should make the final decision and decide whether you're going to evacuate passengers or not.

Sewol: I'm not talking about that. I asked, if they evacuate now, can they be rescued right away?

Jeju VTS then said patrol boats would arrive in 10 minutes, but did not mention another civilian ship had already arrived near the scene.


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Bailey's Queen Portrait In 'Instagram Style'

Prince George Goes Walkabout With Bilbies

Updated: 1:06pm UK, Sunday 20 April 2014

Prince George made his first walkabout on the Australian leg of the royal tour when he met some indigenous animals at a zoo.

The youngster looked fascinated as he was shown a bilby - a rabbit-like type of marsupial.

At one point, as he was held by his father Prince William, he held out his hand to attempt to touch the creature which was being fed by a keeper who has named the animal George in his honour.

George, dressed in a blue and white striped collared t-shirt and royal blue shorts, looked a little frustrated and waved his arms as he was unable to reach the animal, which was about a third of his size when standing on its hind legs.

Just before he was brought out for the cameras, the Royal family had been shown round the nocturnal house where several of Australia's animals who are awake during darkness are housed.

Staff said George coped well and was interested in what he saw, reaching out to a feather tailed glider and staring intently at some hopping mice and an echidna.

He was later given a soft bilby toy, which he promptly threw on the floor.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, who was wearing a lemon yellow Stella McCartney skater dress, were visiting Taronga Zoo in Sydney where the new bilby enclosure will be named after their son.

The Royal couple went on, without their son, to be shown a few of the zoo koalas.

The zoo keeper who showed them round the enclosure, Paul Davies, said afterwards about George: "He was brilliant. He was regal. It was amazing how he coped with the dark environment of the nocturnal house.

"They seemed comfortable feeding (the bilby). Kate let him get really close. At one point he tried to grab the bilby by the ears.

"He was like any other child. He had a short attention span and wanted to go and look at something else. It was just like meeting any family."

Earlier, thousands of well-wishers turned out to see the Duke and Duchess mark Easter Sunday by attending a traditional church service in Sydney.

The couple arrived at St Andrew's Cathedral in the centre of the city and were greeted - as they have been throughout their tour of Australia - by officials and cheering crowds.

Kate looked elegant in a stylish dove grey Alexander McQueen coat and Jane Taylor hat, while William was in a smart suit.

If a Sunday falls within a Royal tour, visiting members of the monarchy usually attend a church service joining local parishioners.

At the cathedral's steps, the Royal couple were met by the Most Reverend Dr Glenn Davies, Archbishop of Sydney, and the Very Reverend Phillip Jensen, Dean of Sydney, and chatted to the senior clerics before the service began.

The Easter service was private and the large group of media covering the event were not allowed inside.

A bilby is an endangered desert-dwelling marsupial, the name of which comes from an aboriginal language from New South Wales meaning long-nosed rat. There are only about 10,000 left in the wild.


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Cameron-Appointed Quango Chief Resigns

By Sophy Ridge, Political Correspondent

A businessman appointed by David Cameron to head a £60bn quango has resigned after it was revealed he was declared bankrupt.

Tony Caplin was in charge of the Public Works Loan Board (PWLB) which provides loans to infrastructure projects.

Under anti-sleaze rules, anyone on a public body must inform ministers if they are made bankrupt.

Tony Caplin Tony Caplin was in charge of the PWLB

A Government spokesman said: "Tony Caplin was appointed to a number of public bodies by the Labour party. He was re-appointed to the PWLB by the Prime Minister.

"He should have declared he was bankrupt. This has been pointed out to him and as a result he has resigned."

According to the Mail on Sunday, Mr Caplin was a friend of the Chancellor, George Osborne, who is a former chairman of the same City firm where Mr Cameron's father was a partner.

He previously worked for the Conservatives as their Chief Operating Officer, but Tory sources have emphasised he no longer has a role in the party. He has also left his post on the Medical Research Council.

Chris Leslie MP, Labour's Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury, told Sky News: "It is astonishing that the Prime Minister and the Chancellor could appoint someone who went bankrupt owing so much to the Treasury to run the Treasury's lending operations.

"For him to be bankrupted in 2012 and appointed by the Prime Minister as chairman of this key Treasury body the following year is surely a misjudgement too far by a Prime Minister with a track record of poor judgement in relation to his cronies.

"The Prime Minister and the Chancellor need to set out whether they knew about Mr Caplin's bankruptcy and debts to HMRC before making the appointment, whether it was a coincidence that the chairmanship was granted only weeks after Caplin was discharged as a bankrupt, and on which occasions they met with Caplin during the past four years."

The Labour MP and Chairman of the Public Account Committee, Margaret Hodge, told the Mail on Sunday: "This raises serious questions which should be investigated."

Conservative MP Douglas Carswell told the newspaper: "This proves the need for MPs to be given the right to interview public appointments instead of letting ministers hand them out to whoever they choose."


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Dozens Of 'Al Qaeda Militants' Killed In Yemen

Dozens of suspected al Qaeda militants have been killed in a weekend of air strikes in Yemen.

About 25 died on Sunday when training camps were targeted by drone attacks in a remote mountainous region in the south of the country, reports said.

A defence ministry source was quoted as saying "terrorist elements were planning to target vital civilian and military installations".

Local tribal sources said about 25 bodies had been transferred from the sites of Sunday's attacks to nearby towns.

They said at least three separate strikes had taken place after dawn prayers, all targeting al Qaeda camps.

People inspect the wreckage of a car hit by an air strike in the central Yemeni province of al-Bayda The assaults were the latest in an intensified aerial campaign

One official said the militants were among the "leading and dangerous" elements of al Qaeda and were of different nationalities.

On Saturday, a drone strike killed 10 al Qaeda militants and three civilians in central Yemen.

Pictures showed the wreckage of a car after an attack in the province of al Bayda.

It is not known who carried out the raids but the US has admitted in the past using drone strikes in Yemen to target al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP).

Anti-government protesters burn a poster of Yemen's PM Basindwa during a demonstration demanding his resignation in Sanaa Anti-government activists burn poster of Yemen's PM Mohammed Salem Basindwa

The assaults were the latest in an intensified aerial campaign in the impoverished country, where AQAP is based.

They come less than a week after AQAP chief Nasser al Wuhayshi pledged in a rare video appearance to fight Western "crusaders" everywhere.

He addressed a large gathering of fighters in an undisclosed mountainous region of Yemen and vowed to attack the US.

U.S. Predator Drone The US had admitted carrying out drone strikes in Yemen

AQAP has been linked to a number of failed attacks on American soil, including plots to bomb a Detroit-bound airliner in 2009 and US cargo planes in 2010.

The group has taken advantage of a Yemeni government weakened since a 2011 uprising that forced President Ali Abdullah Saleh to step down after 33 years in power.


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British Teen Killed In Syria 'No Danger' To UK

Written By kom nampul on Jumat, 18 April 2014 | 23.50

The father of a Brighton teenager who was killed fighting in Syria has told Sky News his son was "no danger" to the UK.

Abdullah Deghayes and his brothers Amer, 20, and Jafar, 16, travelled to Syria without their parents' permission, Abubaker Deghayes said.

He found out about the 18-year-old's death on Monday, through a message on Facebook.

Amer was also wounded in the fighting when he was shot in the stomach.

"I think if somebody has a just cause and he believes in it he should do it," Mr Deghayes said.

Abdullah Deghayes Mr Deghayes' family thought he was visiting relatives in Libya

"I think as a Muslim that my son is a martyr."

Mr Deghayes said he had never encouraged his son to go to Syria but that he believed he had gone to protect innocent civilians in the country's civil war.

"I hope this was his intention," said Mr Deghayes. "I hope he is rewarded and I hope he is in peace now."

Abdullah was the nephew of Omar Deghayes, who was held by the United States as an enemy combatant at Guantanamo Bay detention camp between 2002 and 2007 after he was arrested in Pakistan. He was released without charge.

Foreign Secretary William Hague told Sky News the Foreign Office was still looking into reports of the death.

He reiterated that British nationals should not travel to the country because of the "extreme" dangers.

Omar Deghayes Omar Deghayes, Abdullah's uncle, was once held in Guantanamo Bay

The situation in Syria is currently so volatile the UK does not have a representative there, making it difficult to establish the facts.

A spokesman for Sussex Police said: "On Monday, April 14, we received information that an 18-year-old Brighton man had been killed in Syria in recent weeks.

"The circumstances of this reported death remain unclear and we are in contact with the family."

The teenager's Facebook page says he was a student at Longhill High School, at Rottingdean, near Brighton.

It adds that he intended to be a University of Brighton student from 2015 and works for Adidas.

Messages on Mr Deghaye's Facebook page suggest he left the UK in February.

On April 4, messages were posted saying "may God protect him".

Rebel fighters cover ears as fellow fighter prepares to fire anti-aircraft weapon in Heesh village in Idlib The Syrian civil conflict has been raging for more than three years

As news of his death in Syria emerged, friends posted tributes on social networking sites.

Finn Langford said: "Feels so weird that your actually gone rip Abdullah Deghayes gone but never forgotten sleep tight mate xxx."

Harry Hall posted: "Never forgett you brother, love ya."

Nezar El-bayouk posted on Twitter: "R.I.P. To My Boy Abdullah Deghayes. Jannah InshAllah!"

Another woman, Miss'Newland, posted: "R.I.P this is such a shock, can not get my head around it. Everyone's gonna miss you Abdullah Deghayes. much love xxx"

Around 400 Britons are believed to have gone to Syria over the last two years, many of them to join the civil war, with an estimated 20 having died.


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Ferry Disaster: Sewol Captain Faces Arrest

Prosecutors have asked a court to issue an arrest warrant for the captain of the South Korean ferry which sank leaving 25 dead and hundreds missing.

Two other crew members are also being sought after the court appeal on Friday. No charges have been specified.

It comes as it emerged captain Lee Joon-Seok was not at the helm of the ship when it capsized, according to investigators.

The third officer was understood to be piloting the ship when the tragedy occurred, an investigating prosecutor told a news conference, and the captain may not have been on the bridge.

The investigator said: "He may have been off the bridge... and the person at the helm at the time was the third officer.

Captain 'Not At Helm When Ferry Capsized' A man identified as captain Lee Joon-Seok steps off the sinking ship

"The captain was not in command when the accident took place."

Investigators are also looking at whether the third officer ordered the vessel to make an abrupt turn, which caused it to tilt severely and take on water, according to prosecutor Park Jae-Eok.

It has also been revealed the 68-year-old delayed evacuation for half an hour after the distress signal was sent, suggesting more lives could have been saved had he acted sooner.

Family members of missing passengers who were on a South Korean ferry which capsized on Wednesday, wait for news of their family at a gym in Jindo Family members of missing passengers wait for news at a gym in Jindo

Oh Yong-Seok, a helmsman on the ferry with 10 years of shipping experience, said when the crew gathered on the bridge and sent a distress call, the ship was already listing more than five degrees - the critical angle at which a vessel can be brought back to even keel.

About half an hour after passengers were told to stay where they were, Mr Lee finally gave the order to abandon ship, according to Mr Oh. He added he was unsure in the confusion on the bridge if the order was relayed to the passengers.

Several survivors have said they did not hear any evacuation orders.

Crane arrival A crane arrives at the scene

By the time the order was given, it was impossible for crew members to move to passengers' rooms to help them because the ship was tilted at an impossibly acute angle, he said.

It has been suggested the evacuation delay also prevented lifeboats from being deployed in time.

The confirmed death toll from the sinking of the Sewol is 25, but that number is expected to rise sharply with about 270 people still missing. Officials have so far confirmed only 179 survivors.

Captain of sunken ferry Lee Joon-seok Lee Joon-Seok was not at the helm when the ship began listing

Some 325 of the passengers were students from Danwon High School near Seoul.

Of the 29 crew members, 20 people including Mr Lee survived.

After the tragedy, he made a brief, videotaped appearance, although his face was hidden by a grey hoodie.

He said: "I am really sorry and deeply ashamed. I don't know what to say."

Family members of passengers onboard the capsized South Korean ferry Sewol cry during a Buddhist ritual in Jindo Anxious relatives take part in a Buddhist ritual

Divers are working in shifts to try get into the upturned ship to pump oxygen into the vessel to help any survivors, but their attempts are being hampered by strong currents and freezing temperatures.

The 146-metre (480ft) ship had left Incheon on the northwestern coast of South Korea on Tuesday for the overnight journey to the southern resort island of Jeju.


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Vice-Principal Rescued From Ferry Found Hanged

S Korea Ferry: Final Contact From Doomed Vessel

Updated: 11:59am UK, Friday 18 April 2014

A transcript of communications between the stricken Sewol ferry and the coastguard has lifted the lid on the final minutes before the order was given to abandon ship.

The conversations show panic setting in on board the vessel, with officers asking for help to "please come quickly" as it began to tilt to the left, three hours from its destination of Jeju Island.

The transcript also appears to back up claims that the evacuation order may have come too late for some passengers as officers said the ship was tilting so much it was "impossible to move" to check on them.

The communication, which begins with the first distress call made by the ferry on Wednesday morning, has been translated by The Associated Press.

It reads:

8.55am

Sewol: Harbour affairs Jeju, do you have reception of The Sewol?

Jeju Vessel Traffic Services Centre (VTS): Yes, Sewol, this is harbour affairs Jeju.

Sewol: Please notify the coastguard. Our ship is in danger. It's listing right now.

8.56am

Jeju VTS: Where's your ship? Yes, got it. We will notify the coastguard.

Sewol: This ship has listed a lot. Can't move. Please come quickly. We're next to Byeongpung Island.

Jeju VTS: Yes, we got it.

8.58am

Jeju VTS: Sewol, this is harbour affairs Jeju. Do you have reception? Sewol, harbour affairs Jeju.

8.59am

Sewol: Harbour affairs Jeju, this is Sewol.

Jeju VTS: Sewol, this is harbour affairs Jeju. Channel 21, please.

9.00am

Jeju VTS: Sewol, this is harbour affairs Jeju.

Sewol: Jeju, Sewol here.

Jeju VTS: What's the current situation?

Sewol: Currently the body of the ship has listed to the left. The containers have listed as well.

Jeju VTS: OK. Any damage of the human life?

Sewol: It's impossible to check right now. The body of the ship has tilted, and it's impossible to move.

Jeju VTS: Yes, OK. Please wear life jackets and prepare as the people might have to abandon ship. 

Sewol: It's hard for people to move.

Jeju VTS: Yes, got it.

9.05am

Sewol: Harbour affairs Jeju, do you have reception of Sewol?

Jeju VTS: Yes, this is harbour affairs Jeju, Sewol.

Sewol: What's going on with the coastguard?

Jeju VTS: Yes, we have notified the coastguard. Currently we are calling Jindo VTS and Wando VTS. Please hold for a moment.

After this, Jeju VTS notified other ships and Wando VTS.


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West Ham Striker Dies At 20 After Cancer Battle

Tributes have poured in for West Ham United striker Dylan Tombides, who has died of cancer aged 20.

The Australian player, who was diagnosed with testicular cancer three years ago, died on Friday with his family at his bedside.

His death will be marked by a minute's applause before West Ham's home match against Crystal Palace this weekend.

Dylan Tombides club statement West Ham announced the player's death on their website

The Hammers' players will also wear black armbands in his memory.

The London club said in a statement: "Dylan was respected by everyone who knew him for his intelligent views on the game and his larger than life character.

"He was a loving son, amazing brother and well-respected member of the West Ham squad. He will be hugely missed by everyone who had the honour of knowing him."

Dylan Tombides He was regarded as one of the best young players to come out of Australia

The Perth-born forward made his first-team debut for West Ham in a League Cup match against Wigan Athletic in 2012.

He joined West Ham as a 14-year-old after a spell in Hong Kong, and played for Australia at Under-17 and Under-23 level.

"On behalf of the Australian football community, we offer our deepest condolences to Dylan's family, team mates and friends during this extremely sad time," said David Gallop, chief executive of Football Federation Australia.

As tributes were paid to the young star, "RIP Dylan Tombides" became one of the top trending messages on Twitter in the UK.

Chelsea player Nathaniel Chalobah tweeted: "In complete shock about the Dylan Tombides news, shaking. Played against him a few times, such a nice guy, 20 is no age. RIP."

Footballer Eoin Wearen wrote: "Gutted to hear about my friend and ex team-mate Dylan Tombides, who today lost his battle with cancer! Really am speechless....RIP Dyl."


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Mexico City Hit By Magnitude 7.2 Earthquake

A powerful earthquake has been felt in Mexico's capital, shaking buildings and sending people running into the street.

The magnitude 7.2 quake was centred in the western state of Guerrero, north of the beach resort of Acapulco.

Its centre was 165 miles south west of the capital, the US Geological Survey said.

The quake shook Mexico City for at least 30 seconds. There was no immediate word on damage or casualties.

Mexico map The earthquake was centred 165 miles south west of the capital

Journalist James Blears, based near Mexico City, told Sky News: "This earthquake had tremendous power - it lasted 30 seconds, instead of just a few seconds.

"Buildings were swaying and thousands of people have evacuated buildings and are standing in the street." 

Mexico City Mayor Miguel Angel Mancera said on Twitter that authorities were checking the sprawling capital for damage.

"For now we are only seeing evacuations," Mr Mancera said.

People stand along a street after evacuating a building following an earthquake in Mexico City Families take to the streets in Mexico City

Luis Felipe Puente, head of the Mexican government's emergency services, said on Twitter there were no immediate reports of damage.

The US Pacific Warning Centre 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.

"I had to hold on to a tree, like a drunk," said Pedro Hernandez, 68, a doorman working in central Mexico City.

"This is really strong," said Gabriel Alejandro Hernandez Chavez, 45, an apartment building guard in central Mexico City.

"And I'm accustomed to earthquakes."

Mexico City is vulnerable to earthquakes because much of it sits atop the muddy sediments of drained lake beds that quiver as quake waves hit.

The magnitude 8.1 quake in 1985 that killed at least 6,000 people and destroyed many buildings in Mexico City was centred 250 miles (400 kilometers) away on the Pacific Coast.


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