"Murdered" Ukraine politician faced hostile mob, video shows

The Ukrainian town councillor whose apparent torture and murder helped to prompt a threatened new government offensive in the east was mobbed by a hostile, pro-Russian crowd before he disappeared, a video of th…

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  • Insight: Ukraine revolt shows faces, but whose are the brains?
    Insight: Ukraine revolt shows faces, but whose are the brains? Reuters - 17 minutes ago

    By Alissa de Carbonnel and Aleksandar Vasovic DONETSK/SLAVIANSK Ukraine (Reuters) - One is a dapper former croupier and promoter of Ponzi scams run by "Russia's Bernie Madoff"; In an uprising whose calling cards are the Kalashnikov and the black balaclava, Denis Pushilin and Vyacheslav Ponomaryov have become the unmasked faces of the pro-Russian separatist movement in eastern Ukraine that has plunged Moscow and the West into their most ominous confrontation since the Cold War. But many in the Donetsk region, including officials who have negotiated with the activists, see the pair as mere fronts for brains behind the scenes: a "puppeteer" in the words of one local Ukrainian mediator; Pushilin, a 32-year-old who won 77 votes when he ran for parliament a few months ago, emerged this month as leader of the self-styled People's Republic of Donetsk, occupying the regional governor's office in Ukraine's industrial heartland. More »

  • Asia markets: Tech sector brightens as Apple jumps 8 percent
    Asia markets: Tech sector brightens as Apple jumps 8 percent Reuters - 23 minutes ago

    By Wayne Cole SYDNEY (Reuters) - Asian markets could get a lift on Thursday after tech heavyweights Apple and Facebook beat Wall Street expectations, sending their stock up sharply and boosting Nasdaq futures. The Nasdaq futures were up 1 percent and the S&P 500 0.3 percent. Sentiment on the tech sector brightened after Apple decided to buy back $30 billion of its shares out to the end of 2015 and authorized a seven-for-one stock split. Apple reported sales of 43.7 million iPhones in the quarter ended March, far outpacing forecasts. More »

  • Honduran police seize 743 kgs of cocaine IANS - 24 minutes ago

    Tegucigalpa, April 24 (IANS) Police in Honduras have seized 743 kgs of cocaine hidden in false compartments inside a truck transporting cattle, the security secretariat announced Wednesday. More »

  • Obama to use Japan visit to reassure Asian allies
    Obama to use Japan visit to reassure Asian allies Reuters - 27 minutes ago

    By Linda Sieg and Matt Spetalnick TOKYO (Reuters) - U.S. President Barack Obama will use a state visit to Japan on Thursday to try to reassure Asian allies of his commitment to ramping up U.S. engagement in the region, despite Chinese complaints that his real aim is to contain Beijing's rise. Obama will be treated to a display of pomp and ceremony meant to show that the U.S.-Japan alliance, the main pillar of America's security strategy in Asia, remains solid at a time of rising tensions over growing Chinese assertiveness and North Korean nuclear threats. "We're continuing to work," a U.S. official said on Thursday before the leaders were to meet on the first state visit to Japan by a U.S. president in 18 years. "We've made some progress and worked around the clock." Even if Obama and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe cannot complete a bilateral trade deal before the U.S. president leaves Tokyo on Friday, they are likely to try to project a sense of progress on key issues. More »

  • Syria eyes end of chemical arms monitoring mission; West disagrees Reuters - 29 minutes ago

    By Louis Charbonneau UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - Syria declared on Wednesday that it was looking ahead to the dismantling of the international mission overseeing the destruction of the conflict-torn country's chemical arsenal, though Western officials said they want the team to keep working. The statement came after Sigrid Kaag, head of the joint mission of the United Nations and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), told the Security Council that the Syrian government should be able to meet an April 27 deadline to hand over all declared chemical agents. Inside the council chamber, however, U.S. and European delegations told Kaag they were concerned about new allegations that Syria's government had deployed chlorine gas and expressed their view that a full investigation was necessary, diplomats said. After the closed-door session, in which Kaag participated via video link, Syria's U.N. Ambassador Bashar Ja'afari was asked what should happen to the U.N.-OPCW mission once declared materials linked to Syrian chemical weapons had been shipped out of the country and all installations were shut down. More »

  • U.N. chief demands Security Council action on Syria
    U.N. chief demands Security Council action on Syria Reuters - 30 minutes ago

    By Michelle Nichols and Louis Charbonneau UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon demanded on Wednesday that the Security Council take action in Syria on violations of international law as he reported to the body that none of the warring parties was adhering to U.N. demands for aid access. In his second monthly report to the 15-member council on the implementation of a resolution demanding great humanitarian aid access in Syria, Ban said "none of the parties to the conflict have adhered to the demands of the Council." "The Security Council must take action to deal with these flagrant violations of the basic principles of international law," he wrote in the 21-page report. But diplomats said Russia was unlikely to agree to any action, such as sanctions, if Syria's government was found to be at fault. More »

  • India may cede top rice exporter spot under Southeast Asian price onslaught
    India may cede top rice exporter spot under Southeast Asian price onslaught Reuters - 33 minutes ago

    By Rajendra Jadhav MUMBAI (Reuters) - India's rice exports could slide by nearly a quarter this year and knock the country off its perch as top exporter of the grain due to stiff competition from Southeast Asian rivals that have recently slashed prices, Indian industry executives said. A drop in Indian exports could help Thailand trim a record inventory chalked up under a controversial rice-buying scheme. Thailand may also be able to reclaim its status as the world's biggest rice exporter, which it lost to India two years ago. Thailand and Vietnam are selling aggressively and it is difficult for Indian exporters to match those prices," B.V. Krishna Rao, managing director at Pattabhi Agro Foods Pvt Ltd, India's biggest non-basmati rice exporter, told Reuters. More »

  • Electric toothbrush prompts bomb scare at US airport IANS - 34 minutes ago

    Washington, April 24 (IANS) Bomb squad cleared a suspicious package Wednesday at Los Angeles International Airport after the buzzing object turned out be an electric toothbrush. More »

  • Brother-in-law of Britain's Prince Charles dies in New York Reuters - 40 minutes ago

    Mark Shand, the brother-in-law of Britain's Prince Charles, died in a New York hospital on Wednesday after suffering a serious head injury in a fall outside a club following a charity event. Shand, 62, was the younger brother of Camilla Parker Bowles, who became the Duchess of Cornwall as the second wife of heir-to-the-throne Prince Charles. The royal couple confirmed the death in a statement, saying "family members are utterly devastated by this sudden and tragic loss." "Mark Shand was a man of extraordinary vitality, a tireless campaigner and conservationist whose incredible work through the Elephant Family and beyond remained his focus right up until his death," the statement said. Ian Walkden, the chief executive of the Elephant Family, said Shand was in New York to host a live auction in aid of the charity and underprivileged children at Sotheby's. "We have lost the head of our family. More »

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