Japan has not narrowed trade differences with US, negotiator saysTokyo—Japanese officials said on Tuesday there was still a significant way to go before reaching a broad agreement on trade with the United States, a day before President Barack Obama visits for a summit. A U.S.-Japan agreement is critical to the U.S.-led Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a 12-nation grouping that would stretch from Asia to Latin America. A TPP deal is central to Obama’s policy of expanding the U.S. presence in Asia.
Cyclone halts aerial search for Malaysian Airlines flight MH370Kuala Lumpur—Aerial search for the crashed Malaysian jet was suspended today due to a tropical cyclone over the southern Indian Ocean, as a robotic mini-submarine scouring the seabed failed to locate the plane’s wreckage after nine missions. “Planned air search activities have been suspended for today due to poor weather conditions in the search area as a result of Tropical Cyclone Jack,” Perth-based Joint Agency Coordination Centre (JACC) said on the 46th day of the search for Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370.
First sign of South Korea ferry disaster was call from a frightened boySeoul—The first distress call from a sinking South Korean ferry was made by a boy with a shaking voice, three minutes after the vessel made its fateful last turn. He called the emergency 119 number which put him through to the fire service, which in turn forwarded him to the coastguard two minutes later. That was followed by about 20 other calls from children on board the ship to the emergency number, a fire service officer told Reuters.
The Sewol ferry sank last Wednesday on a routine trip south from the port of Incheon to the traditional honeymoon island of Jeju. Of the 476 passengers and crew on board, 339 were children and teachers on a high school outing. Only 174 people have been rescued and the remainder are all presumed to have drowned.
Maxim TrudolyubovThe annexation of Crimea, the media offensive against Kiev and the threat of military force against Ukraine are President Vladimir V. Putin’s ultimate response to Russia’s own failures. His latest actions are a veiled recognition that all of his other efforts to prove that Russia is regaining the Soviet Union’s status as a global superpower have come to nothing.
US credibility going from bad to worse
Abdulkhaleq AbdullaThe US popularity worldwide is at its lowest since 2009. This was a recent BBC headline. The June 2013 BBC poll found that negative views towards the US are so pervasive that America presently ranks as the second-most unpopular nation in the world. The decline in US popularity was the sharpest during 2012 — it went from 47 per cent to 40 per cent, which was the same where it was in 2009 when the BBC headline at the time had declared that the world view of the US went from bad to worse.
PO 25th Anniversary