Added by euronews-en 10 minutes ago
Former foreign minister Abdullah Abdullah has extended his lead in the Afghan presidential race, according to the latest tally although half of the votes must yet be counted. Partial results give him 44 percent support. His nearest rival, ex-world bank official Ashraf Ghani, is on 33 percent. President Hamid Karzai is constitutionally barred from seeking a third term.
Added by euronews-en 20 minutes ago
South Korean President Park Guen-hye has described the actions of the captain and crew of the sunken ferry as “tantamount to murder”. Sixty-four people are known to have died with 238 missing presumed dead after the vessel carrying 476 passengers and crew capsized last week. The captain and two other crew members have been charged with negligence and violation of maritime law. Four others have since been detained. “The conduct of the captain and some crew members makes no sense and it was like an act of murder that cannot and should not be tolerated. Right after the accident, the captain did not immediately follow the evacuation orders of the Jindo Vessel Traffic Services Centre (VTS). While telling the passengers to stay where they were, they the captain and some of his crew members left the passengers and escaped first. This is legally and ethically something that is unimaginable,” said the president. Grief stricken family and friends of those missing are still waiting for news at a gymnasium in Jindo close to where the the ferry went down. Divers are now beginning to recover more and more bodies and two US undersea drones are assisting in recovery efforts. Bad weather is said to be hampering the operation.
Added by euronews-en 40 minutes ago
Rescuers have called off the search for three sherpa guides who remain missing after the deadliest ever accident on Nepal’s Mount Everest killed at least 13 of their colleagues. Friday’s avalanche occurred as the group went up the world’s highest mountain with equipment and supplies to be used by foreign climbers in their efforts to reach the summit.Sherpas are an ethnic group in Nepal and have helped foreigners climb the country’s towering peaks since before Sherpa Tenzing Norgay and New Zealander Sir Edmund Hilary became the first to reach the top in 1953.
Added by euronews-en 50 minutes ago
Air strikes on a training camp in southern Yemen have killed up to 30 suspected al Qaeda fighters, in the second such operation in the country in two days. Some reports suggest Sunday’s raid in Abyan province was a joint US-Yemeni drone attack. On Saturday an air strike killed 10 al Qaeda militants and three civilians in the centre of the country.
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After a 36 hour journey, the Dragon cargo ship has made an Easter Sunday delivery of food, science experiments and supplies to the crew aboard the International Space Station. The freighter was sent by SpaceX, one of two private firms hired by NASA to supply the ISS after the space shuttles were retired in 2011.Dragon will be reloaded with science samples and equipment no longer needed on the station and returned to Earth in about a month.
Added by euronews-en 1 hour ago
Former US professional boxer Rubin ‘Hurricane’ Carter, who spent nearly 20 years behind bars, wrongly convicted of murder, has died aged 76.Carter, said to have been battling prostate cancer, was considered a folk hero by many and has been immortalised in film and song.Once a middleweight boxer who earned a world title fight, Carter was arrested for killing three white people in New Jersey in 1966. Carter’s case exploded into national consciousness in 1974, when two key witnesses recanted their testimony, sparking a series of stories by the New York Times and making him a cause celebre for the civil rights movement and prompting Bob Dylan to release “Hurricane”.He was retried in 1976 and convicted again.Carter’s arrest, imprisonment, and the ultimately successful battle to free him after racism was deemed to be behind the guilty verdict inspired a film in 1999 starring Denzel Washington.Carter campaigned for the wrongly convicted from his home in Toronto after being released from jail for good in 1985.
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Four freed French journalists have been talking about their ordeal during their captivity for more than 10 months in Syria.Often cold, hungry and kept in the dark , the four (Nicolas Henin, Pierre Torres, Edouard Elias and Didier Francois) had been moved from place to place many times by their captors.They were welcomed back on French soil by President Francois Hollande and their families who were waiting for the men at the Villacoublay military airbase, southwest of Paris, early Sunday morning.Nicolas Henin, said later in an interview : “It was extremely gratifying to have a sense of how negotiations were being conducted on the French side … They kept on wanting proof of life, videos were made of us and secret questions came from our families….it was all extremely gratifying. “The men who went missing in two separate incidents last June are believed to have been held by suspected Islamist rebels.Henin added: “There was a bit of physical abuse, of course, but it is what all Syrian prisoners experience . Syria has always been a world centre of torture. Nothing surprising about that.”The journalists were found blindfolded and handcuffed in a no-man’s land in Turkey’s border province of Sanliurfa on Friday night and were taken by Turkish soldiers to a police station in the nearby town of Akcakale.Negotiations with their kidnappers had been going on for several weeks but it is not known if anything was offered for their freedom.
Added by euronews-en 2 hours ago
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad made a rare appearance outside central Damascus on Sunday, visiting the ancient Christian town of Maaloula. Syrian state-run television showed him inspecting the damage done during recent fighting. Government troops recaptured the hilltop hamlet from rebels last week.Maaloula is located some 60 kilometres northeast of the capital and is home to a large Christian population.The visit highlights growing government confidence after making several gains against insurgents around Damascus and along the Lebanese border.Monday is the day Syria’s parliament is expected to announce the date of the country’s presidential election. Assad has all but officially said he will stand in the poll – the first time the head of state will be elected rather than chosen by referendum.The rules for those wishing to compete against him will prevent any of the country’s main opposition figures in exile from standing.
Added by euronews-en 2 hours ago
Thousands of students and opposition supporters have held another rally in the Venezuelan capital as part of ongoing protests against the government of President Nicolas Maduro.At one point effigies of the president were burnt as an extension of an Easter ritual – the students said they were calling for the resurrection of democracy. “This burning of Judas is to represent the end of an era. The end to the pain, the disgrace of a mother seeing her son hurt in the street wanting to be able to have a better future. This is the end of the dictatorship of Mr. Maduro,” explained one student.Anti-Maduro protests since February have led to violence killing at least 41 people. The dead have been on both sides of the political divide.Hundreds of people have been detained, the majority have since been released but a number of high-profile opposition politicians are still in detention.Attempts are being made at establishing a dialogue between Venezuela’s government and the opposition – it is said to be making slow progress.
Added by euronews-en 15 hours ago
The funeral has taken place of a teacher hailed a hero as the number confirmed dead in South Korea’s ferry disaster rose to 58, with 244 people still listed as missing.Survivors said Nam Yun-cheo, 36, lost his life trying to save students as the vessel started sinking. Children account for most of those killed and presumed dead after the ferry capsized during a high school outing off the Korean Peninsula’s southwestern tip on Wednesday.The Minister for the Oceans and Fisheries Lee Ju-young has been jostled and booed by relatives, desperately waiting for news. Families have also clashed with police as they seek to denounce events.A newly-released transcript of messages to and from the stricken ferry demonstrates confusion and panic.Witnesses say the ferry turned sharply before it began listing and that although it took over two hours to fully capsize, passengers were told to stay put in their cabins.With divers now inside the vessel, prosecutors want to extend the detention of its captain and two other crew members who have been arrested over the tragedy.
Added by euronews-en 16 hours ago
Pope Francis has used his Easter address to denounce the “immense wastefulness” in the world while many go hungry. A crowd of at least 150,000 people crammed into St Peter’s Square and beyond to celebrate Mass. He also called for an end to conflicts in Syria, Ukraine and Africa. “We pray in a particular way for Syria, that all those suffering the effects of the conflict can receive much needed humanitarian aid and that neither side will again use deadly force, especially against the defenceless civilian population,” he said. Francis asked God to “enlighten and inspire the initiatives that promote peace in Ukraine so that all those involved, with the support of the international community, will make every effort to prevent violence and, in a spirit of unity and dialogue, chart a path for the country’s future”. The Easter Sunday services are the culmination of four hectic days of Holy Week activities for the pontiff. Next Sunday, he will canonise Pope John Paul II, who reigned from 1978 to 2005, and Pope John XXIII, who was pontiff from 1958 to 1963 and called the Second Vatican Council, a landmark meeting that modernised the Church.
Added by euronews-en 17 hours ago
It is no ordinary Easter for Ukraine’s Orthodox Christians.The country’s crisis is felt particularly at St Michael’s Cathedral in Kyiv, where pro-EU demonstrators were sheltered and given medical care during the revolution.Celebrations for Christ rising from the dead after crucifixion combine with fears for the future and sadness for those killed in and around Independence Square.“I’m praying for those shot dead,” said one worshipper. “Today I will go to Maidan and take a simnel cake and eggs for them. I wish all of you only happiness and health, as well as wishing for the welfare of Ukraine.”“I love Ukraine so much!” she added.Another elderly woman celebrating Easter told euronews: “I am asking the Lord for everything to turn out well so that all we asked for, standing in Maidan Square, all we fought for, will finally come true. I hope God will help us!”The head of Ukraine’s Orthodox Church has condemned what he called Russian “aggression” and said “evil” will be defeated.“Lord, help us resurrect Ukraine” Patriarch Filaret also said in his Easter message, as quoted by local media. Our correspondent in Kyiv, Maria Korenyuk, said: “This year, on the day considered the biggest religious holiday, Ukrainians have been praying, not only for family harmony and their own welfare but notably for peace and the integrity of the entire state.”
Added by euronews-en 18 hours ago
In what could be a big blow to Ukraine’s Easter truce, Russian state media says five people have been killed in a gun attack on a pro-Russian checkpoint.Moscow blames Ukrainian nationalists for shooting at the separatist activists near the eastern town of Slovyansk. But Ukraine’s far-right group Right Sector denies any involvement, claiming Russian special forces staged the attack, which Kyiv says killed three people.“People jumped out of Jeeps and started shooting at us,” said Vladimir, one of the activists at the checkpoint .“They threw stun grenades. Our people started running in various directions when somebody shouted ‘down’. A sniper was shooting those who tried to run into the village.”Slovyansk’s town hall remains in the hands of pro-Russian rebels despite last week’s international accord aimed at averting a wider conflict.Now, after these first deaths in armed clashes in eastern Ukraine since the Geneva deal, President Putin should send in peacekeepers, according to rebel leader and Slovyansk’s self-styled mayor Vyacheslav Ponomarev “Until today, these were just clashes with minimal losses, but now no-one can expect any mercy from us,” he said.Kyiv has said it won’t move against the separatists over Easter, and international mediators have headed to eastern Ukraine. But so far the pro-Russian militants have shown no signs of budging.
Added by euronews-en 21 hours ago
Four French journalists held hostage in Syria for more than 10 months have returned home. Freshly shaved and beaming, Nicolas Henin, Pierre Torres, Edouard Elias and Didier Francoiswere met at an airbase by President Francois Hollande, their families and friends. “It’s a great joy and an immense relief, obviously, to be free. Under the sky, which we haven’t seen for a long time, to breathe the fresh air, walk freely,” veteran Europe 1 reporter Francois said in an impromptu speech at the side of his fellow ex-hostages. French authorities have released no details of their liberation. Turkey’s Dogan News Agency first reported that an unknown group transported the journalists blindfolded and with hands bound on Friday night to the southeastern border of Turkey, where they were discovered by Turkish soldiers. Henin told France 24 radio on Saturday that they had not been bound and blindfolded at the border. On Sunday, he told reporters on the tarmac, however, that the four had “not always” been treated well and had been moved from place to place many times by their captors. Neither Turkish nor French authorities have identified the journalists’ captors, but Dogan said it was the rebel group Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).
Added by euronews-en 21 hours ago
There appears to have been a failure in the Easter truce in Ukraine.Russian state television is reporting that five people have been killed in an attack on pro-Russsian separatist checkpoint near the eastern city of Slovyansk.According to the Russian state-run Rossiya 24 three of the victims were pro-Russian activists who control the city and the two others were from a group which attacked the checkpoint.Ukraine authorities, however, say only one person was killed.A deal signed in Geneva last week by the European Union, Russia, Ukraine and the United States agreed that illegal armed groups would go home, but so far they have shown no signs of budging, leaving the accord looking threadbare.
Added by euronews-en 22 hours ago
Australia has revealed images of a robotic submarine that’s taking part in the search for the missing Malaysia airliner as the hunt enters its 44th day. The Bluefin-21 autonomous underwater vehicle is being focused on an unmapped stretch of the ocean near some 2,000 km from Perth. Flight MH370 to Beijing disappeared from radars with 239 people on board shortly after taking off from Kuala Lumpur.
Added by euronews-en 23 hours ago
Every year on the evening before Orthodox Easter, the sky above Greek island Chios lights up with hundreds of celebratory rockets fired between two rival parishes.The traditional event is known as “rouketopolemos.”Villagers from the rival parishes of Aghios Markos and Panagia Ereithiani create the handmade rockets in their own homes and shops.Stavros, one of the rocket makers, explained how the event benefits the local community: “It is a great spectacle and known worldwide. It attracts many tourists and as a result this is good for the island. In coordination with all sides involved, we have managed to make it a safe event for all.”The winning village is the one which scores the most direct hits on their rival’s church, though it is often difficult to produce an accurate tally.
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South Korean divers retrieved a further thirteen bodies from inside a sunken ferry on Sunday, bringing the official death toll to 49.Each body was draped in cloth and taken on a stretcher into an identification tent.A rescue operation has now turned into a grim search through the stricken vessel to recover the remaining passengers, numbering more than 250. Most of the people who are still unaccounted for after Wednesday’s capsize are schoolchildren.Three crew members, including the captain, were arrested on Saturday and charged with crimes relating to negligence.Investigations are looking at how the cargo was stowed, the safety record of the ship operator and the actions of the crew.Hundreds of parents cling to the hope that there may be some survivors trapped under the water, but their grief and desperation is turning to anger at the slow speed of the rescue efforts.The sinking looks set to be South Korea’s worst maritime disaster in 21 years in terms of loss of life.