Hourly News 2014-04-29
    2014-04-29 15:34:52     CRIENGLISH.com       Web Editor: Han



EU and the US slap new sanctions against Russia amid escalating situation in eastern Ukraine

The EU has joined the US in imposing a new round of sanctions against Russia.
15 new names have been added to the list, which already includes many prominent Russian leaders and companies.
The EU says it is responding to what it sees as Moscow's failure to live up to commitments agreed to last month in Geneva, designed to ease regional tensions.
This comes amid the escalating situation in eastern Ukraine, where 7 European military observers are still being held hostage in the city of Slovyansk.
The EU decision follows a similar move by the US government.
The Chinese government has issued a new statement calling on all sides to use dialogue to solve their differences.


MH370 search to be privatized

The Chinese goverment is promising it will continue providing resources in the search for missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370.
China's ambassador to Australia, Ma Zhaoxu, has made the pledge following an announcement by Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott, who says the search is entering a new phase.
Abbott says it's not highly unlikely any debris will be located on the ocean surface.
As such, he says the new phase of the search is going to be privatized, with civilian contractors being brought in to lead the search using underwater sonar.
Australia, China and Malaysia have agreed to share the cost, which is estimated to be around 60-million US dollars for the new phase.


U.S. urges Egypt to end mass trials

The United States government is urging leaders in Egypt to put an end to the mass trials and sentencings that have taken place in recent months.
The call from the US side follows word that a court in Egypt has handed out another mass death sentence for 683 supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood.
These trials began after the military toppled the government of Brotherhood member Mohamed Morsi and then outlawed the group, calling it a terrorist organization.
More than 500 Brotherhood members received death sentences last month, following a mass trial, though the majority of those sentences have been commuted.


U.S. not trying to contain China: Obama

U.S. President Barack Obama says Washington is not trying to "contain" China.
The comments have been made as part of the signing of a new military pact with the Philippines.
The United States and the Philippines have inked a 10-year defense agreement to expand the rotational presence of American forces in the country.
Obama also says the U.S. does not take sides connected to disputes in the South China Sea.
He does say the U.S. supports Philippine President Benino Aquino's approach to resolve the dispute through international arbitration.


Special votes in Iraqi parliamentary election close

Polls for special votes have closed in Iraq's first elections since the U.S withdrawal in 2011.
The early balloting for police and soldiers is meant to free up the one million-strong military and security forces so they can protect polling stations and voters.
Hospital patients, medical staff and detainees were also voting on Monday.
The nationwide election will take place on Wednesday.
Approximately 22 million registered voters will be eligible to take part.
More than 9,000 candidates are vying for 328 seats in parliament.
The Alliance led by Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki is widely expected to win a majority in the parliament.
He is also seeking a third four-year term in office.


PIK on Indian Elections

With the fourth phase of India's multi-state election getting underway, police in Indian-controlled Kashmir have arrested hundreds of muslim youth in the region.
The authorities call it a precautionary measure to ensure peace as voting begins on Wednesday.
A police spokesman described the young arrestees as "stone throwers and trouble mongers."
During third-round voting in another part of Kashmir, turnout was only 28 percent, marred by an election boycott, protests, and violence.
Six members to the 543-member lower house of the Indian parliament will be elected in Indian-controlled Kashmir..
Even though the five-week voting period has not concluded, Narendra Modi of India's Bharatiya Janata Party, or BJP, has become a major frontrunner in the elections.


German diplomat injured escaping kidnapping attempt in Yemen/xinhua

A German diplomat has been injured while escaping an apparent kidnapping attempt in the Yemeni capital.
Several gunmen in a car tried to intercept the diplomat's vehicle on a road near the German embassy. The diplomat and his driver refused to stop and sped away.
Local officials say the gunmen opened fire and the diplomat was "slightly" injured.
The kidnappers then fled the scene.
Kidnappings are frequent in Yemen, especially after political turmoil in 2011 severely weakened government control.


IMF raises China's 2014 growth forecast by 0.3 points to 7.5 per cent

The International Monetary Fund has raised its economic growth forecast for China but warned that its financial system faces risks due to the rapid expansion of debt.
The IMF raised China's 2014 growth outlook by 0.3 percentage points, to 7.5 per cent.
The forecast is in line with the government's official growth target for the year.
The IMF also warned that China faces the twin risks of an unexpectedly sharp slowdown and "rising vulnerabilities" in its financial system. It said both could cause repercussions for the region.
It pointed to the rapid growth of credit from sources other than traditional banks.
It said the assets of such lenders have grown to the equivalent of 25 per cent of the country's annual GDP.
The IMF says it represents an important source of systemic risk.




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