US 'deeply concerned' over Chinese moves, says Biden
Vice President Joe Biden voiced strong opposition Tuesday to China's new air defense zone above a set of disputed islands, showing a united front with an anxious Japan as tension in the region simmered.
Standing side by side in Tokyo with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Biden said the U.S. is "deeply concerned" about China's attempt to unilaterally change the status quo in the East China Sea.
"This action has raised regional tensions and increased the risk of accidents and miscalculation," he said.
Biden said the U.S. is coordinating closely with allies Japan, South Korea and others, adding that the U.S. has an interest in lowering tensions in the region.
Polio vaccination volunteers freed after Pakistan hostage ordeal
Eleven teachers who were taken hostage last week for administering polio vaccines to children were released by Pakistani militants early Tuesday.
The educators were working as volunteers and were delivering the drops in Sepah village of Khyber tribal region when they were seized at gunpoint on Thursday.
But they were freed following a meeting of a tribal Jirga -- or council, Pakistani security official Shafeerullah Khan Wazir told NBC News.
“The militants on the appeal of Jirga members released all the kidnapped teachers and handed them over to the Jirga,” he added.
South African police ordered enough mortuary vans to carry 32 bodies hours before shooting dead 34 striking miners, inquiry hears
South African police who gunned down 34 striking miners in the tragedy dubbed the Marikana Massacre had put in an advanced order for enough mortuary vans to carry 32 bodies, an inquiry heard.
The revelation adds weight to suggestions that officers were preparing for the worst when they confronted up to 3,000 workers near the Marikana mine in August last year.
The Marikana Commission of Inquiry, which was set up to investigate the tragedy, has heard how police had asked the health department for four mortuary vans, which were each able to carry eight bodies, to be sent to the site hours before the clashes.
A Colonel Classen, from the South African Police Service, allegedly said he was going to 'close down the miners' when he put in the order.
A separate request for 4,000 rounds of ammunition for R5 assault rifles had also been made, it was reported by The Financial Times.
UK police arrest couple suspected of holding three women captive for 30 years
British police have arrested a couple on suspicion of holding three "extremely traumatized" women captive for more than 30 years, Scotland Yard announced Thursday.
One of the women -- a 30-year-old Briton -- "appears to have been in servitude for her entire life," Metropolitan Police Detective Inspector Kevin Hyland said. She and the other two women, a 57-year-old from Ireland and a 69-year-old from Malaysia, have been taken to a place of safety and are being cared for by a charity, police said.
The man and woman arrested are both 67, police said. They were taken into custody at their home in the south London borough of Lambeth and were being held as part of an investigation into slavery and domestic servitude, police said.
Suspect at large after five shot in the head, three fatally, in Houston
Three people were killed Wednesday and two others were rushed to a trauma center after they were all shot in the head execution-style in northwest Houston, authorities said.
The Harris County Sheriff's Office said witnesses described hearing gunshots and then seeing someone close the door to a unit and flee the Peppermill Place apartment complex about 4:30 p.m. (5:30 p.m. ET).
The gunman, described only as a male, was still at large Wednesday night. Investigators said they had no other description or any idea what his motive might have been.
At least 19 killed after six explosions rip through busy Baghdad markets, streets
Six bombs exploded in busy markets and streets across Baghdad on Wednesday, killing 19 people and wounding 66, police and medical sources said.
The explosions, which took place around the same time, were the latest in a series of blasts and assaults -- the worst wave of violence to hit Iraq in at least five years.
Iraq's Shiite-led government has blamed Sunni Muslim insurgents linked to al Qaeda for increased bomb attacks in Iraq, which have mainly targeted Shiite civilians.
In one of the worst attacks on Wednesday, a roadside bomb near a crowded market in the mainly Shiite neighborhood of Sadriya killed four and wounded 14.
At least 23 killed, dozens hurt as explosions rock Iranian Embassy site in Beirut
An Iranian diplomat was among at least 23 people killed in a suspected twin suicide bomb attack at the Iranian Embassy in Beirut Tuesday, officials said.
An al Qaeda-linked terror group claimed responsibility - the latest sign that Syria’s civil war is spilling over the border into Lebanon.
Burning cars, bodies and pools of blood littered the front of the embassy building, in the Hezbollah-dominated south of the city.
Tornadoes rip through Midwest, killing 6 and devastating neighborhoods
Hundreds of thousands of people were without power and hundreds were without homes across the Midwest on Monday after powerful storms wreaked havoc in three states.
The worst damage appeared to be in Illinois, where six people died.
Gov. Pat Quinn declared seven counties a state disaster area, including Tazewell County, where a tornado left parts of Washington, Illinois, in ruins.
"Devastation. Sadness. People that lost everything," is how Washington Mayor Gary Manier described the scene to CNN's Chris Cuomo on "New Day."
Hundreds Of Children Rescued In Canada Child Porn Bust: Police
Canadian police announced this week that a massive child pornography investigation has led to the arrests of more than 300 people across the globe. The three-year investigation, nicknamed Project Spade, has also reportedly led to the rescue of almost 400 children.
Announcing the end of Project Spade during a press conference Thursday, Toronto Police Service Chief William Blair explained that the investigation began in 2010 after undercover officers made contact with a Toronto man suspected of sharing child pornography, per the Agence France-Presse.
The man, identified as Brian Way by the BBC, was later taken into custody for allegedly owning a company that distributed child porn on the Internet.
Evacuations In Milford (Texas) After Natural Gas Pipeline Explosion
Residents and hundreds of school children in the North Texas city of Milford were evacuated after an 10-inch Chevron natural gas pipeline exploded Thursday morning. All of Chevron’s employees have been accounted for and no injuries were reported as a result of the explosion. A 1.5 mile radius around the pipeline was blocked off as fire crews allowed the fire to burn off on its own. It’s estimated the fire could burn up to 36 hours, preventing Milford residents from returning to their homes during that time.
Chevron issued the following statement about the explosion:
“At approximately 9.30 a.m. (CST) today, there was an incident at a Chevron pipeline near Milford, Texas. Chevron has initiated its emergency response procedures and is currently responding to the incident. Chevron’s primary concern at this point is to ensure the safety of its employees and the surrounding community. As soon as there are further details, they will be made available.”
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