KATMANDU, Nepal (AP) — Sherpa guides were leaving Mount Everest's base camp on Wednesday as part of a walkout following the mountain's deadliest disaster, as some expedition companies announced that they were canceling their climbs this season.
JINDO, South Korea (AP) — The grim work of recovering bodies from the submerged South Korea ferry proceeded rapidly Wednesday, with the official death toll reaching 146, though a government official said divers must now rip through cabin walls to retrieve more victims.
By Linda Sieg and Krista Hughes TOKYO/WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman arrived in Japan earlier than expected on Wednesday, Japanese media, for a last ditch push for a two-way deal seen as crucial to efforts to create one of the world's biggest trade pacts. Froman, who had been expected to arrive in Tokyo with U.S. President Barack Obama later in the day, was likely to meet Japanese Economy Minister Akira Amari, the reports said. Talks have been snagged largely on Japan's insistence on protecting politically powerful farm sectors such as beef. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told parliament the talks were tough but Japan was trying to keep some tariffs.
TOKYO (AP) — Shares were mixed in Asia on Wednesday, as weak data from China sapped upward momentum from an overnight rally on a flurry of deals in the pharmaceutical sector.
"We are trained for hostile environments, but it's hard to be brave when we meet bodies in dark water," diver Hwang Dae-sik told Reuters, as the funerals of 25 students were held near the capital, Seoul. Prosecutors investigating the disaster said they raided the home of Yoo Byung-un, the head of a family that owns the Chonghaejin Marine Co. Ltd, the company that operated the Sewol ferry.
By Linda Sieg and Elaine Lies TOKYO (Reuters) - U.S. President Barack Obama has said Washington welcomes China's rise but that engagement with Beijing would not come at the expense of its Asian allies - as Chinese state media greeted his imminent arrival in the region with a broadside accusing the United States of wanting to "cage" the emerging superpower. Obama's remarks, aimed at reassuring Japan and other allies, set against a robust commentary from China's state news agency Xinhua that also called the United States "myopic", demonstrate the delicate balancing act Obama faces on a week-long Asia tour. The four-nation trip that starts in Tokyo later on Wednesday comes at a time of rising tension in the region, and as the United States urges Japan's unpredictable neighbor North Korea not to conduct another nuclear test.
TOKYO (AP) — President Barack Obama's travels through Asia aim to reassure partners about the renewed U.S. commitment to the region, with an eye both to China's rising assertiveness and the fast-growing markets that are the center of gravity for global growth.
Today is Wednesday, April 23, the 113th day of 2014. There are 252 days left in the year.
Chinese manufacturing activity improved slightly in April as domestic demand showed "mild improvement", HSBC said on Wednesday, but it warned the world's second-largest economy was still showing signs of weakness. While the figure shows the country's crucial manufacturing sector is still shrinking it is doing so at a slower rate. "Domestic demand showed mild improvement and deflationary pressures eased," HSBC economist Qu Hongbin said in a statement. Last week Beijing said the economy weakened for the second quarter in a row in January-March, growing 7.4 percent year-on-year, with leaders blaming slow global recovery and domestic structural reforms.
CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — Australia may use more powerful sonar equipment that can delve deeper beneath the Indian Ocean in the hunt for the missing Malaysia Airlines jet as the prime minister said Wednesday that failure to find any clue in the most likely crash site would not spell the end of the search.
Jindo (South Korea) (AFP) - The search for scores of passengers still missing from South Korea's ferry disaster entered a second week Wednesday, to the deepening distress of their grieving, angry and frustrated families. The city is home to the Danwon High School which had 352 students and a dozen teachers on the Sewol when it capsized.
By Kevin Yao BEIJING (Reuters) - China's factory activity shrank for the fourth straight month in April, signaling economic weakness into the second quarter, a preliminary survey showed on Wednesday, although the pace of decline eased helped by policy steps to arrest the slowdown. "It's generally in line (with expectations), reflecting that the growth momentum is stabilizing," said Zhou Hao, China economist at ANZ in Shanghai, who expected economic growth to pick up slightly to 7.5 percent in the second quarter. Annual growth in China's economy slowed to 7.4 percent in the first quarter from a year earlier, its slowest pace in 18 months, but the pace was just ahead of market expectations and seemed to soothe fears of a sharp downturn. China's central bank will cut the amount of deposits rural banks must hold as reserves by between 0.5 and 2 percentage points, it said on Tuesday, the latest in a series of measures to help combat a slowing economy.
Toronto (Canada) (AFP) - The Toronto Raptors and Indiana Pacers captured key NBA playoff triumphs to equalize their Eastern Conference playoff matchups after each team lost best-of-seven series openers on their home court. Toronto's DeMar DeRozan scored 30 points and took charge in the final minutes as the Raptors defeated Brooklyn 100-95 on Tuesday. Paul George scored 27 points, grabbed 10 rebounds, passed out six assists and made four steals Tuesday to lead East top seed Indiana over Atlanta 101-85, like the Raptors pulling level at 1-1 in their first-round series.
New York Yankees pitcher Masahiro Tanaka was a winner in his first Major League Baseball game against the archrival Boston Red Sox, striking out seven in 9-3 victory. Tanaka surrendered his only runs on back-to-back home runs by David Ortiz and Mike Napoli in the fourth inning Tuesday and improved to 3-0 in the young season with his first triumph at historic Fenway Park. Jacoby Ellsbury, who helped the Red Sox win two World Series titles in seven years with Boston, went 2-for-5 with a triple and a double and drove in two runs in his first Fenway appearance for the Yankees, who signed the star outfielder to a seven-year deal for $153 million.
HONOLULU (AP) — A law enforcement official says surveillance video from San Jose International Airport shows the boy who survived a flight to Hawaii in a plane's wheel well was on the airfield seven hours before the jet departed.
Pearland House Values