Obama offering Japan security, economic assurances
23 Apr 2014 | 8:18 pm
TOKYO (AP) — Facing fresh questions about his commitment to Asia, President Barack Obama will seek to convince Japan's leaders Thursday that he can deliver on his security and economic pledges, even as the crisis in Ukraine demands U.S. attention and resources elsewhere.
Obama to use Japan visit to reassure Asian allies
23 Apr 2014 | 7:12 pm
By Linda Sieg and Matt Spetalnick TOKYO (Reuters) - U.S. President Barack Obama will use a state visit to Japan on Thursday to try to reassure Asian allies of his commitment to ramping up U.S. engagement in the region, despite Chinese complaints that his real aim is to contain Beijing's rise. Obama will be treated to a display of pomp and ceremony meant to show that the U.S.-Japan alliance, the main pillar of America's security strategy in Asia, remains solid at a time of rising tensions over growing Chinese assertiveness and North Korean nuclear threats. "We're continuing to work," a U.S. official said on Thursday before the leaders were to meet on the first state visit to Japan by a U.S. president in 18 years. "We've made some progress and worked around the clock." Even if Obama and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe cannot complete a bilateral trade deal before the U.S. president leaves Tokyo on Friday, they are likely to try to project a sense of progress on key issues.
Obama seeks to ease Asian allies' doubts during visit to Japan
23 Apr 2014 | 5:39 pm
By Linda Sieg and Matt Spetalnick TOKYO (Reuters) - President Barack Obama will use a state visit to Japan on Thursday to try to reassure Tokyo and other Asian allies of his commitment to ramping up U.S. engagement in the region, despite Chinese complaints that Washington's real aim is to contain Beijing's rise. Obama will be treated to a display of pomp and ceremony meant to show that the U.S.-Japan alliance, the main pillar of America's security strategy in Asia, remains solid at a time of rising tensions over growing Chinese assertiveness and North Korean nuclear threats. It was unclear, however, whether a last-ditch round of talks between U.S. and Japanese negotiators would yield a breakthrough on a two-way trade pact seen as crucial to a broader trans-Pacific agreement that Obama has championed. The challenge for Obama during his week-long, four-nation tour will be to convince Asian partners that Washington is serious about its promised strategic "pivot" towards the region, while at the same time not harming U.S. ties with China, the world's second-biggest economy.
Imperial pomp to start Obama's Japan visit
23 Apr 2014 | 4:18 pm
The first state visit to Japan by a US President in nearly two decades gets under way in earnest Thursday when Barack Obama is treated to the pomp and ceremony of an imperial reception. Obama, whose arrival in Tokyo on Wednesday evening brought parts of the Japanese capital shuddering to a halt amid tight security, will be hoping to capitalise on the enthusiastic welcome he received to shore up the cross-Pacific alliance at a time of uncertainty in Asia. The president will open his day Thursday with a welcoming ceremony at Japan's imperial palace hosted by Emperor Akihito. After talks with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe he will tour the Meiji Jingu shrine and be guest of honour at a state dinner.
Pakistan's army wants TV news channel shut down
23 Apr 2014 | 2:35 pm
ISLAMABAD (AP) — Pakistan's powerful army has asked a government regulator to shut down a leading private news channel over what the military calls "false" reports that the country's intelligence service shot one of its top anchors.
Green groups urge U.S. to drop solar trade case against India
23 Apr 2014 | 2:15 pm
Environmental groups urged the United States on Wednesday to drop a challenge to India's massive solar program and said the World Trade Organization case would only hurt the growth of renewable energy resources. The United States is taking action at the WTO over the domestic content requirements in India's program, which aims to ease chronic energy shortages in Asia's third-largest economy. U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman has said making Indian solar developers use locally made equipment discriminates against U.S. producers, in breach of WTO rules, and could hinder the spread of solar power globally by making equipment more expensive. But green groups including the Sierra Club, Greenpeace USA and Friends of the Earth U.S. said supporting the U.S. industry should not come at the expense of India's push to cut fossil fuels and build a viable domestic renewables industry, which would in turn help global efforts to tackle climate change.
Saudi announces 11 new MERS infections
23 Apr 2014 | 1:29 pm
Saudi Arabia on Wednesday announced 11 new cases of MERS, including a 13-year-old child, as its acting health minister vowed to keep the public better informed about the coronavirus. The new cases bring to 272 the total number of MERS infections, including 81 deaths, registered across the kingdom -- worst hit by the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome which was first detected in eastern Saudi Arabia in September 2012. Most of the latest cases are in Riyadh and the commercial hub Jeddah, with one case in the Muslim holy city of Mecca, visited each year by millions of pilgrims from around the world. Three of the new infections were of health workers, while a 13-year-old Saudi girl is among cases recorded in the Red Sea port city of Jeddah.
Farbrace appointed England assistant coach
23 Apr 2014 | 12:18 pm
The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) continued the restructuring of the England coaching set-up on Wednesday by announcing the appointment of Paul Farbrace as assistant coach. The 46-year-old will leave his role as coach of Sri Lanka to work alongside Peter Moores, who returned for a second stint as England head coach last Saturday. Farbrace only joined Sri Lanka in December and achieved instant success by winning both the Asia Trophy and the ICC World Twenty20.
Match-fixer Perumal nabbed again in Finland
23 Apr 2014 | 12:14 pm
HELSINKI (AP) — Convicted match-fixer Wilson Raj Perumal is being held by Finnish police on an international arrest warrant, two years after the Singaporean was jailed in the Nordic country for bribing Finnish league players, officials said Wednesday.
China, US data keep a lid on global stocks
23 Apr 2014 | 11:27 am
LONDON (AP) — Lackluster economic data out of China and the U.S. offset a string of positive developments in Europe to keep a lid on global stock markets on Wednesday following a strong run, particularly on Wall Street.
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