WBRZ http://www.wbrz.com/ WBRZ International News International News en-us Copyright 2014, WBRZ. All Rights Reserved. Feed content is not avaialble for commercial use. () () Thu, 17 Apr 2014 15:04:47 GMT Synapse CMS 10 WBRZ http://www.wbrz.com/ 144 25 South Korea says nearly 300 missing in ferry disaster http://www.wbrz.com/news/south-korea-says-nearly-300-missing-in-ferry-disaster/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/south-korea-says-nearly-300-missing-in-ferry-disaster/ International News Wed, 16 Apr 2014 4:10:42 AM Hunter Robinson South Korea says nearly 300 missing in ferry disaster

SEOUL, South Korea - Officials in South Korea say nearly 300 people are still missing several hours after a ferry sank in the cold waters off the country's southern coast.

At least two people are confirmed dead, but there are fears of a much bigger death toll as dozens of boats, helicopters and divers continue to search for survivors.

One passenger says he believes that many people were trapped inside when the ferry sank. The boat sent out a distress call Wednesday morning when it began leaning to one side.

The Ministry of Security and Public Administration says about 95 percent of the ferry is now submerged.

Most of the 459 people on board were high school students on a school trip. On student tells broadcaster YTN that he and other students jumped into the ocean wearing life jackets and then swam to a rescue boat nearby.


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US: 'Overwhelming evidence' Russia driving E. Ukraine unrest http://www.wbrz.com/news/us-overwhelming-evidence-russia-driving-e-ukraine-unrest/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/us-overwhelming-evidence-russia-driving-e-ukraine-unrest/ International News Mon, 14 Apr 2014 1:15:01 PM US: 'Overwhelming evidence'  Russia driving E. Ukraine unrest

WASHINGTON - The White House says there's "overwhelming evidence" that Russia is fomenting unrest in eastern Ukraine.

However, President Barack Obama has not yet concluded that the actions warrant broader sanctions.

White House spokesman Jay Carney says the administration is "actively evaluating" how the U.S. should respond to the situation. He says the U.S. is also discussing that matter with international partners.

Carney suggests Obama could talk to Russia President Vladimir Putin as soon as today. They last spoke more than two weeks ago. Since then, pro-Russian forces have been on a rampage, storming and occupying local government offices, police stations and a small airport in eastern Ukraine.

Meanwhile, ousted Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych is accusing CIA Chief John Brennan of being behind Ukraine's decision to send troops into the east to quash the pro-Russian insurgency.

U.S. officials deny those accusations, but the White House has confirmed that Brennan visited the Ukrainian capital of Kiev over the weekend.


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Pope assumes responsibility for priest sex abuse http://www.wbrz.com/news/pope-assumes-responsibility-for-priest-sex-abuse/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/pope-assumes-responsibility-for-priest-sex-abuse/ International News Fri, 11 Apr 2014 10:51:43 AM Pope assumes responsibility for priest sex abuse

VATICAN CITY - Some off-the-cuff remarks today from Pope Francis are the latest sign that he has become sensitized to the gravity of the church's abuse scandal.

The pontiff said today that he took personal responsibility for what he described as the "evil" of priests who raped and molested children. Francis asked forgiveness from victims, and said the church must do more to protect the young.

He said, "We don't want to take a step back in dealing with this problem and the sanctions that must be imposed."

It's the first time a pope has taken personal responsibility for the sex crimes of priests, and has begged forgiveness.

Last month, Francis named four women and an abuse survivor to a sex abuse advisory panel. The Vatican has suggested that the panel will address the issue of sanctioning bishops who cover up for pedophiles.

Francis delivered his comments today to members of a French Catholic network of organizations that protect the rights of children.

The main U.S. victim's group, SNAP, says it's waiting for more. The group's outreach director says, "Until the pope takes decisive action that protects kids, be skeptical and vigilant."


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New possible pings detected in hunt for lost jet http://www.wbrz.com/news/new-possible-pings-detected-in-hunt-for-lost-jet/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/new-possible-pings-detected-in-hunt-for-lost-jet/ International News Thu, 10 Apr 2014 4:50:42 AM KRISTEN GELINEAU New possible pings detected in hunt for lost jet

PERTH, Australia - An Australian official says a search crew hunting for the missing Malaysian jet has located a new possible underwater signal.

The search agency coordinating the search off Australia's west coast says an Australian navy aircraft on Thursday picked up a signal in the same area a ship first heard sounds consistent with an aircraft's black boxes earlier this week.

The aircraft dropped sound-locating buoys by parachute in a pattern near where the signals were last heard.

Angus Houston, who is heading up the search, said in a statement that the plane picked up a "possible signal" that may be from a man-made source.


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Pistorius continues testimony at murder trial http://www.wbrz.com/news/pistorius-continues-testimony-at-murder-trial/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/pistorius-continues-testimony-at-murder-trial/ International News Tue, 8 Apr 2014 4:38:32 AM Hunter Robinson Pistorius continues testimony at  murder trial

PRETORIA, South Africa - Oscar Pistorius was testifying for a second day at his murder trial Tuesday, answering questions from his defense lawyer.

Pistorius is expected to speak about the night he shot girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp and will also be cross-examined by the prosecution.

The double-amputee Olympic runner was the second witness called by the defense Monday, when he made a tearful apology to Steenkamp's family. He said he was now on medication and suffered from panic attacks, and had a long-held fear of crime, which he says contributed to him firing through a toilet door on Valentine's Day last year thinking his girlfriend was a nighttime intruder.

Prosecutors say that Pistorius is lying and killed Steenkamp intentionally after an argument and charged the world-famous athlete with premeditated murder.


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Electrical device helps paralyzed men move legs http://www.wbrz.com/news/electrical-device-helps-paralyzed-men-move-legs/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/electrical-device-helps-paralyzed-men-move-legs/ International News Tue, 8 Apr 2014 4:36:29 AM Maria Cheng Electrical device helps paralyzed men move legs

LONDON - Three years ago, doctors reported that zapping a paralyzed man's spinal cord with electricity allowed him to stand and move his legs. Now they've done the same with three other patients, suggesting their original success was no fluke.

Experts say it's a promising development but warn that the experimental treatment isn't a cure. When the implanted device is activated, the men can wiggle their toes, lift their legs and stand briefly. But they aren't able to walk and still use wheelchairs to get around.

"There is no miracle cure on the way," said Peter Ellaway, an emeritus professor of physiology at Imperial College London, who had no role in the study. "But this could certainly give paralyzed people more independence and it could still be a life-changer for them."

In a new study published Tuesday in the British journal Brain, researchers gave an update on Rob Summers, of Portland, Oregon, the first to try the treatment, and described successful results for all three of the other men who have tried it. All had been paralyzed from below the neck or chest for at least two years from a spinal cord injury.

The study's lead author, Claudia Angeli of the Kentucky Spinal Cord Research Center at the University of Louisville, said she believes the device's zapping of the spinal cord helps it to receive simple commands from the brain, through circuitry that some doctors had assumed was beyond repair after severe paralysis.

Dustin Shillcox, 29, of Green River, Wyoming, was seriously injured in a car crash in 2010. Last year, he had the electrical device surgically implanted in his lower back in Kentucky. Five days later, he wiggled his toes and moved one of his feet for the first time.

"It was very exciting and emotional," said Shillcox. "It brought me a lot of hope."

Shillcox now practices moving his legs for about an hour a day at home in addition to therapy sessions in the lab, sometimes wearing a Superman T-shirt for inspiration. He said it has given him more confidence and he feels more comfortable going out.

"The future is very exciting for people with spinal cord injuries," he said.

The study's other two participants - Kent Stephenson of Mount Pleasant, Texas and Andrew Meas of Louisville, Kentucky - have had similar results.

"I'm able to (make) these voluntary movements and it really changed my life," Stephenson said. He said the electrical device lets him ride on an off-road utility vehicle all day with his friends and get out of the wheelchair.

"I've seen some benefits of (the device) training even when it's turned off," he added. "There have been huge improvements in bowel, bladder and sexual function."

The new study was paid for by the U.S. National Institutes of Health, the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation and others.

Experts said refining the use of electrical stimulators for people with paralysis might eventually prove more effective than standard approaches, including medicines and physical therapy.

"In the next five to 10 years, we may have one of the first therapies that can improve the quality of life for people with a spinal cord injury," said Gregoire Courtine, a paralysis expert at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne, who was not part of the study.

Ellaway said it was unrealistic to think that paralyzed people would be able to walk after such treatment but it was feasible they might eventually be able to stand unaided or take a few steps.

"The next step will be to see how long this improvement persists or if they will need this implant for the rest of their lives," he said.

The National Institutes of Health is investing in more advanced stimulators that would better target the spinal cord as well as devices that might work on people who are paralyzed in their upper limbs.


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Guilty in webcam murder http://www.wbrz.com/news/guilty-in-webcam-murder/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/guilty-in-webcam-murder/ International News Mon, 7 Apr 2014 5:33:54 PM Michael Marsh Guilty in webcam murder

TORONTO- A Canadian man was found guilty of killing a female student while her boyfriend watched the murder via webcam in China.

Qian Liu was found dead in her apartment a few hours after her boyfriend in China watched as she tried to fend off an attacker who appeared at her door.

The boyfriend told police he saw Liu struggle with the man before her computer was turned off.

Brian Dickson was arrested for the murder and even offered to plead guilty to a lesser charge of manslaughter, but prosecutors rejected the deal and the case went to the jury on Monday.


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Malaysia official hopeful about lost jet search http://www.wbrz.com/news/malaysia-official-hopeful-about-lost-jet-search/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/malaysia-official-hopeful-about-lost-jet-search/ International News Mon, 7 Apr 2014 4:55:35 AM Hunter Robinson Malaysia official hopeful about lost jet search

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia - Malaysia's defense minister says he is "cautiously hopeful" that there will be positive developments in the next few days, "if not hours," in the search for the missing airliner.

Hishamuddin Hussein made the comments Monday during a press conference in light of news about underwater sounds detected by ships searching the southern Indian Ocean. At least some of the sounds are consistent with pings from aircraft black boxes.

Authorities have warned that it will take time to confirm whether the sounds are signals from the flight data recorders that belonged to Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, which vanished a month ago.

The batteries in the black boxes run out after about 30 days, and the plane vanished March 8, so searchers are in a race against time to locate the devices.


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Obama: Afghan election marks important milestone http://www.wbrz.com/news/obama-afghan-election-marks-important-milestone/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/obama-afghan-election-marks-important-milestone/ International News Sat, 5 Apr 2014 3:08:25 PM Hunter Robinson Obama: Afghan election marks important milestone

WASHINGTON, D.C. - President Barack Obama says Afghanistan's presidential election marks another important milestone.

He says the Afghan people are taking full responsibility for their country as the United States and its allies gradually withdraw their forces.

Obama is congratulating the millions of Afghans who defied threats from the Taliban and went to the polls.

Turnout in some places Saturday was so high that polling places ran out of ballots.

Partial results are expected Sunday.

Obama says the election to choose a successor to President Hamid Karzai (HAH'-mihd KAHR'-zeye) is critical to securing Afghanistan's democratic future and continued international support.

Secretary of State John Kerry says the vote demonstrates Afghan people's commitment to protecting and advancing their democracy. He says that the United States remains ready to work with the next president.


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McDonald's closes in Crimea http://www.wbrz.com/news/mcdonald-s-closes-in-crimea/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/mcdonald-s-closes-in-crimea/ International News Fri, 4 Apr 2014 12:25:24 PM McDonald's closes in Crimea

NEW YORK- McDonald's has closed its three restaurants in Crimea as it evaluates the "evolving situation" on the Black Sea peninsula.

The world's biggest hamburger chain said Friday that the closures were "strictly a business decision which has nothing to do with politics." It cited the suspension of financial and banking services and said it is evaluating the potential business and regulatory implications of the situation.

Russia annexed the Black Sea peninsula in mid-March, saying that the pro-Russian Crimeans had a right to break away from Ukraine.

The West and Ukraine do not recognize the annexation.

The restaurants in Crimea were owned by McDonald's Corp., rather than franchisees.

"We hope to reopen our restaurants soon so we can welcome back our loyal customers," McDonald's said in its statement.


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Australia to deploy flying air traffic controller http://www.wbrz.com/news/australia-to-deploy-flying-air-traffic-controller/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/australia-to-deploy-flying-air-traffic-controller/ International News Tue, 1 Apr 2014 4:49:35 AM Rob Griffith Australia to deploy flying air traffic controller

PERTH, Australia - Australia is deploying a modified Boeing 737 to act as a flying air traffic controller over the Indian Ocean to prevent a mid-air collision among the large number of aircraft searching for the Malaysia Airlines jetliner that went missing over three weeks ago.

According to an Australian government briefing note read out to The Associated Press by an official, the air force is sending an E-7A Wedgetail equipped with advanced radar to start monitoring the search zone Tuesday.

The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media.

Ten planes and nine ships were taking part in Tuesday's search for Flight 370, which vanished March 8 with 239 people bound for Beijing from Kuala Lumpur.


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Chinese families want answers; Search continues for missing plane http://www.wbrz.com/news/chinese-families-want-answers-search-continues-for-missing-plane/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/chinese-families-want-answers-search-continues-for-missing-plane/ International News Sun, 30 Mar 2014 8:20:56 AM Chinese families want answers; Search continues for missing plane

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia - Several dozen Chinese relatives of passengers on Flight 370 held up banners today as they demanded an apology from Malaysia for its handling of the search for a missing airliner.

Banners in Chinese read "We want evidence, truth, dignity." An English banner read "Hand us the murderer. Tell us the truth. Give us our relatives back."

A designated representative also says the group feels a statement indicating the plane had crashed with no survivors was premature, given the evidence at the time.

He says the group wants to meet airline and government officials.

Meanwhile, planes and ships continue their search about 1,150 miles west of Australia.

So far, none of the objects pulled from the southern Indian Ocean have been confirmed as coming from the plane.

An Australian warship with an aircraft black box detector is to depart for the search area today.


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Australia says planes checking new search area http://www.wbrz.com/news/australia-says-planes-checking-new-search-area/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/australia-says-planes-checking-new-search-area/ International News Fri, 28 Mar 2014 4:11:28 AM Eieleen NG Australia says planes checking new search area

PERTH, Australia - Australia says four planes are now searching in a new area in the Indian Ocean for possible signs of the Malaysian airliner that went missing three weeks ago.

John Young, manager of the Australian Maritime Safety Authority's emergency response division, said Friday that four planes were in the area, and that six ships were headed there.

Officials said earlier that the search zone had been shifted 1,100 kilometers (680 miles) to the northeast after new analysis of radar data suggested the plane flew faster than thought and used more fuel, which may have reduced the distance it traveled.

The search comes as the weather cleared enough Friday to allow planes to hunt for fresh clues to the fate of the plane carrying 239 people that went missing March 8.


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Vatican: Obama talks included birth control http://www.wbrz.com/news/vatican-obama-talks-included-birth-control/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/vatican-obama-talks-included-birth-control/ International News Thu, 27 Mar 2014 8:46:56 AM Vatican: Obama talks included birth control

VATICAN CITY - The Vatican says the Catholic Church's objection to a contraception requirement under the Affordable Care Act was raised during President Barack Obama's visit.

The Vatican says other areas of discussion during Obama's historic visit included abortion, immigration reform, human trafficking and international issues.

The Vatican issued the short statement after Obama met separately Thursday with Pope Francis and Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin. The statement didn't specify which topics were discussed in which meeting.

While describing the meetings as "cordial," it says they reviewed questions relevant for the Catholic Church in the U.S. The statement says that includes "rights to religious freedom, life and conscientious objection," a reference to mandates for contraception coverage under Obama's health care law.


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Obama: Right to self-determination being tested http://www.wbrz.com/news/obama-right-to-self-determination-being-tested/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/obama-right-to-self-determination-being-tested/ International News Wed, 26 Mar 2014 10:39:04 AM Obama: Right to self-determination being tested

BRUSSELS - President Barack Obama says the ideal that individuals have the right to determine their own destiny is being tested in Europe.

In a speech in Brussels, Obama says the ideal that all men and women are created equal is being threatened by an older, more traditional view of power.

He says this alternate vision argues that ordinary men and women are too small-minded to govern their own affairs.

Obama didn't say so directly but he was referring to Russia's recent annexation of Crimea.

Russia took Crimea away from Ukraine after Ukraine's pro-Russia president fled the country after months of protests against his government.


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Satellite spots 122 possible objects in search http://www.wbrz.com/news/satellite-spots-122-possible-objects-in-search-58902/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/satellite-spots-122-possible-objects-in-search-58902/ International News Wed, 26 Mar 2014 8:39:03 AM Satellite spots 122 possible objects in search

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia - Searchers may be closer to finding pieces of the missing Malaysian jetliner.

A top Malaysian official says a French satellite spotted a possible debris field containing 122 objects. It's in the same area where an Australian satellite and a Chinese satellite had earlier spotted objects -- in the southern Indian Ocean, far southwest of Australia.

A dozen planes and five ships are again hunting for the objects after seas calmed today. Nothing has been retrieved yet.

New data has narrowed the search zone, but it remains huge - an area estimated at 622,000 square miles, about the size of Alaska. Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott calls it "the most inaccessible spot imaginable."


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Russia: Ukraine bars pilots from leaving aircraft http://www.wbrz.com/news/russia-ukraine-bars-pilots-from-leaving-aircraft/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/russia-ukraine-bars-pilots-from-leaving-aircraft/ International News Wed, 26 Mar 2014 3:59:19 AM Hunter Robinson Russia: Ukraine bars pilots from leaving aircraft

MOSCOW, Russia - Russia is accusing Ukrainian officials of barring crews of Russian commercial airlines from going outside of their aircraft in Ukrainian airports.

Tensions between Moscow and Kiev have been rising ever since Russian forces occupied the Crimean peninsula and stayed there throughout the referendum last week where votes overwhelmingly supported Russia's annexation.

Russia's foreign ministry said Wednesday that Ukrainian border guards have been barring cabin crews of Aeroflot, the state-controlled Russian airline, from leaving the aircraft. The ministry said the decision violates international laws and ultimately "poses a threat to the safety of civil aviation" because the crews cannot rest properly.

The ministry said that it had sent protest notes twice to the Ukrainian embassy in Moscow.


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Satellite spots 122 possible objects in search http://www.wbrz.com/news/satellite-spots-122-possible-objects-in-search/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/satellite-spots-122-possible-objects-in-search/ International News Wed, 26 Mar 2014 3:56:07 AM Rob Griffith Satellite spots 122 possible objects in search

PERTH, Australia - Malaysia says a satellite has captured images of 122 objects in the Indian Ocean that might be from the missing plane.

Defense Minister Hishammuddin Hussein says the objects were seen close to where three other satellites previously detected objects.

He said Wednesday the sightings together are "the most credible lead that we have."

Hishammuddin said the images were taken Sunday and were relayed by French-based Airbus Defense and Space.

Hishammuddin says the objects ranged in length from one meter (yard) to 23 meters (25 yards).

Various floating objects have been spotted by planes and satellites, but none has been retrieved or identified.


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LSU student describes clash of cultures in Crimea http://www.wbrz.com/news/lsu-student-describes-clash-of-cultures-in-crimea/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/lsu-student-describes-clash-of-cultures-in-crimea/ International News Tue, 25 Mar 2014 2:52:15 PM Zach Correa LSU student describes clash of cultures in Crimea

BATON ROUGE - An LSU student who spent some time in Crimea last year chronicled her experience for the Huffington Post.

In her article "Crimea in sunnier times," Aryanna Prasad discussed her travels through Crimea, especially the struggles she noticed with ethnic identity within this Ukrainian peninsula.

Accorrding to Prasad, the history of Ukraine is profoundly linked to the history of Russia, and this connection allows for many Crimean residents to feel ties to both Ukraine and Russia.

To read Prasad's full article in the Huffington Post, click here.


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Grief for families told Flight 370 crashed http://www.wbrz.com/news/grief-for-families-told-flight-370-crashed/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/grief-for-families-told-flight-370-crashed/ International News Mon, 24 Mar 2014 11:52:39 AM Grief for families told Flight 370 crashed

BEIJING - There's renewed grief today for family members of the 239 people on board the Malaysia Airlines jet that disappeared more than two weeks ago, with today's announcement from Malaysia's prime minister that the plane had gone down in the southern Indian Ocean.

Relatives of passengers in Beijing -- the plane's destination -- were called to a hotel near the airport today to hear the news, and about 50 of them gathered there. There were shrieks and sobs after the announcement. One woman collapsed and fell on her knees, mourning the loss of her son.

Another woman whose brother-in-law was on the flight says she was prepared for the worst when she heard the Malaysian prime minister would make a statement. She said the news is a "blow" that is "beyond description."

Some of the families received a text message from the airline. It read, "Malaysia Airlines deeply regrets that we have to assume beyond any reasonable doubt that MH370 has been lost and that none of those on board survived." It said, "We must now accept all evidence suggests the plane went down in the Southern Indian Ocean."


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