Japan, U.S. to continue TPP talks at ministerial level: NHK

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and U.S. President Barack Obama agreed to continue bilateral talks on an Asia-Pacific regional free trade pact at the ministerial level, Japanese public broadcaster NHK reported on Thursday. NHK did not indicate the timing or location for the next meeting between the two nations. (Reporting by Kaori Kaneko; Editing by Edmund Klamann)
Putin foe faces threat of jail in new trial

Police detain protest leader Alexei Navalny outside Zamoskvoretsky district court in Moscow, on February 24, 2014Prominent Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny goes on trial Thursday in a major case that his supporters fear will end in a lengthy jail sentence for President Vladimir Putin's top critic. But his luck appears to be running out as Putin, buoyed by 80-percent approval ratings and a huge surge in patriotism following the takeover of Crimea last month increasingly shows he will brook no dissent. "The Kremlin's hands are free now," said analyst and blogger Alexander Morozov. In a speech celebrating the takeover of the Ukrainian peninsula in March, Putin referred to critics as a "fifth column."

Body of Korean boy who raised ferry alarm believed found

Mourners cry after paying tribute in Ansan, at a temporary group memorial altar for victims of capsized passenger ship SewolBy James Pearson and Kahyun Yang SEOUL (Reuters) - A South Korean boy whose shaking voice first raised the alarm that an overloaded ferry with hundreds of children on board was sinking has been found drowned in the underwater wreckage of the ship, his parents believe, the coastguard said on Thursday. More than 300 people, most of them students and teachers from the Danwon High School, are dead or missing presumed dead in the April 16 disaster. Of the 476 passengers and crew on board, 339 were children and teachers from the school in Ansan, a gritty suburb on the outskirts of Seoul, who were on an outing to Jeju. As the ferry began sinking, the crew told the children to stay in their cabins.

Super Bowl champ Seahawks in NFL opener

Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning passes during their game against the Seattle Seahawks at Super Bowl XLVIII at MetLife Stadium on February 2, 2014New York (AFP) - The Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks and the Green Bay Packers will kick off the 2014 National Football League's regular season, the league announced.

China to open 8 state industries for investment

BEIJING (AP) — China's government said it would open 80 projects in eight state-run industries to private and foreign investors as part of efforts to make its slowing economy more efficient.

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