US warns of more sanctions on Russia

Washington: The White House Friday threatened additional sanctions on Russia in case of its failure to help calm down the tense situation in eastern Ukraine.

The US, the EU, Russia and Ukraine Thursday brokered an agreement in Geneva to de-escalate tension in eastern Ukraine, where pro-Russian militants were occupying government buildings in some cities, and Ukraine's military operation had failed to flush them out, Xinhua reported.

The militants were refusing to heed the fresh deal, demanding the Kiev government step down as well.


Two UN employees abducted in Karachi

Islamabad: Unidentified gunmen kidnapped two local employees of the UN in Pakistan's port city of Karachi late Friday, police said.

The gunmen abducted the employees from their car, reported Xinhua citing Geo News. The local employees were identified as Sami Nawaz and Farukh Salim.

No contact with the two employees could be established, as their cell phones were switched off, police sources said, adding the security forces have also started a search operation in an area after they received signal of their mobile phones.

This weekend vital for missing plane's search: Malaysia

Kuala Lumpur: Malaysian acting Transport Minister Hishammudin Hussein said here Friday that this weekend would be very important for the search of missing plane -- MH370.

"I believe this weekend is very, very important few days," Xinhua quoted the minister as saying.


Magnitude-7 quake hits Mexico

Mexico City: A powerful earthquake measuring 7.0 on the Richter scale hit southern part of Mexico Friday, the country's seismologic service said.

The US Geological Survey, however, said the quake was of 7.2 magnitude, Xinhua reported.

According to Mexican National Seismologic Service, the temblor with a depth of 10 km shook southern Mexico at 9.27 a.m. (1427 GMT), in Guerrero state, some 300 km from capial Mexico City.


Indian-origin doctor in Britain reinstated

London: An Indian-origin cardiologist in Britain was unfairly sacked after he raised concerns about the safety of patients and should be reinstated, a tribunal has ruled.

Raj Mattu was "vilified and bullied" after he publicly exposed overcrowding and fears for patient safety at Walsgrave Hospital in Coventry, claiming that there may have been avoidable deaths as a result, the Guardian reported.

Indian-American mother kept dead son on ice for Hindu ritual

By Arun Kumar ,

Washington: An Indian-American woman in north Texas, accused of killing her son and leaving his body in the bathtub for four days, claims she did so in accordance with her Hindu beliefs.

Pallavi Dhawan, 38, who is charged with first-degree murder in the death of her 10-year-old son, Arnav, almost three months ago, describes the events in a sworn affidavit sent to police through her lawyer, David Finn.

In the affidavit published by Dallas Observer, Dhawan said when she tried to wake her son for school on Jan 29, he was cold and unresponsive.

Four Indians arrested with huge foreign currency cache

By Anil Giri ,

Kathmandu: Nepal police have apprehended four Indians from Nepalgunj along the India-Nepal border Friday evening with a huge cache of foreign currency while they were trying to board a Kathmandu-bound flight at the local airport.

The police confisticated 179,500 euros, $2,900 and 1,300 Thai bhats - accounting to more than NRs.24.59 million - from the four Indians.

Police claimed that the men had hidden the money inside their underwear.

Nepal's Maoist party wants cases against its cadre dropped

Kathmandu : Nepal's main opposition Unified Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) demanded Friday that there should be an agreement among parties to bring all the war-era cases under the jurisdiction of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission or transitional justice mechanism.

The UCPN (Maoist) also demanded that all the cases against its cadres in the regular court proceedings be dropped, Xinhua reported.

The party is obstructing the parliament session with its demand for release of its 16 cadres arrested in connection to war-era cases.


28 dead, 268 missing in South Korean ship sinking

Seoul : The toll in the sinking of a ferry, carrying 475 people, mostly high school students, in sea waters off South Korea's southwest coast, rose to 28 Friday, officials said.

South Korean Coast Guard and Navy divers succeeded Friday in entering into the hull of the sunken ferry, two days after the ship capsized, Xinhua reported.

The divers secured a path to the dining room of the submerged vessel, and found various passages to pry their way into the hull.


Flooded Chinese mine's toll rises to 19

Beijing : The toll in the flooded Xiahaizi coal mine in southwest China's Yunnan province rose to 19 Friday as rescuers found 14 more bodies. Three other miners were still missing, officials said.

The accident happened April 7 when 26 miners were working at the Xiahaizi coal mine in Qujing City, and 22 miners were trapped underground. Four miners were rescued, Xinhua reported.

Investigators believe the flooding was caused by an explosion.

Rescuers retrieved four bodies Thursday and one Wednesday.