Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : April 23rd 2014 Contents Filipino candidates of the Miss Earth-Philippines beauty pageant hold placards to mark Earth Day at the Solaire Resort and Casino in
Manila, Philippines, yesterday. A total of 51 environmentally aware and concerned Filipino young ladies will compete to represent the
Philippines at the Miss Earth beauty pageant. Now in its fourteenth year, Miss Earth is a pioneering beauty pageant that serves as a
vehicle for environmental advocacy. Coronation night will be on May 11. YAHOO PHOTO
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Commemorative coins bearing an
image of Russian President Vladimir
Putin are being minted at a Russian
factory to mark the Kremlin's takeover
of Crimea, it appears.
Putin's face is on one side of the 2.2lb
coin while the other shows a map of
the Crimean Peninsula, Moscow daily
Komsomolskaya Pravda reports. Fac-
tory director Vladimir Vasyuhin ex-
plains that by bringing the Crimean
peninsula "back home", Putin had
"demonstrated the qualities of a wise
strategist and politician". In March, Rus-
sia formally took over control of Crimea
from Ukraine, despite international
The limited edition of 500 silver coins
has been called The Gatherer of Russ-
ian Lands---a phrase traditionally asso-
ciated with Ivan III---better known as
Ivan the Great, who significantly ex-
panded Russia's territories during his
rule. The coins haven't been priced yet,
but the factory says it is planning to
present some of them to the Russian
'Putin coins' mark Crimea annexation
Health minister sacked
as Mers death toll rises
The Saudi health minister has been sacked without
explanation, as the Mers coronavirus death toll there
climbed to 81.
Abdullah al-Rabiah was dismissed just days after vis-
iting hospitals in Jeddah to calm a public hit by panic
over the spread of the respiratory virus.
Saudi has registered the largest number of infections
of Mers (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome).
The ministry said it had registered 261 cases of infec-
tion across the kingdom.
The World Health Organization (WHO) says it has
been informed of 243 laboratory-confirmed cases
worldwide, including 93 deaths since the virus was first
discovered in September 2012.
The WHO, which has been monitoring the global situ-
ation, says there is currently no reason to impose any
travel restrictions because of the virus.
Public Health England said the recent rise in the num-
ber of Mers infections in Saudi could be the result of a
number of factors: a change in the virus itself, a conse-
quence of more active surveillance or some sort of, as
yet unexplained, seasonality. (BBC)
Ferry body count reaches 113
The confirmed death toll from the South Korean ferry
that capsized last week has reached 113, as divers re-
covered more bodies from the sunken hull.
Rescuers searching for bodies have been able to take
advantage of better weather yesterday, officials say,
with more than 190 passengers still missing or pre-
sumed trapped inside the vessel.
The ferry tipped over and sank within two hours, but
it is not yet clear why.
The crew have been criticised for allegedly failing to
Five have been charged with not fulfilling their duty
to evacuate passengers safely, officials told the South
Korean Yonhap news agency.
At least six other crew members are reported to have
As the ship listed passengers were told to remain in
rooms and cabins, reports suggest, amid confusion on
the bridge over whether to order them to abandon ship.
The first distress call from the sinking ferry was
made by a boy with a shaking voice, officials told
A crew member quoted by local media said that at-
tempts to launch lifeboats were unsuccessful because
of the tilt of the ship. Only two of the vessel's 46
lifeboats were reported to have been deployed.
South Korean President Park Geun-hye on Monday
condemned the conduct of some of the crew, calling it
"akin to murder". (BBC)
Teams of divers have been searching the sunken
ferry for the bodies of those who died.
Ukraine s acting president has
relaunched military operations against
pro-Russian militants in the east after two
men, one a local politician, were found
"tortured to death".
Oleksandr Turchynov said the politician,
named as Vladimir Rybak, was found near
"The terrorists who effectively took the
whole Donetsk region hostage have now
gone too far," he said.
The move came as US Vice-President Joe
Biden was visiting Ukraine.
As he met Ukrainian leaders in Kiev, Biden
called on Russia to "stop talking and start
acting" to defuse the Ukraine crisis.
The US and the West accuse Russia of
using undercover military to back separatists
in eastern Ukraine, where public buildings
are occupied in at least nine cities and towns.
Russia denies involvement.
Biden warned Russia that further
"provocative behaviour" would lead to
"greater isolation" and urged Moscow to
end its alleged support for pro-Russian mil-
Announcing the decision to reactivate the
military operation in eastern Ukraine,
Turchynov said in a statement: "I call on
the security bodies to resume and carry out
successful anti-terrorist measures aimed at
defending Ukrainian citizens living in the
east of Ukraine against terrorists."
Mr Rybak, whose body was found yes-
terday, was described as a local councillor
for the Fatherland party in the nearby town
of Horlivka. The other man killed has not
yet been publicly identified.
"These crimes are being committed with
the full support and connivance of the Russ-
ian Federation," Turchynov said.
Kiev s military operation to end the occu-
pation of buildings began on 16 April but
was suspended over the Easter period.
NAIROBI---The townsfolk believed the
mosque was safe. They crammed inside
as rebel forces in South Sudan took control
of the town from government troops. But
it wasn t safe. Robbers grabbed their cash
and mobile phones. Then gunmen came
and opened fire on everyone, young and
The UN says hundreds of civilians were
killed in the massacre last week in Bentiu,
the capital of South Sudan s oil-producing
Unity state, a tragic reflection of longstanding
ethnic hostilities in the world s newest coun-
"Piles and piles" of bodies were left behind
after the shootings, said Toby Lanzer, the
top UN aid official in South Sudan. Many
were in the mosque. Others were in the
hospital. Still more littered the streets. The
violence appears to have been incited in
part by calls on the radio for revenge attacks,
The attack, which targeted members of
certain ethnic groups, was a disturbing echo
of what happened two decades ago in Rwan-
da.Thousands of people have been killed in
violence in South Sudan since December,
when presidential guards splintered and
fought along ethnic lines. The violence later
spread across the country as soldiers loyal
to President Salva Kiir, an ethnic Dinka,
tried to put down a rebellion led by Riek
Machar, the former vice president and an
But Lanzer told The Associated Press in
a phone interview yesterday that the April
15-16 mass killings, carried out by Nuers,
are "quite possibly a game-changer" in the
"It s the first time we re aware of that a
local radio station was broadcasting hate
messages encouraging people to engage in
atrocities," said Lanzer, who was in Bentiu
on Sunday and Monday. (AP)
Ukraine politician 'tortured to death'
'Piles and piles' of bodies in South Sudan slaughter
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