SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — A cargo ship hit a seawall off South Korea's southeastern coast and partly sank in an accident that killed nine crew members and left two missing, coast guard officers said Wednesday. Eight crew members were rescued.
The ship is owned by a Chinese firm and flagged in Panama, and its crew is nearly all Chinese with one Vietnamese.
The 8,461-ton ship had anchored off the port city of Pohang but high waves forced it against the seawall Tuesday afternoon, a coast guard statement said.
All 19 people on board were listed as missing about 14 hours after the accident as winds and waves hampered rescue efforts.
Early Wednesday, coast guard rescuers found eight sailors either floating in the sea or waiting for help on the front of the ship. Most of the vessel has sunk, coast guard officers said. They spoke on condition of anonymity, saying they were not authorized to speak to the media on this matter. The rescued sailors were wearing life jackets, the officers said.
The coast guard also collected the dead bodies of nine crew members but two are still missing, the officers said.
China's official Xinhua News Agency said the ship, the CHENGLU15, belonged to China's Lishen International Shipping Group Corp. in Zhejiang province.
The ship had unloaded its freight and was set to leave for Japan. The coast guard officers said the ship was carrying about 130 tons of bunker oil and diesel fuel.
SYDNEY (AP) — Australian police seized around 200 million Australian dollars ($190 million) worth of methamphetamine hidden in the tires of a truck shipped from China, officials said Friday.
Three Melbourne men were arrested after officials found more than 200 kilograms (440 pounds) of the drug in a shipment from Shanghai that arrived in Melbourne on Oct. 1, the Australian Federal Police said.
"The concealment did show up on X-ray but what was unusual about the truck was when you just looked at it, nothing," Australian Customs and Border Protection Service Victoria regional director Graham Krisohos said.
Two of the three men arrested were dock workers in Melbourne. The men face charges of importing and attempting to possess drugs and face a maximum sentence of life in prison if convicted.
Australian police have made a series of large drug busts in recent months. The country is becoming an increasingly lucrative market for international drug networks because of the strength of the local currency and resilience of the national economy compared to other wealthy nations.
ST. PETERSBURG, Russia (AP) — China is warning other world powers of global economic risks of a potential U.S.-led military intervention in Syria'a civil war.
Chinese Vice Finance Minister Zhu Guangyao says such "military action would definitely have a negative impact on the global economy, especially on the oil price."
He spoke in St. Petersburg on Thursday ahead of a summit of leaders of the Group of 20 leading world economies.
He cited estimates that a $10 rise in oil prices could push down global growth by 0.25 percent.
He urged a negotiated U.N. solution to the standoff over allegations that Syria's government used chemical weapons against its own people, expressing hope that "the world economic balance will become more stable rather than more complex and more challenging."
BEIJING (AP) - Chinese state media say a flash flood swept through a construction site and killed at least 21 workers in the northwestern Chinese province of Qinghai. Three workers are still missing.
The official Xinhua News Agency said Wednesday that rescuers are searching for those missing from Tuesday's disaster in Wulan county, and that seven injured people had been sent to hospitals. The remote region lies amid high mountains, 2,500 kilometers (1,500 miles) west of Beijing.
Elsewhere in China, heavy flooding in the extreme south and northeast has left more than 200 dead or missing in recent days.
Flooding and landslides in southern China have been chiefly caused by rains brought by last week's Typhoon Utor. Another storm was bearing down on Taiwan and expected to arrive on mainland China sometime Thursday.
BEIJING (AP) — A strong earthquake in a dry, hilly farming area in western China knocked down power lines and damaged scores of homes early Monday, killing at least 47 people and injuring nearly 300, the local government said.
The quake hit near the city of Dingxi in Gansu province, a region of mountains, desert and pastureland. Residents described shaking windows and swinging lights but little major damage and little panic. Tremors were felt in the provincial capital of Lanzhou 177 kilometers (110 miles) north, and as far away as Xi'an, 400 kilometers (250 miles) to the east.
"You could see the chandeliers wobble and the windows vibrating and making noise, but there aren't any cracks in the walls. Shop assistants all poured out onto the streets when the shaking began," said a front desk clerk at the Wuyang Hotel in the Zhang County seat about 40 kilometers (25 miles) from the epicenter. The clerk surnamed Bao refrained from identifying herself further, as is common among ordinary Chinese.
With a population of 26 million, Gansu is one of China's more lightly populated provinces, although the New Jersey-sized area of Dingxi has a greater concentration of farms in rolling hills terraced with fields for crops and fruit trees. Dingxi has a total population of about 2.7 million.
The deaths and injuries were reported in Min County and other rural southern parts of the municipality, Dingxi Mayor Tang Xiaoming told state broadcaster CCTV. Tang said damage was worst in the counties of Zhang and Min, where scores of homes were damaged and telephone and electricity services knocked out.
Su Wei, leader of a 120-member rescue team from the paramilitary People's Armed Police, told state broadcaster CCTV that they were on their way to the epicenter, but progress was being slowed by mud and rock slides blocking the road.
The Chinese Red Cross said it was shipping 200 tents, 1,000 sets of household items, and 2,000 jackets to the area and sending teams from both Lanzhou and Beijing to help with relief work and assess further needs.
Heavy rain is expected in the area later in the week, raising the need for shelter and increasing the chance of further landslides.
The government's earthquake monitoring center said the initial quake at 7:45 a.m. (2345 GMT Sunday) was magnitude-6.6 and subsequent tremors included a magnitude-5.6.
The quake was shallow, which can be more destructive. The center said it struck about 20 kilometers (12.4 miles) beneath the surface, while the Gansu provincial earthquake administration said it was just 6 kilometers (3.7 miles) deep.
The U.S. Geological Survey measured the magnitude of the initial quake as 5.9 and the depth at 10 kilometers (6 miles).
Initial measurements of an earthquake can vary widely, especially if different monitoring equipment is used.
Dingxi is about 1,233 kilometers (766 miles) west of Beijing.
China's worst earthquake in recent years was a 7.9-magnitude temblor that struck the southwestern province of Sichuan in 2008, leaving 90,000 people dead or missing.
WASHINGTON (AP) — The United States is still viewed as the world's leading economic power in many countries, according to polls in 39 nations by the Pew Research Center's Global Attitudes Project. But as the Great Recession has buffeted the U.S. economy, China has gained rapidly in the eyes of the rest of the world, and many say it ultimately will replace America as the world's top global economic force.
In 22 of the 39 nations polled, the U.S. is seen as the top global economy, while China is viewed as having the upper hand in eight countries, including U.S. allies Canada, Britain, Germany and France. Surprisingly, Americans are about evenly divided over which country has the stronger economy, with 44 percent saying China and 39 percent the United States.
Since 2008, the population share that calls China the world's top economy has just about doubled in Spain, Germany and Britain, nearly tripled in Russia, and gained 22 points in France. Of the 20 countries Pew surveyed in both 2008 and 2013, all but two are now significantly more likely to say China is the world's leading economic power.
In 18 of the countries polled, half or more believe China has or will replace the U.S. as the world's top economic force, while majorities in only three believe the U.S. will maintain its top economic position.
The surveys, conducted before news about the NSA's surveillance programs broke, also found that 37 of the 39 countries saw the U.S. as a good steward of individual liberty than a poor one.
Before leaks of classified documents revealed widespread U.S. tracking of Internet communications among people in other countries, many said they were confident President Barack Obama would do the right thing in world affairs, including 88 percent in Germany and 83 percent in France, two allies whose official reactions to the spying program have been broadly negative. Few in those nations think the U.S. gives their countries' concerns much weight when setting foreign policy; just 35 percent in France and half in Germany say America considers their interests at least "a fair amount."
Other findings from the surveys:
— The U.S. is viewed favorably by a majority in 28 of the 38 other nations tracked in the poll, with favorability ratings above 80 percent in Ghana, Senegal and Kenya in Africa, Israel in the Middle East and the Philippines in Asia. America fares worst in the Middle East, where most have an unfavorable opinion in five of seven nations surveyed, including 81 percent with a negative view in Egypt and 70 percent unfavorable in Turkey.
— Among those in nations that receive U.S. economic aid, Egyptians and Pakistanis are more apt to say the assistance is having a negative impact on their country, while other African nations surveyed view such assistance as a positive influence.
— Majorities in just three of the 39 countries say they approve of the U.S. use of drones to target extremists: Israel (64 percent approve), the United States (61 percent approve) and Kenya (56 percent approve).
— More than 9 in 10 in Japan (96 percent) and South Korea (91 percent) say that China's growing military power is a bad thing.
The Pew Research Center interviewed 37,653 respondents in 39 countries from March 2 through May 1, 2013. Interviews were conducted face-to-face or by telephone, depending on the country, and are representative of at least 95 percent of the adult population of each nation except for China and Pakistan, where the samples were disproportionately urban, Argentina, Bolivia, Greece, Indonesia and Malaysia, where some difficult to reach or rural populations were excluded, and the Czech Republic and Japan, where interviews were conducted either by cellular or landline telephone only.
RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif. (AP) — Another two hours of talks are scheduled today in California between President Barack Obama and Chinese leader Xi Jinping.
They'll wrap up their talks with a range of issues. Obama and Xi met for several hours yesterday evening discussing cyber-espionage and other issues.
Obama says the U.S. and China are in "uncharted waters" as they tackle the contentious issue of cybersecurity.
The two leaders carefully avoided directly accusing each other of spying. But they acknowledged an urgent need to find a common approach to addressing the matter.
U.S. officials cast the more relaxed summit at a California estate as an opportunity for Obama and Xi to hold candid and free-flowing talks on the issues that define the relationship between the two countries, including the economy, climate change and North Korea's nuclear provocations.
BEIJING (AP) — U.S. National Security Adviser Tom Donilon began discussions with Chinese officials Monday for a summit between their two presidents that will confront divisive security issues while trying to overcome a growing distrust between the governments.
Donilon and State Councilor Yang Jiechi, China's senior foreign policy official, said next month's summit is a chance for the U.S.'s Barack Obama and China's Xi Jinping to work through problems. Though they did not identify those challenges in their public remarks, ties are strained across the board, from longstanding differences over Iran's and North Korea's nuclear programs to new disputes over cyber-attacks and China's more assertive pursuit of territorial claims against U.S. allies Japan and the Philippines.
In a sign that both sides want to stem the drift besetting ties, the summit now scheduled for June 7-8 is taking place months earlier than the two presidents were supposed to meet. It's their first face-to-face meeting since Obama's re-election and Xi's promotion to head of the Communist Party last November. The setting — at the private estate of the late publishing tycoon Walter Annenberg in southern California — is supposed to be informal, giving Xi and Obama and chance to build a rapport.
That Xi agreed to an informal summit has been seen by Chinese and U.S. experts as positive. His predecessors always preferred formal state visits, splashing images of White House ceremonies and banquets in the Chinese media to bolster their standing as world statesmen.
Good will aside, distrust has deepened in relations in recent years as the U.S. feels its world leadership challenged and China, its power growing, demands greater deference to its interests and a larger say over global rule-setting. Chinese officials and state media regularly say Washington is thwarting China's rise, strengthening alliances in Asia to hem in Beijing and discouraging Chinese investment in the U.S. on national security issues.
The official Xinhua News Agency reported Monday that late last week battle ships and submarines from the Chinese navy's three fleets staged a war game in the South China Sea. The area is already a flashpoint, with Beijing's aggressive claims to disputed islands having rattled the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia and Brunei.
On Sunday, Li Keqiang — on a visit to Germany in his first trip abroad as China's premier — pressed China's claim to a cluster of East China Sea islands held by Japan. Traveling to Potsdam, where allied powers declared the terms for Japan's surrender 68 years ago in the waning days of World War II, Li told reporters that Japan must not "deny or glorify the history of fascist aggression."
The aggrieved sense emanating from Beijing goes beyond recent flare-ups in old territorial disputes. The website of the People's Daily, the Communist Party's flagship newspaper, is running a recurring column that takes a critical look at Americans and their institutions. First called "Immoral, dishonest Americans," the title of the column was changed to "The Americans you don't know about."
State Councilor Yang in welcoming Donilon said his trip helps "in strengthening the bilateral trust and cooperation." Looking toward the summit, Donilon said, "The meeting will be an important opportunity for our presidents to have in-depth discussions about US-China relations, and a wide range of global and regional challenges facing both our countries."
One item on Donilon's summit agenda is the guest list. Xi will stop in California after formal visits to Trinidad and Tobago and Mexico where he will be accompanied by a large group of senior officials. If that entourage descends in full on the Sunnylands estate, U.S. diplomats said the White House might feel the need to bring similarly large numbers, making the summit less intimate.