World News: Korean Ferry Bodies; Ukraine Latest; Al-Qaida Leader Killed; Ivory Poaching

By: ap
By: ap
Divers looking in unopened rooms for Korean ferry victims... Observers held in Ukraine being released... Kerry to Russia: End backing of Ukraine insurgents... Pope sex abuse panel highlights accountability... Al-Qaida announces death of a leader in Yemen... Kenya gov

About 300 people - mostly high school students died - when the South Korean ferry Sewol sank in mid April. The captain and crew abandoned the ship shortly after it began taking on water, but the ship remained afloat for more than a day. The captain and most of the crew have been arrested. All but about 70 bodies have been recovered.

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) -- South Korean officials say divers were battling strong currents and wind to search unopened rooms in a sunken ferry for 70 missing passengers.
Emergency task force spokesperson Ko Myung-seok said the divers would focus on opening up six rooms on the third and fourth floors Saturday while again combing places already searched.
The bodies of 230 victims have been retrieved; 189 were found inside the ferry while 41 were floating in the sea.
Task force spokesperson Park Seung-ki said families were worried about the condition of the bodies, given how much time has passed.
The South Korean passenger liner Sewol was carrying 476 people, mostly students from a single high school, when it sank on April 16. Only 174 people survived.

SLOVYANSK, Ukraine (AP) -- The leader of pro-Russia insurgents in the eastern Ukrainian city of Slovyansk says the military observers from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe who were held for more than a week have been released.
An Associated Press reporter on Saturday saw one of the observers, German Col. Axel Schneider, and his Ukrainian translator walk free. Insurgent leader Vyacheslav Ponomarev told The AP that all seven observers and their five Ukrainian assistants were free.
Insurgents in Slovyansk, the epicenter of eastern Ukraine, seized the observer team on April 25.

KINSHASA, Congo (AP) -- U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry calls the release of seven European military observers Ukraine a positive step, but says more is needed to ease tensions.
Kerry says it's important that Russia withdraw support for separatists who have seized government buildings in about a dozen cities and towns in Ukraine.
Kerry also is raising the prospect of additional Western sanctions if there are indications of continued interference by Russia.
Russia denies allegations it's fomenting the unrest in eastern Ukraine.
Kerry is traveling in Africa and spoke by telephone with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov (SEHR'-gay LAHV'-rahf) on Saturday.
Kerry says they discussed the violence in Odessa, where at least 42 people died in clashes between government supporters and opponents Friday, and that everything possible must be done to end it.

VATICAN-CHURCH ABUSE
VATICAN CITY (AP) -- Members of Pope Francis' sexual abuse advisory board say they will develop specific protocols to hold bishops and other church authorities accountable if they fail to report suspected abuse or protect children from pedophile priests.
The eight-member committee met for the first time this week at the pope's Vatican hotel to discuss the scope of their work and future members.
Briefing reporters Saturday, Cardinal Sean O'Malley, the archbishop of Boston, said current church laws could hold bishops accountable if they fail to do their jobs to protect children. But he said those laws hadn't been sufficiently applied and that "clear and effective protocols" are now necessary.
Marie Collins, a committee member and survivor of sexual abuse, said she came away from the inaugural meeting of the commission "hopeful."

YEMEN
SANAA, Yemen (AP) -- Yemen's al-Qaida branch says one of its local commanders has died from wounds he suffered during an attack by the Yemeni army and U.S. drones.
A Twitter account associated with al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula issued a message saying Ali bin Likra al-Kazimy died Saturday after a military attack on one of its camps in the town of Mahfad last week.
Mahfad, where al-Kazimy was the leader, is located in a mountainous region in the country's south.
Government officials confirmed al-Kazimy's death.
The Yemeni army, backed by U.S. drone strikes and supported by local tribes, recently launched a campaign to drive al-Qaida out of the southern provinces of Abyan and Shabwa.
The U.S. considers Yemen's al-Qaida branch as the world's most dangerous.

NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) -- A Kenyan government agency says three people have been killed in two blasts along the Kenyan coast.
The National Disaster Operation Center reported explosions on Saturday near a bus stop in Mwembe Tayari in the coastal city of Mombasa, and the other near a beachside tourist resort in Nyali.
The agency says three people were killed in the blast in Mwembe Tayari and seven others wounded. No fatalities were immediately reported in the blast at the Reef hotel in Nyali.
Kenya has been hit by a wave of gun and explosive attacks since it sent its troops to Somalia to fight al-Shabab militants in 2011. The Al-Qaida-linked militants have vowed to carry out terrorist attacks on Kenyan soil to avenge the presence of Kenyan troops in Somalia.

NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) -- Kenyan wildlife authorities say two police officers have been arrested transporting illegal elephant ivory as the government cracks down on poaching of the country's endangered elephants and rhinos.
Kenya Wildlife Service said Saturday the officers were caught with six pieces of ivory at a road block while travelling from the central Kenyan town of Meru to the capital Friday night.
Last month Kenya's central government said it will oversee the running of the country's wildlife authority for the next three months in a bid to stop poaching of the country's elephants and rhinos.
Poachers have killed 18 rhinos and 51 elephants so far this year. Last year 302 elephants were killed in Kenya, down from 384 in 2012, out of an estimated population of 35,000.

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) -- Hard-liners in Iran have gathered at the former U.S. Embassy in Tehran to protest against the Islamic Republic's recent deal with world powers over its contested nuclear program.
Hard-liners carried banners Saturday accusing moderate President Hassan Rouhani and the nation's nuclear negotiation team of "giving up Iran's right in return for little."
Rouhani has faced criticism from hard-liners over the deal struck in November, which they refer to as a "poison chalice." The temporary deal saw some sanctions lifted against Iran in exchange for it limiting uranium enrichment and allowing in international inspectors.
World powers and Iran are negotiating the terms of a final deal.
The West fears Iran's nuclear program could allow it to build nuclear weapons. Iran says its program is for peaceful purposes.

BEIRUT (AP) -- Syrian activists say that planned evacuations of fighters from rebel-held parts of Homs have been delayed, but a ceasefire in the battered central city is still holding.
Local activist Samer al-Homsi says it's not clear why the delays are occurring. He and other activists say rebels were meant to begin to leave on Saturday.
On Friday, fighters in rebel-held parts of Homs, Syria's third largest city, agreed to surrender the territory in exchange for safe passage to other opposition-held areas. The agreement began with a ceasefire on Friday.
The agreement came after a blockade caused widespread hunger in rebel-held parts of the city, hit relentlessly by government artillery and airstrikes.
Homs was once known as the capital of the Syrian revolution for its fierce opposition to President Bashar Assad's rule.


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