Posted by: Chuck | November 21, 2013

BREAKING NEWS – Hong Kong domestic workers treated as slaves

5 charged in US bust over North Korean methFive foreigners were charged in the United States on Wednesday with plotting to smuggle 100 kilograms of highly potent methamphetamine that was produced in North Korea. The men were arrested in Thailand in a sting operation in September and brought to New York on Tuesday night. All pleaded not guilty to conspiracy charges on Wednesday before a judge ordered them held without bail until their next court date on Dec. 5.

Hong Kong domestic workers treated as ‘slaves’: AmnestyAmnesty International on Thursday condemned the “slavery-like” conditions faced by thousands of Indonesian women who work in Hong Kong as domestic staff, accusing authorities of “inexcusable” inaction. Its report, “Exploited for Profit, Failed by Governments”, comes just weeks after a Hong Kong couple were jailed for a shocking string of attacks on their Indonesian domestic helper, including burning her with an iron and beating her with a bike chain.

Obama seeks to renew Asia role with rescheduled tripPresident Barack Obama will visit Asia in April to push closer ties, an aide said Wednesday, after his earlier cancellation of a trip raised questions about US staying power. Susan Rice, Obama’s national security adviser, acknowledged disappointment after the president called off a trip in October to negotiate with Republican lawmakers who shut down the US government to stop his health care reforms.

First Chinese-American ambassador to China, much liked, steps down earlyUS Ambassador to ChinaGary Locke, the first Chinese-American to head the mission, will step down at the end of this year in order to rejoin his wife and children in Seattle, the embassy said Wednesday.

USS George Washington: warship turned floating aid hub serves 18,000 meals dailyThe crew of the USS George Washington cut their shore leave short in Hong Kong to steam towards the Philippines when the extent of the damage wreaked by Typhoon Haiyan became clear.

Airlift extends lifeline to remote Philippine typhoon survivorsHelicopters dropped emergency supplies to desperate villagers as a growing global relief effort following the Philippines typhoon pushed beyond devastated towns and cities Monday towards remote island and mountain communities. On the tiny island of Homonhon, which suffered a direct hit from Super Typhoon Haiyan, residents of what was left of their shattered village waited patiently as US troops unloaded water supplies from a helicopter that flew in off the USS George Washington aircraft carrier.

First batch of Chinese aid arrives in typhoon-struck PhilippinesThe first batch of Chinese relief supplies has arrived in the Philippines, Chinese state television said, days after Beijing drew criticism for not doing more to help victims of one of the world’s biggest typhoons.

Israel, Gulf in ‘strange alliance’ against IranDUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — When U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry made another stop in the Middle East this month, he received an expected earful over Washington’s outreach to Iran: Don’t trust Tehran, tighten sanctions even more, anything short of complete nuclear concessions is a grave mistake.

U.S. budget negotiators seek two-year funding deal: congressmanU.S. budget talks are aiming for a two-year deal that would end divisive fiscal showdowns that have plagued Congress since 2011, while also easing the severe across-the-board spending cuts that otherwise would be triggered in 2014 and 2015, a Republican negotiator said on Wednesday.–business.html

Sun Fires Off Powerful Solar Flare (Video)The sun unleashed a powerful solar flare early Tuesday (Nov. 19), the latest in a series of intense storms this month from Earth’s closest star. While the powerful solar flare was not aimed directly at Earth when it erupted, it did trigger a radio blackout at 5:26 a.m. EST (1026 GMT), officials with NOAA-led Space Weather Prediction Center said. NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory caught sight of the solar flare and captured a high definition video of the solar eruption.



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