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South Korean ferry could have capsized any time: expert SEOUL: The South Korean ferry that sank in April with the loss of more than 300 lives should never have been in service and only luck prevented it capsizing earlier, a prosecution expert told a court Tuesday.Huh Yong-Bum, head of a team of experts on a joint prosecution-police team investigating the sinking of the 6,825-tonne Sewol ferry, was testifying at the ongoing murder trial of the vessel's captain and crew."It was just sheer luck that the Sewol operated as it did for more than a year," Huh was quoted as saying by Yonhap news agency.Investigations have shown that the Sewol was overloaded with cargo at the time of the disaster and not carrying enough ballast to balance the vessel correctly.A redesign in 2012 had already left the ferry top heavy.Huh said use of the ship's rudder was extremely constrained, as the unstable vessel was unable to sharply change direction."This is ...

Philippines orders evacuation near powerful volcano MANILA: Philippines authorities on Tuesday ordered people living close to a powerful volcano to evacuate, warning a dangerous eruption may occur within weeks.Magma has reached the crater of Mayon volcano, in a coastal and farming area 330 kilometres (200 miles) southeast of Manila, according to the director of the state volcanology agency, Renato Solidum."A hazardous eruption is possible within weeks," Solidum told AFP in a text message.Residents within the volcano's six-kilometre (3.7-mile) radius, already designated ...
Typhoon Kalmaegi sweeps out of Philippines MANILA: Typhoon Kalmaegi swept out of the Philippines on Monday after causing chest-deep floods in some rural areas but largely leaving the storm-prone country unscathed, authorities said.The storm, with winds of 160 kilometres (100 miles) an hour, struck the northeast of the main Philippine island of Luzon on Sunday evening, then moved west across land before heading into the South China Sea on Monday.Six people were killed after a passenger ferry sank in the central ...
Thai king discharged after more than month in hospital BANGKOK: Thailand's King Bhumibol Adulyadej, the world's longest-reigning monarch, was discharged on Monday in what the palace said was a healthy condition after nearly five weeks of treatment at a Bangkok hospital for stomach inflammation.Accompanied by Queen Sirikit, who was also admitted for a health checkup, the king was greeted by thousands of Thais who cheered and waved flags outside Siriraj hospital, where he stayed for nearly four years from 2009 to 2013.The king and ...
Singapore Aug private home sales 432 units, down 43pc y/y SINGAPORE: Sales of private homes by developers in Singapore in August totalled 432 units, down 43 percent from 756 units a year earlier, the Urban Redevelopment Authority said on Monday. The fall in sales follows the introduction in June 2013 of property cooling measures that restricted levels of borrowing relative to monthly income. In August 2012 developers sold 1,427 private homes. Sales last month fell 15 percent from July, when 509 units were sold. Copyright ...
Australian PM governs from tent as he keeps vow to Aborigines SYDNEY: Australian premier Tony Abbott shifted his office to a tent in an isolated Aboriginal community Monday, keeping a promise made when he came to power despite having just committed troops to the fight against Islamic State.Abbott vowed to spend a week each year in a remote indigenous location when he was sworn in 12 months ago, seeking to be the "prime minister for Aboriginal affairs".He made good on his commitment by moving the hub ...
14 killed, 12 missing as boat sinks in Indonesia JAKARTA: A boat sank Sunday in bad weather off eastern Indonesia, killing at least 14 people and leaving 12 others missing, an official said.The long wooden boat carrying 35 passengers went down in the waters off Sula islands after it was hit by towering waves in rough weather, National Disaster Management Agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said."Of the 35 passengers, nine survived, 14 died and 12 are still missing," he said, adding that a rescue ...

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