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Cricket: Sri Lankan suffers heart attack after betting on India

A Sri Lankan fruit seller suffered a massive heart attack and died after he lost a $300 bet that India would win the cricket World T20 tournament, police said Monday. S. P. Kumara placed the 40,000-rupee bet on the eve of Sunday's final, wrongly predicting that Sri Lanka would repeat its "choking" performance at three previous international tournaments and lose to India. "He had gone to a bookmaker at Gampaha (town) and placed a fairly large bet on an Indian win and watched the match from there," a local police official told AFP.

Drought threatens population in the northwest of Haiti

By Amelie Baron PORT-DE-PAIX, Haiti (Reuters) - Only cactus grows along the dirt road fringing arid fields on the way to the isolated village of Bas des Moustiques, on the outskirts of the northwestern city of Port-de-Paix in Haiti. A lack of rain in recent months has killed crops in Haiti's poorest region, and left people struggling to survive. Julia Sodietra, 41, has lost hope as she fights a losing battle to provide for her large family.

U.S. rights envoy says no plan to visit N. Korea

SEOUL, April 7 (Yonhap) -- The U.S. envoy on North Korean human rights said Monday he has no plans to visit the communist country in the near future but said he is willing to go if Pyongyang invites him back. Robert King was invited to visit Pyongyang in February to discuss the release of an American citizen detained in the communist country, but the North abruptly canceled the invitation, apparently angered by South Korea-U.S. joint military drills.

Hagel visits China's aircraft carrier in Qingdao

BEIJING, April 7 (Yonhap) -- U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel arrived in China's eastern port city of Qingdao on Monday, beginning his three-day visit to China for discussions on global and regional security issues, including North Korea's nuclear programs. China is Hagel's third stop on his 10-day trip across the Asia-Pacific and his first visit to Beijing as the U.S. defense chief. The trip comes at a time when regional tensions have been growing amid the North's threat of a fresh nuclear test and growing rivalry between Beijing and Tokyo.

U.S. envoy urges N. Korea to release Korean-American missionary

A U.S. special envoy urged North Korea on Monday to release Korean-American missionary Kenneth Bae, who has been detained in the North since November 2012, so that he can be reunited with his family and seek medical care. "He has health problems. We've expressed the desire that he be returned to his family on humanitarian grounds. So far, we've got no positive response," Robert King, U.S. special envoy on North Korean human rights issues, told reporters after talks with South Korean Foreign Ministry officials.

Park calls for preparedness for N. Korean provocations

SEOUL, April 7 (Yonhap) -- President Park Geun-hye said Monday that South Korea should be prepared to immediately repel any North Korean provocations, stressing it is an ominous sign that the communist nation has fired missiles and strengthened reconnaissance with drones. In a weekly meeting with senior aides, Park also ordered officials to come up with measures to close the holes in South Korea's air defense that were revealed in the wake of findings that a series of North Korean drones flew undetected over the South on spy missions.

S. Korea adamant against lifting sanctions on North

SEOUL, April 7 (Yonhap) -- South Korea is not considering lifting its four-year-old sanctions against North Korea, Seoul's unification ministry said Monday, maintaining its stance that the North should first admit to its deadly torpedo attack against the South's warship. In the wake of the sinking of the South's Cheonan warship near the Yellow Sea border with the North on March 26, 2010, which claimed the lives of 46 South Korean sailors, the Seoul government imposed a set of sanctions against Pyongyang on May 24 that year.

S. Korea nuclear envoy may meet with Japan counterpart in Washington

A senior South Korean official said Sunday he may meet with his Japanese counterpart on the sidelines of a three-way gathering also involving the United States to be held in Washington on Monday over North Korea's nuclear and missile programs. Hwang Joon Kook, South Korea's newly appointed special representative for Korean Peninsula peace and security affairs, made the remarks to reporters at an airport near the U.S. capital.

Neglected islanders resist plan for Haiti tourism revival

By David Adams ILE-A-VACHE, Haiti (Reuters) - For decades the mostly dirt-poor residents of the small island of Ile-à-Vache off Haiti's south coast lived in anonymity, virtually ignored by the government and visited only by the most adventurous backpackers and yachters. Then in 2012, helicopters started dropping off big shots: Haiti's president, Michel Martelly, Bill Clinton, ad agency models and photographers, tourism executives. Madonna and Sean Penn were spotted in November.

Japan, N. Korean diplomats may hold secret talks soon

Japanese and North Korean diplomats are exploring the possibility of secretly meeting in the not-so-distant future after resuming formal governmental talks for the first time since November 2012 last weekend, a source familiar with the situation said Saturday. The behind-the-scenes meeting could be held within the next couple of days in China or some other places, according to the source.
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