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Japan, U.S. trade ministers resume talks to bridge tariff gaps

Japan and the United States resumed their ministerial talks Wednesday trying to make progress in protracted negotiations over tariffs exceptions to a Pacific free trade pact. The ministerial meeting on the Trans-Pacific Partnership initiative was a follow-up session to the previous round in Tokyo last week in last-minute efforts to make headway prior to President Barack Obama's arrival in Japan on April 23.

Japan, U.S. trade ministers resume talks to bridge tariff gaps

Japan and the United States resumed their ministerial talks Wednesday trying to make progress in protracted negotiations over tariffs exceptions to a Pacific free trade pact. The ministerial meeting on the Trans-Pacific Partnership initiative was a follow-up session to the previous round in Tokyo last week in last-minute efforts to make headway prior to President Barack Obama's arrival in Japan on April 23.

NORTH KOREA NEWSLETTER NO. 309 (April 17, 2014)

TOPIC OF THE WEEK (Part 1) Diplomatic efforts under way for resumption of six-party talks SEOUL (Yonhap) -- Amid prolonged tension on the Korean Peninsula, a flurry of diplomatic moves have been under way to resume the six-party talks to end North Korea's nuclear weapons program. Specifically, Seoul, Washington and Beijing are intensifying diplomatic efforts as they wrestle to rein in North Korea's nuclear threats and find middle ground in reopening the long-stalled six-nation forum.

Canada mum on contribution as NATO beefs up presence in eastern Europe

OTTAWA - NATO has laid out plans to beef up its presence in eastern Europe, and Canada is noticeably absent from the list of countries that have acknowledged they'll send military forces. Anders Fogh Rasmussen, the alliance's secretary general, said Wednesday it will deploy additional air, sea and land forces to former East Bloc countries in response to the worsening crisis in Ukraine.

Nigerian military says most of abducted schoolgirls freed

ABUJA (Reuters) - Nigeria's military said on Wednesday its forces had freed most of the schoolgirls abducted by Islamist Boko Haram militants, and were continuing the search for eight students still missing. "With this development, the Principal of the school has confirmed that only 8 of the students are still missing," armed forces spokesman Major General Chris Olukolade said in a statement sent to media. He did not specify exactly how many of the girls had been rescued, but said one of the "terrorists" involved in the abduction had been captured.

Spain evicts 7 illegal migrants from tiny island to Morocco

Spain on Wednesday sent back to Morocco seven sub-Saharan African migrants who arrived at an uninhabited Spanish island near the Moroccan coast on an inflatable boat, officials said. The migrants were spotted by Spanish soldiers on Tuesday shortly after they landed on Congress Island about four kilometres (2.5 miles) off Morocco. The soldiers gave the migrants food and water and they were returned to Morocco after medical checks determined they were in good health, the Spanish government's representative in Melilla, which is close to the island, said in a statement.

NATO to deploy more forces in eastern Europe

NATO said Wednesday it will deploy additional air, sea and land forces in eastern Europe in response to the worsening crisis in Ukraine and take further action if needed. "Today we have agreed a package of military measures," NATO head Anders Fogh Rasmussen said after a meeting of ambassadors of all 28 members of the transatlantic alliance. "We will have more planes in the air, more ships on the water... and more readiness on the land," he said, adding that NATO defence plans will be "reviewed and reinforced".

Egypt jails ex-presidential hopeful for fraud

A court jailed a Salafist leader to seven years for fraud Wednesday for keeping his mother's US citizenship secret when filing candidacy papers in Egypt's 2012 presidential election. The country's electoral law stipulates that a candidate's parents must hold only Egyptian citizenship. Judicial sources said Hazim Abu Ismail was sentenced for not revealing his mother's nationality when he filed to stand in the 2012 election that was won by the Islamist Mohamed Morsi.

NATO to deploy more forces in eastern Europe

NATO said Wednesday it will deploy additional air, sea and land forces in eastern Europe in response to the worsening crisis in Ukraine and will take further action if needed. "Today we have agreed a package of military measures," NATO head Anders Fogh Rasmussen said after a meeting of ambassadors of all 28 members of the transatlantic alliance. "We will have more planes in the air, more ships on the water... and more readiness on the land," he said, adding that NATO defence plans will be "reviewed and reinforced".

Robotic submarine continues search for Malaysian plane wreckage

PERTH, Australia - As a robotic submarine dove into the ocean to look for lost Flight 370, angry Chinese relatives stormed out of a teleconference meeting Wednesday to protest the Malaysian government for not addressing them in person. The Bluefin 21 sub surfaced early for the second time in as many missions, this time after experiencing technical difficulties. It was sent back underwater after its data were downloaded but there's been no sign of the plane yet, according to the joint agency co-ordinating the search.
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