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Obama looks to salvage Asia 'pivot' as allies fret about China

By Matt Spetalnick and Manuel Mogato WASHINGTON/MANILA (Reuters) - When a Philippine government ship evaded a Chinese blockade in disputed waters of the South China Sea last month, a U.S. Navy plane swooped in to witness the dramatic encounter.

General Motors to ask bankruptcy court to shield it from ignition claims before bankruptcy

DETROIT - General Motors revealed in court filings late Tuesday that it will soon ask a federal bankruptcy judge to shield the company from legal claims for conduct that occurred before its 2009 bankruptcy. The automaker's strategy is in a motion filed in a Corpus Christi, Texas, federal court case, and in other cases across the nation that involve the defective ignition switches that have led GM to recall 2.6 million small cars.

Asian stock markets rise, shrug off slower Chinese economic growth

TOKYO - Shares rose Wednesday in Asia, led by Japan's Nikkei 225 index, as investors largely shrugged off news that China's economy grew at its slowest pace in 24 years in the first quarter. The Nikkei jumped 2.2 per cent to 14,310.90 as Softbank Corp. shares soared more than 8 per cent after Chinese e-commerce Alibaba Group Holding Co., in which it holds a 37 per cent state, reported strong earnings.

Clashes at mass eviction in Rome as crisis bites

Riot police dragged away some 350 squatter families from abandoned offices in Rome amid violent clashes on Wednesday -- the latest in a rising tide of forced evictions in Italy fuelled by the economic crisis. Several people were injured as police used truncheons to break through a large group of protesters outside the building, where squatters had barricaded themselves in and taken to the roof.

Ukraine operation to retake east unravels ahead of talks

An operation by Ukrainian forces to reassert control over its eastern regions floundered Wednesday in the face of pro-Russian resistance, a day ahead of international talks on the escalating crisis. A concerned NATO said it planned to deploy more forces in eastern Europe and called for Russia to stop "destabilising" the former Soviet satellite, which has been in deep turmoil since the ouster of the pro-Kremlin leadership in February.

Chad withdraws all troops from Central Africa

Chad said Wednesday it had withdrawn its entire force from the Central African Republic in the wake of accusations its troops waged an unprovoked attack in a market last month. The pullout of more than 800 troops who made up a key contingent in the African peacekeeping force MISCA struggling to restore security in the violence-ravaged country came despite French appeals for Chad to reverse its decision.

Kidnapped Nigeria girls taken to Islamist stronghold

The Nigerian schoolgirls kidnapped by Boko Haram were taken to a stronghold of the Islamist group, parents said Wednesday, as the security forces pressed on with a search to find the hostages. The mass abduction of more than 100 girls by gunmen in the northeastern state of Borno late Monday came just hours after a bomb ripped through a packed bus station on the outskirts of Abuja, killing 75 people, the deadliest attack ever in the capital.

T. rex skeleton arrives at Smithsonian

Washington, Apr 16 (EFE).- One of the most complete Tyrannosaurus rex skeletons ever recovered has arrived at its new home in this capital: the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of Natural History. The Smithsonian on Tuesday presented its plans for that museum's new dinosaur and fossil hall, which will open in 2019 and have the nearly complete T. rex skeleton as its centerpiece.

T. rex skeleton arrives at Smithsonian

Washington, Apr 16 (EFE).- One of the most complete Tyrannosaurus rex skeletons ever recovered has arrived at its new home in this capital: the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of Natural History. The Smithsonian on Tuesday presented its plans for that museum's new dinosaur and fossil hall, which will open in 2019 and have the nearly complete T. rex skeleton as its centerpiece.

Mexican information agency wants figures on military casualties

Mexico City, Apr 16 (EFE).- A request has been submitted to the Defense Secretariat for a complete list of military personnel killed since December 2006 following the review of a report that listed the deaths of 410 armed forces personnel, the Mexican Federal Institute for Access to Information, or IFAI, said. The original request made by an individual covered military personnel killed for any reason between September 2012 and Jan. 6, 2014, the IFAI said in a statement.
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