Egypt Independent: World-Main news en Death toll at collapsed building in Taiwanese city reaches 114 as rescue efforts end <img src="" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-media_thumbnail" width="152" height="114" /><p>The death toll at a building that collapsed from a strong earthquake in southern Taiwan reached 114 as rescue efforts came to an end on Saturday, a week after the temblor hit.<br /><br />&quot;The search and rescue has come to an end,&quot; said Tainan Mayor William Lai, in remarks carried live on local television, identifying the last individual to be pulled out from the rubble as Hsieh Chen-yu, who was part of the fallen building&#39;s management committee.<br /><br />All of those believed missing in the building have now been accounted for, city officials said.<br /><br />The 6.4-magnitude quake struck at early dawn on February 6 at the beginning of the Lunar New Year holiday, with almost all of the dead found in Tainan&#39;s toppled Wei-guan Golden Dragon Building.<br /><br />Two other people died elsewhere in the city.<br /><br />Rescue work has focused on the wreckage of the 17-storey building. The building had 256 registered residents but when more than that number were pulled out in the initial days after the quake, it became clear more people were in the building when it toppled.<br /><br />Of a total 289 people pulled out, 175 were alive, with 96 of them taken to the hospital, Lai said.<br /><br />No survivors had been brought out since Monday evening, when more than 100 were still reported missing.<br /><br />The Wei-guan was the only major high-rise building in the city of two million people to have completely collapsed. Its lower storeys, filled with arcades of shops, pancaked on top of each other before the entire U-shaped complex toppled in on itself.<br /><br />Local authorities are investigating the reasons for the building&#39;s collapse and earlier this week took into custody three individuals, including the developer of the Wei-guan Golden Dragon Building, on suspicion of professional negligent homicide.<br /><br />No one has yet been formally charged.</p> Sat, 13 Feb 2016 14:51:00 +0000 Reuters 2466601 at sites/default/files/photo/2016/02/13/504802/taiwan.jpg Young blacks more open to Bernie Sanders' White House bid <img src="" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-media_thumbnail" width="152" height="114" /><p>If Democratic hopeful Bernie Sanders has a chance of drawing African-American voters away from rival Hillary Clinton in South Carolina&#39;s presidential nominating contest on February 27, his best opportunity will be among the young.<br /><br />African Americans support former Secretary of State Clinton by more than a 3-to-1 margin nationwide, but among young blacks 18 to 29 years old, that margin shrinks to 46 percent for Clinton versus 33 percent for Sanders, according to recent Reuters/Ipsos polling.<br /><br />African Americans overwhelmingly back Democrats, but opinion polls in the run-up to the November 8 presidential election show younger blacks more apt to reject an establishment candidate. They seem less inclined than their parents to reward Clinton for the outreach of her husband, former President Bill Clinton, and more drawn to Sanders&rsquo; outspoken views on reducing income inequality, cracking down on Wall Street, and cutting the cost of college.<br /><br />Reuters/Ipsos polling last year showed that 36 percent of blacks between 18 and 29 years old thought the country was on the &ldquo;wrong track,&rdquo; compared with 23 percent of blacks who were at least 60 years old.<br /><br />For Sanders, a US senator from Vermont who describes himself as a democratic socialist, this trend could help him chip away at Clinton&#39;s firewall of minority voters in the southern states, after his strong showings against her &mdash; especially among the young &mdash; in the early Democratic Party contests of Iowa and New Hampshire, both more than 90 percent white.<br /><br />The voting-age population in South Carolina, one of the next stops on the primary trail, is about 67 percent white and 27 percent black, the US Census Bureau says.<br /><br />In Orangeburg, South Carolina, students at the historically black schools of South Carolina State University and Claflin University appeared split this week over which of the two candidates to support.<br /><br />Students praised Clinton&rsquo;s work on behalf of women and minorities and her years of Washington experience. But many said they also were intrigued by Sanders&rsquo; plans to raise taxes on wealthier people and Wall Street firms, provide universal healthcare and offer free public college tuition.<br /><br />&quot;The history is important. But at the same time ... you still need a plan,&quot; said Travis Pascoe, 25, a second-year graduate student at Claflin. He said Sanders&#39; plans for reducing inequality by taxing the wealthy and expanding Medicare to cover all Americans should resonate with the black community.<br /><br />&quot;I think that would help the black community because we&rsquo;re the least privileged,&quot; he said.<br /><br />Eight of 16 students interviewed were undecided voters. Of the eight students whose minds were made up, four students said they planned to vote for Clinton.<br /><br />Ethel Hillman, 25, a freshman who served in the military before going to college for social work, said she and many of her fellow students were voting for Clinton. She described Sanders as too aloof.<br /><br />&quot;He&rsquo;s not socially connected, I would say, to the black community,&quot; she said. &quot;He cares from a distance.&quot;<br /><br /><strong>Vying for young voters</strong><br /><br />South Carolina State&rsquo;s student center, which houses a bowling center and dining area, has quotes on walls from prominent black leaders, including President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama, singer Michael Jackson and educator Booker T Washington.<br /><br />On one wall is a memorial to students killed in the 1968 &quot;Orangeburg massacre,&quot; when protesters were shot by state highway patrol officers on campus amid tensions over racial discrimination.<br /><br />For Sanders, minority voters have been a lingering weakness. He struggled early in his campaign to appeal to black voters. Protesters from the Black Lives Matter movement interrupted his speeches, viewing him as out of touch with black issues.<br /><br />To counter that perception, Sanders touted his college civil rights activism, did publicity events with rapper Killer Mike, and on Wednesday met black civil rights leader Al Sharpton in Harlem.<br /><br />Like Clinton, Sanders has sent surrogates to historically black colleges. The writer and activist Cornel West spoke at South Carolina State on Sanders&rsquo; behalf, and actress Angela Bassett spoke there in support of Clinton.<br /><br />Where Sanders is fighting for inroads into the black electorate, Clinton finds a comfort zone.<br /><br />Her campaign has said it believes its road to the nomination would become smoother once it moves south, to places where she and her husband, the former president, have ties to minority leaders. Clinton picked up the endorsement of the Congressional Black Caucus political action committee on Thursday.<br /><br />As the stakes mount in South Carolina, Representative Jim Clyburn, one of the state&rsquo;s most influential Democrats, said he was considering endorsing a candidate. He did not endorse in Hillary Clinton&#39;s 2008 primary race against Obama, and previously said he would not weigh in this year.<br /><br />His wavering was echoed in the views of several students on the campus of South Carolina State.<br /><br />&quot;I&rsquo;m kind of caught between Bernie Sanders and Hillary,&quot; said Kelsie Bryant, 19, a sophomore education major at South Carolina State. She said it was important to have a woman president, and she was worried Sanders was too old. But she said his meeting with Sharpton sent a positive signal about his outreach to blacks.<br /><br />Cetris Brooks, 21, a senior biology major at South Carolina State, said that ultimately she was &quot;a little bit more trusting&quot; of Clinton because of what the former first lady meant to her family.<br /><br />She said her parents had long supported Clinton, and her uncle knew the former president.</p> Sat, 13 Feb 2016 10:14:00 +0000 Reuters 2466577 at sites/default/files/photo/2016/02/13/504802/bernie_saunders.jpg Myanmar army chief to get five-year extension as talks with Suu Kyi continue <img src="" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-media_thumbnail" width="152" height="114" /><p>Myanmar&#39;s powerful army chief Min Aung Hlaing and his deputy are slated to extend their terms for another five years, a local newspaper said on Saturday, as the military and democracy champion Aung San Suu Kyi negotiate the terms of transition.<br /><br />The move means Min Aung Hlaing has consolidated his power base among the military leadership and would allow the army to avoid a top-level reshuffle during this sensitive period. It will also boost Min Aung Hlaing&#39;s position in talks with Suu Kyi.<br /><br />Suu Kyi&#39;s National League for Democracy (NLD) defeated army-backed Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) in elections in November, kicking off a lengthy transition that will end on April 1 when the new government&#39;s term begins.<br /><br />The NLD&#39;s massive election win means it will be able to push through its presidential candidate during a vote in parliament on March 17. Still, it has to deal with the military, which is guaranteed 25 percent of seats in parliament and three security ministries under the junta-drafted constitution. Details of the talks between the NLD and the army remain murky.<br /><br />&quot;Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, who is turning 60 soon, will take the duty of the commander-in-chief for five more years,&quot; said the Voice newspaper, citing a military source based in the country&#39;s capital Naypyitaw. It added that Min Aung Hlaing&#39;s deputy, Soe Win, will also get a five-year extension.<br /><br />&quot;The decisions were announced at the recent quarterly meeting of top-level military officials,&quot; said the paper, citing the same source. The Voice is typically correct when it comes to news on Myanmar&#39;s military. Military sources contacted by Reuters were not immediately available for comment.<br /><br />The newspaper did not clarify the legal basis for the move and it did not explain whether the decision would require an approval by the president.<br /><br />Myanmar&#39;s opaque and imprecise constitution has confused lawmakers and experts over whether the army chief would need permission from the president, or a change of law, to obtain an extension. Current regulations stipulate that the army chief has to retire at 60.<br /><br />On Thursday, Myanmar&#39;s outgoing President Thein Sein has at the last minute canceled plans to attend the US-ASEAN summit in California next week, giving no reasons for the decision.<br /><br />After two busy weeks since the NLD-dominated parliament opened on February 1, Myanmar&#39;s lawmakers are in for a quieter week from Monday, as they undergo induction and training organized by the parliament and international organizations supporting the development of democracy in Myanmar.</p> Sat, 13 Feb 2016 09:29:00 +0000 Reuters 2466571 at sites/default/files/photo/2016/02/13/504802/myanmar.jpg EU 'gives Greece three months' to tighten border against migrants <img src="" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-media_thumbnail" width="152" height="114" /><div>EU member states on Friday gave Greece a three-month ultimatum to remedy &quot;deficiencies&quot; in controlling the influx of migrants or effectively face suspension from the Schengen passport-free zone.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>The decision &mdash; taken by ministers over Greek objections &mdash; culminates weeks of pressure on Greece, the main gateway for the million refugees and migrants who entered Europe last year, stoking the continent&#39;s biggest such crisis since World War II.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>A report adopted 10 days earlier by the European Commission, the EU executive, found Greece was failing to properly register and fingerprint migrants during inspections at the Turkish land border and several islands in the Aegean Sea last November.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&quot;It is of utmost importance that Greece addresses the issues identified in the report adopted by the Commission as a matter of priority and urgency,&quot; EU ministers said in the recommendation that two EU sources said was adopted Friday.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>The document, seen by AFP, gave Greece, which is already struggling to emerge from a massive debt crisis, one month to &quot;establish an action plan to remedy the deficiencies.&quot;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>After a further two months, Greece must report back on how the scheme is being implemented.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>The document was not immediately published on EU websites, which nonetheless confirmed that member states had given Athens a three-month ultimatum to fix the problems or face effective suspension from Schengen.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>If Greece fails to remedy the problems by mid-May, Brussels could authorize other member states to exceptionally extend border controls within the EU&#39;s cherished Schengen area, including with Greece, for up to two years, instead of the normal six months.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Such a scenario is outlined under article 26 of the Schengen border code.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Germany, which along with other member states introduced such border controls late last year, on Thursday extended the measures until May, the limit under current Schengen provisions.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>The Schengen area allows passport-free travel through 26 countries, most of them in the EU, and is put forward as one of the major European achievements on unity.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><strong>Greece&#39;s &#39;substantial&#39; costs</strong></div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>An EU source told AFP that Greece voted against the ultimatum, while Cyprus and Bulgaria abstained.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>In a meeting with EU ambassadors in Brussels on Wednesday, Greece registered its objections to the recommendation to be adopted.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>In a document published on the European Council website, Greece rejected the report&#39;s contention that it was responsible for &quot;serious deficiencies&quot; in border control and denied it was &quot;seriously neglecting its obligations.&quot;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Greece also said it had taken a number of measures at &quot;substantial national financial and social cost&quot; and reminded Brussels that the massive influx on its borders would put any member state under &quot;severe pressure.&quot;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>However, it said it would continue cooperating with the EU and its institutions in dealing with the crisis.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>In formally announcing the three-month deadline, the European Council website noted that any member state would have been hard pressed to deal with such an unprecedented influx.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>But Greece had to take action on registration procedures, sea border surveillance, border checks, risk analyses, human resources and training as well as equipment and international cooperation, it said.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Germany, which saw 1.1 million asylum seekers enter the wealthy country last year, has been the main destination for most of the migrants once they land in Greece or other points in Europe, with Athens accused of just letting them through.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>German Chancellor Angela Merkel&#39;s liberal refugee policy came under fire again as French Prime Minister Manuel Valls warned Friday it is not sustainable in the long run.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Valls&#39;s criticisms came after his Russian counterpart Dmitry Medvedev lambasted Merkel&#39;s asylum policy as a &quot;total failure.&quot;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Tensions between Brussels and Ankara continue to mount as the EU seeks to enforce a November aid-for-cooperation deal to curb the tide of migrants making their way from Turkey, which hosts 2.7 million mostly Syrian refugees.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>A senior Turkish official said Friday that some 100,000 Syrian refugees are being looked after in camps inside Syria close to the Turkish border as they flee the latest upsurge in fighting.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>As Ankara came under EU and UN pressure to open its border, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Thursday threatened to send the millions of refugees in Turkey to EU member states.</div> Fri, 12 Feb 2016 15:02:00 +0000 Reuters 2466565 at sites/default/files/photo/2015/08/07/484151/island_chaos.jpg