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Nepal Declares Three Days of Mourning

A man walks through rubble of houses damaged by the earthquake in Bhaktapur near Kathmandu, Nepal, April 28, 2015.

A man walks through rubble of houses damaged by the earthquake in Bhaktapur near Kathmandu, Nepal, April 28, 2015.

Nepal has declared three days of mourning for the victims of Saturday's 7.8 magnitude earthquake that left nearly 5,000 dead and thousands more in desperate need of aid.

In a televised news conference Tuesday, Nepalese Prime Minister Koirala thanked donors for their assistance. He added that getting help to remote areas remains a major challenge.

The United Nations says the disaster has affected eight million people with 1.4 million in need of food. The U.N. says it would draw $15 million from its emergency fund for relief operations.

Officials said Tuesday the death toll had climbed to more than 4,600 people. About 9,000 others are injured. They said those numbers could go higher as workers clear more of the damaged areas.

Indonesia executes eight drug convicts, spares one

Indonesia has executed eight drug convicts, including several foreign nationals, despite strong opposition abroad.

The convicts included two Australian members of a heroin trafficking ring, a Brazilian national, and an Indonesian citizen.

Indonesian President Joko Widodo refused to reduce the severity of the convicts’ punishment, despite opposition and appeals from the international community. The president described the executions as necessary to control what he calls Indonesia’s “drug emergency.”

Local media reports say a ninth convict, a woman from the Philippines, was to be executed, but suddenly was not. Officials say her execution was delayed because of a request from the Philippine president. The Filipina convict has been asked to testify in the trial of a person suspected of human trafficking in the Philippines.

Obama, Abe pledge to complete Pacific Rim trade pact

U.S. President Barack Obama and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe agreed Tuesday to complete a 12-nation Pacific Rim trade agreement. Mr. Abe is in the middle of a state visit to the United States.

Mr. Obama and Mr. Abe spoke at a news conference Tuesday at the White House. Mr. Obama said the trade bill would boost U.S. exporters and the country’s labor market. But he also accepted that there is opposition to a Pacific Rim trade agreement in both the U.S. and in Japan.

The two leaders did not announce any details about the remaining difficulties to completing an agreement. The proposed trade bill would open up exports for both Japanese and American manufacturers, along with those in 10 other nations that border the Pacific.


Words in the News

donor - n. a person or group that gives something (such as money, food, or clothes) in order to help a person or organization

severity - n. the condition of being serious or unpleasant

boost - v. to increase the force, power, or amount of (something)

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