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Friday, May 29th

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Nepal quake: Hundreds dead, history crumbles, Everest shaken

7.8 earthquake nepalA powerful earthquake struck Nepal Saturday, killing at least 906 people across a swath of four countries as the violently shaking earth collapsed houses, leveled centuries-old temples and triggered avalanches on Mt. Everest. It was the worst tremor to hit the poor South Asian nation in over 80 years.

At least 876 people were confirmed dead in Nepal, according to the police. Another 20 were killed in India, six in Tibet and two in Bangladesh. Two Chinese citizens died at the Nepal-China border. The death toll is almost certain to rise, said deputy Inspector General of Police Komal Singh Bam.

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High levels of radiation detected at Tokyo playground causes shutdown

Tokyo park radiationA Tokyo playground was shut down after high levels of radiation were detected in the area.

Japanese authorities found one spot contained radiation of 480 microsieverts per hour, the BBC reported. That amount was equal to nearly half the recommended limit of annual exposure for one person.

Tokyo officials were alerted to the radiation traces on Wednesday, Japanese television network NHK reported. They said they believe the radiation is coming from beneath the surface of the park.

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115 children killed since start of Saudi-led Yemen offensive

Yemen bombingsA United Nations report said on Friday that civilian causalities have mounted since the start of the Saudi-led offensive against Shiite rebels in Yemen, with more than 500 civilians killed in the nearly monthlong conflict, including at least 115 children.

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights spokesman Rupert Colville said 1,185 civilians have been injured between March 26, when the airstrike campaign began, and April 22.

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Hamas wins student council vote at top West Bank university

BirzeitSupporters of the Islamic militant Hamas have won student council elections at the West Bank's flagship university, Bir Zeit, defeating rivals from Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah movement.

The last Palestinian general election was held in 2006, and student council elections offer a rare gauge of the mood among future elites. Hamas and Fatah remain bitter opponents, despite repeated reconciliation attempts since Hamas seized the Gaza Strip from Abbas in 2007. Since the takeover, Abbas' security forces have been clamping down on Hamas in the West Bank.

TVNL Comment:  Will Israel now invade the university?  Just asking.

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Japan maglev train breaks world speed record again

Japan megalev trainA Japanese magnetic levitation train has broken its own world speed record, hitting 603km/h (374mph) in a test run near Mount Fuji.  The train beat the 590km/h speed it had set last week in another test.

Maglev trains use electrically charged magnets to lift and move carriages above the rail tracks.

Central Japan Railway (JR Central), which owns the trains, wants to introduce the service between Tokyo and the central city of Nagoya by 2027.

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Egypt's Morsi sentenced to 20 years in prison

MorsiA Cairo court has sentenced former Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi and 12 other defendants to 20 years in prison.

Morsi was convicted on Tuesday of ordering the arrest and torture of protesters in clashes outside the presidential palace in December 2012 that killed 10 people. The court acquitted the former president of murder charges that could have resulted in the death penalty.

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NY Gov. Cuomo meets with top officials in Havana

Cuomo in havanaCuban officials and New York business executives are exploring ways for the U.S. companies to do business on the communist-run island despite the longstanding American trade embargo that makes most trade and investment illegal, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Monday.

Cuomo and executives from Jetblue, Chobani Greek Yogurt, Pfizer and other New York-based companies met with Cuba's top officials for U.S. relations on the first day of a trip that makes Cuomo the first U.S. governor to visit Cuba since the recent thaw in relations with the communist nation.

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