Kenneth Bae, a Korean-American who has been in a North Korean prison for more than six months, was sentenced to 15 years hard labor for "hostile acts" that were seen as an attempt to overthrow the government, North Korean media said Thursday.
Reports indicate that Bae, who ran a travel agency named Nation Tours, had lived in China and had previously visited North Korea without any trouble. KomoNews.com reported last year that Bae, identified by North Korea's official news agency, the KCNA, by his ethnic name Pae Jun Ho.
Bae and the group were arrested on Nov. 3, 2012, while in the northeastern city of Rajin. more >>
Hopes are beginning to fade in Bangladesh to find more survivors in the rubble of the eight-story building that collapsed last week, as the death toll rose to 380 victims.
"There is little hope of finding anyone alive. Our men went inside and saw some dead bodies in the ground floor. But no one was seen alive," said Brig. Gen. Ali Ahmed Khan, the chief of the fire brigade.
Meanwhile, the owner of the building where 3,000 people were employed has been arrested while trying to escape to India. Mohammed Sohel Rana will now face charges of negligence, The Associated Press said, as authorities believe he did not provide a proper warning about the cracks inside Rana Plaza, where five garment factories were operating when it collapsed. more >>
An American man, identified as a tour guide and a Christian, will be put on trial in North Korea for alleged crimes against the state, revealed the Korean Central News Agency in a report that comes six months after Kenneth Bae's initial detention.
Although his charges were not made completely clear, the KCNA (North Korea's official news agency) reported Saturday that Bae, a 44-year-old of Korean descent, had undergone a "preliminary inquiry" that revealed he had confessed guilt.
"In the process of investigation he admitted that he committed crimes aimed to topple the DPRK with hostility toward it. His crimes were proved by evidence," states the KCNA report. more >>
A number of major atheist organizations have been put in a tough spot over planned protests against Bangladesh, after the country suffered a national disaster on Wednesday that left hundreds of people dead.
American Atheists and secular groups from around the world had planned to protest on Thursday outside of Bengali embassies around the world over the arrest and imprisonment of several atheist bloggers. The South Asian country, which is heavily Muslim, has been cracking down on those criticizing the faith and the government, accusing them of blasphemy and insulting Islam.
The country declared a national day of mourning on Thursday, however, after a massive building collapse in Bangladesh that left over 230 dead and 1,000 injured, with workers still digging out survivors from the incident. As a consequence, a number of planned rallies in support of the atheist bloggers have now been pushed back, but others have continued. more >>
A massive building collapse in Bangladesh on Wednesday has left over 200 people dead with rescue workers still trying to dig out many others from the rubble on Thursday.
"Save us, brother. I beg you, brother. I want to live," one distraught man told an Associated Press cameraman as rescue workers helped remove the concrete slabs that pinned him down. "It's so painful here ... I have two little children."
The disaster occurred in the Dhaka suburb of Savar, and according to officials is the biggest single loss of life the country has suffered. Police had ordered the unstable buildings to be evacuated a day earlier, but more than 2,000 people were still on-site when the eight-story building collapsed. more >>
New Zealand's Parliament passed a bill Wednesday that would make it the 13th country in the world to officially legalize same-sex marriage, despite opposition from traditional family groups.
"In our society, the meaning of marriage is universal – it's a declaration of love and commitment to a special person," said Labour MP Louisa Wall, the openly gay politician who introduced the bill. "Nothing could make me more proud to be a New Zealander than passing this bill."