Anniversary of shooting is marked

Former Arizona Rep. Gabby Giffords met with President Obama as her city paused to remember the fourth anniversary of the shooting that killed six people and left Giffords and others gravely wounded. Nineteen solemn bells rang to honor the victims of the shooting, which happened during a meeting with constituents in a supermarket parking lot. "It's a tough day for a lot of folks down there. We keep them in our thoughts and prayers," Obama said. "She's a hero, and she's a great Arizonan. So we're really proud of her."


Merkel keeps hard line over Ukraine

Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany said that the crisis in Ukraine could be eased only if Russia made tangible progress on all 12 points of a four-month-old agreement and that sanctions imposed on Moscow for its actions in eastern Ukraine could be lifted only if that overall progress was made. Germany has taken the lead in diplomatic efforts to end the violence in eastern Ukraine, and Merkel is scheduled to attend what she pointedly called "a possible meeting in Astana," in Kazakhstan, with the presidents of France, Russia and Ukraine. She gave no date, however, and insisted that Russia must first make "visible progress" toward meeting its obligations.

North Korea

Nation makes weaponry advance

North Korea appears to have shown progress in fitting submarines with missile launchers. A report on the website of 38 North, a research group, said commercial satellite imagery of a North Korean submarine, taken less than a month ago, indicates the vessel may have one or two vertical launching tubes for ballistic or cruise missiles. The submarine could be an experimental test bed for underwater missile launching, which would be harder to detect than land-based launchers, the report said.


Recovery of black boxes thwarted

Strong currents and blinding silt thwarted an attempt by divers to find AirAsia Flight 8501's black boxes. A day after an unmanned underwater vehicle spotted the plane's tail, lying upside down and partly buried in the sea floor, divers were unable to make it past choppy seas and 3-foot visibility.

sri lanka

President concedes defeat in election

Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa has conceded defeat in his bid for a third term in office, his spokesman said. Rajapaska has bowed to the people's decision and left Temple Trees, his official residence. In a result unthinkable just weeks ago, Rajapaksa lost to his former friend and health minister, Maithripala Sirisena, who defected from the ruling party and turned the election into a referendum on the president and the enormous power he wields over the island nation of 21 million.

news services