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World/National News

May 5, 2014

Around the World and Nation

Ukraine says government troops making advances

DONETSK, Ukraine (AP) — Authorities in Ukraine on Sunday said government forces reclaimed a television tower during a security operation to quell pro-Russian rebel activity in the eastern town of Kramatorsk.

Interior Minister Arsen Avakov said in a statement on his Facebook page that a new assault to reclaim control over the town by the National Guard and armed forces began at dawn.

The city saw a standoff Saturday that culminated in insurgents setting buses alight to ward off attacks. Russian state television has reported 10 deaths, including two among government forces, during clashes in Kramatorsk so far. Those figures could not be independently confirmed.

At least 12 government armored personnel carriers were spotted driving through the town Saturday, although they appeared to have returned to their base at a military airfield on the edge of the city by day’s end.

Efforts to counteract the insurgency have focused mostly on the nearby town of Slovyansk; authorities are currently seeking to form a security cordon around that city.

South Korea ferry that sank was regularly overloaded

INCHEON, South Korea (AP) — The doomed ferry Sewol exceeded its cargo limit on 246 trips — nearly every voyage it made in which it reported cargo — in the 13 months before it sank, according to documents that reveal the regulatory failures that allowed passengers by the hundreds to set off on an unsafe vessel. And it may have been more overloaded than ever on its final journey.

One private, industry-connected entity recorded the weights. Another set the weight limit. Neither appears to have had any idea what the other was doing. And they are but two parts of a maritime system that failed passengers April 16 when the ferry sank, leaving more than 300 people missing or dead.

The disaster has exposed enormous safety gaps in South Korea’s monitoring of domestic passenger ships, which is in some ways less rigorous than its rules for ships that handle only cargo. Collectively, the country’s regulators held more than enough information to conclude that the Sewol was routinely overloaded, but because they did not share that data and were not required to do so, it was practically useless.

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