Friday, December 15, 2017
News Roundup

Resignation of South Korean premier is accepted

South Korea

Resignation of premier is accepted

Prime Minister Chung Hong Won, the No. 2 official in the South Korean government, apologized and resigned Sunday, as the country remained angry and saddened over the sinking of a ferry that left 302 people, the vast majority of them high school students, dead or missing.

President Park Geun Hye accepted his resignation but asked Chung to stay in his post until the government completes its rescue operations, said Min Kyung Wook, a presidential spokesman.

Divers today renewed their search for more than 100 bodies still trapped in the ferry after weekend efforts were hindered by bad weather, strong currents and floating debris clogging the ship's rooms. Officials said they have narrowed down the likely locations in the ship of most of the remaining missing passengers.

The number of dead from the April 16 sinking is 188, with 114 people believed missing.

Syria

92 percent of chemical agents are destroyed

Syria missed a revised deadline Sunday for completing the export or destruction of chemicals in its weapons arsenal, but the government of the war-ravaged country may be only days away from finishing the job, international experts overseeing the process said Sunday.

The Syrian government had agreed to complete the destruction of about 1,200 tons of chemical agents by April 27 after missing a February deadline, but by Sunday it had shipped out or destroyed 92.5 percent of the arsenal, said Sigrid Kaag, the coordinator of the joint mission by the United Nations and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.

Speaking in Damascus, Kaag said it was "significant progress," although she called on Syria's government to ensure remaining materials would be eradicated by Wednesday. Syrian officials did not comment on Kaag's remarks.

The effort to destroy the arsenal was sparked by an Aug. 21 chemical weapons attack near Damascus that killed hundreds of people.

Elsewhere

Central African Republic: Heavily armed peacekeepers escorted some of the last remaining Muslims out of Central African Republic's volatile capital, Bangui, on Sunday, trucking more than 1,300 people who for months had been trapped by violent Christian militants.

Richmond, Calif.: The Coast Guard searched for a pilot in the northern part of San Francisco Bay on Sunday after two small planes collided over the water and only one of the aircraft landed safely, authorities said. Each aircraft had one person on board.

San Jose, Calif.: The father of the teenager who climbed into the wheel well of a jet at the San Jose airport and survived a 5½-hour trip flight to Hawaii said Sunday he planned to fly to Hawaii soon to bring his son home to California.

Times wires

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