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Plane crashes in ocean, killing 17

Associated Press / May 8, 2011

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INDONESIA
JAKARTA — A passenger plane carrying 27 people plunged into the ocean yesterday as it approached an airport in bad weather in Indonesia’s eastern province of West Papua, killing at least 17, officials said. The flight originated in Sorong, another town in the province. Nuno Sampurno, chief of the National Search and Rescue Agency, said the crash was probably caused by bad weather that limited visibility.

ECUADOR
President a winner in referendum vote
QUITO — Ecuadoran voters roundly approved 10 ballot questions proposed by leftist President Rafael Correa that critics say could curb press freedom and the judiciary’s independence, an exit poll found. The referendum was an important gauge of popularity for Correa. Two of the questions would bar news media owners from other commercial interests and create a government media oversight authority.

NORTHERN IRELAND
Election bolsters joint government
BELFAST — Northern Ireland’s two major parties will return to power atop a joint Catholic-Protestant government with increased support for their policies of compromise and peacemaking, electoral returns showed. The British Protestants of the Democratic Unionists and the Irish Catholics of Sinn Fein strengthened their hold on the Northern Ireland Assembly. With votes still being counted two days after Thursday’s election, the Democratic Unionists were projected to win 38 seats and Sinn Fein 29.

IRAQ
Robbers kill five, steal $3.4 million
BAGHDAD — Thieves armed with guns fixed with silencers stormed a currency exchange company in a northern Iraqi city, killing five people, and detonated a bomb to fend off pursuing police, Iraqi officials said. The assailants managed to make off with about $3.4 million. As they fled, they left a car bomb outside the building, which exploded on the police patrols racing to the scene. Seven police and passersby were injured when it exploded.

JAPAN
Power firm delays decision on reactor
TOKYO — A Japanese power company postponed its decision on a government request that it halt three reactors at a coastal nuclear plant until safety measures can be improved to guard against future earthquakes and tsunamis. On Friday, Prime Minister Naoto Kan said he had asked Chubu Electric Power Co. to suspend operation of the reactors at the Hamaoka Nuclear Power Station in Shizuoka prefecture until a sea wall is built and backup systems are improved.

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