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The World in Brief

Posted: August 6, 2014 at 5:03 a.m.

Qatar plane safe in U.K. after 'threat'

LONDON -- British police arrested a man Tuesday on suspicion of making a hoax bomb threat aboard a Qatar Airways plane bound for Britain, which forced Royal Air Force fighter jets to escort the jet to a safe landing.

Qatar Airways Flight 23, carrying 269 passengers and a crew of 13 on a flight from Doha, Qatar, landed safely at Manchester Airport, the flight's original destination.

Qatar Airways said in a statement that the crew on the Airbus A330-300 received a "threat about a possible device on board" and alerted British authorities. It did not clarify the nature of the threat or say how it was communicated.

The runway at Manchester Airport was briefly closed. After landing, the plane was moved to a designated area to allow specialist officers to board, and the suspect was swiftly removed.

The Ministry of Defense said the investigation is being handled by civilian authorities.

Crew members were assisting police with the investigation, Qatar Airways said, adding that it could not comment further because the matter is part of a police investigation.

Hiroshima ceremony marks '45 bombing

TOKYO -- Japan marked the 69th anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima today, and Mayor Kazumi Matsui called on U.S. President Barack Obama and other world leaders to visit the city to see the scars of the atomic bombing firsthand.

About 45,000 people stood for a minute of silence at the ceremony in Hiroshima's peace park near the epicenter of the 1945 attack that killed as many as 140,000 people. A second bombing, over Nagasaki three days later, killed another 70,000, prompting Japan's surrender on U.S. terms in World War II.

Matsui invited world leaders to Hiroshima, referring to a proposal made at a ministerial meeting in April of the Non-Proliferation and Disarmament Initiative in Hiroshima, calling on them to visit Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

"President Obama and all leaders of nuclear-armed nations, please respond to that call by visiting the A-bombed cities as soon as possible to see what happened with your own eyes," Matsui said. "If you do, you will be convinced that nuclear weapons are an absolute evil that must no longer be allowed to exist."

China labels 2 Canadians spy suspects

BEIJING -- A Canadian couple living in a Chinese city on the North Korean border is being investigated on accusations of espionage, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said Tuesday.

Kevin and Julia Dawn Garratt are "suspected of collecting and stealing intelligence material in Dandong about Chinese military targets and important national defense research projects, and engaging in activities threatening to Chinese national security," the ministry said.

The ministry did not say whether the couple had been detained, but family members said they had been unable to reach the two. Calls went unanswered at a coffee shop the Garratts run in Dandong, a city in northeastern China.

The investigation of the two, who are originally from Vancouver, British Columbia, comes a week after the Canadian government publicly accused China of hacking Canada's top scientific research agency. Beijing denied that accusation.

Officials from the Office of State Security in Liaoning province notified the Canadian Embassy in Beijing about the case Monday. The Foreign Ministry said authorities had "fully ensured the various rights" of the couple.

Bangladesh kin angry at ferry rescue

DHAKA, Bangladesh -- Families of scores of people presumed dead after a ferry capsized in central Bangladesh accused authorities Tuesday of launching a feeble rescue effort and leaving their loved ones trapped inside the vessel for more than 24 hours.

More than 200 people were believed to be on board the M.V. Pinak when it capsized Monday. Shipping Minister Shajahan Khan said Tuesday that at least 125 were presumed dead and 110 others either swam to safety or were rescued after the accident on the Padma River.

Officials can only estimate the number of people on board because ferry operators in Bangladesh rarely keep passenger lists.

On Tuesday, rescuers were still trying to locate the ferry using ropes, tugboats and speedboats while two big rescue vessels remained onshore near the accident site because of stormy weather. Rescuers also were using sensor equipment to locate the ferry, which went under about 80 feet of water, but strong currents were hampering their efforts, Khan said.

Bangladesh lacks sufficient specialized equipment to conduct search-and-rescue operations in deep water.

A Section on 08/06/2014

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