Obama fulfils dreams of sushi on first night in Tokyo

US President Barack Obama (L) shakes hands with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe before a private dinner at Sukiyabashi Jiro restaurant in Tokyo on April 23, 2014US President Barack Obama dined Wednesday at a tiny Tokyo sushi restaurant -- a revered spot with three coveted Michelin stars but only a handful of seats -- ruled with an iron rod by its redoubtable 88-year-old owner. The world's most powerful man, dining at the invitation of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, was entirely at the mercy of Jiro Ono, whose exacting standards and tireless work ethic have made him legendary among global foodies. Sukiyabashi Jiro -- Wednesday's venue -- has only 24 seats, sits in a slightly scruffy basement of an ageing commercial building and is connected to a Tokyo subway station. Obama made the pilgrimage to the restaurant just after touching down in Tokyo at the start of an Asian tour, and took along US ambassador to Japan Caroline Kennedy and his national security advisor Susan Rice.



SKorea ferry toll hits 156 as search gets tougher

A mother, center, of a passenger aboard the sunken ferry Sewol in the water off the southern coast cries after confirming her daughter's name on the list of the victims found dead at a port in Jindo, South Korea, Wednesday, April 23, 2014. The grim work of recovering bodies from the submerged South Korea ferry proceeded rapidly Wednesday, with the official death toll reaching more than 140, though a government official said divers must now rip through cabin walls to retrieve more victims. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)JINDO, South Korea (AP) — As the 156th body was pulled from waters where the ferry Sewol sank a week ago, relatives of the nearly 150 still missing pressed the government Wednesday to finish the grim task of recovery soon. But the work was reaching a new, more complicated phase, with an official saying divers must now rip through cabin walls to retrieve more victims.



S. Korean cosmetics firm LG Household eyes Elizabeth Arden

Elizabeth Arden lipsticks are displayed at The Stuart Weitzman luxury suite at the Sofitel LA Hotel in Los Angeles, California on February 21, 2007Seoul (AFP) - South Korea's LG Household & Healthcare said Wednesday it was considering a purchase of global cosmetics giant Elizabeth Arden.



Stock futures little changed ahead of open

U.S. stock futures barely budged in pre-market trading Wednesday as positive earnings news from U.S. companies was offset by a disappointing economic report from China.
Russia says receives Brussels proposal on gas talks

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia has received a proposal from European Union Energy Commissioner Guenther Oettinger for a three-way meeting on gas between Russia, Ukraine and the European Commission, a spokeswoman at the Russian Energy Ministry said on Wednesday. She said that Moscow will reply later on Wednesday, proposing a date and place for the meeting. Earlier in the day, Ukrainian Energy Minister Yuri Prodan said in Kiev that ministerial talks could be held in the Slovak capital of Bratislava on Thursday, but the Commission said Oettinger was not expected to attend any talks. ...


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