World news briefs: 5/17/14

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Iran nuclear talks end

LONDON -- The latest round of nuclear talks between Iran and the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council, plus Germany, ended Friday in Vienna, with Iranian and U.S. officials saying that progress is slow and difficult, with serious gaps between the two sides on basic issues such as the size of any nuclear enrichment capability Iran would be permitted to retain.

The two sides had set a July 20 deadline to resolve their differences, although a temporary agreement late last year incorporated the possibility of another six-month extension, which seems likely.

Nigerian president nixes trip

MAIDUGURI, Nigeria -- A first visit by Nigeria's president, Goodluck Jonathan, to the village from which nearly 300 girls were abducted by Boko Haram was abruptly canceled Friday because of security fears, according to an official in the president's entourage.

The official said security could not be guaranteed at the village of Chibok, which is 80 miles from this state capital. The road passes through territory largely controlled by Boko Haram.

Mine denies negligence

SOMA, Turkey -- The company that owns the coal pit at the site of Turkey's worst mining accident denied Friday that it was negligent, saying it followed the rules.

Soma Holding chief executive Alp Gurkan said safe rooms are not required under Turkey's mining law, but his company was constructing one at the mine in Soma when Tuesday's explosion and fire occurred.

The company and the government, meanwhile, drastically reduced the number of miners still feared to be in the mine to 18.

Airbus gets big order

HONG KONG -- China Southern Airlines Co., Asia's biggest carrier by passenger numbers, agreed to buy 80 single-aisle jets with a list value of at least $7.3 billion from Airbus Group NV as a growing economy fuels travel demand.

The Guangzhou-based carrier will buy 30 A320 jets and 50 A320neo planes, the company said in a statement to the Shanghai stock exchange. The A320neo is more fuel efficient.

Group faces high murder rate

OTTAWA -- Canada's aboriginal women are four times as likely to be murdered than their share of the population suggests, according to a Royal Canadian Mounted Police report released today.

The report gives new details on 1,181 aboriginal women who were murdered between 1980 and 2012 or missing since 1952. Aboriginals make up 4.3 percent of the total Canadian female population, yet the 1,017 murdered aboriginal women represent 16 percent of female homicides, the report said.

Publication of the list may further strain relations between the ruling Conservative government and aboriginal groups, some of which have unresolved treaty claims on land rich in raw materials central to Prime Minster Stephen Harper's C$650 billion ($598 billion) resource development plan.

Jet search slowed

HONG KONG -- The search for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 suffered another setback Thursday when the communications system for a U.S. deep-sea submersible broke down and the Australian vessel that had been towing it in the Indian Ocean was forced to head back to port.

The operators of the Bluefin submersible, who were aboard the Australian Ocean Shield, encountered difficulties in communicating with the submersible, according to a statement released Thursday by the Australian government's Joint Agency Coordination Center.


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