Muslims protest Obama trip
Muslim activists protested on Friday outside the US embassy in Kuala Lumpur against the coming visit by US President Barack Obama, denouncing him as an enemy of Islam. The demonstration underscored the delicate nature of Obama’s trip, which will make him the first sitting US president to visit in nearly half a century, a period marked by mutual distrust. The protesters marched to the embassy from a nearby mosque after Friday afternoon prayers, shouting: “God is great” and “Obama is the enemy of the Prophet Mohammed.” They also bore placards and banners reading: “US is axis of evil” and handed out leaflets saying: “Reject Obama, World’s No. 1 Terrorist.” They dispersed after about 15 minutes. The country has opposed US wars in the Middle East. The last US president to visit was Lyndon Johnson in 1966. Obama embarks on a week-long Asia tour next week, including Malaysia from Saturday next week to April 28.
Mine toll rises to 20
The death toll from a flooded coal mine has risen to 20 with the recovery of another 14 bodies nearly two weeks after the accident, state media reported. The Xiahaizi mine in Yunnan Province suddenly filled with water early on April 7 following an explosion, leaving 22 miners trapped. Two miners remain missing following the recovery of a total of 20 bodies, Xinhua news agency said late on Friday. The complicated layout of the mine and its narrow tunnels have made the search difficult, it added. Police have detained seven people linked to the mine in Qujing, including officials and shareholders of operator Li Ming Industrial Co, the report said.
Gunman threatens office
Police arrested a man late on Friday after he entered the Los Angeles Times building and threatened to start shooting, the newspaper said. It was unclear if the man was carrying a weapon or fired any shots, but building employees locked themselves in safe areas while police officers entered and detained the suspect. Witnesses told the LA Times the man said he had been depressed and did not mind killing someone. He reportedly handed one person a bag of bullets and said that he did not want to go to jail. Police have not identified the suspect, but photographs posted on the newspaper’s Web site showed a white male dressed entirely in black, including black sneakers, with uncombed long, curly hair and no facial hair. The LA Times said the suspect worked for Vxi Global Solutions, a company that specializes in call centers and rents office space in the building.
Salsero dies in crash
Singer Jose Luis “Cheo” Feliciano, one of salsa’s top stars, was killed in a car crash in San Juan early on Thursday morning, police said. He was 78. Governor Alejandro Garcia Padilla declared three days of mourning for the widely admired salsero. Feliciano died shortly after 4am, according to Axel Valencia, a San Juan police spokesman. The El Nuevo Dia newspaper said his Jaguar hit an electricity pole. “It appears as if he lost control while taking a curve,” Police Inspector Jorge Hernandez Pena said, adding that he was not wearing a seat belt. Not to be confused with the blind Jose Feliciano, the famed Puerto Rican guitarist, Cheo Feliciano was born in Ponce on July 3, 1935. Tributes poured in on Thursday from fellow musicians and fans. Feliciano dropped out of school at 17 and moved to New York in 1952 to train with top salsa orchestras, according to Billboard.com. He went on to establish a solo career in the 1970s. In 2008, he was honored with the Latin Grammy Awards’ Lifetime Achievement Award. Feliciano’s contribution to salsa “has no expiration date,” Panamanian singer Ruben Blades said on his Web site. “He will always be remembered with fondness and admiration that the greats deserve.”