TIME South Korea

South Korean President Vows to Disband Coast Guard Over Ferry Disaster

Passersby at a Seoul train station watch a live television broadcast of South Korean President Park Geun-hye's speech to the nation on the Sewol ferry tragedy on May 19, 2014 Lee Jin-man—AP

In a tearful, televised apology — and facing vociferous criticism from political opponents — President Park Geun-hye says the coast guard failed those who drowned in the Sewol tragedy and must be done away with as part of a regulatory overhaul

South Korea’s President Park Geun-hye vowed Monday to disband the national coast guard, as part of a reformist push and “great transformation,” that she said the country was owed after hundreds of high school students died in April’s Sewol ferry disaster.

Park’s nationally televised speech was her most heartfelt apology so far, and a reflection of the political crisis the tragedy has spawned. Over the weekend, police detained over 200 people attempting to march to her office to call for her resignation.

The outrage has been caused by what critics feel was a slow initial response to the sinking of the Sewol, as well as the systemic failings that allowed the ferry to set sail despite being dangerously overloaded.

Park said the coast guard had failed to do enough to save the students on board the ill-fated ferry, and that their duties would either be transferred to the national police force or into a new safety agency she intends to set up.

The tearful Park also declared a war on deeply entrenched ties between businesses and government regulators, which many say has led to lax regulatory enforcement.

[NYT]

TIME Libya

Libyan Government Defiant After Renegade Militia Storms Parliament

Mideast Libya
Joint security forces on vehicles with heavy artillery stand guard on the entrance road to Libya's parliament area after troops of General Khalifa Hifter targeted Islamist lawmakers and officials at the parliament in Tripoli on Sunday, May 18, 2014. Libyan national army/AP

Assault on legislature with shells and mortars leaves two dead and dozens wounded as Tripoli's interim administration deplores the use of force

Libya’s interim government has condemned an attack on its parliament and attempted to dispel fears of its ouster.

General Khalifa Hifter, a former rebel commander who claims to have operated with U.S. backing in the struggle to topple former dictator Muammar Gaddafi, suspended parliament Sunday after militia loyal to him attacked the building in Tripoli with truck-mounted artillery, rockets and mortars. Lawmakers fled as gunmen ransacked the legislature, with two people reportedly killed and more than 50 wounded.

Early on Monday, Libyan Justice Minister Salah al-Marghani issued a statement condemning “the expression of political opinion through the use of armed force,” according to the Associated Press. He called “on all sides to resort to dialogue and reconciliation.”

General Mokhtar Farnana, an ally of Hifter, told Libyan TV that the assault was not a coup but “fighting by the people’s choice.”

The unrest, some of the worst to scar Libya since the fall of Gaddafi three years ago, spread to the southern edge of Tripoli and along the airport highway. Hifter had already deployed troops to Benghazi on Friday to battle Islamist militants there, reports Reuters.

Since the end of Libya’s civil war, the nation’s fragile democracy has endured numerous crises. It is currently under its third Prime Minister since March, with no new constitution and politics dogged by relentless squabbling.

TIME D Day

Ruins of Normandy: Portraits From a Post-Invasion Wasteland

Color photos made in northwestern France in the weeks and months after D-Day detail the devastating impact of the invasion and its aftermath

The ruins left behind after warfare speak a language of their own. Even more strikingly, perhaps, no matter where the conflict has taken place —northern Europe or the Pacific, the Middle East or Central Africa — the vernacular of destruction is often the same. Buildings reduced to rubble and dust. A scarred, tortured landscape nearly devoid of life, aside from small human forms trying to piece it back together. Twisted, rusting steel. Burned, abandoned vehicles. And always, above it all, the indifferent sky.

These color photographs made in northwest France by LIFE photographer Frank Scherschel — most of which never ran in LIFE — detail the devastating impact of the Normandy invasion and its aftermath. The impulse behind building this gallery, meanwhile, is really no more complicated than this: to commemorate the Allied troops who fought and died; to honor those who fought and lived; and to mark the 70th anniversary of D-Day by remembering what happened to countless towns — and townspeople — in France and around the globe when a world war unleashed hell in the midst of their lives.

[WATCH: 'Behind the Picture: Robert Capa's D-Day']

TIME Colombia

31 Children Die in Colombian Bus Inferno

The charred remains of a bus, in which children died in, is seen in Fundacion, northern Colombia, on May 18, 2014
The charred remains of a bus, in which children died in, is seen in Fundacion, northern Colombia, on May 18, 2014 Reuters

A bus that was returning from a religious service in Fundación, near the historic city of Cartagena, on Sunday erupted in flames and caused 31 children and an adult to burn to death, and another 24 kids to be injured

Thirty-one children and one adult burned to death and another 24 youngsters were injured after a bus caught fire in northern Colombia.

The vehicle was returning from a religious service in the town of Fundación, near the historic city of Cartagena, when it erupted in flames around noon on Sunday, the local mayor, Luz Stella Duran, told reporters.

Most of the victims were between 1 and 8 years old, and many of the survivors are battling horrific injuries in hospitals in the area of nearby Santa Marta.

“The injured have second- and third-degree burns, and many are still in a critical condition,” Cesar Uruena, working for the Red Cross, told Agence France-Presse.

Colombia’s President Juan Manuel Santos traveled to Fundación on Sunday, where he promised that the authorities would cover all medical and funeral expenses faced by the families.

“The entire country is in mourning for the death of these children,” said Santos, who is currently in the midst of a bitter election campaign ahead of May 25 national polls.

The police initially blamed the blaze on a mechanical problem. Nevertheless, furious locals quickly besieged the home of the driver, who vanished shortly after the incident.

One witness told CNN affiliate Caracol that the driver had left the children to put gasoline into the vehicle’s tank.

TIME Asia

Two Ships Have Arrived in Vietnam to Evacuate Chinese Nationals

China Vietnam
Chinese passenger ships Wuzhishan, center, and Tongguling, left, seen at Haikou, capital of south China's Hainan province, before their departure on May 18, 2014 Wei Hua—AP

Three more Chinese vessels are on their way in an evacuation operation being conducted in response to anti-Chinese violence last week over long-standing territorial disputes, one day after 290 Chinese citizens were flown out aboard two chartered planes

Two Chinese passenger ships arrived early on Monday at the central-Vietnamese port of Vung Ang to evacuate Chinese nationals, who are fearing for their safety after anti-Chinese riots last week saw foreign businesses attacked, two Chinese killed and about 140 people injured.

More than 3,000 Chinese have already been helped to leave the country following protests that flared up across Vietnam over a Chinese oil rig that is drilling in waters claimed by both sides. Beijing has announced a 4.8-km exclusion zone around the rig, and Hanoi claims that there are 119 Chinese vessels in the area, including warships.

On Sunday, 290 Chinese citizens were flown out aboard two chartered planes, with another 16 critically injured Chinese evacuated on a medical flight, Xinhua news agency reports.

Public protests are a rarity in communist Vietnam. The security forces have been deployed in Ho Chi Minh City to quell new waves of demonstrations, and mobile carriers have sent repeated texts to subscribers with a message from Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung asking people to stay away from further protests.

However, small groups of peaceful protesters continued to gather on Sunday, and neither side has shown any real sign of backing down over the territorial conflict, which has revived a long-standing enmity between Beijing and Hanoi.

The two Chinese vessels that arrived on Monday each have a capacity of 1,000 people and are among five boats that will take part in the evacuation operation, a port official told the Associated Press. The vessels are presently berthed at a huge Taiwanese steel-mill complex that was overrun by an anti-China mob, and their presence is eerily reminiscent of a similar evacuation in 1978 that horribly backfired.

That year, with a war with Hanoi in the offing, China also sent ships to Vietnam — to evacuate members of Vietnam’s ethnically Chinese minority, known as Hoa. Hanoi took grave affront when the vessels arrived (“The South China Sea is not China’s own pond. Haiphong and Ho Chi Minh City are not Chinese ports” read a Vietnamese commentary at the time). Instead of allowing Hoa to board the Chinese ships, the Vietnamese Public Security Bureau built boats and fleeced the ethnic Chinese of gold and currency in exchange for being allowed to leave the country aboard the rickety vessels. Thirty thousand to 40,000 Hoa, and Vietnamese pretending to be Hoa, are believed to have perished at sea as a result.

China’s Foreign Ministry meanwhile said on Sunday it had issued a warning against travel to Vietnam and was suspending some diplomatic contact.

TIME

Fighting Words: Long-Winded (and Stunning) Wartime Magazine Ads

American magazine ads from the 1940s referenced World War II, obliquely or directly, to an extent that is utterly mind-boggling today

In elemental ways, magazines have not really changed all that much in the past, say, 75 years or so. A striking cover image; some snappy cover lines; a number of articles, some long, some short; and all of the editorial “content,” whether words or photos, surrounded by ads — which, of course, along with subscriptions, help pay the bills and keep the issues coming, week after week, month after month.

In other respects, though, the magazines of three-quarters of a century ago could not have been more different than today’s.

For example: take a look at those ads that we just mentioned. In almost any World War II-era issue of any magazine, you’ll notice two striking characteristics of the ads that differentiate them from those in most contemporary publications. First, there are all those words. Scores, sometimes even hundreds of words, as if the copywriters had been instructed not to get the point across as succinctly and memorably as possible, but to compose a kind of rhetorical argument — or maybe weave a short story — around why the reader should buy a particular cigarette, tire or light bulb.

Second, almost without exception, the ads one encountered in the midst of WWII referenced the conflict, obliquely or directly, to an extent that is mind-boggling today. Anyone seeking proof that the war effort of the 1940s permeated every aspect of everyday American life need only consider magazine ads of the time. From the makers of pens to booze to cars, anyone who was selling anything found a way to tie their product to the fight against the Axis.

Here, on the 70th anniversary of D-Day, are 10 examples of ads from TIME in June 1944 — ads that illustrate the era’s intricate nexus of commerce, patriotism and warfare as clearly, and as candidly, as we’re ever likely to see.

[WATCH: 'Behind the Picture: Robert Capa's D-Day']

TIME

Before and After D-Day: Color Photos From England and France

Masterfully restored color photos from England and France in 1944 feel at-once profoundly familiar and utterly, vividly new

It’s no mystery why images of unremitting violence spring to mind when one hears the deceptively simple term, “D-Day.” We’ve all seen — in photos, movies and old news reels, most of them routinely presented in suitably grim black-and-white — what happened on the beaches of Normandy (codenamed Omaha, Utah, Juno, Gold and Sword) as the Allies unleashed their historic assault against German defenses on June 6, 1944. The fury of the monumental attack was matched only by the ferocity of the sustained, withering counterstrike.

But in color photos taken before and after the invasion, LIFE magazine’s Frank Scherschel captured countless other, lesser-known scenes from the run-up to the onslaught and the heady weeks after: American troops training in small English towns; the French countryside, implausibly lush after the spectral landscape of the beachheads; the reception GIs enjoyed en route to the capital; the jubilant liberation of Paris itself.

As presented here, in masterfully restored color, Scherschel’s pictures — most of which were never published in LIFE — feel at-once profoundly familiar and somehow utterly, vividly new.

Finally: Information on specific locations or people in these photographs is not always available; Scherschel and his colleagues did not always provide that data for every one of the many thousands of pictures they made throughout the war. When a locale or person depicted is known, that is noted in the caption.

[WATCH: 'Behind the Picture: Robert Capa's D-Day']

TIME Turkey

3 Arrested for Negligence After Turkey Mine Explosion

Akin Celik
Police and paramilitary-police officers escort Akin Celik, the mining company's operations manager, center right, and two other mining officials en route to prison in the Turkish coal-mining town of Soma on May 18, 2014 Emre Tazegul—AP

They may face three- to 15-year sentences; 19 suspects are still in custody following a mine explosion that killed more than 300 people

Three people have been arrested on negligence charges following a Turkish mining explosion that killed 301 people earlier this week, a prosecutor said during a Sunday press conference.

The three were also charged with causing the death of more than one person, though intent is not implied in the charge. Turkey’s penal code states that such charges can lead to prison sentences of between three and 15 years.

Prosecutor Bekir Sahiner said that one of the people arrested was the operations manager of the company that oversees the mine, the Associated Press reports.

Six of the 25 people initially detained after the explosion have been released, Sahiner said.

The mining company and the Turkish government have both said the mine was properly inspected and that negligence was not to blame. However, public outcry over the disaster has led officials to promise a thorough investigation, as poor safety conditions in Turkey’s mining industry have made accidents a common occurrence.

[AP]

TIME Serbia

Thousands Flee Deadly Floods in Serbia and Bosnia

TOPSHOTS-SERBIA-BOSNIA-WEATHER-FLOOD
A Serbian rescue worker carries an elderly woman out of her flooded house in the Serbian village of Obrez on May 17, 2014 Sasa Djordjevic—AFP/Getty Images

Floods have killed at least 44 people and caused some 10,000 to evacuate from the affected areas, while some towns have been completely cut off following the region's heaviest rainfall since the late 19th century

Thousands of people have fled their homes in Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina as massive floods fueled by record rainfall have already killed at least 44 people, officials say, and as residents have been warned about land mines exposed by mudslides.

Approximately 10,000 people have been evacuated from the affected areas, while some towns have been completely cut off by the deluge that hit the region’s Sava River, Agence France-Presse reports.

“We sent rescue teams into a part of the city we had not been able to access so far. They are entering those areas fearing what they might discover,” said Samo Minic, the mayor of the Bosnian town of Samac.

One rescue worker who spent two days trying to reach the Serbian village of Krupanj described the floods as looking “like a tsunami and earthquake occurred at once.”

“We found some 50 people gathered in the highest house,” Nedeljko Brankovic said. “They had neither electricity nor drinking water. Telephones did not work. We evacuated them 10 by 10 in a huge boat.”

Twenty-seven deaths have been reported in Bosnia, 16 reported in Serbia and one reported in Croatia. Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic said he expected the death toll to rise.

In addition to the floods, the rainfall led to destructive landslides and warnings that residents should beware of exposed landmines first buried during fighting and warfare in the 1990s.

[AFP]

TIME China

This Might Be the Most Beautiful Buffalo in the World

A woman leads her painted buffalo onto a stage during a buffalo bodypainting competition in Jiangcheng county, Yunnan province
A woman leads her painted buffalo onto a stage during a buffalo bodypainting competition in Jiangcheng county, Yunnan province, China, May 18, 2014. Artists from eight countries painted on buffalos to compete for a 100,000 yuan ($16,042) prize reward during the competition on Sunday, according to local media. Wong Campion—Reuters

Artists from eight countries covered buffalo in vivid colors as a part of a body-painting competition this weekend

Those large, brown, beastly masses known as buffalo are rarely described as pretty, but this weekend a lucky few of them became works of art that would make all the others jealous.

Competing in a buffalo body-painting competition in the Jiancheng county of China’s Yunnan province, artists from eight different countries decked out the animals in wild patterns as they competed Sunday for bragging rights and a 100,00 yuan ($16,042) prize.

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