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Monday, May 19, 2014 - Updated: 9:27 AM

South Korea's president pushes to disband coast guard

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) -- South Korea's president announced plans Monday to disband the coast guard and root out corruption and collusion between regulators and shipping companies that furious citizens believe led to a ferry disaster last month that left more than 300 people dead or missing.

President Park Geun-hye's first televised address to the nation since the April 16 sinking began with a deep bow and ended with her tearfully reading the names of passengers and crew who died trying to save others. With her approval ratings plummeting ahead of mayoral and governor elections in about two weeks, the speech sought to acknowledge widespread anger over government failures as well as chart a path forward.

Most of the victims were students from a single high school near Seoul who were traveling to the southern tourist island of Jeju.

"We failed to rescue students who we could have saved," Park said. "The ultimate responsibility for not properly dealing with this incident is mine."

Park has apologized before, but critics have called for her to formally address the nation and respond to claims that incompetence, corruption and bad leadership doomed the ferry and those trapped inside it. In today's speech, Park decried the accumulation of "widespread abnormal practices" that she said triggered the sinking.

Northern California mom accused of grabbing boy, 12, by the throat

SANTA ROSA, Calif. (AP) -- A Northern California woman is facing charges that she grabbed a 12-year-old boy by the throat while confronting him about bullying her daughter, authorities said Sunday.

Delia Garcia-Bratcher, 30, of Santa Rosa came to an elementary school around lunchtime Friday and asked her son, who also attends the school, to point out her daughter's alleged tormentor, the Sonoma County Sheriff's office said in a statement.

The mother grabbed the boy by the throat in front of a number of children, the statement said.

No adult saw the confrontation, and Garcia-Bratcher apparently had not checked in with the school office before coming on campus, authorities said.

The young witnesses later told a deputy the mother threatened the boy about bullying her daughter. The staff at Olivet Charter Elementary School took photos of red marks on the boy's neck as soon as they learned about the alleged assault, authorities said.

Rhode Island man leaves bar, notices he was shot

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) -- A Rhode Island man has told police he was leaving a bar when he noticed he'd been shot.

Police tell the Providence Journal (http://bit.ly/1lAWSlQ ) that 22-year-old Hector Aguayofuentes, of Providence, was shot in the leg early Saturday.

He tells police he was leaving the bar with a friend shortly after 1 a.m. Saturday when they both noticed he was bleeding.

They went to Hernandez's house but were unable to stop the bleeding. He was eventually taken to a hospital, and policeere notified.

Police say Aguayofuentes hasn't provided any other details or explained how he might have been shot.

Ship to start mapping seabed in search for Malaysian jet

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) -- A Chinese navy survey ship will start mapping the seabed off the west Australian coast this week as part of the latest phase in the search for the Malaysian airliner, officials said today.

Chinese, Australian and Malaysian authorities met at the west coast port city of Fremantle at the weekend and agreed that the Chinese ship Zhu Kezhen will conduct a bathymetric survey of the Indian Ocean floor as directed by Australian air crash investigators, Australia's Joint Agency Coordination Center said in a statement.

The Canberra-based center said the ship was scheduled to sail for the survey area on Wednesday, weather permitting.

Officials believe the Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 that vanished with 239 passengers and crew on March 8 during a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing veered far off course and crashed in the southern Indian Ocean.

After an initial air and seabed search failed to find any trace of the wreckage, authorities this month announced a new phase over a vastly expanded seabed search area covering 60,000 square kilometers (23,000 square miles). The new phase also involves mapping of the seabed where depths and topography are in parts largely unknown.

AT&T's DirecTV acquisition could form 2nd largest pay TV company

DALLAS (AP) -- AT&T Inc. on Sunday agreed to buy DirecTV for $48.5 billion, or $95 per share, a move that gives telecommunications company a larger base of video subscribers and increases its ability to compete against Comcast and Time Warner Cable, which agreed to a merger in February.

AT&T's proposed combination, which is subject to government review, could improve its Internet service by pushing its existing U-verse TV subscribers into video-over-satellite service, and thereby free up bandwidth on its telecommunications network.

AT&T currently offers a high-speed Internet plan in a bundle with DirecTV television service. The acquisition would help it further reap the benefits of that alliance.

With 5.7 million U-verse TV customers and 20.3 million DirecTV customers in the U.S., the combined entity would serve 26 million. That would make it the second-largest pay TV operator behind a combined Comcast-Time Warner Cable, which would serve 30 million.

The companies expect the deal to close within 12 months. Under the terms agreed to Sunday, DirecTV shareholders will receive $28.50 per share in cash and $66.50 per share in AT&T stock. The total transaction value is $67.1 billion, including DirecTV's net debt.

     

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