Aid groups and governments worldwide intensified efforts Sunday to help earthquake-hit Nepal, but blocked roads, downed power lines and overcrowded hospitals posed formidable challenges in an already poor country. As the death toll in the Himalayan nation surpassed 2,500, the US together with European and Asian nations sent emergency crews to reinforce those scrambling to find survivors in the devastated capital Kathmandu and in cut-off rural areas. "Tragically, more bodies are being pulled from collapsed buildings every hour," the Australian Red Cross said in a statement. Mike Bruce, regional communications manager for the Plan International aid organisation, said many areas -- both rural and in some of the larger towns -- had suffered landslides and roads were blocked.
US officials are expected to stop prosecuting families of American hostages who communicate with kidnappers abroad or raise funds and pay ransoms, ABC news reported Sunday. A National Counterterrorism Center advisory group, ordered by the White House, is expected to recommend what would mark a radical shift in US hostage policy, according to the report. The NCTC interviewed families of hostages, including the parents of journalist James Foley, who was killed by Islamic State fighters. Foley's mother Diane has said that officials from President Barack Obama's administration repeatedly told her family it was illegal to try to raise a ransom to free her son, and warned that her family could face prosecution for doing so.
By Thomas Atkins FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Deutsche Bank's earnings fell by half in the first quarter, a greater-than-expected drop as hefty legal charges eroded gains in investment banking revenue, while it prepares to unveil details of a strategic overhaul. Almost half came from the investment bank, but its pre-tax contribution fell by more than half due to litigation and regulatory expenses and currency swings, the bank said on Sunday. Deutsche has so far positioned itself as Europe’s “last man standing” in investment banking, even though it has made cuts in certain business lines. Deutsche on Friday announced a new strategic plan including the sale of its Postbank retail chain and additional paring back in investment banking.