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By Natalie Thomas and James Pomfret QIAN'AN/DONGGUAN, China (Reuters) - This year, laborer Fan Fu and 20 or so colleagues working on the Zixia Garden apartment complex in Hebei province have not joined China's legion of migrant workers returning home to celebrate new year with their families. Instead, they have camped in the offices of the property developer's subcontractor, demanding almost a year's unpaid wages and too angry and proud to go back to native towns and villages empty-handed. With China's economy growing at its slowest in 25 years, more workers face Fan's predicament and labor unrest is on the rise, a concern for Beijing as it seeks to avoid social unrest even as financial pressures build.
A powerful earthquake in Taiwan felled a 16-storey apartment complex full of families who had gathered for Lunar New Year celebrations in the early hours of Saturday, with at least five dead and more than 30 feared trapped. An entire residential complex of four buildings containing almost 100 homes toppled to the ground, lying on its side with twisted metal girders exposed and clouds of dust rising from the jumbled concrete.
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Two small planes with three people believed to be aboard collided over the ocean just outside the port of Los Angeles, prompting a massive search by dozens of boats and divers. There was no sign of survivors after hours of searching.