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  • Filipino troops pull 'greatest escape' from Syria

    Updated: 3 hr ago

    MANILA, Philippines (AP) — Under cover of darkness, 40 Filipino peacekeepers made a daring escape after being surrounded and under fire for seven hours by Syrian rebels in the Golan Heights, Philippine officials said Sunday, leaving 44 Fijian troops still in the hands of the al-Qaida-linked insurgents. "We may call it the greatest escape," Philippine military chief Gen. Gregorio Pio Catapang said. The peacekeepers became trapped after Syrian rebels entered the U.N.-patrolled buffer zone between Syria and Israel this week, seizing 44 Fijian soldiers and demanding that their Filipino colleagues surrender with their weapons. The Filipinos in two U.N. encampments refused and clashed with the rebels on Saturday.

  • Australia to fly guns and ammunition into Iraq

    Updated: 4 hr ago

    CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — An Australian military aircraft will soon fly guns and ammunition to the northern Iraqi city of Irbil to help Kurds fight Islamic State militants as part of a U.S.-led multination mission, Australia's prime minister said on Sunday. Prime Minister Tony Abbott said his government would join the United States, Britain, Canada, France and Italy in delivering rocket-propelled grenades, mortars and assault rifle ammunition at the request of the U.S. and Iraqi governments. "While we understandably shrink from reaching out to these conflicts, the truth is that these conflicts reach out to us," Abbott told reporters.

  • Afghanistan crash kills 23

    Updated: 4 hr ago

    KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — A van slammed into a fuel tanker in western Afghanistan on Sunday, killing 23 people in the latest horrific accident in a country with poorly maintained roads and often reckless driving. The crash happened Sunday morning on the main highway between the city of Herat and the Iranian border, said Raouf Ahmadi, a spokesman for the provincial police chief in western Herat province. He added that four people were injured in the accident. Authorities do not know what caused the accident, but Ahmadi said initial reports indicated that "both drivers' carelessness" was to blame. Afghanistan has frequent traffic accidents often caused by bad roads and poor driving. On Aug.

  • Pakistani protester dies in clashes with police

    Updated: 4 hr ago

    ISLAMABAD (AP) — Pakistani police on Sunday clashed with scattered pockets of anti-government protesters trying to advance on the prime minister's residence after a night of violence that saw hundreds wounded and the first death in more than two weeks of demonstrations. The violence has raised the stakes in a political standoff, in which cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan and cleric Tahir-ul-Qadri have led twin protests demanding the resignation of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, alleging massive voting fraud in the election that brought him into office last year in the country's first democratic transfer of power. Backed by parliament and many political parties, Sharif has refused to step down.

  • All Filipino peacekeepers escape Golan standoff

    Updated: 7 hr ago

    MANILA, Philippines (AP) — Under cover of darkness, 40 Filipino peacekeepers made a daring escape after being surrounded and coming under fire by Syrian rebels in the Golan Heights, the Philippine military chief said Sunday, while 44 Fijian troops remained in the hands of the al-Qaida-linked insurgents. After coming under rebel attack Saturday, the first group of 35 Filipino peacekeepers was successfully escorted out of a U.N. encampment in Breiqa by Irish and Filipino forces on board armored vehicles, Gen. Gregorio Pio Catapang and other military officials said.

  • Pakistan protesters march on PM's residence

    Updated: 8 hr ago

    ISLAMABAD (AP) — Hundreds of people were injured as Pakistani police battled throngs of protesters demanding the resignation of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif with tear gas, batons and rubber bullets outside the prime minister's official residence and the adjacent parliament building. After a night of clashes, protesters started regrouping at daybreak Sunday and made repeated attempts to make their way through heavy deployment of police and barricades to reach the premier's residence. Police strengthened their lines and responded by lobbing tear gas canisters.

  • Syrian rebels attack peacekeepers in Golan Heights

    Updated: 11 hr ago

    BEIRUT (AP) — Clashes erupted between al-Qaida-linked Syrian rebels and U.N. peacekeepers in the Golan Heights on Saturday after the militants surrounded their encampment, activists and officials said, as the international organization risked being sucked further into the conflict. Other U.N. peacekeepers were able to flee from a different encampment that that was also surrounded by rebels of the Nusra Front, al-Qaida's Syrian affiliate, they said. Late Saturday, the U.N. spokesperson's office reported that "the situation on the ground is calm but tense' in the Golan.

  • Australia to fly guns and ammunition into Iraq

    Updated: 11 hr ago

    CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — Australian military aircraft will fly guns and ammunition into Iraq to help fight Islamic State militants, Australia's prime minister said on Sunday. "The United States government has requested that Australia help to transport stores of military equipment, including arms and munitions, as part of a multi-nation effort," Prime Minister Tony Abbott said in a statement. "Royal Australian Air Force C-130 Hercules and C-17 Globemaster aircraft will join aircraft from other nations including Canada, Italy, France, the United Kingdom and the United States to conduct this important task," Abbott added. He did not say when the air drops would begin, but News Corp.

  • Taliban attack intel office in eastern Afghanistan

    Updated: 22 hr ago

    KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — A suicide bomber in a truck blew himself up at an intelligence headquarters in eastern Afghanistan on Saturday, killing at least two people and setting off an intense firefight with security forces, officials said. After the bombing outside the headquarters of the National Directorate of Security in Jalalabad, militants battled with security forces for an hour before authorities were able to put down the attack, said Ahmad Zia Abdulzai, a spokesman for the Nangarhar governor. He would not say how many attackers were involved or whether they were all killed or some escaped. He said authorities were searching the grounds.

  • What dispute? India and China ignore land squabble

    Yesterday

    NEW DELHI (AP) — For more than 50 years, it has pitted India against China — a smoldering dispute over who should control a swath of land larger than Austria. Two militaries have skirmished. A brief, bloody war has been fought. And today, thousands of soldiers from both countries sit deployed along their shared frontier, doing little but watching each other. But as Beijing confronts countries across the South China and East China seas, displaying its diplomatic and strategic strength in a series of increasingly dangerous territorial disputes, the India-China standoff results in almost nothing beyond regular diplomatic talks and professions of international friendship. Because the last thing the world's two most populous c

  • New Zealand justice minister resigns amid scandal

    Updated: Fri, Aug 29, 2014

    WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — New Zealand's Justice Minister Judith Collins resigned Saturday from her portfolios amid a scandal about her ties to a controversial blogger. The resignation comes just three weeks before New Zealand's general election and could impact the chances of center-right Prime Minister John Key returning for a third term in office. Opposition parties will see the move as victory while Key will hope it will bring closure to the scandal. Collins was one of Key's top ministers and observers had considered her a possible future prime minister.

  • Former Spain international Amor joins Adelaide

    Updated: Fri, Aug 29, 2014

    ADELAIDE, Australia (AP) — Former Barcelona and Spain international Guillermo Amor has joined Adelaide United as the A-League club's technical director. Amor, who played 37 internationals for Spain, signed a one-year contract Saturday with the Reds after a one-month consultancy stint with his friend, Adelaide's Spanish coach Josep Gombau. Gombau's friendship with Amor goes back to their time as development coaches at Barcelona, where Amor made 311 La Liga appearances from 1988 to 1998. Amor also had club stints with Fiorentina and Villareal.

  • UN: 'Very fluid' situation on held peacekeepers

    Updated: Fri, Aug 29, 2014

    UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The plight of dozens of U.N. peacekeepers in Syria remained "very, very fluid" Friday, the secretary-general's spokesman said, as talks aimed at their release stretched into a second day. Some radio contact has been made with the 72 peacekeepers from the Philippines who have been restricted to their positions, Stephane Dujarric told reporters. Another 44 peacekeepers from Fiji remain detained. On Friday evening, the U.N. said in a statement it "had received assurances from credible sources," that the peacekeepers "are safe and in good health." The statement added that they had been informed "the intention behind holding the peacekeepers was to remove them from an active battlefield to a safe area

  • Budget issues delay Guam Army Guard training

    Updated: Fri, Aug 29, 2014

    HAGATNA, Guam (AP) — The Guam Army National Guard is postponing training because of a budget shortfall. The Pacific Daily News (http://bit.ly/1nKe9eb ) reports soldiers were originally scheduled to participate in a drill next weekend, but these exercises have been delayed. Commanders haven't set a new date yet. But the Guam National Guard said in a news release that it's confident it will be able to hold training at the end of next month. "It is unfortunate as we rely on the scheduled drills each month to ensure our soldiers remain trained and ready," said Maj. Gen. Benny M. Paulino, the adjutant general for the Guam National Guard. "We are confident, however, that we will receive the funds to execute (Guam Army Natio

  • Ex-Myanmar beauty queen accused of stealing crown

    Updated: Fri, Aug 29, 2014

    YANGON, Myanmar (AP) — Myanmar's first international beauty queen has absconded with her $100,000 crown after being stripped of her title for being rude and dishonest, organizers said Friday. May Myat Noe's photograph was blacked out on the Miss Asia Pacific World website, the word "dethroned" stamped alongside her name. "She thinks as long as she keeps this crown she's the winner," said David Kim, director of media for the South Korea-based pageant. "She's not." Organizers said Noe had "lied" and proved to be untrustworthy, but provided few details. Noe was not immediately available for comment. She planned to hold a news conference at a later time, according to Eleven Media, a Myanmar newspaper.

  • Pakistani premier denies asking army to mediate

    Updated: Fri, Aug 29, 2014

    ISLAMABAD (AP) — Pakistan's prime minister on Friday denied asking the country's military chief to mediate with opposition leaders and protesters who have camped for two weeks outside parliament in the capital, Islamabad, demanding his resignation over alleged voting fraud. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's remarks to the National Assembly indicated that talks with the opposition — with or without army chief Gen. Raheel Sharif's mediation — were unlikely to produce a breakthrough in the crisis. They also threw into question earlier reports that said the government had requested the powerful military's mediation in the standoff with protesters led by cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan and fiery cleric Tahir-ul-Qadri.

  • Myanmar discovers it has only 51 million people

    Updated: Fri, Aug 29, 2014

    YANGON, Myanmar (AP) — Myanmar has discovered it has only 51 million people — far less than the previously estimated 60 million. State-run television announced on Friday the preliminary results from the country's first census in three decades. It said complete results would be released next year. The census was conducted from March 30 to April 10 with help from the U.N. Population Fund. The previous estimate of 60 million was based on extrapolations from the last census, conducted in 1983. The tally went smoothly, except in areas controlled by ethnic Kachin rebels and in the western state of Rakhine, where an estimated 800,000 members of a long-persecuted Muslim minority were denied the right to identify themselves

  • 44 Fijian soldiers held captive by rebels in Syria

    Updated: Fri, Aug 29, 2014

    SUVA, Fiji (AP) — Forty-four Fijian soldiers working as U.N. peacekeepers remained captive to a militant group in Syria on Friday while 75 Philippine soldiers were in tense standoff with the rebels, according to the two Pacific nations. Both nations remained hopeful the impasse could be resolved without bloodshed. Fijian Commander Brig. Gen. Mosese Tikoitoga said he's been informed his soldiers are unharmed, although he hasn't been able to contact them directly. Philippines President Benigno Aquino III said that while the situation was tense, there was no reason to believe his troops faced immediate danger. The events began Thursday morning on the Syrian side of the Golan Heights, an area divided between Israel and Sy

  • Malaysia Airlines to cut 6,000 staff in overhaul

    Updated: Fri, Aug 29, 2014

    KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — Malaysia Airlines will cut 6,000 workers as part of a $1.9 billion overhaul announced Friday to revive its damaged brand after being hit by double passenger jet disasters. The staff reduction represents about 30 percent of its current workforce of 20,000. A search for a new CEO is underway but there is no move to change the airline's name, which some branding experts had said was necessary for a successful makeover. Khazanah Nasional, the state investment company that owns 69 percent of the airline, said the overhaul includes the establishment of a new company that will take over the existing Malaysia Airlines business and its reduced staff. The revamp and new investment in the carrier wi

  • Key events in the history of Malaysia Airlines

    Updated: Fri, Aug 29, 2014

    KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — Key dates in the history of Malaysia Airlines from its start as a one route airline until its almost unfathomable double passenger jet disasters in 2014. 1937 — Malayan Airways Ltd., the forerunner of Malaysia Airlines, is formed to provide flights between Penang in Malaya and Singapore, both part of the British empire at the time. 1963 — A now independent Malaysia absorbs neighboring British colonies and the national carrier becomes Malaysian Airlines Ltd. 1972 — The carrier is renamed Malaysian Airline System and later branded as Malaysia Airlines. 2012 — Wins "World's Best Crew" award from airline rating firm Skytrax, the 7th time it has claimed that industry accolade sin