• Heavy rains trigger landslides in northeast India

    Updated: 1 hr ago

    GAUHATI, India (AP) — Heavy rains in parts of northeastern India triggered landslides and flash floods, killing at least seven people, officials said Monday. A senior police official in Meghalaya state said the deaths occurred in the northern part of the state. The rains also caused heavy damage in neighboring Assam state, where floods washed away several bridges and submerged homes in Goalpara district, local official Pritam Saikia said. Authorities asked residents to move to higher ground, and army troops and federal personnel rescued scores of people trapped by the floodwaters, he said. Two days of rain also caused heavy flooding in Assam's capital, Gauhati. Many neighborhoods in the city of 2 million were submerge

  • Blair says airstrikes not enough to beat militants

    Updated: 1 hr ago

    LONDON (AP) — Western powers must be ready to commit ground forces to the fight against militants from the Islamic State group because airstrikes alone won't defeat these "fanatical" extremists, former British Prime Minister Tony Blair said Monday. Writing on his Faith Foundation website, Blair said it would be better if the troops were to come from those closer to the fighting, such as Iraqi or Kurdish forces, but this may not be enough. "There is real evidence that now countries in the Middle East are prepared to shoulder responsibility and I accept fully there is no appetite for ground engagement in the West," Blair said in an essay dated Monday. "But we should not rule it out in the future if it is absolutely necessary.

  • Affluence eludes poor crowding into Asian cities

    Updated: 3 hr ago

    JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — Down a concrete path, between rail tracks that buzz with each approaching train and a river choked by plastic and raw sewage, Asih Binti Arif cradles her baby and reflects on dreams gone dark. Five years ago, Arif and her husband left impoverished Madura Island, joining the stream of migrants from across the vast Indonesian archipelago seeking a better life in its capital. Across the developing world, migration from country to city has long been a potential path out of poverty. Less and less is that true for Arif and millions of others in Asia, where the wealth gap is growing in many of the most densely populated cities in human history.

  • New Afghan leader to name woman to Supreme Court

    Updated: 3 hr ago

    KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — Afghanistan's new president-elect says he wants Afghan women represented at the highest levels of government, including on the Supreme Court. Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai planned to hold his first news conference later Monday after being announced by the country's election commission Sunday as president. His opponent for president, Abdullah Abdullah, will fill the newly created role of chief executive in a national unity government. Ghani Ahmadzai said in a statement that he is committed to ensuring that women are well represented in government and the education and economic sectors. Ghani Ahmadzai also said Afghans should remember that poverty, lack of education, income equality and insecurity are the co

  • Nadal withdraws from IPTL because of health

    Updated: 3 hr ago

    NEW DELHI (AP) — Rafael Nadal has withdrawn from the inaugural International Premier Tennis League competition, citing health reasons. Veteran Indian player Mahesh Bhupathi posted on Twitter on Monday that Nadal had withdrawn before Team India was due to be announced in New Delhi. The IPTL later confirmed that the 28-year-old Spaniard wouldn't be playing in the tournament. Nadal withdrew from the U.S. Open last month, citing a right wrist problem, and was unable to defend his title. He also recently missed Spain's Davis Cup loss to Brazil. The IPTL, a city-based team competition, is to be staged at venues in the Philippines, United Arab Emirates, Singapore and India between Nov. 28 and Dec. 13.

  • Pakistan appoints new spy chief

    Updated: 4 hr ago

    ISLAMABAD (AP) — Pakistan's army on Monday named a new chief to head the country's premier intelligence agency, the Inter-Services Intelligence Directorate, which is also known by its acronym ISI. Maj. Gen. Rizwan Akhtar was promoted to the rank of lieutenant general to head the spy agency, the army said in a statement. Akhtar, who previously headed a Pakistani paramilitary force in the southern city of Karachi, replaced Lt. Gen. Zaheerul Islam. Both the military and the ISI wield tremendous power in Pakistan, even after a successful transition of power to civilians last year. The spy agency, which officially is meant to report to the prime minister, commonly follows positions taken by the military command.

  • New Zealand leader wants flag vote held next year

    Updated: 6 hr ago

    WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — Fresh off a big election win, New Zealand Prime Minster John Key says he wants the nation to vote next year on changing its flag. Key told television station TV3 on Monday that he wants a national referendum held in 2015. He first raised the idea of a flag vote in March. Key's center-right National Party won 48 percent of the vote in Saturday's election, giving it a third term in office. Some in New Zealand consider the flag to be an unwanted relic from a colonial past, while others feel a deep attachment to it. It depicts the Southern Cross star constellation and includes Britain's Union Jack in the upper left corner. Opponents say it's too similar to Australia's flag and doesn't

  • Australia to prohibit secret service torture

    Updated: 8 hr ago

    CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — The Australian government has bent to public pressure by proposing a specific prohibition on secret service officers torturing suspected terrorists. The government had planned to indemnify Australian Security Intelligence Organization officers against all criminal offenses committed in the course of their undercover work except for homicide, causing serious injury, sexual assault and serious damage to property. Attorney General George Brandis announced on Monday that torture would be added to that list, after the opposition and other critics complained that ASIO officers should not be protected from legal liability for torturing suspects.

  • Fiji election results confirm big win for ruler

    Updated: 8 hr ago

    SUVA, Fiji (AP) — Official results Monday from a landmark Fiji election confirm a big win for the nation's military ruler. Voreqe Bainimarama and his Fiji First party won an outright majority in the Parliament by taking 32 of 50 seats, according to results released by the Fijian Elections Office. Last Wednesday's election marked the first time people in the South Pacific nation have gone to the polls since Bainimarama seized control in a 2006 coup. The opposition Social Democratic Liberal Party (Sodelpa) won 15 seats and the National Federation Party won three. Bainimarama is due to be sworn in as prime minister-elect during a ceremony on Monday. But he did not wait for the official results to claim victor

  • New Afghan president, but vote totals kept secret

    Updated: 9 hr ago

    KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — Ending months of vote-related tension, Afghanistan's election commission named a new president Sunday only hours after the leading candidates signed a power-sharing deal that names one of them as the country's new chief executive. The commission named Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai as the winner and next president and noted that his one-time rival, Abdullah Abdullah, will fill the newly created position of chief executive, a post akin to prime minister. But it pointedly did not release final vote totals amid concerns that doing so could inflame tensions.

  • Hamilton wins in Singapore, takes F1 title lead

    Updated: 19 hr ago

    SINGAPORE (AP) — For Nico Rosberg, early retirement from the Singapore Grand Prix was painful. Seeing his Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton win the race and snatch back the championship lead was agonizing. Hamilton won his seventh race of the season Sunday to move to 241 points, ahead of Rosberg on 238 with five races left. The advantage is thin but the Briton carries all the momentum after back-to-back victories and Rosberg's hopes of his first F1 title are diminishing. Hamilton started from pole position and led comfortably for much of the race but was forced into a late pit-stop, briefly giving up the race lead to Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel, before he passed the German seven laps from the finish to win by 13.5 seconds at

  • Hopes dim for return of Philippine troops to Golan

    Updated: 20 hr ago

    MANILA, Philippines (AP) — Philippine President Benigno Aquino III said he's been told security threats on the Syrian side of the Golan Heights are not expected to ease soon, dimming hopes that U.N. peacekeepers can be deployed back to the region in the near future. A group of 244 Philippine peacekeepers flew back to Manila on Friday after being recalled, while 84 more were due home Sunday, ending a five-year presence in the increasingly volatile Golan. There have been no signs suggesting the Philippines will resume its mission in the Golan. Filipino forces continue to help a U.N. peacekeeping mission in Haiti. Aquino said his government was informed in a letter from the U.N.

  • Last king of Nepal suffers heart attack

    Updated: 20 hr ago

    KATMANDU, Nepal (AP) — The last king of Nepal is in stable condition in a hospital after suffering a heart attack, doctors said Sunday. Gyanendra Shah was brought to the hospital Saturday night, and was recovering in the intensive care unit and was out of danger, said Dr. Bharat Rawat at the Norvic Hospital in Katmandu. Hundreds of his supporters crowded the hospital Sunday. Security was tightened around the hospital in the center of Katmandu. Gyanendra was the last king to rule Nepal before the Constituent Assembly abolished the centuries-old monarchy and turned the country into a republic. He remains in Nepal as a common citizen with no powers, but is provided security by the government.

  • German families to sue Ukraine over MH17 crash

    Updated: 22 hr ago

    BERLIN (AP) — German relatives of three people killed in the downing of Malaysia Airline Flight 17 plan to sue Ukraine for negligence, a lawyer for the families said Sunday. Weekly Bild am Sonntag reported that lawyer Elmar M. Giemulla intends to file a suit at the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, France, demanding €1 million ($1.29 million) compensation for each victim. MH17 was shot down July 17 over territory held by pro-Russian rebels in eastern Ukraine, with 298 people killed. A recent report by authorities in the Netherlands, where most of the victims came from, stopped short of blaming any one side.

  • G-20 says close to goal of $2 trillion in growth

    Updated: Sat, Sep 20, 2014

    SYDNEY (AP) — Finance chiefs from the 20 largest economies say they are close to reaching their goal of boosting world GDP by more than $2 trillion over the next five years. Australian Treasurer Joe Hockey is the host of the Group of 20 meeting in the northern Australian city of Cairns. He said on Sunday that the G-20 finance ministers and central bankers had agreed to more than 900 policy initiatives to meet the goal they set earlier this year. The G-20 said an analysis of those initiatives show they should boost the combined gross domestic product of member countries by 1.8 percent above levels expected for the next five years. That's just short of the group's target of 2 percent.

  • Dalai Lama praises China's leader as 'realistic'

    Updated: Sat, Sep 20, 2014

    NEW DELHI (AP) — The Dalai Lama praised Chinese President Xi Jinping on Saturday for being "more realistic" and principled than his predecessors, a day after Xi's three-day visit to India ended. The Tibetan Buddhist spiritual leader has lived in exile for decades in India's Himalayan foothill city of Dharamsala, after fleeing China following a failed 1959 uprising. The arrangement has irritated Beijing, which has long accused the Dalai Lama of fomenting unrest and encouraging Buddhist monks to self-immolate in demanding more autonomy for Tibet, a Himalayan region in western China that borders India, Bhutan and Nepal.

  • Liz Cambage out of worlds with ruptured Achilles

    Updated: Sat, Sep 20, 2014

    PARIS (AP) — Australia center Liz Cambage won't play at the women's basketball world championship after rupturing her Achilles tendon in an exhibition game against the United States, the team announced on Saturday. The 6-foot-8 center scored nine points and had nine rebounds against the Americans before getting hurt early in the second quarter on Friday. She will return to Australia in the coming days where a full assessment of the injury and recovery timetable will be established. Australia's coach Brendan Joyce said he felt bad for Cambage after her commitment to the program throughout the world championship preparation. Cambage skipped playing for the Tulsa Shock this past WNBA season to train with Australia.

  • Rescuers save 50,000 as floods hit south Pakistan

    Updated: Sat, Sep 20, 2014

    ISLAMABAD (AP) — Pakistan's disaster management agency said Saturday that rescuers with boats and helicopters had evacuated about 50,000 people from the country's south after raging floods inundated more villages there. In a statement, Pakistan's National Disaster Management Agency said about two dozen people were killed in the past 24 hours in the eastern Punjab province, raising the death toll from rains and flooding to 346. It said flood waters wreaked havoc in Punjab province and were now passing through remote areas in the southern Sindh province, but so far no deaths had been reported there. Pictures from Pakistani news channels showed submerged villages and people living in tents and in open areas.

  • Hamilton beats Rosberg to Singapore pole

    Updated: Sat, Sep 20, 2014

    SINGAPORE (AP) — The margin was closer than ever, and their rivals a tougher challenge, yet the outcome was the same as usual Saturday as Mercedes locked out the front row for the Singapore Grand Prix, with Lewis Hamilton edging Nico Rosberg by a mere seven thousandths of a second. Hamilton claimed his sixth pole of the season with a time of 1 minute, 45.681 seconds in the qualifying session, and those few yards of advantage between first and second on the grid could prove crucial in Sunday's night race on a tight and twisty Marina Bay circuit with few passing opportunities. Rosberg leads Hamilton by 22 points in the overall title race — 238 vs. 216.

  • Afghan presidential vote result to come Sunday

    Updated: Sat, Sep 20, 2014

    KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — Afghanistan's drawn-out presidential election may finally be coming to an end. Nearly six months after Afghans cast ballots in a first-round vote, the country's election commission on Saturday said it would announce final, audited results on Sunday from a two-man runoff held in June. U.N. and Afghan election officials spent weeks auditing the runoff results after allegations of vote fraud, a common occurrence over Afghanistan's last two presidential elections. The announcement that vote results are coming would appear to override one of the negotiating stances of candidate Abdullah Abdullah: that vote results are not released because, he contends, undetectable fraud invalidates the results.