• Thai year-old coup imposes superficial calm but little else

    Updated: 13 min ago

    BANGKOK (AP) — Shortly after seizing power in a coup that followed months of debilitating street protests, Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha vowed to end Thailand's decade of political upheaval once and for all. In his words, "to bring everything out in the open and fix it." One year later, the military can boast it has restored stability and kept this Southeast Asian nation calm. But the bitter societal fissures that helped trigger the putsch are still simmering below the surface, unresolved. "Our differences have just been pushed under the rug by a junta that prohibits freedom of expression. Nothing has been done to address the root causes of Thailand's deep divide," said Sunai Phasuk, a senior researcher for Human Rights Watch.

  • Boat by boat, how 3,000 stranded migrants reached land

    Updated: 1 hr ago

    More than 3,000 migrants abandoned by human traffickers have been rescued or washed ashore this month in Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand. Some are Rohingya Muslims fleeing persecution in Myanmar, while others are Bangladeshis seeking better economic prospects. Many more are feared to still be stranded at sea, abandoned by traffickers amid a regional crackdown. Here's a look at the migrants who have made it ashore over the last three weeks: ___ May 10 — Boats carrying 582 Bangladeshis and Rohingya Muslims washed ashore in Seunuddon, North Aceh district, western Indonesia. They were believed to be from four ships abandoned by their captains and smugglers.

  • China contributing experts, troops to disaster relief drills

    Updated: 1 hr ago

    BEIJING (AP) — China is contributing 600 personnel, including 49 from the military, to multinational disaster relief exercises in Malaysia, the first time it has taken part in such an effort, the Defense Ministry said Saturday. China's contribution will include experts from the foreign and civil affairs ministry, along with local government bodies and troops from the army and paramilitary forces, the ministry said. One of the navy's most modern amphibious dock ships and its accompanying helicopter will also play a role in the drills, it said. Along with its booming economy and rising diplomatic clout, China has increasingly engaged in disaster relief work and multinational exercises as a means of asserting its regiona

  • US: Myanmar should share responsibility for Rohingya crisis

    Updated: 1 hr ago

    YANGON, Myanmar (AP) — Navy ships were scouring Southeast Asian waters for boats believed to be carrying thousands of migrants with little food or water, and a top U.S. diplomat said Myanmar needs to shoulder some responsibility for the crisis. That's something it has been reluctant to do. U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said Friday that Rohingya Muslims fleeing the predominantly Buddhist nation were risking perilous journeys and putting their lives in the hands of human traffickers because "they are in despair and don't see a future" at home. They have been denied citizenship and chased off their land in the latest bout of ethnic violence that left them with little access to education, medical care or freedo

  • Man released from Guantanamo in December dies in Kazakhstan

    Updated: 5 hr ago

    MIAMI (AP) — A man who was released from the U.S. base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, in December and resettled in Kazakhstan has died in that Central Asian country, a Pentagon spokesman said Friday. Asim Thabit Abdullah al-Khalaqi, who was about 47, according to military records, died May 7, Army Lt. Col. Myles Caggins said. He did not provide a cause of death. The British newspaper the Guardian reported that it was from kidney failure, citing another former prisoner. Al-Khalaqi, who was from Yemen, was held for a dozen years without charge at Guantanamo. He was resettled in Kazakhstan, along with two other Yemenis and two Tunisians, because U.S. authorities determined that they could not be sent back to their own countries.

  • Kevin Na closes with 'good bogey,' leads wet Colonial

    Updated: 6 hr ago

    FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — Kevin Na had gone 26 holes without a bogey at Colonial before his last tee shot Friday was swept away by flowing water after going into a rain-swollen drainage culvert. Not even that could dampen Na's second round that gave him the lead halfway through the soggy tournament. Na took the penalty drop near the 17th fairway, and hit a blind approach shot over bleachers to the back side of the 18th green. His two-putt from 20 feet wrapped up a 4-under 66. "A good bogey," Na said. At 10-under 130, Na was two strokes ahead of Ian Poulter (67) and three up on 2013 Colonial winner Boo Weekley (69). Na also made some long birdie putts. His 30-footer off the fringe at No.

  • Tuk-tuk taxi maker aims to make inroads in US

    Updated: 9 hr ago

    DENVER (AP) — They're ubiquitous in Asia, swarming the bustling streets of Bangkok, New Delhi and Beijing. Now, a company that manufactures tuk-tuks — the three-wheeled motorized rickshaws that have moved the masses for more than a century and go by many other names in Asia, Africa and Latin America — aims to make inroads in the United States. The Tuk Tuk Factory, based in Amsterdam, has signed a licensing agreement with Denver-based eTuk USA to allow the company to manufacture and sell an electric version of the vehicle. The company's founders hope the eco-friendly vehicles, a far cry from the loud, pollution-spewing versions common in Asia and South America, will become the next hip mode of transportation for ur

  • Home fans rejoice in Lahore as Pakistan beats Zimbabwe

    Updated: 12 hr ago

    LAHORE, Pakistan (AP) — Pakistan defeated Zimbabwe by five wickets in the country's first international match against a major team in six years on Friday in a stadium encircled by police and filled to capacity. The crowd of 27,000 endured frequent security checks to watch Pakistan reach 173-5 in the first Twenty20 international after the visitors had posted a decent 172-6. Fans packed the stadium at least two hours before the Twenty20 between Pakistan and Zimbabwe, the first test-playing team to visit this country since gunmen attacked the Sri Lanka team outside this venue in 2009, bringing all major tours to Pakistan to a halt.

  • UN chief urges peaceful solution of South China Sea dispute

    Updated: 15 hr ago

    HANOI, Vietnam (AP) — U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called Friday for a peaceful solution to territorial disputes in the South China Sea, where China's increased assertiveness has alarmed its smaller neighbors. Ban told reporters in Hanoi that he and Vietnamese President Truong Tan Sang discussed regional security concerns, including the territorial tensions. "I have consistently called on all parties concerned to resolve their disputes through dialogue in conformity with international law," he said. "It is important to avoid actions that would provoke or exacerbate the tension." Sang told a joint news briefing that he asked Ban and the U.N. to make an "active contribution" to a peaceful solution of the disputes.

  • Nepal assesses if quake-hit villages are at risk before rain

    Updated: 15 hr ago

    KATHMANDU, Nepal (AP) — Geologists were sent to earthquake-damaged mountain villages in Nepal this week to assess landslide risks before the rainy season begins next month, an official said Friday. Many of them walking to their destinations, the geologists will check the soil in the remote villages in the districts hit worst by the quakes, Home Ministry official Laxmi Prasad Dhakal said. They are scheduled to report their findings in Kathmandu next week, and the government would then decide which villages are in danger of landslides and need to be relocated. Dhakal said only few weeks are left to get people to safer areas and it was going to a big challenge.

  • Aspiring Asia leader China takes no role in Rohingya crisis

    Updated: 16 hr ago

    BEIJING (AP) — Malaysia has begun searching for thousands of boat people believed stranded in the Andaman Sea. From a hemisphere away in Washington, the U.S. said it will send navy planes. Even the small African nation of Gambia has offered help, saying it could take in the migrants. The Asian region's biggest power, China, however, has remained largely silent on the crisis involving Muslim Rohingya fleeing persecution in Myanmar and Bangladeshis seeking to escape poverty. That reflects Beijing's longstanding aversion to such foreign intervention as well as potential unease among its neighbors over any further projection of Chinese naval power, but it also complicates any aspirations Beijing may have to be a regional leader

  • The Latest on Rohingya: US envoy says address root causes

    Updated: 17 hr ago

    5 p.m. (1030 GMT) A senior U.S. diplomat says the root causes of the exodus of Myanmar's Rohingya Muslims need to be addressed as a way to solve the humanitarian crisis facing Southeast Asia. U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Anthony Blinken met with Myanmar's leaders in the capital, Naypyitaw, on Friday. He says the Rohingya fleeing Myanmar "are in despair and don't see a future when they are in internally displaced persons camps." He says they need to be moved back to their homes, provided for in terms of education, health care and opportunities, as well as freedom of movement.

  • Image of Asia: Hands raised in prayer at Hazratbal shrine

    Updated: 18 hr ago

    In this photo by Dar Yasin, Muslims at Kashmir's Hazratbal shrine raise their hands in prayer as head priest Mohammad Ishaq Banday displays a relic of the Prophet Muhammad on the Friday following Mehraj-u-Alam, the day the prophet ascended to heaven. The relic is believed to be a hair from the beard of the prophet. Thousands of Muslims gathered for Friday prayers at the lakeside, white marble shrine that is Islam's holiest in the India-controlled Kashmir region.

  • Q&A on origins of Rohingya conflict and why it persists

    Updated: 20 hr ago

    YANGON, Myanmar (AP) — Many of the thousands of migrants abandoned at sea in Southeast Asia this month are Rohingya Muslims who fled their home country of Myanmar. Here are facts about the history and persecution of the ethnic and religious minority: ___ WHO ARE THE ROHINGYA? The Rohingya are a Muslim minority in predominantly Buddhist Myanmar, also known as Burma. Numbering around 1.3 million, they are concentrated in western Rakhine state, which neighbors Bangladesh. The Rohingya have been in Myanmar for centuries. Some historians say they are indigenous to Rakhine state, while others say they originally migrated from the west.

  • The Latest on Rohingya: UN estimates 3,000 still adrift

    Updated: Thu, May 21, 2015

    10 a.m. (0300 GMT) The U.N. refugee agency is estimating that over 3,000 Rohingya and Bangladeshi migrants — or even more — could still be adrift in the Andaman Sea. The exact numbers are not known, but the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees says it triangulated reports in the media and other sources and estimates the current number could be over 3,000 — or more that no one knows about. More than 3,000 Rohingya minority Muslims fleeing persecution in Myanmar and Bangladeshi economic migrants also on the boats with them have already landed in Indonesia and Malaysia, and over 100 in Thailand. Only Rohingyas are being given a one-year temporary shelter while Bangladeshis face repatriation.

  • Cambodia accepts 4 refugees under Australia agreement

    Updated: Thu, May 21, 2015

    CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — Four refugees rejected by Australia who have agreed to resettle in Cambodia will likely become examples that other refugees will follow, an Australian minister said Friday. Cambodia has agreed to accept the first four refugees under a 40 million Australian dollar ($32 million) four-year agreement it made with Australia nine months ago to resettle asylum seekers held in an Australia-run detention camp on the Pacific island nation of Nauru. Many of the 677 asylum seekers on Nauru have been there for almost two years. Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen signed an endorsement letter Wednesday and the countries are now discussing when the four will arrive in Cambodia, Gen. Khieu Sopheak, spokesman of Camb

  • Closing birdie for Spieth to share Colonial 1st-round lead

    Updated: Thu, May 21, 2015

    FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — Masters champion Jordan Spieth got his homecoming off to a leading start with a birdie before dark. Spieth made a 20-foot putt from just off the fringe on the final hole for a 6-under 64 and a share of the first-round lead Thursday in the rain-delayed Colonial. "I had a few of those on the back nine, a few good looks where I knew what the putt was doing, I just didn't match the line and speed right," Spieth said. "I was getting a little frustrated through 17 there. I was like just one more look. ... I didn't really count (18) as a look, but maybe more like luck, and we'll take it." The closing birdie, just after 8 p.m., tied Spieth with Kevin Na, Boo Weekley and Ryo Ishikawa. There was a

  • Malaysia orders sea search-and-rescue for migrants

    Updated: Thu, May 21, 2015

    YANGON, Myanmar (AP) — Four Malaysian navy ships began searching the seas for stranded boat people Thursday in the first official rescue operation since desperate migrants started washing onto Southeast Asia's shores, and the U.S. military gave the first indication it was ready to take a direct role in helping address the crisis. Thousands of Rohingya Muslims from Myanmar and Bangladeshis are believed to be trapped on boats with little food or water — some after being pushed back by the navies of at least three countries — and the international community has warned that time to save them is running out.

  • PayPal's new chief promises new services for a mobile world

    Updated: Thu, May 21, 2015

    SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — As PayPal prepares to split from its corporate parent, its new chief executive is promising to expand the popular online payment system, adding a variety of services for consumers to use when shopping on their phones or in traditional stores. PayPal will be spinning off from parent company eBay later this year at a time when it's facing new competitive challenges. Alibaba, Amazon and even Facebook are promoting online payment systems, while Apple Pay and Google Wallet are competing to handle transactions in stores and on mobile devices.

  • Indy 500 veteran Ryan Briscoe replaces injured Hinchcliffe

    Updated: Thu, May 21, 2015

    INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Ryan Briscoe was home in Connecticut, getting ready to leave for France next week for the 24 Hours of Le Mans, when he received a call he had been anticipating. Ever since the devastating wreck that sent James Hinchcliffe to the hospital during Monday's practice for the Indianapolis 500, the natural assumption had been that Briscoe would step into the No. 5 car for Schmidt Peterson Motorsports for the 99th running of the race. It became official when team co-owner Sam Schmidt dialed his number Tuesday morning. "Obviously coming into the Indy 500, the day before Carb Day, is not ideal," Briscoe said Thursday, shortly before taking his first few laps in a special familiarization session.