• Sushil Koirala, Nepal's former prime minister, dies at 78

    Updated: 1 hr ago

    KATHMANDU, Nepal (AP) — Sushil Koirala, a former Nepalese prime minister and leader of nation's largest political party, has died in Kathmandu. He was 78. His doctor, Karbir Nath Yogi, said Tuesday that Koirala died due to complications from pneumonia and respiratory failure. Koirala was a key figure in adoption of Nepal's new constitution last September with overwhelming support in the Constitution Assembly. Koirala spent his life in politics fighting for democracy in Nepal and was one of the leading activists in protests in 2006 that ended a centuries-old monarchy system and turned Nepal into a republic. He never married and spent at least six years in prison and years in exile in neighboring India.

  • 2015 sets record for most shark attacks, with 98 worldwide

    Updated: 1 hr ago

    GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) — Experts say 2015 saw a record-setting 98 unprovoked shark attacks worldwide, including 30 in Florida alone. The Florida Museum of Natural History released the numbers Monday. Scientists say the previous record was 88 attacks in 2000. International Shark Attack File curator George Burgess says attacks are expected to continue to increase as human populations grow and shark populations recover. Of the six fatalities last year, two happened off the Indian Ocean island of Reunion; the others occurred off Australia, Egypt, New Caledonia and the United States. The U.S. led the world with 59 attacks, including those in Florida, eight in each of the Carolinas and seven in Hawaii.

  • American star Evie Stevens to attempt world hour record

    Updated: 6 hr ago

    Olympic cyclist Evelyn Stevens will attempt to break the world hour record later this month at the recently renovated velodrome at the U.S. Olympic training center in Colorado Springs, Colorado. The distance traveled in an hour is one of the most hallowed challenges in cycling. But only in the past couple of years — since the sport's governing body, the UCI, modernized and simplified rules for an attempt — has the record received renewed interest from some of the world's best riders. "While attempting to break the hour record is exciting for me and my career, I'm also proud to help shine a light on women's cycling," said Stevens, who will make her attempt on Feb. 22. The current record of 46.882 kilometers was set b

  • India Internet ruling blocks Facebook 'Free Basics' program

    Updated: 7 hr ago

    SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — India's government has essentially banned a Facebook program that sought to connect with low-income residents by offering free access to a limited version of the social network and other Internet services. The ruling is a major setback for Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, who had lobbied hard for the program as part of a campaign to expand Internet access in developing countries. It's a victory for critics who argued that Facebook's "Free Basics" program gave an unfair advantage to some Internet services over others. Facebook has introduced "Free Basics" in partnership with wireless carriers in dozens of emerging nations, where the company hopes to get more people online.

  • Suspect in murder of dismembered Spaniard in Thai custody

    Updated: 11 hr ago

    BANGKOK (AP) — A Spanish man who is the prime suspect in the gruesome murder of a fellow Spaniard was in Thai custody Monday after being arrested in Cambodia, where he fled after the victim's dismembered body was recovered over several days from Bangkok's Chao Phraya River. The suspect, identified as Artur Segarra Princep, 36, was arrested Sunday evening at a restaurant in the Cambodian coastal town of Sihanoukville where he had checked into a guesthouse a few days earlier, regional Cambodian police chief Gen. Chuon Narin said Monday. "We received a request from Thai police to arrest this man, and after launching an investigation we found him," Chuon Narin said. Thai police sent a helicopter to Cambodia and it returne

  • Philippine autonomy delay stalls disarming of Muslim rebels

    Updated: 12 hr ago

    MANILA, Philippines (AP) — A Philippine rebel leader said Monday that Congress' failure to pass a Muslim autonomy bill as part of a new peace pact would delay a program to disarm thousands of guerrillas in the country's south. Mohagher Iqbal said his rebel group, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, will stick with a 2014 peace agreement it signed with the Philippine government despite the setback. However, Iqbal said the delay in the enactment of the bill that aims to establish a more powerful and better-funded autonomous region for minority Muslims has caused deep anxiety among guerrillas, and that the uncertainty could be exploited by radicals opposed to the peace deal.

  • Image of Asia: On patrol at holy confluence of Indian rivers

    Updated: 13 hr ago

    In this photo by Rajesh Kumar Singh, police on horses patrol as thousands of Hindus perform rituals at the Sangam, the confluence of the Ganges, Yamuna, and the mythical Saraswati rivers during the Magh Mela fair in Allahabad, India. Hundreds of thousands of pilgrims will bathe in the confluence during the annual festival, hoping to wash away their sins. Monday is the morning of the new moon, or "Mauni Amavasya," the most auspicious and most popular day for the ritual.

  • Coldplay's latest video criticized for portrayal of India

    Updated: 13 hr ago

    NEW DELHI (AP) — British rock band Coldplay's latest music video has triggered a debate in India over its portrayal of the country with critics accusing its producers of showing stereotypical images of India with Hindu holy men, peacocks and colorful festivals. Coldplay featured Beyonce in their Super Bowl half-time show Sunday, but they didn't perform their new collaboration, "Hymn for the Weekend." The four-minute video of the song shows Coldplay being chased and pelted with color as residents celebrate Holi, the Indian festival of color. Many Indians say it stereotypes India as the land of holy men and pagan festival rituals. They say the video ignores changes in India following the economic boom that has changed t

  • Leopard wanders south Indian school, injures 3 before caught

    Updated: 13 hr ago

    BANGALORE, India (AP) — A leopard wandered into a school in southern India and injured three people as it tried to escape, officials said. Onlookers including TV news crews watched the chase, which lasted several hours until forest workers shot the big cat with a tranquilizer dart on Sunday afternoon, according to Press Trust of India news agency. The agency quoted school officials as saying the leopard was first seen on closed-circuit TV before dawn inside the private Vibgyor School in Bangalore, and then disappeared into some surrounding bushes. The big cat later scaled a wall to re-enter the school grounds. It attacked and injured three people including a veterinarian and a man who was trying to climb over a gate t

  • India says 3Q growth faster than China's at 7.3 percent

    Updated: 13 hr ago

    NEW DELHI (AP) — India said its economy grew 7.3 percent in the last three months of 2015, a rate of expansion that puts the South Asian nation ahead of China's 6.8 percent growth during the same period. The data released Monday by the Indian Central Statistics Office shows a slight downturn for India from the previous quarter, when the country registered growth of 7.4 percent. The government has reported quarterly growth rates that have surpassed China's over the last year. It estimated the annual growth rate for 2015-16 will be 7.6 percent, a rise from last year's 7.2 percent growth in gross domestic product.

  • Suicide bomber strikes Afghan market, killing 5

    Updated: 13 hr ago

    KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — A suicide bomber struck in a crowded market in eastern Afghanistan on Monday, killing five civilians and wounding nine others, a local official said. Aminullah Shariq, governor of the Paktika province, said the attacker was on foot and had apparently missed a military target when he blew himself up among midmorning shoppers. In northern Afghanistan, a suicide bomber targeting an Afghan army minibus near a base killed at least three soldiers and wounded another 18 military personnel, said Munir Ahmad Farhad, spokesman for the governor of Balkh province. The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack in an email to media.

  • Top Philippine diplomat and China critic resigns over health

    Updated: 14 hr ago

    MANILA, Philippines (AP) — The Philippines' top diplomat, who was behind a bold government move to challenge the validity of China's vast territorial claims in the South China Sea at an international tribunal, has resigned due to health reasons, officials said Monday. President Benigno Aquino III has accepted Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario's resignation, which will take effect on March 7, presidential spokesman Herminio Coloma Jr. said. The U.S.-educated del Rosario, 76, has been an outspoken critic among the foreign ministers of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations of China's increasingly assertive stance in the disputed waters.

  • Ethnic protesters in Nepal withdraw border blockade, strike

    Updated: 14 hr ago

    KATHMANDU, Nepal (AP) — The main ethnic group that's been protesting for months over Nepal's new constitution is ending its border blockade and general strike, bringing relief to the Himalayan nation severely short of fuel, medicine and other supplies. The United Democratic Madhesi Front said in a statement Monday it would continue its protests but would no longer block the border points where crucial supplies come on cargo trucks from India. The strike has shut down schools, markets and transportation in the south, and the group's announcement came days after frustrated traders and residents forcefully removed the barriers at the main border crossing.

  • Maldives police arrest judge, ex-prosecutor general

    Updated: 15 hr ago

    COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) — Maldives police arrested a judge and a former prosecutor general for issuing an arrest warrant for the country's president without the police requesting one, an official said Monday in the latest political turmoil in the Indian Ocean archipelago. Ibrahim Hussain Shihab, a spokesman in the president's office, said former Prosecutor General Muhthaz Muhsin and Judge Ahmed Nihan were arrested Sunday night. Muhsin was sacked earlier by parliament, where President Yameen Abdul Gayoom's party has a majority. Nihan is a magistrate on a nearby island. Maldives police are investigating a complaint against Gayoom of embezzlement of state funds and the warrant was issued in connection to that case.

  • Australian released by jihadists arrives in Burkina Faso

    Updated: 15 hr ago

    OUAGADOUGOU, Burkina Faso (AP) — An Australian woman who was freed by her al-Qaida captors after several weeks said Monday that she hopes her husband who remains a hostage will soon be released as well so they can continue their charity work in the West African country. Jocelyn Elliott, 76, had been released over the weekend in neighboring Niger after the jihadists said they did not want "to make women involved in the war." Niger's president had worked with intelligence services in Burkina Faso to secure her release, officials said. She arrived Monday in the capital of Burkina Faso, clutching the arm of another woman as walked down the steps off the plane in a traditional gown in vivid shades of red, green, blue and yellow.

  • American says he visited Mumbai 7 times before 2008 attack

    Updated: 17 hr ago

    NEW DELHI (AP) — A Pakistani-American who helped plan a 2008 attack on India's financial hub told a court Monday that he traveled to India seven times to scout potential targets for a Pakistan-based militant group. David Coleman Headley gave the Indian court in Mumbai details of his role in planning the attack, in which more than 160 people were killed over three days when a group of 10 men rampaged across the city. Headley repeated statements that he has made earlier that Pakistan's main spy agency was deeply involved in planning the attack's preparations and execution.

  • Controversial minister to become Australia's rights envoy

    Updated: 20 hr ago

    CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — The former Australian immigration minister who began the widely condemned policy of sending asylum seekers to Pacific island detention camps will become Australia's first special envoy for human rights, the government said Monday. During his 1996-2003 tenure as immigration minister, Philip Ruddock, the second-longest-serving lawmaker in the Australian Parliament's 105-year history, implemented Australia's so-called Pacific solution to deter asylum seekers from attempting to reach Australia by boat. The United Nations' refugee agency joined human rights groups in criticizing Australia for sending thousands of asylum seekers from the Middle East and Asia to Australia-funded camps in the impoverished

  • Name of Myanmar's next president to be known March 17

    Updated: 20 hr ago

    NAYPYITAW, Myanmar (AP) — The names of Myanmar's next president and two vice presidents will be revealed on March 17, an official said Monday, setting a clear timeline for the transition of power from a military-controlled government to democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi's party. Parliament chairman Mann Win Khaing Than announced that the upper house, the lower House and the military will have to select one candidate each for the three posts before March 17, and submit them to parliament on that day. While Suu Kyi herself is barred from becoming president, there are growing signs that her talks with the military to remove a constitutional hurdle blocking her path can be completed by March 17.

  • Murder suspect of dismembered Spaniard arrested in Cambodia

    Updated: 22 hr ago

    PNHOM PENH, Cambodia (AP) — A Spanish man who is the prime suspect in the gruesome murder of a fellow Spaniard was arrested in Cambodia, where he is believed to have fled after the victim's dismembered body was recovered piece by piece from Bangkok's Chao Phraya River, police said Monday. The suspect identified as Artur Segarra Princep, 36, was arrested Sunday evening at a restaurant in the Cambodian coastal town of Sihanoukville where he had checked into a guesthouse a few days earlier, said the regional police chief Gen. Chuon Narin. "We received a request from Thai police to arrest this man, and after launching an investigation we found him," said Chuon Narin. "We will hand him over to Thailand.

  • Afghanistan hopes for talks with Taliban this month


    KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — Afghanistan expects to hold direct talks with the Taliban by the end of this month, an official said Sunday. Foreign Ministry spokesman Ahmad Shakib Mostaghani told reporters that Afghanistan, Pakistan, China and the United States agreed on a roadmap toward peace talks at a meeting in Islamabad the day before. He said the government hopes to "put an end to the futile violence which is imposed on our people." The last direct talks between Kabul and the Taliban broke down after just one session last summer when Kabul announced that the Taliban's reclusive, longtime leader Mullah Mohammad Omar died two years earlier. The next four-country meeting is scheduled for Feb. 23 in Kabul.