• Afghan official: Suicide bombing kills 2 in south

    Yesterday

    KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — A suicide bomber targeted a police convoy in Afghanistan's southern Helmand province on Monday, killing two people, a policeman and a civilian, a local official said. The attack took place in the Helmand provincial capital of Lashkar Gah, said Omar Zwak, the spokesman for the provincial governor. He said the explosion also wounded 15 people — eight policemen and seven civilians. The police convoy was en route to the district of Sangin for an operation there, he added. No group claimed responsibility for the attack, but the Taliban frequently use roadside bombs and suicide attacks against Afghan and NATO forces and government offices in the country. Helmand is one of the most dangerous and i

  • Philippine leader hit with impeachment complaint

    Yesterday

    MANILA, Philippines (AP) — Twenty-eight people, including activists and a retired Catholic bishop, filed an impeachment complaint Monday against Philippine President Benigno Aquino III for his implementation of a major economic stimulus program that the Supreme Court has declared partly unconstitutional. The complaint, filed in the House of Representatives, accuses Aquino of culpable violation of the constitution and betrayal of public trust by funding projects outside the Congress-approved annual budget. Lawmakers from three left-wing political parties endorsed it, making it the first valid impeachment complaint against Aquino, but it's unclear whether it will get enough support in a Congress dominated by Aquino allies.

  • Armed bandits demand water in dry northern India

    Yesterday

    LUCKNOW, India (AP) — Armed bandits in drought-stricken northern India are threatening to kill hundreds of villagers unless they deliver 35 buckets of water each day to the outlaws in their rural hideouts. Since the threats were delivered last week, 28 villages have been obeying the order, taking turns handing over what the bandits are calling a daily "water tax," police said Monday. "Water itself is very scarce in this region. Villagers can hardly meet their demand," officer Suresh Kumar Singh said by telephone from Banda, a city on the southern border of central Uttar Pradesh state and caught within what is known in India as bandit country.

  • UN to vote on crash resolution; Russia has doubts

    Yesterday

    CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — The U.N. Security Council will vote Monday on an Australia-proposed resolution demanding international access to the Ukraine plane crash site and a cease-fire around the area, with diplomats pressuring a reluctant Russia to approve it. Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott said his country would view a Russian veto of the resolution "very badly," adding that "no reasonable person" could object to its wording. "This is still an absolutely shambolic situation. It does look more like a garden clean-up than a forensic investigation," he told reporters.

  • Q&A: How Malaysia Airlines can salvage its brand

    Updated: Sun, Jul 20, 2014

    Malaysia Airlines is in uncharted territory after the disappearance of Flight 370 in March with 239 people aboard was followed this week by the downing of another of its jets, carrying 298 people, over Ukraine. Before the disasters the carrier had among the worst financial performance of any airline. An even bigger question mark now hangs over the future of Malaysia Airlines, with its brand tied to two almost unfathomable tragedies. Some analysts say the state-owned airline won't survive a year without a substantial cash injection from the Malaysian government. A bailout would address the airline's immediate financial problems but without far-reaching changes it could remain a burden on taxpayers and shrivel into region

  • Bodies from downed jet piled in boxcars in Ukraine

    Updated: Sun, Jul 20, 2014

    TOREZ, Ukraine (AP) — Pro-Moscow rebels piled nearly 200 bodies from the downed Malaysian jetliner into four refrigerated boxcars Sunday in eastern Ukraine, and cranes at the crash scene moved big chunks of the Boeing 777, drawing condemnation from Western leaders that the rebels were tampering with the site. The United States, meanwhile, presented what it called "powerful" evidence that the rebels shot down the plane with a Russian surface-to-air missile and training. Although other governments have stopped short of accusing Russia of actually causing the crash, the U.S. was ahead of most in pointing blame on Moscow for the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 that killed all 298 people aboard. "Russia is supporting thes

  • Wild card Tomic wins Bogota final

    Updated: Sun, Jul 20, 2014

    BOGOTA, Colombia (AP) — Wild card Bernard Tomic denied Ivo Karlovic's attempt to retain his Claro Open Colombia title, beating the second-seeded Croat 7-6 (5), 3-6, 7-6 (4) in the final Sunday. The 21-year-old Australian, who was born in Germany, won despite Karlovic firing 39 aces to 11 for Tomic. The 29th-ranked Karlovic, 35, beat home favorite Alejandro Falla in last year's final and was seeking his first title of 2014. Tomic, ranked 124th, was playing his first ATP final since Sydney in January. The third-seeded Australian pair Samuel Groth and Chris Guccione beat Nicolas Barrientos and Juan Sebastian Cabal of Colombia 7-6 (5), 6-7 (3), 11-9 to win the doubles title at Centro de Alto Rendimiento.

  • Distraught Dutch mother: 'Send my children home'

    Updated: Sun, Jul 20, 2014

    THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — A distraught, grieving mother summed up a swelling mood of despair and anguish in the Netherlands on Sunday at faltering efforts to repatriate the bodies of loved ones killed in the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, appealing directly to Russian President Vladimir Putin to return the bodies of her son and his girlfriend. Silene Fredriksz-Hoogzand, whose son Bryce and his girlfriend, Daisy Oehlers, were killed when the plane was shot down Thursday over Ukraine, said she was appalled their bodies and those of other victims had been left lying for days. "I am not a politician," she told The Associated Press in a telephone interview. "But I know for sure that Mr. Putin can do something.

  • Smoking Philippine leader OKs cigarette warnings

    Updated: Sun, Jul 20, 2014

    MANILA, Philippines (AP) — Philippine President Benigno Aquino III, a known smoker, has signed a law requiring tobacco companies to put graphic health warnings on cigarette packs in a country where tens of thousands of people die every year from tobacco-linked diseases, an official said Sunday. Aquino signed the law Friday "to effectively instill health consciousness through graphic health warnings on tobacco products," presidential spokesman Herminio Coloma Jr. said. With the law, the Philippines joins more than 40 other nations and territories that have adopted similar regulations and brought the battle against smoking to the cover of cigarette packs.

  • Strongest storm in decades in south China kills 18

    Updated: Sun, Jul 20, 2014

    BEIJING (AP) — The strongest typhoon to hit southern China in four decades has killed 18 people and destroyed tens of thousands of homes, the government and state media said Sunday, while in the Philippines the death toll from the storm's earlier destruction rose to 94. Typhoon Rammasun killed nine people and left five missing after hitting Hainan island on Friday off China's southern coast, the civil affairs ministry said in a statement. Nine others died later in the Guangxi region as the storm plowed into the mainland on its way north to Vietnam. The storm destroyed 37,000 homes and ravaged 468,500 hectares (1.2 million acres) of crops in Hainan and Guangdong provinces and Guangxi, causing $4.3 billion in damage, the offi

  • Anti-Russia sentiment running deep in Malaysia

    Updated: Sun, Jul 20, 2014

    KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — Many Malaysians are urging their government and world leaders to take a tough stance against Russia after pro-Russia rebels allegedly shot down a Malaysia Airlines jet, with some calling for economic sanctions and a boycott of Russian goods. While the rebels and Ukraine blame each other for Thursday's downing of Flight 17 over eastern Ukraine, near the Russian border, Russia's government is being accused of not doing enough to ensure that authorities have proper access to the crash site. Much of the Malaysian anger toward Russia stems from the inability for family members of Muslims who were aboard the plane to perform burial rites as quickly as possible, according to Islamic custom.

  • Myanmar finds rape case causing unrest was faked

    Updated: Sun, Jul 20, 2014

    YANGON, Myanmar (AP) — The alleged rape of a Buddhist woman by two Muslim men that triggered religious violence in the central Myanmar city of Mandalay was fabricated, authorities said Sunday. A Home Ministry announcement published in the Myanma Ahlin newspaper said a third Muslim man had sought to frame the two owners of a tea shop because he blamed them for his being charged earlier with the rape of one of his female employees. The unrest earlier this month was tamped down after a few days, but demonstrated how volatile ethnic and religious tensions remain in predominantly Buddhist Myanmar, where several hundred people have been killed since 2012 in sectarian violence.

  • AIDS conference honors victims of jet crash

    Updated: Sun, Jul 20, 2014

    MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — An international AIDS conference has opened in Australia with a tribute to several delegates who were killed en route to the gathering when their Malaysia Airlines plane was shot down. Officials at the opening ceremony for the 20th International AIDS Conference in Melbourne held a moment of silence Sunday for the six HIV/AIDS researchers and activists killed aboard Malaysia Airlines Flight 17. All 298 people on board the plane were killed when it crashed Thursday in eastern Ukraine. Among the conference delegates killed was Joep Lange, former president of the International AIDS Society and a prominent AIDS researcher from the Netherlands. The conference has drawn around 12,000 experts in HI

  • Malaysia Airlines retires MH17 flight number

    Updated: Sun, Jul 20, 2014

    KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — Malaysia Airline says it is retiring the flight number of the plane that was shot down over Ukraine. The carrier said in a statement Sunday that beginning Friday, it will no longer use MH17 to identify any of its Amsterdam-Kuala Lumpur flights. It said it is doing so "out of respect for our crew and passengers" who were aboard the plane. The airline said the new flight number replacing MH17 would be MH19. It also said there would be no changes to the frequency of its Amsterdam-Kuala Lumpur service, and that it would continue to operate daily flights between the cities. Flight 17 was shot down over Ukraine on Thursday with 298 people onboard.

  • Indonesia's democracy faces test as tally comes in

    Updated: Sun, Jul 20, 2014

    JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — After an ugly presidential election campaign, Indonesia is set to declare the winner on Tuesday — but that may not settle a simmering dispute between the two candidates, both of whom claim victory. Unofficial counts by eight polling agencies of the July 9 election have given Joko Widodo, the popular and sneaker-wearing former governor of Jakarta known as "Jokowi," a slim lead. But Prabowo Subianto, a former general with a checkered human rights record who has drawn voters with his thundering nationalistic rhetoric, insists he has polling data showing he has won, raising speculation that he might may not accept the results if he loses.

  • Romeo Castelen to join Australia's Western Sydney

    Updated: Sat, Jul 19, 2014

    SYDNEY (AP) — Former Dutch international Romeo Castelen has signed a two-year deal with the Western Sydney Wanderers in Australian football's A-League. The 31-year-old winger, who played 10 times for the Netherlands, will join the Wanderers from Dutch first division club RKC Waalwijk after also playing for Den Haag, Feyenoord and Hamburg. This will be the first time Castelen has played for a club outside Europe. Castelen said the Wanderers, who have been A-League runners-up in each of the last two seasons, are "a great club, they have a great coach and a big fan base. I like to play in front of big crowds and I looked on the internet and saw how passionate the fans are." He is expected to join Western Sydney nex

  • DNA being collected to ID Ukraine crash victims

    Updated: Sat, Jul 19, 2014

    THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — Forensic teams fanned out across the Netherlands on Saturday to collect material that will help positively identify the remains of victims killed in the downing of the Malaysia Airlines plane over Ukraine. Families and friends of the dead huddled to console one another at churches, schools and sports clubs across the nation. Altius, a small soccer club on the edge of the central city of Hilversum, was typical of scenes that played out across the Netherlands. A couple of dozen members held a small ceremony at Altius' clubhouse to remember a family of four killed in the crash, as the team's flag fluttered at half-staff in the warm afternoon breeze.

  • Aussie golfer gets Woods, Spieth in Open threesome

    Updated: Sat, Jul 19, 2014

    HOYLAKE, England (AP) — When the third-round tee times were announced at the British Open, drawn together were Tiger Woods, Jordan Spieth and ... Rhein Gibson. Gibson, who made the cut on the number with a 15-foot putt on the 18th hole Friday and is playing in his first major, had never met Woods or Spieth, let alone played a round of golf with them. But he lined up beside the Americans on the 10th tee at Royal Liverpool on Saturday morning, and promptly hit his opening shot into the rough, losing the ball and taking what he called a "good 6." Admitting the crowds were the biggest he'd played in front of, the 998th-ranked Gibson had two late bogeys to finish with a 2-over 74. That was seven strokes behind Spieth, and

  • Malaysia Airlines staff try to cope with disasters

    Updated: Sat, Jul 19, 2014

    KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — Coping with two disasters within a few months has left some Malaysia Airlines employees so shaken that they've been unable to function properly at work, a union official said Saturday. The airline suffered its second disaster in less than five months Thursday when Flight 17 from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur was shot down in Ukraine with 298 people onboard. The carrier also is still dealing with the mystery of Flight 370, which disappeared March 8 with 239 people onboard en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. National Union of Flight Attendants Malaysia President Ismail Nasaruddin said morale among airline personnel is low as employees try to come to terms with the two disasters.

  • Thai junta's gag on media raises alarm, criticism

    Updated: Sat, Jul 19, 2014

    BANGKOK (AP) — Critics and journalists raised concerns Saturday about the Thai military government's latest move to tighten its grip on the media by banning them from criticizing the junta's operations and threatening to immediately suspend the broadcast or publication of content that defies the order. The National Council for Peace and Order issued an order late Friday prohibiting criticism by anyone on all forms of media against the operations of the junta and its personnel. It also asked media operators and "any other individuals" to refrain from disseminating content banned by the military government, including news and information that could create resistance against the junta.