• Avalanche sweeps Everest; 4-5 believed buried

    Updated: Thu, Apr 17, 2014

    KATMANDU, Nepal (AP) — An avalanche swept the slopes of Mount Everest on Friday along a route used to ascend the world's highest peak, and at least five climbers are feared buried, officials said. The avalanche hit the area just below Camp 2 around 6:30 a.m. Friday, said Nepal Tourism Ministry official Madhu Sudan Burlakoti. Rescuers and fellow climbers at the base camp headed to the area to help. A helicopter was also sent from Katmandu. Four or five climbers are believed to have been buried and more injured by the avalanche, said Ang Tshering of the Nepal Mountaineering Association. He said that the area where the avalanche occurred is nicknamed the "popcorn field," which is just below Camp 2 at 6,400 meters (21,000 feet)

  • Asian stocks mostly higher after mixed US earnings

    Updated: Thu, Apr 17, 2014

    BEIJING (AP) — Asian stocks were mostly higher Friday despite mixed U.S. earnings reports with many of the region's exchanges closed for Good Friday. Oil trading also was suspended for the holiday. Tokyo's Nikkei 225 gained 0.6 percent to 14,504.47. China's benchmark Shanghai Composite Index shed 0.4 percent to 2,090.4 after data this week showed economic growth slowed to its lowest level since 2012. Seoul's Kospi added 0.6 percent to 2,004.22 and Taiwan's Taiex rose 0.2 percent to 8,958.10. Malaysia edged up 0.1 percent to 1,852.83. Markets in Hong Kong, Australia, India, Indonesia, Singapore, New Zealand and the Philippines were closed for the holiday.

  • Royal couple enjoy sheep-shearing demo Down Under

    Updated: Thu, Apr 17, 2014

    SYDNEY (AP) — Britain's Prince William and his wife, Kate, have enjoyed a sheep-shearing demonstration and greeted crowds of flower-bearing fans at an agricultural fair in Sydney. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge spent Friday morning at the Sydney Royal Easter Show, an annual fair that brings country life to the city with animals, rides and wood-chopping competitions. Later Friday, the royal couple will visit a children's hospice and enjoy a sunny afternoon at the beach. William and Kate are on a three-week tour of New Zealand and Australia. Their itinerary includes seeing local wildlife at Sydney's harbor side zoo and traveling to Uluru, the iconic red sandstone monolith in the Outback.

  • Taliban kill 4 Afghan policemen south of Kabul

    Updated: Thu, Apr 17, 2014

    KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — Taliban militants stopped a car carrying several Afghan police officers on the road to Kabul and killed at least four of them, authorities said Thursday. The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack that took place Wednesday in Wardak province south of the capital, although there were conflicting reports about the number of policemen — if any — who managed to escape. Wardak province deputy police chief Lutfullah Zaryab said militants abducted 11 policemen traveling from the southern city of Kandahar to Kabul, and killed four of them. He said the remaining seven police managed to flee. Provincial spokesman Attahullah Khugyani said there were only five policemen in the vehicle, but co

  • Court extends NYC officer's weapons case in India

    Updated: Thu, Apr 17, 2014

    NEW DELHI (AP) — An Indian court said Thursday it won't rule before July 1 in the case of a New York City police officer arrested in New Delhi on a weapons charge. The New York Police Department said that Manny Encarnacion was arrested in March after Indian authorities discovered three bullets he had accidentally packed in his luggage. He is out on bail, but has been barred from leaving India until the case is resolved. Encarnacion's attorney, Samarjeet Pattnaik, said the court heard a petition to throw out the arrest but gave no ruling. Judge Sunil Gaur extended Encarnacion's bail until July 1, the next date for hearing arguments in the case, Pattnaik said. In New York, police Commissioner William J.

  • India struggles with rebel threats during election

    Updated: Thu, Apr 17, 2014

    RAJNANDGAON, India (AP) — Indians cast ballots Thursday on the biggest day of voting in the country's weekslong general election, streaming into polling stations even in areas where leftist rebels threatened violence over the plight of India's marginalized and poor. Nationwide voting began April 7 and runs through May 12, with results for the 543-seat lower house of Parliament to be announced four days later. Among the 13 key states voting Thursday was Chhattisgarh, now the center of a four-decade Maoist insurgency that has affected more than a dozen of India's 28 states.

  • Journalists charged with defaming Thailand's navy

    Updated: Thu, Apr 17, 2014

    PHUKET, Thailand (AP) — Thai authorities on Thursday charged two journalists with defaming Thailand's navy in an online news report about the trafficking of refugees from Myanmar, amid concerns about press freedom in the country. The English-language news website Phuketwan posted a story last July carrying excerpts from a report by the Reuters news agency alleging that members of the Thai military were involved in trafficking captured immigrants from Myanmar's beleaguered Rohingya ethnic minority.

  • Rights groups ask Nepal to scrap amnesty provision

    Updated: Thu, Apr 17, 2014

    KATMANDU, Nepal (AP) — International rights groups said Thursday that parts of a bill proposed by Nepal's government should be rejected because they might allow people who committed serious human rights violations during the country's Maoist insurgency to escape punishment. Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and the International Commission of Jurists said in a statement that the provisions in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission bill would violate international law. The bill would establish commissions to investigate crimes during the 1996-2006 communist insurgency, when more than 13,000 people were killed and hundreds more went missing, and punish the violators.

  • Royal couple visit wildfire-affected Aussie town

    Updated: Thu, Apr 17, 2014

    SYDNEY (AP) — Britain's Prince William and his wife, Kate, visited a town ravaged by wildfires in the mountains west of Sydney on Thursday, as they continue their Down Under tour. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge stopped in the Blue Mountains town of Winmalee to meet with firefighters and locals affected by wildfires that swept through the region last year, destroying more than 200 homes. William and Kate also visited a Girl Guides hall, where they planted a tree, and later took in the sweeping views of the mountains. "Here we are five months down the track after we lost our house and for them to come out now, it makes us feel like we haven't been forgotten," said Adrian Harrison, whose house was destroyed in the fir

  • Asia stocks fail to match Wall Street gains

    Updated: Wed, Apr 16, 2014

    HONG KONG (AP) — Asian stock markets were mostly lower Thursday, with Japan's Nikkei leading the retreat as investors locked in profits after a strong rally. Profit taking set in following a sharp rise in Tokyo the day before and as comments from the country's central bank governor left investors unimpressed. Other regional benchmarks were unable to find direction in spite of optimism in the U.S., where major benchmarks closed at least 1 percent higher, and Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said the central bank would continue to provide stimulus for the job market. Trading in some markets such as Hong Kong and Australia was subdued ahead of a long weekend. Japan's Nikkei 225 index lost 0.4 percent to 14,362.94

  • Malaysian lawmaker and lawyer Karpal Singh dies

    Updated: Wed, Apr 16, 2014

    KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — Veteran Malaysian opposition lawmaker Karpal Singh, an eminent lawyer who had been detained without trial under security laws and battled numerous sedition charges, has died in a road accident. He was 73. District police chief Ng Kong Soon said Singh was travelling with four others when his car collided with a truck early Thursday on a highway. Ng was quoted by national Bernama news agency as saying Singh and his personal assistant were killed immediately and his Indonesian maid was badly injured, but his son, Ram Singh, and the driver escaped unhurt. Gobind Singh Deo, Karpal's son and also a lawmaker, posted a message on Facebook and Twitter announcing his father's death.

  • Pakistan Taliban says truce over but talks ongoing

    Updated: Wed, Apr 16, 2014

    ISLAMABAD (AP) — The Pakistani Taliban said Wednesday they will not renew a ceasefire they called over a month ago to facilitate peace negotiations but said they will still continue talks with the government. The surprising announcement, which comes just days after the country's interior minister said comprehensive talks with the militants would start this week, throws into doubt the future of a peace process pushed by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif as the best way to end years of fighting in the northwest that has killed thousands of people. In a statement emailed to reporters, the group's spokesman Shahidullah Shahid blamed the government, saying it had continued operations against the group even during the ceasefire.

  • Passenger train derails in northern India; 42 hurt

    Updated: Wed, Apr 16, 2014

    GAUHATI, India (AP) — A passenger train derailed in northeastern India early Wednesday, and dozens of passengers suffered mostly minor injuries. The engine and nine of the train's 13 coaches jumped the track near the Jagiroad station, about 140 kilometers (85 miles) east of Gauhati, the capital of Assam, state-owned Indian Railways said in a statement. The cause of the derailment was not known, but railway authorities ordered an investigation. Six of the injured passengers were hospitalized, while 36 others suffered minor injuries and were allowed to go home after receiving medical attention, the statement said, adding that 170 passengers escaped unharmed.

  • Female Afghan lawmaker wounded in shooting attack

    Updated: Wed, Apr 16, 2014

    KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — A female Afghan lawmaker was wounded in a shooting that her sister called a political attack, but which the government on Wednesday described as resulting from an undetermined personal dispute with a police officer. Maryam Koofi was recovering in a Kabul hospital from after being shot twice in the leg the previous night as she left her office. Her bodyguard was more seriously wounded with shots to his head and leg. It was the second attack in a day on a high-profile figure in the capital. On Tuesday morning, Afghanistan's deputy public works minister was abducted from his car on his way to work. Koofi is a parliamentarian from the northern province of Takhar.

  • Sub makes 2nd dive to search for Malaysian plane

    Updated: Wed, Apr 16, 2014

    PERTH, Australia (AP) — As a robotic submarine dived into the ocean to look for lost Flight 370, angry Chinese relatives stormed out of a teleconference meeting Wednesday to protest the Malaysian government for not addressing them in person. The Bluefin 21 sub surfaced early for the second time in as many missions, this time after experiencing technical difficulties. It was sent back into the water after its data were downloaded but there's been no sign of the plane, according to the search coordinator.

  • Russian FM: Russia still to meet with Ukraine

    Updated: Wed, Apr 16, 2014

    HANOI, Vietnam (AP) — Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov says Russia is still planning to meet with Ukrainian officials at an international conference in Geneva on Thursday. One day after Ukraine's first military action against a pro-Russian uprising in the east of the country, Lavrov said in a Wednesday press briefing with his Vietnamese counterpart that the Geneva talks "remain on the agenda." Russia has repeatedly threatened to disrupt the talks if the Ukrainian government uses military force against pro-Russian militants in the east of the country. Since Ukraine's Russia-leaning President Viktor Yanukovych fled in February following months of protest, Russia has pushed for the Kiev government to change the constitution and

  • Australian state leader quits over $2,800 wine

    Updated: Wed, Apr 16, 2014

    CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — The leader of Australia's most populous state quit as premier on Wednesday in the face of mounting evidence that he failed to declare a 3,000 Australian dollar ($2,800) bottle of wine that arrived as a gift on his Sydney doorstep. New South Wales Premier Barry O'Farrell had told a corruption inquiry on Tuesday that he never received a bottle of 1959 Penfolds Grange Hermitage as a gift from businessman Nick Di Girolamo congratulating him weeks after his 2011 election win. Grange is an iconic label and is synonymous with expensive Australian wine. Grange vintages are consistently rated among Australia's best shiraz, although 1959 was not an outstanding vintage.

  • New Zealand, Australian men killed in Yemen strike

    Updated: Wed, Apr 16, 2014

    WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — Despite having little history of domestic terrorism, New Zealand and Australia were drawn into the global debate on drone strikes Wednesday after confirming that a citizen from each country was killed in Yemen last year. New Zealand Prime Minister John Key said the men were killed during a November counter-terror drone strike along with three known al-Qaida operatives. He said the New Zealander had been watched by intelligence agencies and had first attended some kind of terrorist training camp. Key said he thought drone strikes by the United States were justified in some circumstances.

  • 4 people die after Guam car crash

    Updated: Tue, Apr 15, 2014

    HAGATNA, Guam (AP) — Guam police say four people have died of injuries sustained in a car crash that also injured one other person. Pacific Daily News (http://is.gd/WpPk5a) says the two-vehicle collision occurred Sunday in Yigo. Those killed are identified as 10-year-old Mya Ann Neth, 64-year-old Damiano Neth of Yigo, 63-year-old Markarita Neth and 61-year-old Ruhney Hadley of Mangilao. The survivor is identified as 22-year-old Kervina Hikuta. Police say a Chevrolet Silverado driven by Hadley was southbound along Route 15 when it collided head-on with a northbound Toyota Corolla occupied by the four others and driven by Damiano Neth. Hikuta was taken to Guam Memorial Hospital, where she was listed in serio

  • Gunmen abduct Afghan deputy minister in Kabul

    Updated: Tue, Apr 15, 2014

    KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — Gunmen abducted the Afghan deputy public works minister in Kabul on Tuesday, officials said, a grim reminder of the insecurity plaguing Afghanistan as most foreign troops prepare to withdraw from the country at the end of the year. Ahmad Shah Wahid was on his way to work when five gunmen ran his car off the road in northern Kabul, dragged him into their 4-wheel-drive vehicle and sped away, said Gul Agha Hashim, the city's police chief of investigations. The armed men shot and wounded Wahid's driver when he tried to drive away to safety, said public works ministry spokesman Soheil Kakar. It was not immediately clear who was behind the abduction. Kakar said there has so far been no ransom deman