• Sub search for missing jet to be finished in week

    Updated: Sat, Apr 19, 2014

    PERTH, Australia (AP) — A robotic submarine looking for the missing Malaysia Airlines plane continued to dive Sunday after completing about half of its search on the bottom of the Indian Ocean with no luck, prompting an official to express the urgent need to find something that can help solve the mysterious disappearance six weeks ago. The Bluefin 21 unmanned sub began its eighth trip into the depths off the coast of western Australia. Its search area forms a 10-kilometer (6.2-mile) circle around the location of an underwater signal that was believed to have come from the aircraft's black boxes before their batteries died. The sonar scan of the seafloor in that area is expected to be completed in five to seven days, the search ce

  • Strong earthquake strikes off Papua New Guinea

    Updated: Sat, Apr 19, 2014

    SYDNEY (AP) — A powerful earthquake struck off the South Pacific nation of Papua New Guinea on Saturday, but there were no immediate reports of injuries or damage. The magnitude-7.5 earthquake was located 75 kilometers (47 miles) southwest of the town of Panguna on Bougainville Island, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. It struck late Saturday at a depth of 31 kilometers (19 miles). The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center issued a warning for Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands, but canceled it a short while later. Earthquakes are common in Papua New Guinea. The country lies on the "Ring of Fire" — an arc of earthquake and volcanic activity that stretches around the Pacific Rim.

  • Famous television host in Pakistan shot by gunmen

    Updated: Sat, Apr 19, 2014

    KARACHI, Pakistan (AP) — Police in Pakistan say gunmen have shot a famous television talk show host amid a wave of attacks on journalists in the country. Police say Hamid Mir, a host on the private television broadcaster Geo, was wounded in the attack Saturday near Karachi's airport. Senior police officer Pir Mohammad Shah says a single gunman first opened fire on Mir's car, followed by others who chased him on motorcycles. Karachi police chief Shahid Hayat told Geo that Mir suffered three gunshot wounds to the stomach and the upper legs, but was expected to survive. Last year, authorities found a bomb under Mir's car. Pakistan is one of the world's most dangerous countries for journalists.

  • 4 questions about missing Malaysian plane answered

    Updated: Sat, Apr 19, 2014

    Travelers at Asian airports have asked questions about the March 8 disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 while en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. Here are some of them, followed by answers. Samuel Rogers, a 20-year-old German on a backpacking trip, in Bangkok and on his way to Malaysia. He asked: "Why did the Malaysian military see the plane on their radar but not report it immediately?" A: The Malaysian Air Force's official line is that its radar operators spotted the plane but didn't have any reason to suspect it. This is why they didn't attempt to contact the plane or scramble jets to intercept it. Many aviation and defense experts say there are grounds to doubt this.

  • Avalanche sweeps down Everest, killing at least 12

    Updated: Fri, Apr 18, 2014

    KATMANDU, Nepal (AP) — Rescuers were searching through piles of snow and ice on the slopes of Mount Everest on Saturday for four Sherpa guides who were buried by an avalanche that killed 12 other Nepalese guides in the deadliest disaster on the world's highest peak. Krishna Lamsal, a Nepal Tourism Ministry official at the base camp, said the bodies of the 12 guides were pulled out and brought down Friday. Weather was fine Saturday morning, but conditions could quickly deteriorate and hamper the search efforts, he said. The avalanche swept down a climbing route when the group of Sherpa guides were making their way up to the higher camps to fix ropes and dig a path for their foreign clients ahead of next month's peak season f

  • Chinese relatives pray over lost Malaysian plane

    Updated: Fri, Apr 18, 2014

    PERTH, Australia (AP) — A robotic submarine has finished its sixth trip to the bottom of the Indian Ocean in the hunt for wreckage from the missing Malaysia Airlines plane, six weeks after the aircraft mysteriously disappeared, the search coordination center said Saturday. The Bluefin 21 sub has covered around 133 square kilometers (51 square miles) since it began diving into the depths earlier this week to scan the seabed with sonar. The latest data are being analyzed, and a seventh mission is already underway, it said. So far, no debris has been spotted. The search has dragged on for more than a month off the coast of western Australia. Nothing from Flight 370 has been recovered, leaving the families of the 239 people on

  • Military scales down, modifies Guam buildup plan

    Updated: Fri, Apr 18, 2014

    HAGATNA, Guam (AP) — The military's revised proposal for a buildup on Guam calls for less population growth and locating a Marine Corps live-fire training range on an Air Force base instead of the site of an ancient village. The Pacific Daily News (http://bit.ly/1f40BpI ) reports the U.S. territory's population would expand by about 10,000 residents at the peak of the buildup instead of nearly 80,000 under earlier plans. Construction would progress more slowly, taking 13 years instead of seven. The Navy released a draft supplemental environmental impact statement for the project on Friday. Local leaders and residents had expressed concern the earlier plans would have negatively affected infrastructure, the envir

  • AP PHOTOS: Marking Jesus' journey on Good Friday

    Updated: Fri, Apr 18, 2014

    Around the world, Christians are coming together in observance of Good Friday, which they believe was the day Jesus was crucified. In the Philippines, Asia's largest Roman Catholic nation commemorated the occasion by re-enacting the crucifixion. Devotees have themselves nailed to wooden crosses, rituals that church leaders do not condone but that draw huge crowds. Undeterred, some penitents participate in the practice year after year. Devotees undergo the re-enactment in the belief that extreme pain is a way to atone for their sins, attain miracle cures for illnesses or give thanks to God. In the Holy Land, Christians marked the day with prayers and processions, with thousands of pilgrims crowding along the Via Dolorosa

  • Pakistan library named 'bin Laden' as memory fades

    Updated: Fri, Apr 18, 2014

    ISLAMABAD (AP) — Most didn't notice the new library at this Islamic seminary for girls near Pakistan's capital, until locals saw the paper sign in Urdu posted on its wooden door: "Library of Osama bin Laden, the Martyr." Cleric Maulana Abdul Aziz, a radical preacher who runs the Jamia Hafsa madrassa, wanted to honor the memory of the al-Qaida leader, killed in a May 2011 raid by U.S. Navy SEALs on his hiding place in Abbottabad, a garrison town about 125 kilometers (75 miles) north of the capital, Islamabad. But while the library's name has garnered attention across Pakistan, a country where public opinion remains strongly anti-American and religious students today still idolize the man behind the Sept.

  • 7 die in shooting at China-Vietnam border

    Updated: Fri, Apr 18, 2014

    HANOI, Vietnam (AP) — A Chinese man who was being repatriated from Vietnam along with 15 other migrants seized a gun from a border guard on Friday, triggering a gunfight and standoff in which five Chinese and two Vietnamese guards died, Vietnam's government said. Vietnamese authorities detained the 16 Chinese — 10 men, four women and two children — after they entered the country illegally in Quang Ninh province, the regional government said in a statement. As guards checked their papers in a room at the Bac Phong Sinh border crossing, one of the Chinese grabbed an automatic weapon from a guard and began firing, the statement said. A standoff ensued as some of the men then holed up in the office, it said.

  • Boat capsizes in Indonesia; dozens missing, 7 dead

    Updated: Fri, Apr 18, 2014

    KUPANG, Indonesia (AP) — A boat loaded with people in a Good Friday procession capsized in high waves off eastern Indonesia, leaving dozens of people missing and at least seven dead, police said. Rescuers and fishermen saved 30 injured people who were rushed to a hospital, local police spokesman Lt. Col. Okto Riwu said. The fishing boat was designed to hold only 30 people but had more than 70 aboard. It was participating in a Good Friday ceremony that involves parading a Virgin Mary statue at sea before the passengers headed into Larantuka town in East Nusatenggara province for prayers and processions. With strong currents and high waves off Flores island, the boat began to tip and many people panicked. It sank shortl

  • Filipino devotees re-enact crucifixion of Christ

    Updated: Fri, Apr 18, 2014

    SAN PEDRO CUTUD, Philippines (AP) — Devotees in northern Philippine villages had themselves nailed to wooded crosses to re-enact the crucifixion of Jesus Christ as thousands of local and foreign spectators watched the bloody annual rites to mark Good Friday in Asia's largest Roman Catholic nation. Church leaders and health officials have spoken against the practice, which mixes Roman Catholic devotion with folk belief, but the annual rites continue to draw participants and huge crowds, particularly in northern Pampanga province. Sign painter Ruben Enaje, 53, had himself nailed to a cross at a dusty mound in Pampanga's San Pedro Cutud village for the 28th year. He began his yearly rite after surviving a fall from a building.

  • Suspected militant, son killed in Thailand's south

    Updated: Fri, Apr 18, 2014

    HAT YAI, Thailand (AP) — A suspected insurgent and his 6-year-old son were shot dead in Thailand's violence-plagued south, police said Friday. The man and his son were attacked at a rubber plantation in Bannang Sata distict in Yala province on Thursday, police Col. Chartchai Chanasit said. More than 5,000 people have been killed in Thailand's three southernmost provinces since an Islamic insurgency flared in 2004. Police were still investigating the attack and had no suspects. They said Muktar Ali-mama, 31, was a member of an insurgent group and the subject of several arrest warrants, including on murder charges. Chartchai said villagers found out about the shooting on Thursday evening after the two had gone to

  • Asia stocks rise in abbreviated trading

    Updated: Fri, Apr 18, 2014

    BEIJING (AP) — Asian stocks were mostly higher in trading muted by Good Friday observance. Markets in Europe, the U.S. and many countries in Asia were closed for the holiday. Oil trading also was suspended. Among the markets that traded, Tokyo's Nikkei 225 gained 0.7 percent to 14,516.27 while China's Shanghai Composite Index shed 0.1 percent to 2,097.75 after data earlier this week showed economic growth slowed to its lowest level since 2012. Seoul's Kospi added 0.6 percent to 2,004.28 and Taiwan's Taiex rose 0.3 percent to 8,966.66. Benchmarks in Malaysia and Thailand were slightly higher.

  • Australia's Houston: Calm face of Flight 370 hunt

    Updated: Fri, Apr 18, 2014

    PERTH, Australia (AP) — He speaks with a calm, steady voice as he tackles question after question in an attempt to explain one of the biggest mysteries the modern world has ever known: What happened to Malaysia Airlines Flight 370? Angus Houston has become the global face of the massive monthlong search operation off Australia's west coast to find the missing Boeing 777, which is believed to be resting on the silt-covered bottom of the southern Indian Ocean, somewhere in a patch of sea the size of Los Angeles.

  • Taliban inmates break out of Afghan prison

    Updated: Fri, Apr 18, 2014

    KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — An official says three Taliban insurgents escaped from a prison in northern Afghanistan using weapons smuggled into the facility in a jailbreak that killed three police guards. A spokesman for the Faryab provincial government, Ahmad Jawad Dedar, said on Friday that the breakout took place the previous night. A fourth inmate who was also trying to escape was killed in a shootout with security forces. Dedar says the fugitives are low-level Taliban operatives who were jailed for planting roadside bombs. The four inmates launched their breakout during the nightly count of prisoners, throwing several grenades and shooting guards with at least one pistol.

  • Vietnam pulls out of hosting Asian Games

    Updated: Fri, Apr 18, 2014

    HANOI, Vietnam (AP) — Vietnam has withdrawn as the host of the 2019 Asian Games, saying it lacked funds and the country's reputation could be at risk if the event flops. The government's initial decision to host the games had generated little excitement domestically, and there had been increasing opposition in the media and on blogs. Many questioned whether the cost — in the hundreds of millions of dollars — was worth it given the country was still struggling to emerge from the global financial crisis. The Olympic Council of Asia on Friday said it was "surprised" by the decision, which leaves it scrambling to find a new host. "The matter will have to be discussed at length by the OCA," Randhir Singh, the group's s

  • Sub scours ocean for missing Malaysian jet

    Updated: Thu, Apr 17, 2014

    PERTH, Australia (AP) — A robotic submarine headed back down into the depths of the Indian Ocean on Friday to scour the seafloor for any trace of the missing Malaysian jet one month after the search began off Australia's west coast, as data from the sub's previous missions turned up no evidence of the plane. It was the fifth attempt by the Bluefin-21 unmanned sub to find wreckage or the black boxes from Flight 370 in a distant patch of seabed. The sub, which can create sonar maps of the ocean bottom, has now covered 110 square kilometers (42 square miles) of the silt-covered seabed, but has thus far found nothing, the search coordination center said.

  • 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.