• Hughes has more scans, still in critical condition

    Yesterday

    SYDNEY (AP) — More than 24 hours after being hit behind the left ear by a short-pitched ball, Australian cricketer Phillip Hughes remained in critical condition on Wednesday after undergoing emergency surgery. Australian team doctor Peter Brukner issued a statement saying Hughes had further scans at St. Vincent's Hospital during the morning and that his condition was unchanged from overnight. The 25-year-old Hughes was batting for South Australia in a Sheffield Shield match against New South Wales at the Sydney Cricket Ground on Tuesday when he was knocked out by a delivery by Sean Abottt. Hughes was treated on the field by medical experts, including doctors who were flown by helicopter onto the ground, before being t

  • Official: Gunmen kill 4 polio workers in Pakistan

    Yesterday

    QUETTA, Pakistan (AP) — Gunmen attacked a polio vaccination team Wednesday, killing four health workers, while a suspected U.S. drone strike killed four alleged militants in Pakistan, officials said. The attack on the health workers took place in the southwestern city of Quetta, while the drone strike targeted a militant hideout in the North Waziristan tribal region in northwest Pakistan. Those killed in the attack on the outskirts of Quetta included three women, said a police spokesman Shahzada Farhat. The vaccination team of three women and three men was waiting for a police escort when two gunmen opened fire on them, he said. Local militants oppose the vaccination campaign, alleging that western governments u

  • New Thai tourism strategy: 'I Hate Thailand'

    Yesterday

    BANGKOK (AP) — It's been a bad year for tourism in Thailand, and at first glance it looked like a new YouTube video was adding to the misery. The video called "I Hate Thailand" drew more than 1 million views within days of being posted last week. But it turned out the clip was produced by Thailand's tourism authority, using a strategy of reverse psychology to attract tourists after the country's image was battered by a military coup in May and the brutal murders of two British tourists on an idyllic beach in September. The 5-minute video shows an angry British tourist on a beach. He introduces himself as James and says his bag was stolen: "I hate this place. I hate Thailand," he tells a handheld camera.

  • ADB: Japan likely to return to growth in 4Q

    Yesterday

    MANILA, Philippines (AP) — The president of the Asian Development Bank says Japan's economy is expected to return to growth in the fourth quarter of this year and its recession will have little impact on Southeast Asian economies. Japan earlier this month said its economy, which is the world's third biggest after the U.S. and China, slipped into recession in the third quarter. It contracted 1.6 percent in the July-September period as consumer and corporate spending failed to gain momentum after a sales tax increase in April.

  • UN appeals for $405M for Afghanistan aid in 2015

    Yesterday

    KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — The United Nations has appealed for $405 million to cover the humanitarian needs of the people in Afghanistan in 2015. U.N. humanitarian coordinator Mark Bowden launched the appeal on Wednesday. He says that almost 8,000 civilians have been killed or injured in the war with Taliban-led insurgents this year, and more than 100,000 have been forced from their homes. As the conflict expands in the coming year, more help will be needed, he says. Around 1.2 million children in Afghanistan are acutely malnourished, half a million of them younger than five years old. Half a million children die each year of preventable disease, and already 4,000 families are facing the onset of winter without a

  • Thai police kept illicit fortune in hidden vaults

    Updated: Tue, Nov 25, 2014

    BANGKOK (AP) — Two top police officers embroiled in a high-profile corruption scandal in Thailand kept an illicit fortune that included antique paintings, golden postage stamps and tens of millions of dollars in cash hidden in secret vaults at a dozen private residences, authorities said Wednesday. Investigators found the goods stowed behind brick walls they had to break down and buried inside underground vaults on properties owned by the officers in Bangkok and the city's outskirts, said Col. Akkaradech Pimolsri, who heads the police Crime Suppression Division. "Only a few people in Thailand could possess things as rare as this, like golden postage stamps and an ancient Buddha image," Akkaradech said.

  • Scott, McIlroy inspire each other to better golf

    Updated: Tue, Nov 25, 2014

    SYDNEY (AP) — On the eve of the Australian Open — and their first tournament together since September — Rory McIlroy and Adam Scott were doing their best Wednesday to sound like a mutual admiration society. Shortly after they played off the same tee in a pro-am at The Australian Golf Club, McIlroy credited Scott with giving him the confidence to have the 2014 that he's had — two majors and winner of the European Tour's Race to Dubai. And those are just the highlights. McIlroy won last year's Australian Open with a birdie on the 18th hole at Royal Sydney, relegating Scott to second. While Scott has jokingly referred to McIlroy in the meantime as a "thorn in my side," he says the Northern Irishman "has inspired me to wo

  • In New Zealand, feud over fate of 1902 corpse ship

    Updated: Tue, Nov 25, 2014

    WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — The S.S. Ventnor sank 112 years ago off the northern New Zealand coast, bearing unusual cargo: the exhumed bodies of 499 Chinese miners, some in wooden coffins and others in sealed zinc caskets. They had tried their luck in New Zealand's gold rush, and had paid in advance to ensure their bodies would go back to China, no matter what. A wreck believed to be the ship was discovered in 2012, raising the possibility that someday, the remains might go home. Now the question is: Should they? The wreck was found by a team led by John Albert, an amateur New Zealand filmmaker.

  • Report says abusers remain in Australian military

    Updated: Tue, Nov 25, 2014

    CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — A government investigation into sexual misconduct, assault and bullying in the Australian military over decades reported Wednesday that more than 1,100 alleged perpetrators remained in the ranks or reserves, some holding senior positions. The Defense Abuse Response Task Force received 2,400 complaints in the past two years of sexual assault, sexual harassment, physical abuse and bullying in Australia's armed services dating back to the 1940s. It reported on Wednesday that 594 alleged abusers remained in the permanent defense forces, 204 in the active reserve and 341 in the inactive reserve. The alleged abusers posed a risk of reoffending, the report said.

  • AC/DC drummer clowns around at New Zealand court

    Updated: Tue, Nov 25, 2014

    TAURANGA, New Zealand (AP) — AC/DC drummer Phil Rudd showed up late for a New Zealand court appearance Wednesday and clowned around by jumping on the back of one of his security guards outside the courthouse. Rudd did not enter a plea during his brief appearance. The 60-year-old is charged with threatening to kill, which comes with a maximum prison sentence of seven years, as well as possessing methamphetamine and marijuana. Citing a lack of evidence, prosecutors earlier dropped a more serious charge that alleged Rudd tried to hire a hit-man to kill two people. The New Zealand Herald newspaper reported that during his appearance, Rudd winked at reporters, drummed a rhythm on the dock and then sped away from the

  • Official: Afghan president orders military review

    Updated: Tue, Nov 25, 2014

    KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — President Ashraf Ghani has ordered a top-to-bottom review of the operations of Afghanistan's defense forces, including discussing the resumption of controversial night raids banned by his predecessor. The move appears aimed at revamping the military for the fight against the Taliban amid new indications that U.S. and international forces will play a greater role than initially envisaged after the 13-year U.S.-led combat mission formally ends next month. The wholesale review is already underway, presidential spokesman Nafizullah Salarzai told The Associated Press, saying Ghani had instructed the National Security Council to "work on a manual of guidelines and standards for military operations.

  • Israeli search of Palestinian footy HQ condemned

    Updated: Tue, Nov 25, 2014

    KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — An alleged search of the Palestinian Football Association headquarters in the West Bank by the Israeli military was denounced by Asian Football Confederation president Sheik Salman Bin Ibrahim Al Khalifa on Tuesday. The military, however, said it hadn't targeted the building and there was no raid there. A day after the alleged incident, Sheik Salman accused the Israelis of "breaking into the PFA headquarters ... a dangerous precedent that requires the international sporting family to stand together and support the PFA," he said in a statement on the AFC website.

  • 7 senior officials arrested in Thai police scandal

    Updated: Tue, Nov 25, 2014

    BANGKOK (AP) — A top Thai police officer and six colleagues have been arrested on serious charges ranging from bribery to insulting the monarchy, and police said Tuesday they are investigating more suspects in the high-profile scandal. National Police Chief Somyot Pumpanmuang said at a news conference that the highest-ranking suspect, former Central Investigation Bureau chief Lt. Gen. Pongpat Chayapan, had confessed to all charges, including soliciting bribes for job appointments and allowing illegal gambling and oil smuggling. Police also issued arrest warrants for three civilians. Somyot said a search of buildings belonging to the suspects arrested Sunday had turned up assets worth up to 10 billion baht ($305 million).

  • Cambodia Khmer Rouge trial suspended until January

    Updated: Tue, Nov 25, 2014

    PHNOM PENH, Cambodia (AP) — Cambodia's Khmer Rouge tribunal announced Tuesday it will suspend trial sessions until January, bowing to pressure from lawyers of one of the two defendants charged with genocide. A tribunal statement said hearings would resume Jan. 9, deferring to threats of a boycott by lawyers of Khieu Samphan, who said it was unfair to proceed while they are still working on appealing the verdict in his first trial. The tribunal met briefly Monday before suspending proceedings. That hearing itself, at which it had planned to begin witness testimony, had already been delayed several weeks.

  • Pakistan military says jets kill 20 militants

    Updated: Tue, Nov 25, 2014

    ISLAMABAD (AP) — Pakistan's army says its fighter jets have killed 20 militants in a troubled northwestern tribal region near the Afghan border. An army statement says the 20 "terrorists" were killed Tuesday in precise air strikes in the North Waziristan tribal region, where the military has been carrying out a major operation since June. It provided no details and the identity of the slain insurgents was not immediately known. Pakistani ground forces and jets have killed more than 1,100 militants since June 15 when the military launched the operation in North Waziristan. The operation is aimed at eliminating those Pakistani and foreign militants accused of launching attacks in Pakistan and neighboring Afghanist

  • Philippines beat Indonesia to make cup semis

    Updated: Tue, Nov 25, 2014

    HANOI, Vietnam (AP) — The Philippines earned a third successive semifinals berth in the Suzuki Cup by beating Indonesia 4-0 on Tuesday. Captain Phil Younghusband scored from the penalty spot early, then Manuel Ott, Martin Steuble and substitute Robert Gier piled on in the second half to complete the Philippines' first victory over Indonesia in the tournament after five previous defeats. Former champion Vietnam won 3-0 again Laos to remain in contention for the semifinals, after drawing 2-2 with Indonesia. Vu Minh Tuan put the Vietnamese on course for the win early.

  • Nepal signs Indian power deal during Modi visit

    Updated: Tue, Nov 25, 2014

    KATMANDU, Nepal (AP) — Nepal signed an agreement Tuesday for an Indian company to build a $1 billion hydroelectric plant to boost supplies in the energy-starved Himalayan nation and export power to India. The move comes as regional leaders, including Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, arrived in Nepal for a meeting of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation. Under the $1.04 billion deal, Indian company Satluj Jal Vidyut Nigam Ltd. will build the 900 megawatt Arun III hydropower station, which is expected to begin producing electricity in 2020. More than three quarters of its output will be exported to India, said Ghanashyam Ojha, external affairs official at the Investment Board Nepal.

  • Image of Asia: Training to stop street harassment

    Updated: Tue, Nov 25, 2014

    In this photo by Saurabh Das, female police cadets undergo martial arts training at an institute in New Delhi. The cadets will undergo rigorous training for up to three years and then train other female cadets who will be deployed in sensitive parts of the Indian capital to prevent eve teasing, or street harassment of women, as well as molestation and other crimes. Tuesday is the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women.

  • Thousands vote in Indian Kashmir amid boycott call

    Updated: Tue, Nov 25, 2014

    SRINAGAR, India (AP) — Thousands of Kashmiris cast votes in state elections Tuesday despite a boycott call by Muslim separatist groups that reject India's sovereignty over the disputed Himalayan region. Voter turnout was high at 70 percent despite cold temperatures and overcast skies, the Election Commission said. It described the first phase of the elections as "flawless" with no incidents marring the polls. Paramilitary soldiers and police officers patrolled near polling stations. Long lines of voters stretched around polling booths in Ganderbal and Bandipora, north of the main city of Srinagar. The elections for the 87-member state assembly are being held in five phases, a process that allows the government t

  • Bollywood women soar but ask: Where's the money?

    Updated: Tue, Nov 25, 2014

    NEW DELHI (AP) — This is Bollywood's year of the woman. Some of the biggest hits in India's prolific movie industry this year have female leads in female-oriented stories. In this summer's surprise hit, "Queen," Kangana Ranaut is the spunky heroine who embarks on her honeymoon alone after she is jilted the day before her big fat Indian wedding. In "Mary Kom," Priyanka Chopra plays a female Olympic bronze medal-winning boxer. Previously, women were relegated to playing the male lead's girlfriend, sister or mother in subservient roles reflecting the traditional dominance of men in Indian society.