• For asylum seekers, a novel (and odd) solution: Cambodia

    Updated: Thu, Apr 23, 2015

    BANGKOK (AP) — Still haunted by the Vietnam War next door and the 1970s genocide that followed, Cambodia is not exactly the place that the world's refugees dream of reaching. Plagued by poverty, corruption and human rights abuses, it has been run by a strongman prime minister who has held power for 30 years. It's a nation where medical care outside main cities is nonexistent, where decent jobs are so scarce that more than 800,000 of its own people have left to find work abroad. Yet when it comes to 700 asylum seekers detained on the remote Pacific Island nation of Nauru, Australia is hard-selling Cambodia as something unexpected: their new promised land of opportunity.

  • Boo Weekley, Brendon de Jonge share Zurich Classic lead

    Updated: Thu, Apr 23, 2015

    AVONDALE, La. (AP) — Boo Weekley solved his uncharacteristic ball-striking problems with new shafts. A day after changing the shafts in his irons, Weekley shot an 8-under 64 on Thursday in the Zurich Classic of New Orleans for a share of the first-round lead with Brendon de Jonge. "You go to tinkering around with clubs and you finally find a shaft, and (True Temper) finally stepped up and built me a set of clubs and they worked," said Weekley, the three-time PGA Tour winner who missed the cuts in four of his past six tournaments. "I've been missing something in my game, and it was because I (haven't) been able to control my irons. It just starts messing with you mentally." Weekley had an eagle, seven birdies and a bog

  • Champ Lydia Ko takes first-round lead in Swinging Skirts

    Updated: Thu, Apr 23, 2015

    DALY CITY, Calif. (AP) — As Lydia Ko geared up to turn 18 on Friday at the Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic, right behind her on the leaderboard was 54-year-old Juli Inkster. Refreshed and ready to make a run at defending her title, the top-ranked Ko returned from two weeks off to take the first-day lead Thursday at 5-under 67. Ko nearly chipped in for eagle on the par-5 14th, but the ball deflected off the pin and she settled for a tap-in birdie putt, and that moved her to the top of the leaderboard at Lake Merced Golf Club. "This is a very tough golf course. You need to position yourself well," Ko said. "I hit the ball pretty good where I wasn't in too much trouble. If I did miss it a little bit, I did get away with it,

  • Saudi-led airstrikes bomb Yemen's Shiite rebels in 6 cities

    Updated: Thu, Apr 23, 2015

    SANAA, Yemen (AP) — Attempts to ease fighting in Yemen appeared to falter Thursday, as Shiite rebels pressed an offensive in the south and a Saudi Arabia-led coalition intensified its airstrikes less than two days after it said it was scaling back the campaign. All sides have declared their willingness to enter talks, but none has taken any steps to end the conflict that has killed more than 1,000 people. Still, the head of U.N. operations in Yemen said in an interview with The Associated Press that a renewal of such talks is "inevitable," and behind-the-scenes diplomatic efforts could bring results in the coming weeks.

  • Pakistan militant mourns loss of al-Qaida commander

    Updated: Thu, Apr 23, 2015

    DERA ISMAIL KHAN, Pakistan (AP) — A former spokesman for the Pakistani Taliban says an al-Qaida commander killed by a CIA drone strike played an important role in the 'war against America.' Azam Tariq told The Associated Press by phone Thursday that the "martyrdom" of Ahmed Farouq was a great loss. Speaking from an undisclosed location in Pakistan's South Waziristan tribal region, Tariq says he "personally knew" Farouq, and described him as the deputy chief of al-Qaida's South Asian affiliate. He says Farouq had "a very important role in the war against America." The U.S. government earlier revealed that Farouq and another U.S.

  • Teenage UK boy charged for alleged Australia terror plot

    Updated: Thu, Apr 23, 2015

    LONDON (AP) — British authorities on Thursday charged a 14-year-old boy with terrorism offenses in connection with an alleged plot to attack a war memorial ceremony in Australia. The Crown Prosecution Service said the boy, who has not been named for legal reasons, allegedly incited another person to carry out an attack at a Veterans' Day parade in Australia with the aim of killing or causing serious injury to people. The boy is also alleged to have incited someone to carry out a beheading in Australia. The boy was charged with two offenses of inciting terrorism overseas and is due to appear in a London court on Friday. Police said the boy was arrested on April 2 after officers discovered communications between h

  • India: Ford Foundation funds need government oversight

    Updated: Thu, Apr 23, 2015

    NEW DELHI (AP) — The Indian government on Thursday ordered the Ford Foundation, one of the U.S.'s largest philanthropies, to get government clearance before dispensing any funds to its local partners, amid a crackdown on foreign-funded aid organizations working in India. The Home Ministry order said the clearance was needed to ensure the funds were used for "bona fide welfare activities" and cited "national interest and security concerns." It did not elaborate. The private U.S. foundation, which among other goals works to alleviate poverty and increase international cooperation, said it had not been contacted directly by the Home Ministry.

  • American killed in Pakistan was working to develop business

    Updated: Thu, Apr 23, 2015

    WASHINGTON (AP) — A 73-year-old American hostage killed by a CIA drone strike in Pakistan was an international development worker whose family described him as passionate about helping people out of poverty. President Barack Obama announced Thursday that Warren Weinstein was killed in January, when the U.S. targeted an al-Qaida compound where Weinstein was held hostage. Weinstein's family was notified of his death Wednesday. In a statement Thursday, Weinstein's wife, Elaine Weinstein, said the family is devastated. "We were so hopeful that those in the U.S.

  • Anthropologist criticized for showing images of MH17 victims

    Updated: Thu, Apr 23, 2015

    THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — An anthropologist and pathologist who is part of the international team working to identify people killed when Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 was brought down over Ukraine was publicly rebuked Thursday for discussing the case and showing photos of victims in a lecture to students. Arie de Bruijn, head of the Dutch police forensics unit that is leading the international identification team, criticized Prof. George Maat for making comments that de Bruijn said were "speculative, untrue and partly outside his area of expertise." Evert van Zijtveld, who lost his son, daughter and parents-in-law in the crash, said he was appalled at news of the lecture. "This is terribly shocking.

  • Image of Asia: At the Urs festival commemorating Sufi saint

    Updated: Thu, Apr 23, 2015

    In this photo by Deepak Sharma, Indian Muslims travel in an auto rickshaw during the Urs festival in Ajmer, a city in the western India state of Rajasthan. The Urs festival commemorates the death anniversary of Sufi saint Moinuddin Chishti, founder of the Chishtiya Sufi order in India. Thousands of pilgrims from India and abroad visit the Ajmer Sharif Dargah shrine, where the saint's remains are entombed. Khwaja Moinuddin Chisti spent his life in the service of mankind and is known as protector of the poor. The city of Ajmer is decorated to celebrate the six-day religious fair where pilgrims pray for prosperity and peace in their lives and sing devotional songs. Devotees offer jasmine and rose flowers, perfume and chadar, or holy shawls,

  • India suspends Al-Jazeera broadcasts for 5 days over maps

    Updated: Thu, Apr 23, 2015

    NEW DELHI (AP) — The TV network Al-Jazeera was off the air in India on Thursday following a 5-day suspension ordered by the government over maps of the disputed Himalayan region of Kashmir. India is deeply sensitive about how Kashmir, which is divided between India and Pakistan but claimed by both, is portrayed on maps. A government report said that in the Al-Jazeera maps a portion of Kashmir had "not been shown as a part of Indian territory." The suspension began Wednesday and is to last until next Monday. On Thursday, a message displayed on the Al-Jazeera channel said that "as instructed by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting this channel will not be available.

  • Mexico brothers lose final death sentence appeal in Malaysia

    Updated: Thu, Apr 23, 2015

    KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — Three Mexican brothers and two other people on Thursday lost their final appeals against death sentences for drug trafficking in Malaysia, their lawyer said. The Mexicans are from Sinaloa state, the cradle of their country's drug trade, but have no criminal record at home. They were arrested at a secluded drug-making factory in Malaysia in 2008, and claimed they had been cleaning the place, not making drugs. Their lawyer Kitson Foong said a five-man bench in the Federal Court, Malaysia's highest court, unanimously rejected their appeal. The defense has argued that the evidence was tampered with, but the judges said that they were satisfied the men were guilty, Foong said.

  • Pakistani warplanes kill 20 militants near Afghan border

    Updated: Thu, Apr 23, 2015

    ISLAMABAD (AP) — The Pakistani military say the air force has pounded militant hideouts in a tribal region along the Afghan border, killing 20 suspected militants. It says three of the suspects were training future suicide bombers in the Tirah Valley of Khyber region. Thursday's strikes came a day after warplanes killed 22 militants in North Waziristan, where the military last week claimed to have routed insurgents in a major offensive launched last year. The local and al-Qaida-linked foreign militants have long used the mountainous border region as a safe haven to launch attacks in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Since the operation started, Pakistan's military says more than 1,200 militants have been killed.

  • Taliban attack Afghan checkpoint, killing 9 guards

    Updated: Thu, Apr 23, 2015

    KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — The Taliban stormed a police checkpoint in a northwestern province in Afghanistan and killed nine border guards, while a roadside bombing killed six civilians in the country's southwest, Afghan officials said Thursday. The checkpoint in Badghis province, one of the most dangerous in Afghanistan, came under attack on Wednesday morning, said Mirwais Mirzakwal, the spokesman for the provincial governor. The Taliban raided the site in Bala Murghab district, killing nine border guards inside, he added. Before they fled the scene, the insurgents planted mines around the checkpoint. On Thursday, bomb squads were still removing the mines and trying to get to the bodies of the nine policemen, Mirzakwa

  • Afghan museum seeks to remember anti-Soviet war

    Updated: Thu, Apr 23, 2015

    HERAT, Afghanistan (AP) — The Jihad Museum in the Afghan city of Herat sits in a hillside garden, surrounded by blooming rose bushes and the detritus of the war against the Soviet Union — a war that claimed thousands of lives in this city alone. A MiG fighter jet and an attack helicopter captured from the enemy are parked on a manicured lawn in front of the circular building, which is covered in tiles listing the names of those who died in the war. At its center is a diorama with hundreds of half-life-size figures engaged in still-life battles of the anti-Soviet "jihad," or holy war. It is built against a painted backdrop that provides a three-dimensional illusion so bridges, roads, jets and helicopters project into the d

  • House panel is told of slavery in Thai seafood industry

    Updated: Wed, Apr 22, 2015

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Modern-day slavery persists around the world, including the abuse of fishermen in the Thai seafood industry whose catch can end up in U.S. markets, a congressional panel was told Wednesday. "As has been reported for years, the Thai fishing industry is rife with forced labor, both on the high seas and within seafood processing and packing plants," Mark Lagon, former State Department ambassador for trafficking in persons, told a House Foreign Affairs subcommittee. Lagon, who now heads Freedom House, a nonprofit organization that advocates for human rights, said it remains to be seen whether the Obama administration will impose sanctions it is authorized to deploy, which would bar Thai seafood from U.S. marke

  • Leishman rejoins PGA Tour in New Orleans with new outlook

    Updated: Wed, Apr 22, 2015

    AVONDALE, La. (AP) — Marc Leishman fully expects to be rusty this week in the Zurich Classic, not that he's all that concerned. His outlook has been transformed since he took the past month off from the PGA Tour to be with family and tend to his two young boys while wife Audrey fought off an infection that nearly killed her. "This time probably three weeks ago, I thought I might not have been able to be back out here, to be honest," the Australian said as he walked down the first fairway at the TPC Louisiana during Wednesday's pro-am. "It was looking like I was going to be a stay-at-home dad and kind of hang the clubs up," he added.

  • Sri Lankan police arrest former president's brother

    Updated: Wed, Apr 22, 2015

    COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) — Former Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa's brother was arrested Wednesday and a judge ordered him detained for two weeks over alleged misappropriation of state funds, an official said. Police spokesman Ruwan Gunasekara said the brother, former Economic Affairs Minister Basil Rajapaksa, is accused of financial irregularities in a poverty alleviation program run by his former ministry. Two other senior ministry officials were also arrested. Basil Rajapaksa had vast powers over the country's economy during his brother's presidency. He left for the United States, where he also has citizenship, after his brother's defeat in a January election. He returned to Sri Lanka on Tuesday in response t

  • Impoverished Indian farmer kills self at rally

    Updated: Wed, Apr 22, 2015

    NEW DELHI (AP) — An impoverished Indian farmer died Wednesday after hanging himself in front of hundreds of other farmers who had gathered for a protest in the capital. It was the latest in a wave of suicides that has left at least 40 farmers dead in recent weeks — and some 300,000 dead since 1995. Rally organizers, who apparently initially thought the man was trying to disrupt the protest, quickly cut him down from the tree where he had hanged himself and rushed him to a nearby hospital where he was declared dead, said S. Saxena, an official at Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital.

  • Indonesian police probing death of witness in slavery cases

    Updated: Wed, Apr 22, 2015

    JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — Indonesian police are investigating the death of a local official in the Ministry of Fisheries and Maritime Affairs to see if it is linked to a slavery probe in the remote, eastern island village of Benjina, a government official said Wednesday. Yoseph Sairlela's body was found Saturday at a hotel in a leafy neighborhood of the capital, said Asep Burhanudin, director general of sea and fishery resources. Although there was a wound on the side of the victim's face and a bruise on his forehead, an initial examination determined that they were not the cause of death and Sairlela died of a heart attack, Asep said. He said the results of an autopsy are still pending and the police investigation is conti




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