• Asian federation still backs Blatter, wants elections Friday

    Updated: Thu, May 28, 2015

    KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — The Asian Football Confederation says it still supports Sepp Blatter's bid for another term as FIFA president, and opposes any move to delay Friday's scheduled elections despite a fresh crisis in the sport's global governing body. FIFA was thrown into turmoil Wednesday when senior office holders from the Americas were among officials arrested by Swiss police at the request of U.S. authorities in a luxury Zurich hotel to face racketeering charges. The emergence of fresh allegations of corruption, and the launch of an investigation by Swiss authorities into the awarding of the 2018 World Cup to Russia and 2022 to Qatar had prompted UEFA — the European soccer federation — to call for Friday's

  • Philippine economic growth slows to 5.2 percent in 1Q

    Updated: Thu, May 28, 2015

    MANILA, Philippines (AP) — Sluggish government spending slowed Philippine economic growth in the first quarter of this year, officials said Thursday. The country's gross domestic product grew by 5.2 percent in the first quarter, down from 5.6 percent a year earlier and 6.6 percent in the last quarter of 2014. Socio-Economic Planning Secretary Arsenio Balisacan said the slow pace of public spending, particularly in construction, resulted in growth that was lower than government and market expectations. Balisacan said the economy is expected to expand faster in the coming months as public spending picks up.

  • Louis Vuitton returns to America's Cup in expanded role

    Updated: Wed, May 27, 2015

    Louis Vuitton is returning to the America's Cup, this time as presenting sponsor of the match as well as title sponsor of the America's Cup World Series and the challenger eliminations. Louis Vuitton has been sponsoring the challengers' trials since 1983. Some had questioned whether the luxury goods company would return for 2017 in Bermuda after a star-crossed regatta in 2013 in San Francisco. The sponsorship arrangement was announced Wednesday. The America's Cup World Series begins in Portsmouth, England, July 23-26.

  • Masters champ Spieth home at Nelson, where he got 1st test

    Updated: Wed, May 27, 2015

    IRVING, Texas (AP) — Before he was the Masters champion, Jordan Spieth had already made the cut twice as a teenage amateur at the Byron Nelson. Spieth even missed his high school graduation ceremony while playing at TPC Four Seasons. This week, Spieth plays his "home" PGA Tour event for the first time since winning the green jacket. He's the favorite when the Nelson tees off Thursday as the rain-saturated course. Spieth finished 16th as a 16-year-old in his Nelson debut. Five years later, he's the No. 2-ranked player in the world and tops the tour's FedEx Cup standings and money list with $5.7 million. Brendon Todd is the defending Nelson champion. His win last May is still his only one on the PGA Tour.

  • 9 DOC officers placed on leave after detainee escape

    Updated: Wed, May 27, 2015

    HAGATNA, Guam (AP) — An investigation into a detainee's escape has put nine Department of Corrections officers on paid administrative leave. The Pacific Daily News reports (http://bit.ly/1AdLYLz) deputy director of the department, Carla Borja, says the officers were found to have neglected their duty, and an internal investigation is moving forward to determine whether they followed proper protocol. Borja says that suspected rapist Meisy Aliwis escaped from the facility in Mangilao by climbing over the perimeter fence on Saturday, May 16. The Department of Corrections director says he was notified last Tuesday that Aliwis was missing. He says the preliminary investigation contains enough evidence to support the action

  • About 1,100 people dead as summer temperatures soar in India

    Updated: Wed, May 27, 2015

    HYDERABAD, India (AP) — Soaring summer temperatures in India have left over 1,100 people dead over the past month, officials said Wednesday. Most of the deaths have been reported in the southeastern states of Andhra Pradesh and Telengana. More than 852 people have died from the stifling heat in Andhra Pradesh since May 13, a government statement said. In neighboring Telengana 266 have died from heat-related causes, Bhambal Ram Meena, a top official in the disaster management department, said. Over the last two days temperatures in both states have reduced marginally but continue to hover near 45 degrees Celsius (113 degrees Fahrenheit). Public announcements have urged people to drink water and try and avoid goin

  • Image of Asia: Working at a brick kiln in the summer heat

    Updated: Wed, May 27, 2015

    In this photo by Saurabh Das, a laborer sets off with a bucket to fetch drinking water at a brick kiln on a hot summer day in Ghasera, on the outskirts of New Delhi. India's capital had a high temperature of 42 Celsius (107.6 Fahrenheit) on Wednesday. The sweltering summer heat has caused at least 1,100 this month in the southeastern states of Andhra Pradesh and Telengana, and the high temperatures are forecast to last at least another week. Monsoon rains start to arrive in the first week of June and gradually cover the entire country.

  • Singapore Airlines investigates engine problem during flight

    Updated: Wed, May 27, 2015

    SINGAPORE (AP) — Singapore Airlines said Wednesday that it is investigating how one of its jets suffered a loss of power in both of its engines over the weekend and descended 13,000 feet (3,962 meters) before regaining altitude en route from Singapore to Shanghai. The Airbus A330-300 was carrying 182 passengers and 12 crew members when the incident occurred Saturday, the airline said in a statement. The jet lost power in both engines after hitting bad weather 3 1/2 hours into the flight, but one engine quickly resumed normal operations, it said. "The pilots followed operational procedures to restore normal operation of the second engine by putting the aircraft into a controlled descent, before climbing again," the statement

  • UN agency to hire mountain guides, porters for Nepal relief

    Updated: Wed, May 27, 2015

    KATHMANDU, Nepal (AP) — The U.N. food agency is hiring thousands of mountain and trekking guides, porters and other workers to carry food, medicine, tents and supplies to Nepal's mostly inaccessible northern villages where two powerful earthquakes destroyed houses, officials said Wednesday. Richard Ragan of the U.N.'s World Food Program said the workers would carry the supplies on their backs and also would be repairing the walking trails destroyed by the April 25 and May 12 earthquakes. How many are hired will depend on need. "This is about delivering relief (and) creating safe and sustainable trail network so people can pursue their livelihood and employment. It is about recovery from a disaster," Ragan said in Kathmandu.

  • Pakistan judge orders CEO held for faked diploma allegations

    Updated: Wed, May 27, 2015

    KARACHI, Pakistan (AP) — A Pakistani judge ordered police Wednesday to hold and question the embattled CEO of a software company for a week on allegations he oversaw a global diploma mill, as broadcasters aired images of blank degrees stacked in his firm's offices. The judicial order marked the latest crisis for Shoaib Sheikh, the top official at Axact, a software company which a recent New York Times report accused of making millions of dollars selling fake high school diplomas and university degrees. While Axact has denied the allegations and threatened legal action against the Times, Pakistani investigators said they found hundreds of thousands of fake degrees during a raid Wednesday on the company's offices in Karachi.

  • Australian boy in Syria creates quandary for government

    Updated: Wed, May 27, 2015

    CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — A 7-year-old Australian boy who horrified the world a year ago when he was photographed holding the severed head of a Syrian soldier by the hair has created a quandary for the government, which wants to make scores of Australian fighters in the Middle East someone else's problem by revoking their citizenship. News on Wednesday that the boy's mother has had enough of the horrors of Syria and wants to bring her five children back home to Sydney has prompted questions about how governments should protect their own citizens and how they draw the line between terrorists and their victims.

  • 4 Taliban militants die in attack in Afghan capital

    Updated: Wed, May 27, 2015

    KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — An all-night siege in an upscale neighborhood of the Afghan capital, Kabul, ended in the early hours of Wednesday morning with the deaths of four heavily armed Taliban attackers, though no civilians or security personnel were injured or killed, an Afghan official said. The attack came amid intensified fighting across many parts of Afghanistan, following the start in late April of the annual Taliban warm weather offensive. A Taliban attack on a guesthouse in another part of Kabul earlier this month left 14 people dead, including nine foreigners. Wednesday's siege ended after 5 a.m.

  • Fleeing poverty, Bangladeshis caught in Asian boat crisis

    Updated: Wed, May 27, 2015

    UKHIYA, Bangladesh (AP) — The traffickers spun stories that were unimaginable to their listeners, many who hailed from tiny Bangladeshi villages where almost no one earns more than a few dollars a day. First, there would be the boat: A huge boat where people could spread out comfortably, where the food would be plentiful and delicious. They would be treated with decency while on board and at the end of a week or so they would be quietly dropped off in Malaysia and given high-paying jobs. After that, they would have plenty of money to send home to their families. There would be enough for food and house payments and school fees for their children. Maybe, if they worked hard enough, there would be enough to build monuments to

  • Thailand revokes passports of ousted premier Thaksin

    Updated: Wed, May 27, 2015

    BANGKOK (AP) — Thai authorities said Wednesday they revoked two passports belonging to former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra following an interview he gave in South Korea they said could affect national security. Speaking to South Korea's Chosun Ilbo newspaper last week, Thaksin suggested that Thailand's Privy Council, which advises the nation's constitutional monarch, had engineered months of anti-government protests that culminated in a May 2014 coup. Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha, the former army chief who organized the coup, has insisted he staged it to restore stability and because there was no other way out of the country's political deadlock.

  • Buddhists in Myanmar deny boat people are Rohingya

    Updated: Wed, May 27, 2015

    YANGON, Myanmar (AP) — Several hundred protesters in Myanmar's main city denied Wednesday that boat people arriving on Southeast Asian shores are Rohingya Muslims, a religious minority the government and many others in the predominantly Buddhist nation say does not exist. About 30 radical Buddhist monks led the rally in Yangon. "The boat people are not from Myanmar" one banner carried by the demonstrators said. Another read, "The United Nations and the international media are making up stories!" Myanmar has experienced a surge in Buddhist nationalism since it began moving from dictatorship toward democracy four years ago.

  • Reform training sought for Singapore teen over blog, video

    Updated: Wed, May 27, 2015

    SINGAPORE (AP) — Prosecutors in Singapore say they are seeking reform training for a teenager who is refusing probation and who again made public the video and blog posts a court deemed offensive earlier this month. The court on May 12 found Amos Yee, 16, had offended Christians in a YouTube video and had transmitted online an obscene image of Singapore's founding leader Lee Kuan Yew and Britain's Margaret Thatcher. He initially agreed to take down the two offending posts and to cooperate with arrangements to serve probation, but then failed to attend scheduled interviews and failed to return home by times stipulated on a trial basis by his probation officers.

  • 1st transgender in India appointed head of college

    Updated: Wed, May 27, 2015

    KOLKATA, India (AP) — The first transgender in India has been appointed as the principal of a women's college. Manabi Banerjee will head the Krishnagar Women's College in the eastern Indian state of West Bengal. According to local official Dipak K. Kar, Banerjee is expected to start her new job on June 9. India's transgender activists have hailed the decision as a proud day for the community that usually faces discrimination. Last year, India's Supreme Court declared the transgender community as a legal third gender, granting them minority rights and privileges to education, employment and health benefits.

  • AP Interview: Afghanistan's first lady breaks taboos

    Updated: Wed, May 27, 2015

    KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — Afghanistan's first lady has broken numerous conventions in a society that traditionally sequesters women behind closed doors — speaking out on issues such as violence against women, the rule of law and the power of religion. But perhaps Rula Ghani's biggest taboo breaker is simply being the country's first presidential spouse in decades to be seen and heard in public. When her husband, President Ashraf Ghani, took the helm of the nation eight months ago, he did something unprecedented — he introduced his wife in his inaugural speech. From that moment on, Rula Ghani has done what first ladies often do in democracies, attending public events alongside her husband and speaking before audiences on

  • 4 Taliban militants die in attack in Afghan capital

    Updated: Tue, May 26, 2015

    KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — An all-night siege in an upscale neighborhood of Afghanistan's capital ended in the early hours of Wednesday morning with the deaths of four heavily armed Taliban attackers, though no civilians or security personnel were injured or killed, an Afghan official said. Deputy Interior Minister Mohammad Ayub Salangi said that weapons had been seized, including a rocket-propelled grenade launcher, three automatic rifles and a hand grenade. Using his official Twitter account, Salangi said there were "no civilian or military casualties." Kabul's police chief Gen. Abdul Rahman Rahimi, speaking to reporters outside the guesthouse that was the target of the six-hour assault, said: "Before reaching their

  • Australia warns children of foreign fighters risk charges

    Updated: Tue, May 26, 2015

    CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — An Australian boy who was photographed holding the severed head of a Syrian soldier could reportedly return to Australia with his mother and siblings, prompting the prime minister to warn Wednesday that children as well as adults who break terrorism laws face prosecution. Sydney-born convicted terrorist Khaled Sharrouf horrified the world last year by posting on his Twitter account from Syria a photograph of his 7-year-old son clutching the severed head. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry described the image as "one of the most disturbing, stomach-turning, grotesque photographs ever displayed.




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