• Coroner rules out driver, trainer error in Edwards death

    Updated: Thu, Feb 4, 2016

    BRISBANE, Australia (AP) — A coronial inquest into the death of British racing driver Sean Edwards at an Australian speedway in 2013 has found that mechanical failure caused the accident. Edwards, the son of ex-Formula One driver Guy Edwards, was in the passenger seat as an instructor for a private training session at Queensland Raceway near Brisbane when the 966 Porsche crashed into a barrier at high speed and caught fire. Queensland state's deputy coroner John Lock delivered his findings Friday, ruling out human error or trainer error, saying the accident in October, 2013, was caused by an unknown mechanical failure. The driver, William Holzheimer, who as 20 at the time, sustained serious injuries to his head and bo

  • General says troop cuts constrain Afghan training mission

    Updated: Thu, Feb 4, 2016

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The ability to train and advise the still green Afghan security forces will be constrained if the U.S. troop level is cut to 5,500 as President Barack Obama has proposed, the senior American commander in Afghanistan said on Thursday. Army Gen. John F. Campbell told the Senate Armed Services Committee that "very little" training will be done with fewer American forces. Campbell, who is expected to retire soon, sparred with the committee's chairman, Republican Sen. John McCain of Arizona, and other senators over the wisdom of the troop reductions.

  • Image of Asia: Rally on Philippine-American War anniversary

    Updated: Thu, Feb 4, 2016

    In this photo by Bullit Marquez, riot police use their shields to cover themselves from a slight drizzle as protesters rally at the U.S. Embassy in Manila, Philippines, to mark the 117th anniversary of the Philippine-American War. Carrying banners reading "Junk EDCA," the protesters are demanding the abolition of the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement after the country's Supreme Court upheld the agreement's constitutionality, effectively allowing American forces, ships and planes to temporarily station in Philippine military camps. The U.S. military shut its local bases in 1992, ending almost a century of U.S. military presence in the Philippines, and opponents of the defense agreement see it as infringing on Philippine sovereignty.

  • Avalanche hits Indian army post on glacier; 10 feared dead

    Updated: Thu, Feb 4, 2016

    SRINAGAR, India (AP) — Officials say 10 Indian soldiers are feared dead after an avalanche hit a military post on the Siachen Glacier in the disputed Himalayan region of Kashmir. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi offered his condolences to the families of the soldiers on Twitter Thursday night. The avalanche hit the military post on Wednesday in the northern part of the glacier, trapping the soldiers under a mass of snow. Since then, army and air force teams have been searching for the soldiers, army spokesman Col. S.D. Goswami said. He said the chances of finding survivors are "very remote." The army is yet to retrieve their bodies. Avalanches and landslides are common in Kashmir, which is divided betwe

  • Thai police: Slain Spanish man ID'd from body parts in river

    Updated: Thu, Feb 4, 2016

    BANGKOK (AP) — Police in Thailand's capital said Thursday they have identified a man whose body parts were found floating in the city's Chao Phraya River as a Spanish consultant, and also have identified suspects in his killing. Police Gen. Panya Mamen, who is leading the investigation, told reporters in Bangkok that police are gathering more evidence and searching for the suspects, and expect to solve the case within 48 hours. "We believe that there was more than one perpetrator and we believe that they worked as a team," he said. Panya said the victim was a Spanish man who had traveled to Thailand a number of times, but only provided his given name, David, and gave his vocation as "consultant.

  • Sri Lanka lifts unofficial ban on Tamil national anthem

    Updated: Thu, Feb 4, 2016

    COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) — A Tamil-language version of Sri Lanka's national anthem was performed at the country's independence ceremony on Thursday, lifting an unofficial ban in another step toward post-civil war ethnic reconciliation. Schoolchildren sang the anthem in Sinhalese, from the ethnic majority group, and the minority Tamil language at the ceremony marking the 68th anniversary of independence from Britain. The move, despite opposition from Sinhalese nationalists, is an effort to reach out to Tamils after rebels from the ethnic minority fought a nearly 26-year war for a separate homeland until their crushing defeat in 2009. President Maithripala Sirisena says he will unite the nation, a process which has not b

  • Western retirees at Thai resort busted for playing bridge

    Updated: Thu, Feb 4, 2016

    BANGKOK (AP) — Add aging Western bridge players to the list of desperadoes in Thailand's seaside resort of Pattaya, a sin city rife with prostitution, corruption and foreign and home-grown gangsters. The bridge players, mostly British but also from Scandinavia, the Netherlands and elsewhere, were busted by a task force of soldiers, police and local officials as they played cards at eight tables in an apartment above a restaurant, police Col. Sukathat Pumpanmuang, superintendent of the Pattaya Police Station, said Thursday. He said the law enforcement agents were acting on a tip that illegal gambling was taking place there.

  • Froome finishes 2nd on 1st stage of Melbourne cycle tour

    Updated: Thu, Feb 4, 2016

    MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Two-time Tour de France champion Chris Froome of England has made a strong start to a new season by finishing second on Thursday's opening stage of the Herald-Sun cycle tour. Froome crossed the line just behind Sky teammate Peter Kennaugh on the 126-kilometer (78-mile) stage which started and finished at Healesville, east of Melbourne. The British pair were 17 seconds ahead of the peloton in which New Zealand's Dion Smith took third place. Froome lies in second place on general classification after the first of the tour's four stages and leads the King of the Mountain standings. He completed Thursday's stage in 3 hours, 1 minute, 47 seconds. Friday's second stage takes riders 144.2-kilomete

  • AP PHOTOS: Lion dance tradition thrives in Malaysia

    Updated: Thu, Feb 4, 2016

    KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — The traditional art of the Chinese lion dance is nowhere near perishing in Muslim-majority Malaysia. As Lunar New Year approaches, lion dance troupes here are practicing their coordinated movements in the noisy routine that is believed to ward off evil spirits and garner good luck. It's a centuries-old tradition dating back the Han Dynasty, when lion dancers were mostly from martial arts schools who used their acrobatic kicks and jumps to ring in the new year. These days, it is kept alive by an ethnic Chinese minority that makes up 22 percent of Malaysia's 30 million people — and by people like master craftsman Siow Ho Phiew (pronounced "See-ow hoe pew").

  • Australia resists pressure to allow asylum seekers to stay

    Updated: Wed, Feb 3, 2016

    CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — Australia is resisting mounting international pressure not to deport child asylum seekers, with a minister warning Thursday that allowing them to stay could attract more refugees to come by boat. Australia's 3-year-old policy of paying the tiny Pacific nation of Nauru to accommodate asylum seekers who attempt to reach Australian shores by boat survived a challenge in the High Court on Wednesday. The test case ruling means 267 asylum seekers, most of whom came from Nauru to Australia for medical treatment or to support a family member who needed treatment, face potential deportation back to Nauru. Immigration Minister Peter Dutton said that asylum seekers, including children, would be returne

  • Expert: Parents often won't take surrogate kids with defects

    Updated: Wed, Feb 3, 2016

    CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — A newborn Down syndrome baby left by his Australian biological father with his poor surrogate mother in Thailand was one of several cases of surrogate children abandoned because of defects, an expert told a parliamentary inquiry on Thursday. The high-profile case of baby Gammy prompted the Thai government to ban surrogacy in 2014, and an Australian parliamentary committee launched a review of Australia's laws that prohibit commercial surrogacy. Gammy was left with his surrogate mother, Pattaramon Chanbua, a 21-year-old food vendor with two young children of her own, when he was born in December 2013.

  • Malaysian officer to serve 9 months for New Zealand assault

    Updated: Wed, Feb 3, 2016

    WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — A Malaysian military officer whose legal case prompted outrage after he left New Zealand under the protection of diplomatic immunity was sentenced Thursday to nine months of home detention after pleading guilty to indecent assault. New Zealand Judge David Collins said Muhammad Rizalman Ismail will serve the sentence in a Wellington rental home before being deported back to Malaysia. Rizalman was arrested in May 2014 after he broke into the home of a 21-year-old woman, entered her bedroom wearing nothing but a shirt and struggled with her before she escaped and called police. He returned to Malaysia soon after under diplomatic protection.

  • Kidnapped cab driver recalls ordeal with California inmates

    Updated: Wed, Feb 3, 2016

    WESTMINSTER, California (AP) — A 74-year-old taxi driver expected to die when an escaped jail inmate put a gun to his stomach and kidnapped him. But on Wednesday, the driver instead thanked the man for saving his life. Cab driver Long Hoang Ma detailed the harrowing week he spent with the three violent fugitives who escaped on Jan. 22 from the Orange County jail and the unexpected kindness from one of them, Bac Duong, a fellow Vietnamese immigrant. Ma said his ordeal began after he unknowingly picked them up just hours after their jailbreak and Duong pulled the gun.

  • US, 11 other countries sign free-trade deal in New Zealand

    Updated: Wed, Feb 3, 2016

    WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — Trade ministers from 12 Pacific Rim countries including the United States gathered Thursday in New Zealand for the ceremonial signing of a free-trade deal they say will significantly boost trade. But for the pact to take force, each country must now ratify it through its domestic political process. Whether the politically divided U.S. will agree to it remains an open question. The agreement covers a region responsible for about one-third of all world trade, although noticeably missing from the agreement is China, which is forging ahead with its own trade deals. Proponents say the agreement will increase trade and make it more equitable by eliminating most tariffs and other barriers.

  • Lydia Ko opens season, 4 shots behind Ha Na Jang in Ocala

    Updated: Wed, Feb 3, 2016

    OCALA, Fla. (AP) — Top-ranked Lydia Ko shot a 3-under 69 on Wednesday in the Coates Golf Championship in her first round of the season, leaving her four strokes behind leader Ha Na Jang. The 18-year-old Ko closed with a birdie on the par-5 18th, her fourth birdie on the back nine on the Golden Ocala course that features some tributes to holes at Augusta National, St. Andrews and others. Ko tied for second last year in Ocala to reach No. 1 in the world ranking, and went on to win five times, and sweep the points-based player of the year award, Race to the CME Globe and the money title. "First nine holes were pretty rusty, but almost felt like our whole group as we made the turn, we started making birdies," Ko said.

  • Indian police arrest 4 in alleged assault of Tanzanian woman

    Updated: Wed, Feb 3, 2016

    NEW DELHI (AP) — An official says police have arrested four Indian men for allegedly assaulting and stripping a female Tanzanian student after dragging her out of a car. India's external affairs minister, Sushma Swaraj, tweeted Wednesday that she was deeply pained over the "shameful incident" over the weekend in Bangalore, India's information technology hub. She says police have arrested four suspects. Bosco Kaweesi, a legal advisor to the All African Students Union, says three of her Tanzanian friends in the car also were beaten up by an angry crowd following a car accident in the area. Kaweesi calls it a case of mistaken identity, saying the car was following the vehicle that hit a local woman, who died on Sunday.

  • Thai border market vendors torpedo crackdown on counterfeits

    Updated: Wed, Feb 3, 2016

    BANGKOK (AP) — Thai police were licking their wounds Wednesday after an enraged mob of vendors chased them away when they tried to seize fake goods at a famous border market. The Department of Special Investigation said 12 officers were injured when police and French Embassy observers went to the Rong Kluea market on the border with Cambodia to seize items such as fake perfumes that violate intellectual property laws. A DSI statement said its officers identified themselves and presented court orders to vendors before trying to seize their goods, which it said the vendors acknowledged were counterfeits.

  • Russian tourist loses leg to speedboat in southern Thailand

    Updated: Wed, Feb 3, 2016

    BANGKOK (AP) — Two Russian tourists were badly injured Wednesday at a Thailand beach resort when a speedboat's propeller severed one man's leg and cut deep gashes in the other man's leg, police said. The men, believed to be in their 30s, were struck while they were diving off Phi Phi island in Krabi province. Police Lt. Col. Jetsada Janpum said the operator of the speedboat had been detained for questioning. "Their condition is not good and we are holding off on interrogation." said Jetsada, chief of the island's police station. Last month, a French woman died from being struck in the head by a boat while snorkeling in Krabi. At least three other foreign tourists have died so far this year in swimming-related ac

  • APNewsbreak: Missing reporter tells wife he's back in China

    Updated: Wed, Feb 3, 2016

    BEIJING (AP) — The wife of a Chinese journalist who disappeared while seeking asylum abroad said she was able to speak to him by phone Wednesday and he told her he had voluntarily returned to China for investigation, but she believes he was forced back and spoke against his own will. Li Xin's disappearance in Thailand is the latest example of Beijing's increasingly strong reach beyond the mainland for people wanted by authorities. His wife, He Fangmei, said she spoke with him after being summoned to a police station to receive his call.

  • Afghan insurgents kill 10-year-old boy who joined militia

    Updated: Wed, Feb 3, 2016

    KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — A 10-year-old Afghan boy who was declared a hero after fighting the Taliban has been shot dead by insurgents while on his way to school, officials said Wednesday. Wasil Ahmad, who had fought the Taliban alongside his uncle on many occasions, was killed Monday near his home in Tirin Kot, the capital of the southern Uruzgan province, said deputy police chief Rahimullah Khan. The 10-year-old boy had been a local celebrity of sorts, with widely circulated photographs on social media showing him holding an automatic weapon and wearing a uniform and helmet. Ahmad's uncle was a former Taliban commander who changed allegiance to the government and was appointed local police commander in Khas Uruzgan




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