• New Zealand, Australian men killed in Yemen strike

    Updated: Wed, Apr 16, 2014

    WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — Despite having little history of domestic terrorism, New Zealand and Australia were drawn into the global debate on drone strikes Wednesday after confirming that a citizen from each country was killed in Yemen last year. New Zealand Prime Minister John Key said the men were killed during a November counter-terror drone strike along with three known al-Qaida operatives. He said the New Zealander had been watched by intelligence agencies and had first attended some kind of terrorist training camp. Key said he thought drone strikes by the United States were justified in some circumstances.

  • 4 people die after Guam car crash

    Updated: Tue, Apr 15, 2014

    HAGATNA, Guam (AP) — Guam police say four people have died of injuries sustained in a car crash that also injured one other person. Pacific Daily News (http://is.gd/WpPk5a) says the two-vehicle collision occurred Sunday in Yigo. Those killed are identified as 10-year-old Mya Ann Neth, 64-year-old Damiano Neth of Yigo, 63-year-old Markarita Neth and 61-year-old Ruhney Hadley of Mangilao. The survivor is identified as 22-year-old Kervina Hikuta. Police say a Chevrolet Silverado driven by Hadley was southbound along Route 15 when it collided head-on with a northbound Toyota Corolla occupied by the four others and driven by Damiano Neth. Hikuta was taken to Guam Memorial Hospital, where she was listed in serio

  • Gunmen abduct Afghan deputy minister in Kabul

    Updated: Tue, Apr 15, 2014

    KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — Gunmen abducted the Afghan deputy public works minister in Kabul on Tuesday, officials said, a grim reminder of the insecurity plaguing Afghanistan as most foreign troops prepare to withdraw from the country at the end of the year. Ahmad Shah Wahid was on his way to work when five gunmen ran his car off the road in northern Kabul, dragged him into their 4-wheel-drive vehicle and sped away, said Gul Agha Hashim, the city's police chief of investigations. The armed men shot and wounded Wahid's driver when he tried to drive away to safety, said public works ministry spokesman Soheil Kakar. It was not immediately clear who was behind the abduction. Kakar said there has so far been no ransom deman

  • Sri Lanka says Canada holds Commonwealth to ransom

    Updated: Tue, Apr 15, 2014

    COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) — Sri Lanka on Tuesday accused Canada of using its funding of the Commonwealth as a political tool by suspending its $10 million annual contribution while Sri Lanka chairs the group's secretariat. Canada, a leading funder of the 53-member Commonwealth of former British colonies, said it will redirect its contribution to programs that promote the group's values because of concerns over Sri Lanka's human rights record. Sri Lanka is to chair the secretariat for two years. Sri Lanka's Foreign Ministry accused Canada of taking the step based on "electoral compulsions, thereby holding the membership of the wider Commonwealth to ransom.

  • Pliskova breezes into Malaysian Open 2nd round

    Updated: Tue, Apr 15, 2014

    KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — Karolina Pliskova of the Czech Republic made a winning start to her defense of the Malaysian Open title by easing past Aleksandra Krunic 6-2, 6-2 in the first round on Tuesday. Pliskova's sister, Kristyna, also won, beating Timea Babos of Hungary 7-6 (6), 3-6, 6-4. However, both Japanese seeds departed: No. 5 Kimiko Date-Krumm retired hurt after trailing 5-3 against Cagla Buyukakcay of Turkey, and No. 8 Ayumi Morita was knocked out by qualifier Lyudmyla Kichenok of Ukraine 6-4, 6-2. Other winners included No. 6-seeded Zarina Diyas from Kazakhstan, and No. 7 Donna Vekic of Croatia.

  • Pakistan brothers in cannibalism case face court

    Updated: Tue, Apr 15, 2014

    KHAWAR KALAN, Pakistan (AP) — Two brothers arrested for the second time over accusations of cannibalism appeared in court Tuesday, police officials said, in a sensational case that has horrified Pakistanis. A judge in an anti-terrorism court in Sargodha district ordered the men detained for a week pending an initial investigation, police officer Zafar Iqbal said. They were arrested on Monday on suspicion of eating bodies they had dug up in a nearby graveyard. Police also recovered a pan they believe was used to cook the body parts, said officer Waseem Abass. Police raided the brothers' house in central Pakistan after neighbors complained of a horrible stench. Some neighbors also grew suspicious after seeing one of the

  • India's top court recognizes third gender category

    Updated: Tue, Apr 15, 2014

    NEW DELHI (AP) — India's top court on Tuesday issued a landmark verdict recognizing transgender rights as human rights, saying people can identify themselves as a third gender on official documents. The Supreme Court directed the federal and state governments to include transgendered people in all welfare programs for the poor, including education, health care and jobs to help them overcome social and economic challenges. Previously, transgendered Indians could only identify themselves as male or female in all official documents. The decision was praised as giving relief to the estimated 3 million Indians who are transgender.

  • Teething troubles for Chinese tourists in Thailand

    Updated: Tue, Apr 15, 2014

    CHIANG MAI, Thailand (AP) — The bucolic, once laid-back campus of one of Thailand's top universities is under a security clampdown. Not against a terrorist threat, but against Chinese tourists. Thousands have clambered aboard student buses at Chiang Mai University, made a mess in cafeterias and sneaked into classes to attend lectures. Someone even pitched a tent by a picturesque lake. The reason: "Lost in Thailand," a 2012 slapstick comedy partly shot on campus that is China's highest-grossing homegrown movie ever. Now visitors are restricted to entering through a single gate manned by Mandarin-speaking volunteers who direct Chinese tourists to a line of vehicles for guided tours.

  • Killing of environmental activists rises globally

    Updated: Mon, Apr 14, 2014

    BANGKOK (AP) — As head of his village, Prajob Naowa-opas battled to save his community in central Thailand from the illegal dumping of toxic waste by filing petitions and leading villagers to block trucks carrying the stuff — until a gunman in broad daylight fired four shots into him. A year later, his three alleged killers, including a senior government official, are on trial for murder. The dumping has been halted and villagers are erecting a statue to their slain hero. But the prosecution of Prajob's murder is a rare exception. A survey released Tuesday -- the first comprehensive one of its kind - says that only 10 killers of 908 environmental activists slain around the world over the past decade have been convicted.

  • Convicted policeman sentenced in Guam brothel case

    Updated: Mon, Apr 14, 2014

    HAGATNA, Guam (AP) — A former police officer convicted of raping and intimidating women at a brothel in Guam has been sentenced to 30 years in prison. David Manila was convicted last year of helping support a brothel hidden inside a karaoke lounge. Prosecutors said the women there had been enticed from Micronesia and forced into prostitution by Blue House owner Song Ja Cha, who was convicted in 2012 of federal crimes related to human trafficking and prostitution. In September, a jury found that Manila and another officer, Anthony Quenga, helped to keep the women from fleeing by threatening to arrest them. The men were also found guilty of raping women at the brothel. The Pacific Daily News reports (http://bit.

  • Canada suspends funding over Sri Lanka

    Updated: Mon, Apr 14, 2014

    OTTAWA, Ontario (AP) — Canada is suspending $20 million in funding to the Commonwealth while the chair of the secretariat is occupied by Sri Lanka because of human rights concerns. Prime Minister Stephen Harper boycotted the Commonwealth summit last year in Colombo, Sri Lanka, because of concerns about the government's human rights record. Canada is a member of the British Commonwealth of former colonies. Canada would normally contribute $10 million per year to the secretariat over the next two years, but Foreign Minister John Baird says that money will be directed to programs that promote Commonwealth values instead.

  • Nepal Seder gets Passover supplies in time

    Updated: Mon, Apr 14, 2014

    NEW YORK (AP) — Passover supplies made it to Katmandu, Nepal, on Monday in time for an annual Seder that typically draws more than 1,000 guests. The shipment had been stuck in port in India, bound for the Seder hosted by the Jewish outreach organization Chabad-Lubavitch. The supplies are normally routed via the Israeli embassy of Nepal, but a strike by the Israeli Foreign Ministry that affected embassy operations had delayed delivery, according to Rabbi Zalman Shmotkin, a New York spokesman for Chabad. The strike ended April 3 and the container filled with matzo, wine, ritual texts called Haggadahs and other items was finally signed for, but organizers were not sure it would get to Katmandu in time.

  • Pakistan police arrest 2 suspected of cannibalism

    Updated: Mon, Apr 14, 2014

    ISLAMABAD (AP) — Police in central Pakistan arrested a man Monday suspected of cannibalism after finding body parts including a skull that may have belonged to a child in his house, officials said. Neighbors in the village of Khawar Kalan complained to police about a foul smell coming from the house, prompting them to raid it, said Ameer Abdullah, the police chief of Bhakkar district. Authorities believe the man and his brother dug up the bodies from a nearby graveyard where residents had also seen one of the men lurking, said another officer, Zafar Iqbal. He said they found what appeared to be a child's skull as well as other body parts at the house and were sending the skull for further tests. Authorities are lookin

  • Afghanistan: Ambush kills anti-Taliban militiamen

    Updated: Mon, Apr 14, 2014

    KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — An Afghan official says a Taliban ambush has killed three members of a local militia that rose up against insurgent control of the area. The local chief of police, Lutfullah, said Monday that the militiamen were patrolling in Andar district in the eastern province of Ghazni when they were attacked Sunday night. He said three of the armed village men were killed and three others were wounded. Lutfullah, who uses just one name, said those killed were members of an "uprising unit" that two years ago took up arms against Taliban dominance of the area. More than a dozen years after the U.S.

  • Vietnam releases dissidents amid foreign pressure

    Updated: Mon, Apr 14, 2014

    HANOI, Vietnam (AP) — Vietnam has granted early release to two high-profile dissidents, bringing the number of democracy activists freed this month to three in what the government Monday called a "policy of leniency." The unusual moves come as Hanoi is negotiating a free trade deal with the United States that is expected to help Vietnam's stumbling economy. American officials have said the deal might not get congressional approval unless Vietnam's government shows it is taking steps to improve its human rights record. Vi Duc Hoi and Nguyen Tien Trung were released over the weekend with 1½ years and nine months remaining of their sentences respectively.

  • Indian troops kill 2 rebels in Kashmir fighting

    Updated: Mon, Apr 14, 2014

    SRINAGAR, India (AP) — A nearly 20-hour gunbattle in Indian-controlled Kashmir ended Monday after government troops killed two suspected rebels in the Himalayan region's main city, a senior police official said. The fighting began Sunday evening when troops cordoned off a neighborhood in Srinagar following a tip that rebels were in a house there, said police officer Afadul Mujtaba. Two policemen were wounded in the fighting, he said. There was no statement immediately from any of the rebel groups fighting against Indian rule. About 68,000 people have been killed since 1989 in an armed uprising and subsequent crackdown by Indian forces.

  • Uber meets local lookalikes in Asia taxi-app wars

    Updated: Mon, Apr 14, 2014

    MUMBAI, India (AP) — Riding on its startup success and flush with fresh capital, taxi-hailing smartphone app Uber is making a big push into Asia. There's a twist, though: Instead of being the game-changing phenomena it was in the U.S., Uber faces a slew of competitors using similar technology. The concept Uber helped pioneer just four years ago has transformed some markets before it even had a chance to enter them. Homegrown taxi apps are already slogging it out for dominance in numerous Asian countries. China has a taxi-hailing app called Kuadi that says it logs more than 6 million transactions per day. Malaysia-based GrabTaxi operates in five Southeast Asian countries and recently announced more than $10 million in new in

  • 2 Abu Sayyaf militants killed in Philippine raid

    Updated: Sun, Apr 13, 2014

    MANILA, Philippines (AP) — Police commandos stormed a southern Philippine hideout of suspected Abu Sayyaf extremists blamed for kidnappings and extortion, triggering a firefight that led to the killing of two militants and the capture of six others, officials said. Chief Superintendent Getulio Napenas, director of the national police Special Action Force, said his men raided a house Monday in Zamboanga City where an Abu Sayyaf sub-leader and his followers were believed hiding. A policeman was wounded in the clash that ensued, while three suspected militants were arrested, he added in his report to National Police chief Alan Purisima. Four pistols and three grenades were recovered at the site.

  • Abdullah, Ghani lead in partial Afghan vote tally

    Updated: Sun, Apr 13, 2014

    KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — Two clear front-runners emerged in Afghanistan's presidential election as partial results released Sunday showed a tight race that increasingly appears destined for a runoff vote. Both candidates promise a fresh start with the West, vowing to sign a security pact with the United States that has been rejected by President Hamid Karzai, but their fierce rivalry has raised the possibility of divisive campaigning in what so far has been a relatively peaceful vote. With 10 percent of the ballots counted, Abdullah Abdullah, who was Karzai's main rival in his fraud-marred re-election in 2009, had 41.9 percent of the vote. Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai, a former finance minister and World Bank official, followed w

  • Pakistan: Next round of Taliban talks coming soon

    Updated: Sun, Apr 13, 2014

    ISLAMABAD (AP) — The next round of direct peace talks with the Pakistani Taliban will take place in the coming days, the country's interior minister said Sunday, denying reports that the negotiations were deadlocked. "The next meeting, which is due to take place over the next few days, will come up with a comprehensive agenda from both sides," Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan told journalists at a news conference. The Pakistani government elected last May has been pursuing negotiations instead of military operations as a way to deal with the militant violence that has plagued the country for years and killed thousands. They have held one round of direct talks so far.