• Khmer Rouge tribunal readies way for genocide case

    Updated: Tue, Jul 29, 2014

    PHNOM PENH, Cambodia (AP) — A U.N.-backed tribunal on Wednesday began a hearing to prepare for the genocide trial of the two senior surviving leaders of Cambodia's Khmer Rouge, under whose rule an estimated 1.7 million people died in the late 1970s from starvation, exhaustion, disease and execution. Khieu Samphan, the regime's head of state, and Nuon Chea, right-hand man to the group's late leader, Pol Pot, are already set to face sentencing next week after being tried for crimes against humanity related mostly to the communist group's forced movement of millions to the countryside when it took power in 1975. The tribunal's chief judge, Nil Nonn, opened the hearings by reading the charges and crime sites set to be heard in

  • Australian airline passengers told to flush drugs

    Updated: Tue, Jul 29, 2014

    CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — An Australian airline apologized on Wednesday for a warning a flight attendant gave passengers who might have been flying high that there were drug-sniffer dogs awaiting them at Sydney airport. Many of the 210 passengers aboard the Jetstar flight from Gold Coast city on Sunday night had attended the Splendour in the Grass weekend music festival at Byron Bay and were returning home. "We have been told there are sniffer dogs and quarantine officers waiting in the domestic terminal," Sydney's The Daily Telegraph newspaper on Wednesday quoted the attendant as telling passengers via the Airbus A320's public address system. "If you need to dispose of anything you shouldn't have, we suggest you flu

  • Passengers stuck 3 nights in Hawaii finally leave

    Updated: Tue, Jul 29, 2014

    WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — A group of Air New Zealand passengers finally got airborne Tuesday after being stranded for three nights due to repeated delays from mechanical problems. The upside? They were stuck in Hawaii. And every passenger is getting 1,000 New Zealand dollars ($850) in compensation. Flight NZ9 was due to depart late Saturday from Honolulu for Auckland, but airline officials told the 227 passengers the plane was unable to leave because of problems related to an engine sensor. They trekked out to Honolulu Airport twice more only to be told a similar story. Some took a flight on another airline. The Air New Zealand flight finally left Tuesday morning.

  • Task force set up after plane shot down

    Updated: Tue, Jul 29, 2014

    MONTREAL (AP) — The United Nations agency that governs civil aviation says it is setting up a task force aimed at improving security measures in the wake of the shoot-down of a Malaysia Airlines jet over eastern Ukraine. Top officials from four international organizations met in Montreal on Tuesday to discuss risks to civilian aviation in conflict zones. The head of International Civil Aviation Organization, the U.N. agency, says there is a pressing need for information and intelligence that can potentially affect the safety of passengers and crew members. Raymond Benjamin says states have also been reminded of their responsibilities to address any potential risks to civil aviation in their air space.

  • Guam police seek public's input in man's homicide

    Updated: Tue, Jul 29, 2014

    HAGATNA, Guam (AP) — Guam police are seeking the public's help for information in the homicide of a 62-year-old man. Nick Tolentino was found dead in his hair salon on Sunday. The Guam medical examiner's office says the cause of death was multiple stab wounds. Pacific Daily News (http://is.gd/znSg3k) reports Tolentino was last seen alive by associates between 3 and 4 p.m. Saturday. Tolentino was the owner of the Hair Plus by Nick salon in Tamuning.

  • Myanmar information and health ministers step down

    Updated: Tue, Jul 29, 2014

    YANGON, Myanmar (AP) — Myanmar's ministers for information and health have been allowed to retire, state television reported Tuesday, in the country's second Cabinet reshuffle in two months. The evening news read a statement signed by President Thein Sein announcing the resignations of Information Minister Aung Kyi and Health Minister Pe Thet Khin. An official explanation that a minister is permitted to retire is generally taken to mean a resignation under pressure. No reason was given for the resignations. No replacements were announced. Aung Kyi was part of the military group that continues to dominate the country's administration even after elections brought a nominally civilian government to power in 2011.

  • Death toll rises to 23 in Philippine road attack

    Updated: Tue, Jul 29, 2014

    MANILA, Philippines (AP) — A 3-year-old boy and his father died from wounds suffered in a brazen attack by Abu Sayyaf extremists on Filipinos celebrating the end of Ramadan, raising the toll Tuesday to 23 dead, officials said. About 40 to 50 Abu Sayyaf militants armed with assault rifles opened fire Monday on some 50 villagers as they traveled on a southern road to visit relatives during the holiday ending the Muslim holy month. Marine Brig. Gen. Martin Pinto said six villagers who were wounded remained in the hospital Tuesday following the militants' bloodiest attack in recent years. Three other slightly wounded villagers have gone home after treatment.

  • Suicide bomber kills Afghan president's cousin

    Updated: Tue, Jul 29, 2014

    KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — A powerful cousin of outgoing Afghan President Hamid Karzai was assassinated by a suicide bomber hiding explosives in his cap on Tuesday, a provincial official said. It was the latest attack targeting Afghan power brokers and government officials as insurgents and political factions struggle for power ahead of the withdrawal of foreign combat forces by the end of this year. Hashmat Khalil Karzai was a staunch supporter of the president and had played an active role in the campaign to choose his cousin's successor.

  • Pope to visit Sri Lanka, Philippines Jan. 12-19

    Updated: Tue, Jul 29, 2014

    VATICAN CITY (AP) — The Vatican has confirmed the dates for Pope Francis' second trip to Asia, a weeklong visit Jan. 12-19 to Sri Lanka and the Philippines. Francis had already announced his intention to visit Sri Lanka and meet with victims of Typhoon Haiyan, which killed some 6,300 people, left another 1,060 missing and devastated parts of the central Philippines last year. The Vatican press office said Tuesday that Francis would visit Sri Lanka Jan. 12-15, and spend the remainder of the trip in the Philippines. The full program will be released later. Francis will become the first pope in nearly two decades to visit the Far East when he travels to South Korea Aug. 14-18. He has said he wants to visit Asia since Pop

  • Filipino rebels free 4 policemen taken 3 weeks ago

    Updated: Tue, Jul 29, 2014

    MANILA, Philippines (AP) — Communist guerrillas on Tuesday freed four police officers they abducted from a police station in the southern Philippines three weeks ago, the military said. Regional military commander Maj. Gen. Ricardo Visaya said the New People's Army rebels released the police officers before dawn in a remote village in Kitcharao town in Agusan del Norte where a five-day cease-fire was declared to avoid clashes. The freed officers were handed to Interior Secretary Mar Roxas and Presidential Peace Process Adviser Teresita Deles then had a tearful reunion with their families. The Maoist rebels, disguised as army soldiers, abducted the four officers July 10 from Alegria town's police station in Surigao del

  • Nepal to allow cremation of Tibetan Buddhist monk

    Updated: Tue, Jul 29, 2014

    KATMANDU, Nepal (AP) — The body of a revered Tibetan Buddhist monk can now be cremated at his monastery in the hills outside Nepal's capital, the government said Tuesday after reversing its earlier objections to bringing the body into the country. Nepal had initially said Shamar Rinpoche's body could not enter Nepal because he was a citizen of the nearby Himalayan nation of Bhutan. Some accused the government, however, of fearing anti-China protests by Tibetans during the funeral procession, which is expected to be attended by thousands of Rinpoche's followers. The Cabinet decided Tuesday to allow the cremation, Information Minister Minendra Risal said, out of recognition for the monk's contribution to Buddhism in the count

  • McDonald's Japan to strengthen checks on chicken

    Updated: Tue, Jul 29, 2014

    TOKYO (AP) — McDonald's in Japan is increasing its checks on chicken from suppliers in China and Thailand after allegations a Chinese supplier sold expired chicken. It says the scare will hurt its earnings. The U.S. fast-food chain's Japan unit on Tuesday withdrew this year's earnings and sales forecasts, citing uncertainties from the food scandal. It promised to disclose information online about where its food comes from. It said it will strengthen safety checks on suppliers it's still using in China, for apple pie, muffins and cookies, as well as its Thai chicken supplier. Such checks will be extended to food items in Japan, the company said. The Chinese food safety agency is investigating allegations Sh

  • Australia plans to arrest 2 Middle East fighters

    Updated: Tue, Jul 29, 2014

    CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — Australian police have obtained arrest warrants for two Australians who are fighting with the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria after one posted photographs of the other posing with severed heads of Syrian soldiers. Australian Federal Police said in a statement Tuesday that they obtained arrest warrants for Khaled Sharrouf and Mohamed Elomar for "terrorism-related activity." Police say the former Sydney residents will be arrested if they return to Australia. Photographs posted last week on a Twitter account linked to Sharrouf showed Elomar smiling and holding the severed heads of two Syrian soldiers. The pair traveled to Syria late last year and then Iraq to join the fighters.

  • Khmer Rouge tribunal to tackle genocide charges

    Updated: Tue, Jul 29, 2014

    PHNOM PENH, Cambodia (AP) — The slow course of justice for the leaders of Cambodia's murderous Khmer Rouge regime will inch forward again Wednesday, as a U.N.-backed tribunal holds an initial hearing against a pair of defendants in their 80s facing genocide and other charges. Khmer Rouge head of state, Khieu Samphan, and Nuon Chea, right-hand man to the group's late chief, Pol Pot, are among the few surviving top leaders of the brutal communist group that was responsible for some 1.7 million deaths from starvation, exhaustion, disease and execution when it was in power in 1975-79.

  • Guam man's death ruled a homicide

    Updated: Mon, Jul 28, 2014

    HAGATNA, Guam (AP) — Guam authorities say a man whose body was found in his hair salon over the weekend was the victim of a homicide. Pacific Daily News (http://is.gd/tfazZP) reports that 62-year-old Nick Tolentino was the owner of the Hair Plus by Nick salon in Tamuning. The Guam medical examiner's office says the cause of death was multiple stab wounds.

  • Philippine leader: Not even a bomb can stop reform

    Updated: Mon, Jul 28, 2014

    MANILA, Philippines (AP) — An emotional Philippine President Benigno Aquino III called his opponents desperate Monday and expressed confidence that many people will carry on his reforms even if he is stopped by a bomb. Aquino said in his annual state of the nation address before Congress that he could not avoid thinking somebody may make an attempt on his life because of the kind of people he has crossed in his effort to fight corruption and reform his poor Southeast Asian nation. Aquino's father, an opposition senator who fought dictator Ferdinand Marcos, was assassinated at Manila's international airport while under military custody in 1983.

  • Abu Sayyaf gunmen kill 21 Filipinos in road attack

    Updated: Mon, Jul 28, 2014

    MANILA, Philippines (AP) — Abu Sayyaf gunmen attacked Filipino civilians traveling to celebrate the end of Ramadan with their families on Monday, killing 21, including at least six children, in a brazen road attack that was the bloodiest in recent years by the violent militant group, police and military officials said. Eleven other civilians were wounded as the group traveled in two vans in a coastal village in Talipao town in predominantly Muslim Sulu province, where the militants have survived in jungle camps despite years of U.S.-backed Philippine military offensives. About 40 to 50 Abu Sayyaf militants armed with assault rifles opened fire on the vans, marine Brig. Gen. Martin Pinto and other military officials said.

  • Pakistani mob attacks minority Muslims, kills 3

    Updated: Mon, Jul 28, 2014

    LAHORE, Pakistan (AP) — A Pakistani mob burned down several homes belonging to the minority Ahmadi sect in the country's east, killing a woman and her two granddaughters in riots following rumors about blasphemous postings on Facebook, police said Monday. The rioting in the city of Gujranwala erupted late Sunday after claims that an Ahmadi had posted a blasphemous photo of the Kaaba — the cube-shaped structure in the Grand Mosque in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, which observant Muslims around the world face in prayer five times a day, police official Zeeshan Siddiqi said. He said the photo allegedly contained nudity. The victims died of suffocation, Siddiqi said, adding that another woman miscarried during the riots and was in hos

  • Outgoing Karzai says Afghans need new president

    Updated: Mon, Jul 28, 2014

    KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — Afghanistan's outgoing leader Hamid Karzai said on Monday that his nation needs a new president and urged for a speedy conclusion to the ballot audit that will determine his successor. In a speech marking the start of the Muslim Eid al-Fitr holiday that follows the fasting month of Ramadan, Karzai said that Afghans "want to have an outcome to the election as soon as possible, so that this country can have its president soon." After fraud was alleged by both presidential contenders, all 8 million ballots cast in the second round of the Afghan presidential vote in June are being audited under national and international supervision.

  • Reporter recalls Soviet evasion in '83 jet downing

    Updated: Mon, Jul 28, 2014

    Those searching for the truth about what happened in the shoot-down of the Malaysia airliner over Ukraine can take little comfort from the history of another passenger jet that was blasted out of the sky over the Soviet Union more than three decades ago: The Kremlin at the time dodged, weaved and obfuscated. Today, we still don't know what exactly happened to Korean Airlines Flight 007. I was The Associated Press' Moscow bureau chief when a Soviet Sukhoi-15 fighter downed KAL 007 on Sept. 1, 1983. The passenger plane was about to leave Soviet airspace after more than two hours of flying off-course above super-secret military installations along the Pacific coast.