• Tourism thrives in Malaysia despite association with tragedy

    Updated: Mon, Mar 2, 2015

    KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — Two airplane catastrophes put Malaysia on the map in a bad way in 2014. But they didn't hurt the country's tourism, and the higher visibility may even have helped: visitor numbers had their strongest growth in years. For the past decade, Malaysia has run an elaborate campaign to market itself abroad as an ideal Asian destination, touting a multiethnic culture, lush rainforests and pristine beaches. Despite the effort to internationalize, its tourism industry still relies heavily on tightly-packed neighboring Singapore and in a renewed push the government had designated 2014 as "Visit Malaysia Year.

  • Salonga says she is in talks on taking role in "Allegiance"

    Updated: Mon, Mar 2, 2015

    MANILA, Philippines (AP) — Tony award winner Lea Salonga says talks have not yet been finalized on her joining the cast of George Takei's musical "Allegiance" on Broadway, but added it is a show she wants to be part of. The Broadway veteran played the lead female role Kei Kimura when the musical made its sold-out premiere in 2012 at the Old Globe in San Diego, California, "Star Trek" actor Takei's personal and heartfelt show about Japanese-Americans imprisoned during World War II goes to Broadway this fall with him in a starring role. "Of course I'd like to be a part of it, if only to be part of something that's very important in Broadway history," Salonga told The Associated Press in a telephone interview late Monday

  • Google, Facebook update contrasting plans to connect world

    Updated: Mon, Mar 2, 2015

    BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — Sci-fi solutions or making friends one at a time? Google and Facebook want more people online, searching around and clicking on ads. And they are finding new ways to make it happen — from selling smartphone data plans, to using solar-powered drone aircraft as floating cell towers to partnering with telecom providers in the developing world to get people hooked on apps. The two Internet giants gave updates on their efforts at the Mobile World Congress wireless show in Barcelona on Monday. And while Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Google Vice President Sundar Pichai say they might like to collaborate more, they are taking very different approaches to getting the world connected. Internet.

  • WIRELESS SHOW HIGHLIGHTS: New phones, new ways to connect

    Updated: Mon, Mar 2, 2015

    NEW YORK (AP) — High-end smartphones from Samsung and HTC have gotten much of the attention at this week's wireless show in Barcelona, Spain, but cheaper options are coming from Microsoft, Lenovo and others too. Meanwhile, Google and Facebook are working on giving people more ways to use those devices. Here's a look at what's been unveiled so far at the Mobile World Congress show, which opened Monday and runs through Thursday: ___ AT THE HIGH END: Samsung Electronics Co. announced the Galaxy S6 phones, with an improved camera and a more stylish design that ditches plastic for metal and glass.

  • Guam celebrates survival of Chamorro culture, language

    Updated: Mon, Mar 2, 2015

    HAGATNA, Guam (AP) — Guam residents highlighted Chamorro culture Monday while re-enacting Portuguese explorer Magellan's 16th-century arrival in the Mariana Islands. Sen. Tommy Morrison of the Guam Legislature spearheaded a change from Discovery Day to Guam History and Chamorro Heritage Day last year, The Pacific Daily News reported (http://bit.ly/1F1FAK1 ). The shift is part of a trend toward greater awareness of Chamorro culture and language. "Our people are more knowledgeable about our history and culture now. Magellan discovered the islands for Europeans, but we discovered Magellan landing on our shores," said Brandon Cruz, a member of the cultural group Hinasso.

  • Little rain gives Guam driest month since 1950s

    Updated: Mon, Mar 2, 2015

    HAGATNA, Guam (AP) — The National Weather Service says last month was the driest month in Guam's recorded history. The Pacific Daily News (http://bit.ly/1B37Dba ) reports less than one-fifth of an inch of rain fell in February. That's only 4 percent of the average of about 4.5 inches. Meteorologist Derek Williams says February was the driest month since record keeping began in 1957. Williams says a weak El Nino weather pattern has made the Mariana Islands drier. He says residents can expect it to be dry for the next few weeks. He says the whole Western Pacific basin, including Australia, is being affected. A Fire Weather Watch is in effect for Guam until Thursday because of the lack of significant rainfall

  • Pakistan police arrest parents refusing kids' polio vaccine

    Updated: Mon, Mar 2, 2015

    PESHAWAR, Pakistan (AP) — Hundreds of parents in northwest Pakistan were arrested and jailed on charges of endangering public security after refusing to give their children polio vaccinations, officials said Monday. Parents targeted by police starting this past weekend were not arrested if they agreed to vaccinate their children, said Shakirullah Khan, a senior police officer in Peshawar. Feroz Shah, a spokesman for the district administration in Peshawar, capital of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, said 471 people were jailed in the city and surrounding villages under government orders. Authorities have made scattered arrests in the past for polio refusals, but such widespread arrests are rare. "This is the first t

  • Journalist jailed for online post freed from Myanmar prison

    Updated: Mon, Mar 2, 2015

    YANGON, Myanmar (AP) — A journalist who was arrested for a Facebook post mocking Myanmar's leaders was freed from jail Monday without charge. Aung Nay Myo expressed relief after walking out of Monywa prison, saying the charges against him were dropped and police had returned his seized computer and phones. Police arrested the freelance photographer on Saturday, saying he would be charged for circulating rumors that can cause disaffection with the government under the 1950 Emergency Provision Act, which carries a maximum seven years in prison. The government uses the draconian law to persecute dissidents and political activists.

  • Myanmar prevents students from marching against academic law

    Updated: Mon, Mar 2, 2015

    LETPADAN, Myanmar (AP) — Truckloads of police on Monday prevented hundreds of students from continuing their march to Myanmar's biggest city to protest a new law that they say curbs academic freedom. Tensions have been building since the rally began in the country's second-largest city of Mandalay just over a month ago, with public sympathy growing for the demonstrators, who have repeatedly defied threats by authorities to turn back or face the consequences. Around 200 students staying at a monastery in the town of Letpadan, 145 kilometers (90 miles) north of Yangon, Myanmar's largest city and its former capital, had planned to continue their march.

  • Afghan army takes on Taliban in first solo offensive

    Updated: Mon, Mar 2, 2015

    KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — The Afghan army is waging its largest-ever solo offensive against the Taliban, hoping to strike a decisive blow ahead of the spring fighting season and prove it can rout the insurgents without the aid of U.S. and NATO combat troops. Afghan troops have been slowly pushing up through a fertile river valley in the southern Helmand province, with special forces mounting nighttime helicopter raids into mud brick compounds and ground troops gradually advancing across the poppy fields that in past years have furnished the insurgents' main cash crop. U.S. and British troops suffered some of their biggest losses of the decade-long war here, seizing territory that was later lost by ill-equipped and poorly tr

  • Bangladesh arrests suspect in killing of American blogger

    Updated: Mon, Mar 2, 2015

    DHAKA, Bangladesh (AP) — Bangladeshi security officials arrested a suspect Monday in the killing of an American writer who was a prominent critic of extremist Islam and was hacked to death last week as he walked with his wife in Dhaka, a government spokesman said. The arrest of Farabi Shafiur Rahman came four days after attackers wielding meat cleavers killed Avijit Roy, an outspoken atheist and critic of the intertwining of religion and politics, on a crowded sidewalk in the capital, said Mufti Mahmud Khan, a spokesman for the anti-crime Rapid Action Battalion. Roy, a Bangladesh-born engineer with American citizenship, was killed on a visit from Georgia in the United States to attend Dhaka's main book fair.

  • Australia bans travel to Iraqi city of Mosul under new law

    Updated: Mon, Mar 2, 2015

    CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — The Iraqi city of Mosul, which is held by Islamic State movement fighters, on Monday became the second terrorist hot-spot to be declared off-limits to Australians under new counterterrorism laws aimed deterring foreign fighters. Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said the Mosul district in northern Iraq had been declared a designated area under a section of the Criminal Code created in October last year. That means that it is an offense under Australian law punishable by 10 years in prison to enter the district or to remain in it without a legitimate purpose. The Syrian Islamic Statement group stronghold of al-Raqqa province became the first designated area under the law in December.

  • Canadian gets 7 years in jail in Nepal for child sex abuse

    Updated: Sun, Mar 1, 2015

    KATHMANDU, Nepal (AP) — A Canadian tourist with several previous child sex convictions has been sentenced to seven years in prison in Nepal for sexually abusing a minor boy, the court said Monday. The Lalitpur district court said that Ernest Fenwick MacIntosh, 71, from the province of Nova Scotia, was also ordered to pay $10,000 to the victim by the judge in his ruling on Sunday. MacIntosh was detained by the police in December after the victim filed a complaint with police. Details of the victim were not given because he is still a minor.

  • South Korea's Amy Yang wins Honda LPGA Thailand

    Updated: Sun, Mar 1, 2015

    CHONBURI, Thailand (AP) — South Korea's Amy Yang won the Honda LPGA Thailand on Sunday for her second LPGA Tour title, finishing with a 3-under 69 for a two-stroke victory over American Stacy Lewis and two others. Yang broke a tie with Lewis with a three-stroke swing on the par-4 15th. Yang made a short birdie putt on the hole, and Lewis had a double bogey after blasting a 67-yard wedge shot over the green. Yang bogeyed No. 16 and closed with two pars to finish at 15-under 273 on Siam Country Club's Pattaya Old Course. "I don't know what just happened," Yang said. "I still can't believe I did it today." The 25-year-old Yang is projected to jump from 16th to 11th in the world ranking.

  • New plane tracking to be tested after Malaysia jet mystery

    Updated: Sun, Mar 1, 2015

    SYDNEY (AP) — Australia, Indonesia and Malaysia will lead a trial of an enhanced method of tracking aircraft over remote oceans to allow planes to be more easily found should they vanish like Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, Australia's transport minister said Sunday. The announcement comes one week ahead of the anniversary of the disappearance of Flight 370, which vanished last year during a flight from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, to Beijing with 239 people on board. No trace of the plane has been found.

  • 15 artworks stolen from Chinese museum south of Paris

    Updated: Sun, Mar 1, 2015

    PARIS (AP) — French cultural officials say 15 pieces of art have been stolen from a Chinese museum south of Paris, including a replica crown of the King of Siam given to France's emperor in the mid-19th century. The Culture Ministry says the break-in before dawn Sunday at the Chinese Museum at Fontainebleau Castle was over in less than seven minutes. Police are investigating. Castle spokesman Alexis de Kermel said he had no estimation of the objects' value. He called them "priceless" and the master works of the museum. The ministry said the stolen objects were assembled by Empress Eugenie, the wife of French Emperor Napoleon III, for her Chinese museum in 1863.

  • Afghan avalanches, flooding death toll rises to near 250

    Updated: Sun, Mar 1, 2015

    KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — An Afghan provincial official says that the death toll from a massive avalanche in a mountainous valley near the capital Kabul rose to 198 as bulldozers and other machinery began clearing roads and rescue teams were able to reach remote villages that have been cut off for almost a week. Najimudin Khan, deputy provincial police chief of Panjshir province, 100 kilometers (60 miles) from Kabul said Sunday that as rescue workers dig through the snow, they are uncovering more bodies, including women and children. At least four army helicopters are dropping hot food to cut-off villages, he says, the first food for many since the disaster last week.

  • India's ruling party forms coalition government in Kashmir

    Updated: Sun, Mar 1, 2015

    SRINAGAR, India (AP) — India's ruling Hindu nationalist party formed a coalition government in Kashmir on Sunday, marking the first time it will hold a leadership position in the disputed Muslim-majority region. Leaders from the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party and the Peoples Democratic Party were sworn into office in the state's winter capital of Jammu amid tight security in a ceremony attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. PDP leader Mufti Mohammed Sayeed will be the region's chief minister and the BJP a junior partner in the new government. No single party managed to win a clear majority needed to form a government in Jammu and Kashmir state during the elections, which took place in several phases in November and

  • Myanmar captures rare white elephant in western jungles

    Updated: Sun, Mar 1, 2015

    YANGON, Myanmar (AP) — Myanmar's forestry department has captured a rare white elephant in the jungles of the country's western Ayeyarwaddy region, an official said Sunday. The 7-year-old female was captured Friday, six weeks after it was initially spotted in a reserve in Pathein township, forestry official Tun Tun Oo said. It's the ninth white elephant in captivity in the country. "We had to be careful," Tun Tun Oo said of the 1.9-meter-tall (6-foot-3) elephant. "It's wild. We didn't want the elephant or the forestry department officials to get hurt." White elephants, which are actually albinos, have been revered for centuries in Myanmar, Thailand, Laos and other Asian nations.

  • Melbourne Victory fail to gain ground on Perth in A-League

    Updated: Sun, Mar 1, 2015

    SYDNEY (AP) — Australia striker Nathan Burns scored the winning goal in the 77th minute on Sunday to give the Wellington Phoenix a 3-2 win over the Melbourne Victory in the A-League. The Victory remained in second place, three points behind leading Perth. The Glory had a 2-2 draw with Brisbane on Saturday and have been able to maintain first place despite not winning five of their last six matches. Marc Janko scored twice and Terry Antonis netted the winner in the 74th minute as Sydney FC extended the Western Sydney Wanderers' woes with a 4-3 win Saturday. Kerem Bulut scored twice on debut for the Asian-champion Wanderers, who have only one win in 17 matches this season with five draws.




Advertisement