• Golfer aces par-4 hole in Kuala Lumpur tournament

    Updated: Wed, Aug 27, 2014

    KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — Malaysian golfer Mohd Nazri Zain had a rare hole-in-one on a par-4 hole during the SapuraKencana National Qualifier tournament on Wednesday. Zain holed out on the water-lined 289-yard 16th hole on the Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club's west course during the tournament, which awards the winner a place in the $7 million CIMB Classic. Zain finished with a 2-over 73 Wednesday and in 20th place, 15 strokes behind playoff winner Danny Chia of Malaysia. There has been only one hole-in-one on a par-4 on the PGA Tour, by American golfer Andrew Magee at the TPC Scottsdale during the FBR Open, now Phoenix Open, in 2001.

  • Asia's old communities vanishing amid rapid growth

    Updated: Wed, Aug 27, 2014

    BANGKOK (AP) — Century-old shop houses, twisting alleyways and temples scented with incense still pulsate with the pursuit of old trades and time-honored rituals of families who have lived in Bangkok's Chinatown for generations. But probably not for much longer. Jackhammers and cranes are closing in on one of the last historic quarters of Thailand's capital as developers and city authorities aim to carry out plans to modernize the area by building subway lines and high-rises — with little thought to preserving local cultural heritage. The story is a common one across much of Asia amid the region's rapid economic development that has raised incomes and living standards for millions.

  • Afghanistan's one-time booming war economy slows

    Updated: Wed, Aug 27, 2014

    KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — Rows of dusty trucks and used cars sit unsold in Afghanistan's capital, where real estate agents bemoan a lack of sales and international businessmen no longer frequent top hotels. Even government employees nervously await each payday, worried the next might be delayed. Afghanistan's economy, vastly supported by international military spending and aid since the 2001 U.S.-led invasion to topple the Taliban, finds itself struggling on the precipice of what could be an uncertain future. NATO forces plan to pull out at the end of the year, insecurity is rising as international aid falls and a drawn-out election battle threatens to destabilize the country.

  • Pacquiao to help set up boxing academy in China

    Updated: Tue, Aug 26, 2014

    MANILA, Philippines (AP) — Manny Pacquiao is setting up a boxing institute in China and believes the country of 1.4 billion people can produce professional world champions. Pacquiao said Wednesday that he has partnered with a Chinese company and the Chinese government to set up an institute in his name, with the aim of imparting the experience that has seen him win eight world titles. He was speaking from Shanghai where he is promoting his Nov. 22 fight against Chris Algieri for a WBO welterweight title in Macau. He will be defending the welterweight crown he won in a rematch earlier last year with Timothy Bradley, avenging his 2012 loss. Pacquiao, 35, said the Manny Pacquiao Boxing Education Institute will "start in

  • Air New Zealand's annual profit up 45 percent

    Updated: Tue, Aug 26, 2014

    WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — New Zealand's national airline on Wednesday posted a 45 percent increase in annual profit and said it expects to benefit from the fuel efficiency of 787-9 Dreamliners it is adding to its fleet. Air New Zealand announced a net profit of 262 million New Zealand dollars ($218 million) for the financial year ended June. Revenue was up 1 percent to NZ$4.7 billion. The company was the launch customer for the 787-9 and took delivery of the first jet in July. It plans to begin using it on commercial flights between Auckland and Perth in October. The company plans to buy 10 of the new planes, which are an extended version of the 787. It has also been updating other planes in its fleet.

  • US criticizes Vietnam convictions of dissidents

    Updated: Tue, Aug 26, 2014

    HANOI, Vietnam (AP) — The United States has expressed alarm over prison terms handed down against three Vietnamese democracy activists for obstructing traffic. Human rights groups have described the charges used to convict Bui Thi Minh Hang, Nguyen Thi Thuy Quynh and Nguyen Van Minh to 3 years, 2 years and 2 1/2 years respectively on Tuesday as "bogus." The three were arrested earlier this year as they rode motorbikes to visit a former political prisoner in Dong Thap province. The U.S. Embassy late Tuesday said "the use of public disorder laws by Vietnamese authorities to imprison government critics for peacefully expressing their political views is alarming.

  • Australia and US to share information on travelers

    Updated: Tue, Aug 26, 2014

    CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — The Australian and U.S. governments signed an information-sharing agreement Wednesday to bolster each country's ability to confirm identities of foreign travelers. The agreement for the sharing of visa and immigration information, which was signed at Parliament House, will enable two-way information sharing between the countries, the Australian government said in a statement. The agreement comes as Australia tightens its border security to prevent Australian jihadists from joining Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. A Sydney man slipped out of the country using his brother's passport this month, but was detained on arrival in the United Arab Emirates and deported. A notorious terrorist left Sydney in

  • Fonterra to invest in China infant formula company

    Updated: Tue, Aug 26, 2014

    WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — New Zealand dairy giant Fonterra said Wednesday it's forming a partnership with China's Beingmate to help meet growing demand for infant formula in the world's most populous nation. Fonterra, the world's largest dairy exporter, said it plans to take a stake of up to 20 percent in Beingmate, an infant food company based in Hangzhou. Fonterra said the two companies also plan to establish a joint venture in Australia to purchase Fonterra's Darnum plant. Fonterra said Beingmate will own 51 percent of the joint venture to satisfy Chinese regulatory requirements and Fonterra will supply the plant with raw milk. Fonterra said its total investment in the partnership would be up to 615 million Ne

  • Rape trial starts for Indonesia school janitor

    Updated: Tue, Aug 26, 2014

    JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — A closed-door trial began Tuesday for the first of five janitors accused of raping a kindergartner in a bathroom at a prestigious international school in Indonesia that is facing a storm of controversy following more abuse allegations. The custodians contracted to work at the school were arrested in April — five men accused of attacking the boy and a woman accused as an accomplice. Police said one man committed suicide while in custody after drinking bathroom cleanser.

  • With MJ on his side, Federer wins US Open opener

    Updated: Tue, Aug 26, 2014

    NEW YORK (AP) — Growing up as a basketball fan, Roger Federer had a poster of Michael Jordan hanging on his bedroom wall. On Tuesday night, Federer won a first-round match at the U.S. Open with Jordan sitting in his courtside guest box. Playing in his record 60th consecutive Grand Slam tournament, and seeking to add to his mark of 17 major titles, Federer delighted his childhood idol with a back-to-the-net, between-the-legs shot during a 6-3, 6-4, 7-6 (4) victory over 76th-ranked Marinko Matosevic of Australia. The second-seeded Federer will face another Australian, big-serving Sam Groth, in the second round.

  • US transfers 2 Yemenis held in Bagram prison

    Updated: Tue, Aug 26, 2014

    SANAA, Yemen (AP) — Two prisoners held at a U.S. military prison in Afghanistan were handed over to Yemen on Tuesday, Yemeni security officials said. The officials said the two Yemeni prisoners were transferred to Yemen from Bagram prison, north of Kabul. They didn't elaborate and spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the press. Yemen's Hood human rights organization identified the two prisoners as Amin al-Bakri and Fadi al-Maqaleh, who have been detained since 2002 when they were arrested in Pakistan. It called on the government to set them free. U.S. forces are due to hand over control of the Bagram prison to Afghan forces when they pull out of the country in December.

  • Federal appeals court hears cases in Guam

    Updated: Tue, Aug 26, 2014

    HAGATNA, Guam (AP) — Guam is hosting the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for arguments for the first time in 12 years. The District Court of Guam is hosting the appellate court for arguments in three cases on Wednesday local time, the Pacific Daily News reported (http://bit.ly/1tGXXiG ). One case being heard is a Guam case challenging a nonbinding vote toward determining whether Guam should stay a U.S. territory or become a state, commonwealth, independent country or something else. The vote is limited to people who fit the legal definition of Chamorro as American citizens who gained citizenship through the Organic Act of Guam in 1950. The challenge is from a man who filed a lawsuit in response to the rule, sa

  • Possible airstrikes in Syria raise more questions

    Updated: Tue, Aug 26, 2014

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The intelligence gathered by U.S. military surveillance flights over Syria could support a broad bombing campaign against the Islamic State militant group, but current and former U.S. officials differ on whether air power would significantly degrade what some have called a "terrorist army." Further complicating the plans, any military action against Islamic State militants in Syria would also have the effect of putting the U.S. on the same side as Syrian President Bashar Assad, whose ouster the Obama administration has sought for years. The Islamic State group is headquartered in the Syrian city of Raqqah and has been fighting the Assad government, though it is also at war with moderate rebels who have rec

  • Afghan candidate threatens boycott of vote audit

    Updated: Tue, Aug 26, 2014

    KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — One of the two men vying to become Afghanistan's next president is threatening to boycott a ballot audit from the country's disputed presidential runoff, his adviser said Tuesday, a development that could further disrupt the already troubled process. The complicated, U.N.-supervised audit of the 8 million votes from the June presidential runoff was brokered by the U.S. in July as a way to end the fractious debate over who won the election. The process followed allegations of vote fraud on both sides and is meant to decide whether Abdullah Abdullah, a former foreign minister, or former Finance Minister Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai will replace President Hamid Karzai.

  • John Degenkolb of Germany wins 4th Vuelta stage

    Updated: Tue, Aug 26, 2014

    CORDOBA, Spain (AP) — German rider John Degenkolb outsprinted Vicente Reynes and race leader Michael Matthews to win a hot, sunny fourth stage of the Spanish Vuelta on Tuesday. Degenkolb, who rides for Team Giant-Shimano, surged past Matthews and Reynes in the final kilometer of the hilly 164.7 kilometer (102 mile) ride from Mairena del Alcor to Cordoba. The 23-year-old Matthews, riding for Orica GreenEdge, retained the overall leader's red jersey. The Australian leads Colombian Nairo Quintana by eight seconds and Spain's Alejandro Valverde by 15 seconds. "I always need a day or two to adapt to the heat and today it worked out," Degenkolb said.

  • Image of Asia: Anticipating fire across the border

    Updated: Tue, Aug 26, 2014

    In this photo by Channi Anand, villagers in Indian-controlled Kashmir take shelter inside an army bunker anticipating firing from the Pakistan side of the border. Indian and Pakistani forces have exchanged gunfire and mortar rounds several times in recent days, with 10 deaths of villagers, soldiers and suspected insurgents reported since Friday. Military leaders from both sides spoke by phone on Tuesday about the cease-fire violations. India and Pakistan both claim Kashmir in its entirety and have fought two of their three wars over the region. ___ AP photographers on Twitter: http://apne.

  • Jewish center reopens 6 years after Mumbai attacks

    Updated: Tue, Aug 26, 2014

    MUMBAI, India (AP) — Rabbis from across Asia on Tuesday celebrated the reopening of a Jewish center targeted by rampaging Pakistani gunmen who stormed through Mumbai on a 60-hour killing spree in 2008. The attacks on the Chabad center and other iconic locations in India's financial capital left 166 people dead. Among them were six people from the orthodox Jewish center, including Rabbi Gavriel Holtzberg and his wife. Their infant son escaped in the arms of his Indian nanny, and the two now live in Israel. Rabbi Israel Kozlovsky, who now runs the Mumbai center, said the rebuilt six-story Nariman House would house a $2.

  • Even if attacked, airline could be liable in crash

    Updated: Tue, Aug 26, 2014

    Families of passengers who were on the Malaysia Airlines plane shot down over Ukraine are starting to sort through the long process of gaining compensation for their loss. Officials in the Netherlands, where the majority of Flight 17 victims lived, say that Malaysia Airlines has been making $50,000 payments to the families without admitting any wrongdoing in the crash. Such payments may create goodwill, lawyers say, but they are not likely to discourage some families from seeking more than the amount promised under an international treaty — about $174,000. Since the early days of commercial aviation, international agreements have governed compensation for crash victims. It is a no-fault system — the airline pays a s

  • Australian lawmaker apologizes to China for tirade

    Updated: Tue, Aug 26, 2014

    CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — Australian mining magnate turned lawmaker Clive Palmer has apologized to China over an extraordinary tirade on national television in which he called the Chinese "bastards" and "mongrels" and accused Beijing of trying to take over Australia. Following the volatile multimillionaire's Aug. 18 outburst on Australian Broadcasting Corp.'s "Q & A" program, government ministers accused him of threatening Australia's relationship with its biggest trading partner and distanced themselves from his views. Palmer, meanwhile, largely avoided commenting on the issue. But Palmer, who was elected to Parliament last September from his own Palmer United Party, released on Tuesday the text of an apology letter to Ch

  • Australia announces $60M to fight radicalization

    Updated: Tue, Aug 26, 2014

    CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — The Australian government says it will spend 64 million Australian dollars ($60 million) on measures to counter violent extremism and radicalization as Islamic State continues to recruit foreign fighters to its ranks in Iraq and Syria. The measures announced Tuesday include strengthened community engagement programs aimed at preventing young Australians from becoming involved with extremist groups and new multi-agency investigation teams to disrupt foreign fighters and their supporters. The Australian government is giving high priority to reducing a domestic terrorism threat created by homegrown extremists who travel to Syria and Iraq to fight.