• Death toll from Indonesian mudslide rises to 56

    Updated: Mon, Dec 15, 2014

    BANJARNEGARA, Indonesia (AP) — The death toll from a mudslide that flattened much of a village in central Indonesia rose to 56 on Monday before rain forced rescuers to halt their search for dozens of missing people, officials said. Seventeen bodies, including those of four children, were recovered Monday, said Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, the spokesman for Indonesia's Disaster Mitigation Agency. Fifty-two people were still missing, three days after Friday's disaster. More than 3,000 rescuers, including soldiers, police and volunteers, were mobilized to dig through the mud and wreckage after the landslide buried more than 100 houses in Jemblung village in Central Java province's Banjarnegara district.

  • Apache selling stake in 2 LNG projects for $2.75B

    Updated: Mon, Dec 15, 2014

    HOUSTON (AP) — Apache is selling its stake in two liquefied natural gas projects to Woodside Petroleum Ltd. for $2.75 billion. The Houston-based oil and gas exploration and production company is selling its ownership in Australian subsidiary Apache Julimar Pty. Ltd. — which owns a 13 percent stake in the Wheatstone LNG project and a 65 percent interest in the area that includes the Julimar/Brunello offshore gas fields and the Balnaves oil development. The deal also includes Apache's 50 percent stake in the Kitimat LNG project and related upstream acreage in the Horn River and Liard natural gas basins in Canada. Apache Corp. anticipates net proceeds of about $3.7 billion.

  • American seeks to preserve storied Afghan past

    Updated: Mon, Dec 15, 2014

    KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — Nancy Hatch Dupree fell in love with Afghanistan on her first visit in 1962, and embarked on a lifelong mission to preserve the rich cultural heritage of an ancient land scarred by modern wars. In happier times she traversed the country with the other love of her life — archaeologist Louis Dupree, a fellow American — studying its history, writing travelogues and collecting books, maps, photographs and even rare recordings of folk music. The couple continued their efforts, often from abroad, during the tumultuous decades that followed, and their vast collection, now housed at Kabul University's sunlit Afghanistan Center, provides a rare journey through the country's past.

  • Image of Asia: Protesting violence against women

    Updated: Mon, Dec 15, 2014

    In this photo by Tsering Topgyal, a girl participates in a street play Monday in New Delhi to create awareness about violence against women during a protest ahead of the second anniversary of the fatal gang rape of a 23-year-old woman on a bus in the Indian capital. The brutality of the Dec. 16, 2012, attack unleashed a wave of public anger over the treatment of Indian women and a long-unspoken epidemic of sexual violence in the country. The outrage spurred the government to adopt more stringent laws that doubled prison terms for rape to 20 years and criminalized voyeurism, stalking, acid attacks and the trafficking of women. Fast-track courts have been created for rape cases.

  • Myanmar army: Ethnic rebels kill 7 gov't troops

    Updated: Mon, Dec 15, 2014

    YANGON, Myanmar (AP) — Ethnic rebels attacked an army outpost in northeast Myanmar, killing seven government troops and wounding 20 others, state media said Monday. Heavily armed ethnic Kokang guerrillas attacked the outpost last Wednesday, the state-run Myanma Ahlin daily reported, citing the army. The report said the army camp, located near the Chinese border, was surrounded by the guerrillas for two days. Since coming to power in 2011, the elected government of President Thein Sein has been striving to strike a comprehensive peace agreement with about a dozen ethnic rebel groups that have been fighting for decades for greater autonomy.

  • Uber backtracks on price hikes during Sydney drama

    Updated: Mon, Dec 15, 2014

    SYDNEY (AP) — The cab-hailing company Uber was promising free rides and refunds Monday for people fleeing central Sydney after coming under criticism for hiking prices during a hostage crisis that was unfolding there. Technology news website Mashable reported that Uber was briefly charging customers a minimum fare of 100 Australian dollars ($82) and four times the usual per-mile rate to leave the city center. Uber said on its smartphone app that the rates had been increased because "Demand is off the charts!" according to Mashable. But Uber, which offers a service based on hailing taxis from its app, quickly backtracked after an outcry on social media.

  • Australian killed by shark on Great Barrier Reef

    Updated: Mon, Dec 15, 2014

    BRISBANE, Australia (AP) — An 18-year-old man has been killed by a shark while spear fishing on the Great Barrier Reef off the east Australian tourist town of Port Douglas. The death on Monday was the first fatal shark attack in Australia since September, when a 50-year-old swimmer was killed at popular Byron Bay, 1,600 kilometers (1,000 miles) to the south. In the latest attack, police said in a statement that the man, from the nearby town of Mossman, was mauled while fishing with friends off Rudder Reef on Monday morning. He was pronounced dead shortly after his friends brought him to shore by boat.

  • 2 people have run out of Sydney building where a hostage situation is unfolding

    Updated: Sun, Dec 14, 2014

    SYDNEY (AP) — 2 people have run out of Sydney building where a hostage situation is unfolding.

  • Westwood wins Thailand Golf Championship

    Updated: Sun, Dec 14, 2014

    CHONBURI, Thailand (AP) — Englishman Lee Westwood won his second Thailand Golf Championship with a one-stroke victory over Australian Marcus Fraser and Martin Kaymer of Germany at the Amata Spring Country Club on Sunday. The 2011 champion was in a three-way lead with Fraser and Kaymer on 8 under with two holes to go but the German bogeyed the 17th while the Australian missed an easy par putt on the 18th, giving Westwood, who was watching in the clubhouse, the victory. Westwood came back from two straight bogeys at the start of his final round to fire seven birdies for a 67 and an 8-under 280 total. "I didn't start well and I knew I needed to shoot good scores," Westwood said. "I played some really good shots and made

  • 32 dead, 76 missing in central Indonesia mudslide

    Updated: Sun, Dec 14, 2014

    BANJARNEGARA, Indonesia (AP) — Rescuers pulled more bodies from the debris Sunday after heavy rain in central Indonesia loosened soil and collapsed a hill, setting off a landslide that killed at least 32 villagers and left 76 others missing under piles of mud. About 2,000 rescuers, including soldiers, police and volunteers, were digging through the mud and the wreckage of crumpled homes, getting some relief from clear weather following days of heavy rain. Excavators, meanwhile, shoved aside earth and the remains of decimated wooden homes. Residents of Jemblung village in Central Java province's Banjarnegara district said they heard a roaring sound followed by the raining down of red soil that buried more than 100 houses lat

  • Mayors stop casino gambling at Tiyan grounds

    Updated: Sun, Dec 14, 2014

    HAGATNA, Guam (AP) — Village mayors have ceased fiesta-related gambling at the Tiyan Carnival Grounds after concerns were raised last month about its legality, said governor's office spokesman Julius Santos. Santos said no mayors have asked to use the site for fiesta-related gambling next year. Linala Sin Casino, a group that opposes casino gambling on Guam, raised concerns about gambling continuing in Tiyan after the Liberation Day carnival had closed in August. Villages have been using the Tiyan site for gambling operations as part of their annual fiestas, said Sinajana Mayor Robert Hofmann, who also serves as vice president of the Mayors' Council of Guam. He said village mayors had been using the site over the last

  • Chalmers wins Australian PGA on 7th hole of playoff

    Updated: Sun, Dec 14, 2014

    GOLD COAST, Australia (AP) — Greg Chalmers made par on the seventh hole of a playoff while Adam Scott three-putted for bogey to hand the Australian lefthander the Australian PGA championship. Chalmers, who shot an 8-under 64 Sunday at Royal Pines after trailing the leaders by seven strokes going into the final round, and Scott and Wade Ormsby, who both shot 71, finished with 72-hole totals of 11-under 277. Ormsby dropped out of the playoff when he made par on the third playoff hole, while Chalmers and Scott birdied. Scott missed a 12-foot birdie putt on the first playoff hole that would have won it, and did the same on the second extra hole, when Ormsby missed from seven feet.

  • Defiant Afghan president condemns terror attacks

    Updated: Sun, Dec 14, 2014

    KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — Defying insurgents, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani on Sunday condemned the wave of militant attacks striking his country ahead of the withdrawal of most foreign troops, vowing: "We will never surrender." In a televised speech to mark Afghanistan's Human Rights Day, Ghani called on all religious, political and social leaders to condemn the violence. At one point, he even shouted: "Enough!" Ghani's words come just two weeks ahead of the withdrawal of most international combat troops, 13 years after the U.S.-led invasion following the Sept. 11 terror attacks removed the Taliban from power.

  • China to punish tourists in Thai air rage assault

    Updated: Sat, Dec 13, 2014

    BEIJING (AP) — Chinese authorities vowed on Saturday to severely punish Chinese travelers who threw hot water and noodles on a Thai flight attendant and threatened to bomb the plane after they became enraged over sitting arrangements. China National Tourism Administration said Saturday the tourists disrupted the flight and hurt other passengers. It comes at a time when the Chinese are traveling more but also becoming notorious for rough behavior. A Chinese passenger berated a crew member of the budget airline Thai AirAsia before pouring hot water and throwing noodles at her during a charter flight to Nanjing last Thursday. The flight returned to Bangkok and the pilot asked the passenger and her entourage of three others to

  • 20 dead, 88 missing in central Indonesia mudslide

    Updated: Sat, Dec 13, 2014

    BANJARNEGARA, Indonesia (AP) — Heavy rains in central Indonesia loosened soil and collapsed a hill, setting off a landslide that killed at least 20 villagers and left 88 others missing under piles of mud, officials said Sunday. Residents of Jemblung village in Central Java province's Banjarnegara district said they heard a roaring sound followed by the rain of red soil that buried more than 100 houses late Friday. "The landslide looked like it was spinning down. I managed to rescue a pregnant woman, but could not save the other man," said Subroto, who like many Indonesians uses only one name. He said one side of the hill collapsed and then another. "In five minutes, there were three (major landslides) and they swept a

  • India questions man over pro-Islamic State tweets

    Updated: Sat, Dec 13, 2014

    BANGALORE, India (AP) — Police in southern India questioned a man who they say acknowledged to running a popular pro-Islamic State group Twitter account but appears to have no direct links to the militant group. Mehdi Masroor Biswas, a 24-year-old engineer, was questioned by authorities Saturday, Bangalore's top police official, M.N. Reddy, told reporters. He said police have no evidence directly linking him to militants. "He appears to have been only majorly active in the virtual world," Reddy said. Britain's Channel 4 on Friday uncovered the identity of the man who it said used the Twitter account @shamiwitness.

  • Day of insurgent violence kills 19 in Afghanistan

    Updated: Sat, Dec 13, 2014

    KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — Three separate Taliban attacks killed at least 19 people in Afghanistan on Saturday, including a senior judicial official and personnel working to clear one of the most heavily mined regions of the world. The attacks came amid a spike in violence just weeks before the international military mission in Afghanistan comes to an end on Dec. 31., 13 years after the September 11 attacks sparked a U.S.-led invasion to rid Afghanistan of the Taliban's extremist regime. As the Taliban insurgency vows to maintain its current campaign against government, military and foreign targets, the attacks have sparked tight security in Kabul and concerns among Afghans that the situation can only worsen after foreign fo

  • Melbourne Victory, Sydney FC in A-League 3-3 draw

    Updated: Sat, Dec 13, 2014

    SYDNEY (AP) — Veteran Archie Thompson scored three goals as the second-place Melbourne Victory drew 3-3 with Sydney FC in the A-League on Saturday, leaving the Perth Glory three points clear in first place after 10 rounds. The 36-year-old Thompson scored on either side of a Marc Janko goal to give the Victory a 2-1 halftime lead. Shane Smeltz scored twice for Sydney in second-half but Thompson scored in the final minute of regular time to level. Perth ensured it would remain in first with a 2-0 win Friday over Newcastle as Richard Garcia scored in the 11th minute and Nebojsa Marinkovic in the 86th. The Jets finished the match with 10 men after captain Kew Jaliens was given a straight red card in the 82nd minute for a

  • Fraser takes 1-shot lead at Thailand Championship

    Updated: Sat, Dec 13, 2014

    CHONBURI, Thailand (AP) — Marcus Fraser of Australia shot a 2-under 70 Saturday to take a one-shot lead after the third round of the Thailand Golf Championship. Fraser is playing only his second tournament since returning from a long break due to a wrist injury, but has been among the most consistent players off the tee at the Asian Tour event at the Amata Spring Country Club. His 5-under total of 211 put him one shot ahead of Anirban Lahiri of India, who carded a 68. "I drove it really well on the first day as well, only missed one fairway on Thursday and I think I only missed a couple today," Fraser said. "You definitely have to stay out of the rough out there, it's pretty brutal.

  • Thailand princess relinquishes her royal title

    Updated: Sat, Dec 13, 2014

    BANGKOK (AP) — The wife of Thailand's crown prince has relinquished her royal title, culminating a dramatic fall from grace that means she is no longer in line to become the Southeast Asian country's next queen. While the reason for Princess Srirasm's decision wasn't clear, it follows revelations last month that several members of her family were detained in a high-profile corruption scandal. A brief statement from the palace's Royal Gazette that was made public late Friday said Srirasm, the third wife of Crown Prince Vajiralongkorn, had asked permission to give up her royal status. The statement gave no reason for the move, but said 87-year-old King Bhumibol Adulyadej had approved the request.