• China's famed Shaolin temple plans big project in Australia

    Updated: Sat, Feb 28, 2015

    BEIJING (AP) — A Chinese temple famous for its martial arts is planning to build a $297-million complex that includes a temple, a hotel, a kung fu academy and a golf course in Australia. Shoalhaven City Coucil in New South Wales said earlier this month that Shaolin Temple Foundation Australia, the developer, had finalized land purchase at Comberton Grange for what will be known as Shaolin Village. Mayor Joanna Gash said Saturday that the city council and the state government have both approved the concept plan for the project, which proposes to build a temple sanctuary with resident monks, a live-in kung fu academy, a 500-bed four-star hotel, a 27-hole golf course and a residential development.

  • 70 years on, survivors keep memory of Battle of Manila alive

    Updated: Sat, Feb 28, 2015

    MANILA, Philippines (AP) — Seventy years have not dulled the memories of survivors of the monthlong Battle of Manila. The mass killings by Japanese forces, the loved ones lost and the desperation are etched in their minds, as is the elation when American forces finally rescued them in the closing months of World War II. The U.S. liberated the Philippine capital from the Japanese, but not before Manila was destroyed and more than 100,000 civilians killed. About 16,000 Japanese soldiers and 1,000 U.S. troops also died in the fighting from Feb. 3 to March 3, 1945. Manila was the second-most devastated city in World War II after Warsaw, Poland, said historian Ricardo Jose of the University of the Philippines. He called the city

  • Lydia Ko shoots 61 in New Zealand Women's Open

    Updated: Fri, Feb 27, 2015

    CHRISTCHURCH, New Zealand (AP) — Top-ranked Lydia Ko broke the course-record with a career-best 11-under 61 on Saturday to take the second-round lead in the New Zealand Women's Open. The 17-year-old New Zealander, coming off a victory Sunday in the Women's Australian Open, broke the Clearwater record of 63 set last year by Mi Hyang Lee in her victory. Ko rebounded from an opening bogey with an eagle on the par-5 second and birdied Nos. 4-7, 9-13 and 18. She had a 13-under 131 total. England's Charley Hull was second at 10 under after a 64. The tournament is sanctioned by the European and Australian tours.

  • Attackers in Bangladesh hack to death American blogger

    Updated: Fri, Feb 27, 2015

    DHAKA, Bangladesh (AP) — A prominent Bangladeshi-American blogger known for speaking out against religious extremism was hacked to death as he walked through Bangladesh's capital with his wife, police said Friday. The attack Thursday night on Avijit Roy, a Bangladesh-born U.S. citizen, occurred on a crowded sidewalk as he and his wife, Rafida Ahmed, were returning from a book fair at Dhaka University. Ahmed, who is also a blogger, was seriously injured. It was the latest in a series of attacks on secular writers in Bangladesh in recent years. A previously unknown militant group, Ansar Bangla 7, claimed responsibility for the attack, Assistant Police Commissioner S.M. Shibly Noman told the Prothom Alo newspaper.

  • 30 arrested after Maldives opposition protest

    Updated: Fri, Feb 27, 2015

    MALE, Maldives (AP) — Police in the Maldives on Friday arrested 30 people as thousands of opposition supporters rallied in the capital calling on President Yameen Abdul Gayoom to resign and demanding the release of a former president in police detention. Protesters, including boatloads from the many outer atolls of this Indian Ocean archipelago nation, gathered in the capital island Male, chanting slogans accusing Gayoom's administration of violating the constitution and arresting opposition leaders on false charges. The rally, one of the largest ever in the tiny capital, was peaceful until it was officially called off. However, some protesters who continued a sit-in near Gayoom's home clashed with unknown pro-government gr

  • Desperate Afghan avalanche survivors await rescue on roofs

    Updated: Fri, Feb 27, 2015

    PANJSHIR VALLEY, Afghanistan (AP) — In an endless sea of white, Afghan villagers waited on rooftops Friday, waving in desperation as helicopters swooped low over the avalanche-struck region. All around them, homes, people and livestock had vanished under the snow. The avalanche in this impoverished corner of Afghanistan killed at least 168 people this week, with dozens succumbing to plummeting temperatures elsewhere. The depth of despair was captured by an Associated Press team traveling on one of the first aid flights to the area. Army helicopters dropped bags filled with bread — the first food to reach hundreds of people in the far northern district of Paryan in Panjshir province, 100 kilometers (60 miles) northeast of

  • Afghan troops push Taliban from key southern district

    Updated: Fri, Feb 27, 2015

    KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — Afghan forces on Friday routed the Taliban from a large swath of a key southern province that has long been an important insurgent stronghold, in their first major solo operation since international combat forces pulled out of the country, an American general and a senior Afghan police officer said. The operation, which began Feb. 10, succeeded in clearing insurgents out of Sangin district in Helmand province, said Maj. Gen. Kurt Fuller, deputy chief of staff for U.S. and NATO operations in Afghanistan. The area has long been an important Taliban stronghold and a major poppy-producing region but on Friday, Afghan forces "secured Sangin and the whole district has been cleared," Fuller told The Assoc

  • Powerful undersea earthquake shakes southern Indonesia

    Updated: Fri, Feb 27, 2015

    JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — A powerful undersea earthquake shook parts of southern Indonesia on Friday, but no major damage or tsunami were expected because of its depth. The U.S. Geological Service said the quake had a magnitude of 7.0 and hit the Flores Sea about 132 kilometers (82 miles) north of the town of Nebe. It said it was centered far under the Earth's surface at a depth of 547 kilometers (342 miles). Indonesia's Meteorology and Geophysics Agency said there was no threat of a tsunami. Residents of Nebe and of Maumere, 152 kilometers (94 miles) from the epicenter, reported no damage and said they felt no shaking. Shallower quakes generally cause more shaking of the Earth's surface and greater damage.

  • Image of Asia: Onions for sale in Sri Lanka

    Updated: Fri, Feb 27, 2015

    In this photo by Eranga Jayawardena, a boy looks out from the window of his house as an onion vendor arranges his cart in Colombo, Sri Lanka. Prices of vegetables and other commodities were high in recent weeks due to bad weather in Sri Lanka's agricultural regions, which reduced the harvest. Imported products also have come to market, also lowering prices.

  • Former pop star Gary Glitter sentenced to 16 years in prison

    Updated: Fri, Feb 27, 2015

    LONDON (AP) — Former pop star Gary Glitter has received a 16-year prison sentence after being convicted of sexually abusing three young girls in the 1970s. The 70-year-old singer, whose real name is Paul Gadd, showed no response as he was sentenced Friday. He had been found guilty earlier this month of one count of attempted rape, four counts of indecent assault and one count of sexual intercourse with a girl under the age of 13. The singer was arrested in October 2012 under Operation Yewtree, the national investigation British police launched in the wake of a child abuse scandal surrounding the late BBC entertainer Jimmy Savile.

  • 2 inmates accused in killing of 10 tourists flee from jail

    Updated: Fri, Feb 27, 2015

    MANSEHRA, Pakistan (AP) — Two prisoners believed to be involved in the 2013 slaying of 10 foreign climbers at the base of one of the world's tallest mountains escaped from jail in northern Pakistan before dawn Friday, police said. The Pakistanis held at a jail in the northern city of Gilgit tried to escape after scaling a wall, senior police officer Ishaq Hussain said. He said the guards chased the men, killing one and re-arresting another. But two of their associates escaped. Hussain said security forces were searching for the prisoners. He said authorities arrested the four men about six months ago and that they had not yet faced trial.

  • Indian court acquits 6 in riot deaths of British men in 2002

    Updated: Fri, Feb 27, 2015

    AHMADABAD, India (AP) — A court in western India on Friday acquitted six men accused of killing three British tourists during religious riots in 2002. The court in Gujarat state said that it found no evidence against the accused. The three British Muslims were killed in the riots that erupted in Gujarat state after a train filled with Hindu pilgrims was attacked by a Muslim mob in a small town. A fire broke out — it remains unclear whether it was arson — and 60 Hindus burned to death. In retaliation, more than 1,000 people, mostly Muslims, were killed in the state. The three British men and their driver were pulled from their car and set on fire by rioters.

  • 5 Philippine soldiers killed in communist rebel ambush

    Updated: Fri, Feb 27, 2015

    MANILA, Philippines (AP) — Communist rebels have killed five Philippine army soldiers and wounded six others in an ambush in a northern province, the military said Friday. The soldiers were traveling in a convoy with police late Thursday when they were fired on by New People's Army guerrillas in Quirino township in Ilocos Sur province, said Capt. Mark Anthony Ruelos of the 7th Infantry Division. He said government forces were pursuing the guerrillas. Armed forces spokesman Col. Restituto Padilla said the rebels used civilians as human shields, preventing the ambushed troops from making an effective counterattack. He said the rebels also fired at medical personnel trying to retrieve the bodies of the slain soldie

  • Lewis leads LPGA Thailand by 3 after round 2

    Updated: Fri, Feb 27, 2015

    CHONBURI, Thailand (AP) — Stacy Lewis shot an unblemished round of 8-under-par 64 for a three-shot advantage over Amy Yang after the second round of the LPGA Thailand on Friday. Lewis, the world No. 3, enjoyed four straight birdies from hole Nos. 4-7, plus four more on the back nine, to produce a two-day total of 14-under 130. She also led at Siam Country Club at the halfway stage in 2013, and finished third. "It really was a pretty easy day," Lewis said. "I didn't cause myself too much stress." Yang shot five birdies and eagled the par-5 10th in a 66 to lie at 11 under overall. She has three top-five finishes in her last four tournaments.

  • Foreign tourists posing nude at temples infuriate Cambodians

    Updated: Fri, Feb 27, 2015

    SIEM REAP, Cambodia (AP) — Cambodia's most popular tourist attraction — the complex of ancient temples that includes Angkor Wat — is suffering from a form of overexposure: At least five foreign visitors have been arrested and deported this year for taking nude photos at the sacred sites. Authorities have no tolerance for people stripping down at Angkor Archaeological Park, a sprawling, centuries-old UNESCO World Heritage Site that drew 2 million visitors last year. The incidents are also upsetting to ordinary Cambodians, for whom the Khmer-era complex holds enormous spiritual and historical significance. "Angkor Wat is the most famous sacred ...

  • India sees growth over 8 percent, set for 'big bang' reforms

    Updated: Fri, Feb 27, 2015

    NEW DELHI (AP) — A government report says India's economy will grow more than 8 percent in the upcoming financial year and appears to have shaken off its persistent problems of high inflation, rising budget deficits and poor domestic demand. The Economic Survey, an annual report on the state of Asia's third-largest economy, said Friday that India appeared to have hit an economic "sweet spot" and was ready for "big bang reforms." "A clear mandate for reform and a benign external environment now is expected to propel India on a double-digit trajectory," it said. The country, with about 1.25 billion people, needs high growth rates to create sufficient jobs for its burgeoning youth population.

  • Hollande tours typhoon-hit Philippines ahead of climate deal

    Updated: Fri, Feb 27, 2015

    GUIUAN, Philippines (AP) — French President Francois Hollande on Friday took his warning about the need for funds for a landmark climate deal to a central Philippine town that was devastated by a killer typhoon in 2013. Speaking at a public school in Guiuan, where Typhoon Haiyan made its first landfall before claiming more than 7,300 lives, Hollande promised to "remember your faces" when France hosts the climate conference in December. On Thursday, he and President Benigno Aquino III launched an international appeal to back efforts to seal the accord in Paris. Hollande warned that there will be no deal if wealthy countries don't commit adequate funds to help poor nations fight global warming.

  • Unidentified attackers hack US blogger to death in Dhaka

    Updated: Fri, Feb 27, 2015

    DHAKA, Bangladesh (AP) — A prominent Bangladeshi-American blogger known for speaking out against religious fundamentalism was hacked to death in the streets of Bangladesh's capital as he walked with his wife, police said Friday. The Thursday night attack on Avijit Roy, a Bangladesh-born U.S. citizen, occurred along a crowded stretch of sidewalk as he and his wife, Rafida Ahmed, were returning from a book fair at Dhaka University. Ahmed, who is also a blogger, was seriously injured. Police have named no suspects in the attack, but Roy was a prominent voice against religious extremism, and his family and friends say he had been threatened in the past for his writings.

  • Australian laws on storing phone, Internet records to change

    Updated: Fri, Feb 27, 2015

    CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — A parliamentary committee on Friday recommended a major rewrite of draft laws that would force Australian telcos and Internet providers to store customers' personal data for the convenience of law enforcement agencies. A key recommendation is that the law specifies exactly what personal data is to be retained. The bill to retain so-called metadata for a minimum two years has been drafted as a counterterrorism measure to help law enforcement agencies prosecute extremists who plot terror attacks online and through telephone communications. But the bill does not specify what metadata is and experts differ on definition. The government wants to be free to set the definition without consulting Parliame

  • Hong Kong woman gets 6 years in Indonesian maid abuse case

    Updated: Fri, Feb 27, 2015

    HONG KONG (AP) — A Hong Kong mother of two was given a six-year prison term Friday for abusing her Indonesian maid in a case that aroused widespread outrage over its brutality. Law Wan-tung was sentenced after her conviction earlier this month on eight charges of assault, grievous bodily harm and criminal intimidation against 24-year-old Erwiana Sulistyaningsih in a case that highlighted the vulnerabilities of migrants working as domestic staff across Asia and the Middle East. Law, 45, had no reaction as the sentence was handed down by District Court Judge Amanda Woodcock, who said "the seriousness of the charges and circumstances of the offences means a lengthy prison time is appropriate.




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