• ADB cuts growth forecast for SE Asia; China steady

    Updated: Wed, Sep 24, 2014

    MANILA, Philippines (AP) — The Asian Development Bank trimmed its economic growth forecast for Southeast Asia this year and next due to slower domestic demand in some of its bigger economies. Its forecasts for China, the world's second largest economy, were unchanged. Southeast Asia's growth this year is now projected at 4.6 percent, down from an earlier forecast of 5.0 percent and actual growth of 5.0 percent in 2013, the development lender said Thursday. Gross domestic product growth is expected to slow in Indonesia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam, but pick up in Malaysia where exports have rebounded. Next year, better performance of major industrial economies and Thailand's recovery from its slump

  • Australia says refugees to resettle in Cambodia

    Updated: Wed, Sep 24, 2014

    PHNOM PENH, Cambodia (AP) — An Australian government minister said on Thursday that only refugees who volunteer will be resettled in Cambodia as part of a new bilateral pact. Immigration Minister Scott Morrison will sign the pact with Cambodian Interior Minister Sar Kheng in Phnom Penh on Friday to resettle refugees that Australia rejects. Morrison said Australia will support the refugees to build new lives in Cambodia. "The arrangement is strictly voluntary," Morrison told reporters in Australia's Parliament House in Canberra. "Anyone who chooses to go to Cambodia will have chosen themselves to go to Cambodia.

  • Australia makes changes for UAE, Qatar friendlies

    Updated: Wed, Sep 24, 2014

    MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Australia has retained veterans Tim Cahill and Mark Bresciano while recalling Nikolai Topor-Stanley to the squad for the first time in six years and selecting uncapped striker Bernie Ibini for friendlies next month in the United Arab Emirates and Qatar. The 23-man Australia squad contains a slew of changes from the teams that played recent friendlies against Saudi Arabia and Belgium, with Robbie Kruse, Carl Valeri, Bailey Wright and Ben Halloran missing out. Coach Ange Postecoglou said he wanted to give a broader range of players international experience ahead of hosting next year's Asian Cup. Western Sydney Wanderers defender Topor-Stanley, who played twice for Australia in 2008, is likely

  • American Samoa grants amnesty to more than 4,000

    Updated: Wed, Sep 24, 2014

    PAGO PAGO, American Samoa (AP) — A U.S. territory has granted immigration amnesty to more than 4,000 foreigners who are physically present in American Samoa without current lawful immigration status. The bill signed by Gov. Lolo Matalasi Moliga also grants amnesty to those who are lawfully in the territory but subject to specific numerical limitations on their registration by country. The attorney general's office said the amnesty bill is the first step in immigration reforms for the U.S. territory, which controls its own borders and isn't subject to federal law. Local immigration laws set a quota on the number of foreigners from countries to reside and work legally in American Samoa.

  • Vietnam eyes US arms sales, downplays China impact

    Updated: Wed, Sep 24, 2014

    NEW YORK (AP) — Vietnam said Wednesday it wants to be able to buy weapons from the United States and that regional powerhouse China should not be alarmed. As relations between the U.S. and Vietnam warm, the U.S. is moving closer to lifting a ban on lethal arms exports applied after the communist victory in the Vietnam War. Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister Pham Binh Minh said it's been nearly 20 years since Washington and Hanoi normalized relations, and so it's "abnormal" to retain the ban. "If we do not buy weapons from the United States, we (would) still buy from other countries," Minh said at the Asia Society.

  • Indonesian province considers caning for gay sex

    Updated: Wed, Sep 24, 2014

    BANDA ACEH, Indonesia (AP) — People caught having homosexual sex could be publicly caned in Indonesia's conservative Aceh province if an Islam-inspired draft law is approved this week. Lawmaker Moharriadi Syafari said a majority of provincial legislators supported criminalizing gay sex. They are debating the law with a view to passing it and several others regulating personal behavior before Friday, the last day of the current assembly. Gay rights activist King Oey said Wednesday he will urge the central government to use its influence to get the bill scrapped or appeal to the country's Constitutional Court.

  • Nishikori reaches quarterfinals of Malaysian Open

    Updated: Wed, Sep 24, 2014

    KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — Top-seeded Kei Nishikori of Japan beat Rajeev Ram of the United States 6-2, 6-3 to reach the quarterfinals of the Malaysian Open on Wednesday. Ram beat Nishikori on grass two years ago, but Nishikori has struck a rich vein of form. In his first match since reaching the final of the U.S. Open, he broke Ram four times to set up a quarterfinal clash with Marinko Matosevic of Australia, who beat Go Soeda of Japan 7-6 (5), 6-4. Fifth-seeded Pablo Cuevas of Uruguay rallied from a set down to pass Ivan Dodig of Croatia, 3-6, 7-5, 7-5. Cuevas will next face fourth-seeded Julien Benneteau of France, who beat wild card Filip Krajinovic of Serbia 6-4, 6-3.

  • Ex-leader of Indonesia's ruling party gets 8 years

    Updated: Wed, Sep 24, 2014

    JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — A former top leader of Indonesia's ruling Democratic Party was sentenced to eight years in prison Wednesday for corruption and money laundering. A five-member panel of the anti-graft Corruption Court found Anas Urbaningrum guilty of accepting money and property as bribes while arranging construction contracts for government-funded projects, such as a $122 million sports complex in West Java. Urbaningrum also must pay a $25,000 fine or serve three more months in jail. The panel also ordered him to repay more than $10 million he wrongly accepted, once the verdict is final. Otherwise, his properties will be confiscated and sold, said presiding judge Haswandi, who uses a single name.

  • Mars mission opens India for space business

    Updated: Wed, Sep 24, 2014

    NEW DELHI (AP) — India celebrated putting a spacecraft into orbit around Mars on Wednesday, hoping the rare feat will show the world it is open for business in space exploration and inspire a new generation of homegrown scientists to help drive growth. Those motivations help explain why India, a poor country of 1.2 billion, even invests in a space program when so many of its people lack access to proper toilets, electricity and health care. For one, boosting its space business has always been a key selling point of the country's program. More than half of the world's missions to Mars so far have failed. In proving it can pull off a complex space mission, India becomes one of the world's few reliable ferrymen to the st

  • 73 dead in landslides, floods in northeast India

    Updated: Wed, Sep 24, 2014

    GAUHATI, India (AP) — Officials say the death toll from flash floods and landslides in India's northeast has risen to 73 as rescue workers reach homes cut off by the rising waters. A senior government official in Meghalaya state, Barkos Warjri, said Wednesday that at least 35 bodies have been recovered over the last two days and about 15 people are still missing. Police in neighboring Assam state say 38 people have been killed there. Officials say hundreds of thousands of people in both states have been forced from their homes. The area is prone to flooding during the June-to-September monsoon season. In June, at least 11 people were killed in heavy flooding in Assam's Gauhati city.

  • Indonesia enlists wasps in war on crop killer

    Updated: Wed, Sep 24, 2014

    BOGOR, Indonesia (AP) — They are the size of a pinhead and don't even pack a sting, but these tiny wasps are cold-blooded killers nonetheless. They work as nature's SWAT team, neutralizing a pest that threatens to destroy one of the developing world's most important staple foods: cassava. The wasps are being released in Indonesia, the latest country threatened by the mealybug. It's a chalky white insect shaped like a pill that's been making its way across Southeast Asia's fields for the past six years. The pest first appeared in Indonesia in 2010. Bogor on the outskirts of Indonesia's capital Jakarta was ground zero.

  • Officials: US drone kills 10 in northwest Pakistan

    Updated: Wed, Sep 24, 2014

    ISLAMABAD (AP) — A suspected U.S. drone fired four missiles at a vehicle carrying Uzbek and local militants in Pakistan's northwestern tribal region near the Afghan border on Wednesday, killing 10 of them, two Pakistani intelligence officials said. The missiles hit the moving vehicle when it was about 500 meters (yards) away from the Afghan border in the Pakistani border town of Datta Khel in North Waziristan, the officials said. Both Uzbek and local militants were among the 10 men killed, the officials said, adding that authorities were trying to get more details. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to the media. U.S.

  • India's top court cancels coal allocations

    Updated: Wed, Sep 24, 2014

    NEW DELHI (AP) — India's top court said Wednesday that private companies will have to return most of the coal fields allocated to them by the government since 1993 under a corruption prone bidding system. The Supreme Court's order comes a month after it declared that all the government allocations of coal reserves from 1993 to 2010 were carried out under procedures that were arbitrary and lacked fairness and transparency. A three-judge bench led by Chief Justice R.M. Lodha said the companies must relinquish the coal fields, some of which remain unmined, by March next year. About 218 coal blocks, or areas of unmined reserves, were allocated to companies for use in power plants and steel and cement factories between 199

  • Volcano in western Indonesia erupts again

    Updated: Wed, Sep 24, 2014

    JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — A volcano in western Indonesia has sent a new, powerful burst of hot ash into the air. National disaster management agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho says Mount Sinabung erupted for about 15 minutes Wednesday, creating an avalanche of hot clouds as far away as 2 kilometers (about a mile) from the peak. Nugroho says the eruption of the 2,600-meter (8,530-foot) volcano in North Sumatra province didn't cause more evacuations, and its alert status remains at the third-highest level. More than 22,000 people were evacuated from the area after eruptions earlier this year that killed at least 16 people. Most have returned home, but about 4,700 remain in evacuation centers.

  • India successfully puts spacecraft in Mars' orbit

    Updated: Tue, Sep 23, 2014

    NEW DELHI (AP) — India triumphed in its first interplanetary mission, placing a satellite into orbit around Mars on Wednesday morning and catapulting the country into an elite club of deep-space explorers. Scientists broke into wild cheers as the orbiter's engines completed 24 minutes of burn time to maneuver the spacecraft into its designated place around the red planet. "We have gone beyond the boundaries of human enterprise and innovation," Prime Minister Narendra Modi said, standing alongside scientists with the Indian Space and Research Organisation at the command center in the southern tech hub of Bangalore.

  • Australian police shoot suspected terrorist dead

    Updated: Tue, Sep 23, 2014

    CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — A terror suspect shot dead after he stabbed two Australian counterterrorism police officers had his passport canceled recently on national security grounds, top police officials said Wednesday. Some experts suspect Tuesday's attack was inspired by the Islamic State group's call to supporters to wage terror in their home countries. An Australian Federal Police officer and a Victoria state police officer who were part of a Joint Counter Terrorism Team had asked the 18-year-old man to come to a police station in southeast Melbourne on Tuesday night to answer questions after first drawing their attention three months ago, Victoria Police Chief Commissioner Ken Lay said.

  • Mars missions: Successes and failures

    Updated: Tue, Sep 23, 2014

    NEW DELHI (AP) — Getting a spacecraft to orbit Mars is a complex mission that few countries have attempted, and even fewer have achieved. The former Soviet Union made the world's first attempt in 1960, but the satellite didn't get far from Earth. The United States had the first successful mission four years later, when a flyby satellite, Mariner 4, beamed 21 images of the red planet's surface back to Earth. Since then, more than half of the 41 attempts have failed for myriad reasons including rocket malfunction, radio failure, fuel troubles and missed landings. Here is a breakdown of successful and failed attempts: U.S.: 15 successful attempts, 4 failures U.S.S.R.

  • Scientists: India has triumphed in first mission to Mars, putting satellite in planet's orbit

    Updated: Tue, Sep 23, 2014

    NEW DELHI (AP) — Scientists: India has triumphed in first mission to Mars, putting satellite in planet's orbit .

  • Fonterra posts revenue jump; cuts forecast payout

    Updated: Tue, Sep 23, 2014

    WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — New Zealand dairy giant Fonterra posted record revenue Wednesday but signaled a tougher year ahead for farmers by cutting its projected payout to them. The cut reflects a drop since February of more than 40 percent in wholesale prices for dairy products. In a presentation Wednesday, Fonterra said the drop was caused by increased production in Europe and the U.S. coupled with slowing growth in demand from China. In its annual results, Fonterra announced revenue rose 19 percent to 22.3 billion New Zealand dollars ($18 billion) in the year ending July when compared to the previous year. After-tax profit, however, was down 76 percent to NZ$179 million. Last year the company paid farmers a re

  • Man arrested in Guam pedestrian fatal

    Updated: Tue, Sep 23, 2014

    HAGATNA, Guam (AP) — Police in Guam have arrested a 22-year-old man on suspicion of vehicular homicide in the death of a pedestrian last summer. The Pacific Daily News reports (http://is.gd/T3z7Px) Brandon James Flaherty also faces vehicular homicide while intoxicated, leaving the scene of an accident and speeding charges in the July 9 death of Turley Thomas. The 28-year-old Thomas was struck while crossing Marine Corps Drive near a flea market on July 9. Authorities said she died from internal injuries. Police have said the driver of the car, who was not named in reports, left the scene but was brought back. A field sobriety test at the time showed no evidence of alcohol use, but police say the driver admitted to usi