• Turkey fails in bid to join UN Security Council

    Updated: Thu, Oct 16, 2014

    UNITED NATIONS (AP) — Turkey failed in its effort to join the U.N.'s most powerful body on Thursday, while Venezuela, New Zealand, Spain, Angola and Malaysia were elected to coveted Security Council seats. Special attention had been on Turkey as it is under growing pressure to do more about the war in Syria pushing up against its border. Turkey lobbied heavily among the General Assembly's 193 member states for their votes, with its foreign minister hosting a party at the iconic Waldorf Astoria hotel the night before the vote. In competition with New Zealand and Spain for two seats representing the western group of nations, Turkey fell behind as New Zealand easily gained a seat on the first ballot and Spain made it on the th

  • India names US-based economist economic adviser

    Updated: Thu, Oct 16, 2014

    NEW DELHI (AP) — India on Thursday appointed US-based economist Arvind Subramanian as the country's chief economic adviser. The announcement comes the same day as Prime Minister Narendra Modi's announcement that the government would overhaul the country's archaic labor laws to draw more investment to Asia's third largest economy. India also appointed a new finance secretary, the top bureaucrat in the country's finance ministry Thursday. Subramanian told reporters in New Delhi that he was "honored" to serve a government "that has a mandate for reform and change." Subramanian is a senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics in Washington D.C.

  • India PM announces overhaul of archaic labor laws

    Updated: Thu, Oct 16, 2014

    NEW DELHI (AP) — Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a series of labor reforms on Thursday aimed at transforming Asia's third-largest economy into an international manufacturing hub. Modi said he wants to overhaul India's archaic labor laws to make it easier to do business in the country, attract investment and promote it as the world's next cheap manufacturing nation. India's labor laws, many written when India was a British colony, strictly regulate hiring and firing of employees and require large amounts of paperwork which often deter companies from employing new staff. "Ease of business is the first and foremost requirement" for making India a global manufacturing hub, Modi said in New Delhi.

  • 2 Haqqani leaders arrested by Afghan intelligence

    Updated: Thu, Oct 16, 2014

    KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — Two senior leaders of the al-Qaida-linked Haqqani network have been arrested in eastern Khost province, the Afghan intelligence service said Thursday, claiming a major blow to the Pakistan-based militant group. Anis Haqqani, a brother of the network's leader, and Hafiz Rashid, who allegedly helped equip suicide bombers and select targets for attacks, were detained Tuesday in a special operation, the National Directorate of Security said in a statement. "It is one of the biggest and most important arrests by NDS, and has strategic impact on this network and can cause disorder in its operations and weaken its fighting capabilities," the statement said, without providing details.

  • Russia's Kasparov backs case of dissident banker

    Updated: Thu, Oct 16, 2014

    PARIS (AP) — Russian chess master and political activist Garry Kasparov said a Kazakh dissident banker is in danger if a court rules he should be extradited from France. Kasparov spoke Thursday as he prepared to testify in an appeals court hearing on the man's fate. The case of Mukhtar Ablyazov has been tangled up in courts in at least five countries since he fled Kazakhstan amid the nationalization of BTA Bank, which he had led as chairman. Ablyazov was arrested in southern France on July 31, 2013, on an international warrant and has been jailed ever since, as Russia and Ukraine seek his extradition over billions missing from the bank.

  • Pakistani jets hit militant hideouts, killing 21

    Updated: Thu, Oct 16, 2014

    ISLAMABAD (AP) — Pakistani jet fighters struck five militant hideouts in a northwestern tribal region bordering Afghanistan on Thursday, killing at least 21 insurgents, the army said. The "precise" strikes were carried out in the Tirah valley in Khyber tribal region, a military statement said. It provided no further details and only said the strikes "killed 21 terrorists." There was no way to independently confirm the claim. Pakistan's tribal areas are off limits to journalists. Pakistan's air force often targets suspected militants and their hideouts in Khyber, and elsewhere in the country's northwest. The region is believed to be a hiding place for Pakistani Taliban and foreign militants.

  • Myanmar jails 3 journalists for leadership report

    Updated: Thu, Oct 16, 2014

    YANGON, Myanmar (AP) — A Myanmar court sentenced a media owner, publisher and three journalists to two years in prison Thursday in the latest ruling to raise concerns about press freedoms in the country emerging from military rule. The July 7 article in the privately-run Bi Mon Te journal reported about an activist group that claimed opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi and ethnic political leaders had formed an interim government. The Pabaedan township court found two editors, one reporter and the journal's publisher and owner guilty of violating Article 505 (B) of the criminal law, which prohibits publishing statements that could cause public alarm. The journal was suspended since the five were indicted.

  • Exit polls: India BJP poised to win 2 state polls

    Updated: Thu, Oct 16, 2014

    NEW DELHI (AP) — Exit polls show India's ruling Bharatiya Janata Party poised to win elections for two state legislatures where it has been on the fringes for many years. At least four exit polls, released late Wednesday after polling concluded, show the BJP with either a majority or a significant number of seats in the western state of Maharashtra and the northern state of Haryana, both currently ruled by India's Congress party. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who won a huge mandate in national elections that concluded in May, aggressively campaigned in both states. The results are expected to strengthen his hand and allow him to push through with the sweeping economic reforms that he has promised. Results are ex

  • Australia readies for possible Ebola outbreak

    Updated: Wed, Oct 15, 2014

    CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — Australia's prime minister is resisting pressure to send doctors and nurses to West Africa to fight the Ebola crisis, saying his government is focused on preparing for a potential outbreak of the deadly disease in the Asia-Pacific region. A petition by 113 Australian health professors sent to Prime Minister Tony Abbott on Wednesday calls on him to send a medical team as well as troops to battle the disease that has killed almost 4,500 people in West Africa this year. Senior opposition lawmakers backed the call in letter to key government ministers on Thursday.

  • 2nd female jockey dies in Australia from race fall

    Updated: Wed, Oct 15, 2014

    ADELAIDE, Australia (AP) — Apprentice jockey Caitlin Forrest died on Wednesday after a fall at Murray Bridge race course near Adelaide, the second female jockey to die this week in Australia. Forrest's mount Colla Voce fell, bringing down three other horses, and she was flung to the ground ahead of the trailing pack. Forrest, 19, was airlifted to Royal Adelaide Hospital but died from her injuries. Carly-Mae Pye, 26, died on Tuesday from injuries sustained when the horse she was riding broke its front legs during a training run, throwing her head-first into the track. Pye was riding on Monday in a jump-out, which simulates the start of a race in barriers in non-race conditions, at Callaghan Park at Rockhampton in Queen

  • SOL3 MIO, Cornelison to sing at N Zealand-US match

    Updated: Wed, Oct 15, 2014

    CHICAGO (AP) — Popular classical New Zealand trio SOL3 MIO and Chicago opera singer Jim Cornelison will perform their countries' national anthems when the New Zealand All Blacks and USA Eagles meet at Soldier Field on Nov. 1. Comprised of tenor brothers Pene and Amitai Pati and cousin Moses Mackay, a baritone, SOL3 MIO gained fame in New Zealand in late 2012 when they appeared on national television. Cornelison, known for his rousing renditions of "The Star-Spangled Banner," is in his seventh season as the Chicago Blackhawks' full-time anthem singer. He regularly performs at other sports events in Chicago.

  • Airbus receives biggest ever aircraft order

    Updated: Wed, Oct 15, 2014

    PARIS (AP) — Indian budget airline IndiGo has signed a preliminary order with Airbus for 250 A320neo Family aircraft. Airbus said on Wednesday that the memorandum of understanding with IndiGo, India's largest domestic airline, will become Airbus' single largest order - ever - by number of aircraft. Aditya Ghosh, President of IndiGo said that this reaffirms their commitment to "the long-term development of affordable air transportation in India and overseas." The A320neo had its first flight only last month in France. Airbus President and CEO Fabrice Bregier said it builds on "the outstanding success of the A320 Family." The A320neo "new engine option," Airbus says, will reduce the amount of CO2 per aircraf

  • Big names will grow Indian football: FIFA

    Updated: Wed, Oct 15, 2014

    NEW DELHI (AP) — As far as football authorities are concerned, it's the names in the games that will drive the growth of the sport in India. FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke says marquee players like Luis Garcia, Alessandro Del Piero and Robert Pires in the Indian Super League will help unlock the "huge potential" on the sub-continent. "It's important because these stars are who kids everywhere are dreaming about," Valcke was quoted as telling the ISL website. But he also stressed that it was just as important for fans to see Indian players in action alongside foreign stars if football is to flourish in the longer term. "It shouldn't be, as we have seen at some European clubs, that none of the local players are pl

  • Wounded AP reporter vows to return to Afghanistan

    Updated: Wed, Oct 15, 2014

    NEW YORK (AP) — Over and over, Kathy Gannon has re-lived the decisions that led to her close friend's death — and almost her own — in Afghanistan. Gannon, a veteran Associated Press correspondent, and Anja Niedringhaus, an award-winning AP photographer from Germany, had negotiated through many stories and many dangers together for five years. But on April 4, as they prepared to cover the presidential election in Afghanistan the next day, an Afghan police commander ripped into them with gunfire. She keeps asking herself if she could have prevented the tragedy. And the answer is always "No." "We weren't careless or cavalier about the security arrangements ...," Gannonsaid in New York last week, in her first intervie

  • Philippine police accuse US Marine in murder case

    Updated: Wed, Oct 15, 2014

    MANILA, Philippines (AP) — Philippine police filed a murder complaint Wednesday against a U.S. Marine accused of killing a transgender Filipino, in an emotional case expected to test the country's military ties with the United States. Police Chief Inspector Gil Domingo said Marine Pfc. Joseph Scott Pemberton was the last person seen with the victim late Saturday, when they checked into a motel after meeting in a bar in Olongapo city northwest of Manila. Jennifer Laude, whose former name was Jeffrey, was found with her head resting on the motel room's toilet bowl, apparently after being drowned, Domingo said. The criminal complaint was filed with prosecutors, who will decide formal charges. There was no immediate comment fro

  • Malaysia detains 14 suspected Muslim militants

    Updated: Wed, Oct 15, 2014

    KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — Malaysian police said Wednesday they have detained 14 Muslims, including two women and a student, suspected of being linked to the militant Islamic State group. The detentions bring the number of people held for suspected militant links to 36 since April. National police chief Khalid Abu Bakar said the group was detained over the last three days in an operation in central Selangor state. They included a student, a chef, an engineer, a graphic designer and a housewife, he said. Khalid said in a statement that three were believed to be leaders of a cell responsible for recruiting, sponsoring and sending Malaysians to fight in Syria.

  • Image of Asia: Demanding flood relief in Kashmir

    Updated: Wed, Oct 15, 2014

    In this photo by Mukhtar Khan, a woman blocks a road during a protest demanding help for people affected by flooding in the Indian-controlled portion of Kashmir. The flooding in early September killed 281 people, destroyed at least 100,000 homes and caused an estimated $17 billion in damage in the region. Kashmiris, who already deeply resent India's rule over the region, accuse the central government of neglecting the region's need. Hundreds of thousands of people may still be homeless by December, when freezing temperatures will come to the Himalayan territory.

  • Thai leader says polls could be delayed until 2016

    Updated: Wed, Oct 15, 2014

    BANGKOK (AP) — Thailand's interim prime minister, who seized power in a military coup, suggested Wednesday that the country's next elections may not occur until 2016, although he earlier set a target date of October 2015. Prayuth Chan-ocha, who was army commander when he toppled an elected government in May, said he could not control the implementation of a roadmap he established earlier, which called for a new constitution in July 2015 and a general election about three months later. "Don't push me too much on this," Prayuth told reporters ahead of his departure for Italy, where he is to attend a summit of Asian and European leaders. "I've already said it, so that's the end. Everything depends on the roadmap, so the issue

  • Pakistan army says Indian fire wounds 4 in Kashmir

    Updated: Wed, Oct 15, 2014

    ISLAMABAD (AP) — Indian forces fired into the Pakistan-administered portion of the disputed Himalayan region of Kashmir, wounding four children, Pakistan's military said Wednesday, a sign of increasing tensions between two nuclear-armed rivals. "Pakistani troops befittingly responded to Indian firing" after coming under attack in Kashmir, the military said in a statement. It said Indian fire wounded the children late Tuesday night when India "resorted to unprovoked firing" in the Nakial sector along the Line of Control in Kashmir. Pakistan's military said Indian forces resumed fire Wednesday morning in the Kailer and Nezapir sectors. In New Delhi, the Indian army officials confirmed the incident, but blamed Pakistan f

  • Insurgent attacks kill 10 across Afghanistan

    Updated: Wed, Oct 15, 2014

    KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — A car bombing during a local security force operation and an insurgent ambush killed 10 people across Afghanistan, officials said Wednesday. The deadliest attack, the car bombing, struck Afghan soldiers during an operation targeting the hideout of suspected suicide bombers in the eastern province of Khost late Tuesday night, according to a statement from the provincial governor's office. Soldiers killed three suspected suicide bombers, including a woman, during the assault, the statement said. After the assault, a car bomb in the compound exploded, killing eight soldiers and wounding five, it said. The statement did not say why or how the bomb exploded.