• Kate sails past William in race that's royal fun

    Updated: Fri, Apr 11, 2014

    AUCKLAND, New Zealand (AP) — Britain's Duchess of Cambridge has twice beaten her husband Prince William during friendly racing in America's Cup sailing boats on Auckland's Waitemata Harbour. Both had some high-powered teammates — Kate was paired with Team New Zealand skipper Dean Barker while William raced with Grant Dalton, the team's manager and a veteran round-the-world racer. The royal couple is on a three-week tour of New Zealand and Australia. It rained again as it has most days on their tour but that didn't put off hundreds of people who gathered on Auckland's waterfront to greet them. After the racing, the couple took a ride on an amphibious craft called Sealegs, which drove out of the water at Westpar

  • In rural India, women want politicians to deliver

    Updated: Fri, Apr 11, 2014

    SARAI, India (AP) — Trudging home after a long day harvesting wheat, Veena Devi has little time for the political workers swarming her northern Indian village seeking votes for their candidates. "They come to us each time promising piped water, public toilets and factory jobs. But these political leaders will disappear after they win," said the gray-haired Devi, sitting outside her thatched-roof hut in Sarai, a village just outside the Hindu holy city of Varanasi. Women form more than 49 percent of India's 814 million voters, but many of them, especially in rural India, feel their concerns are not taken seriously by political parties, and that they take a back seat to men in everything from health care to education to legal

  • 9 Cambodians killed in Thai road accident

    Updated: Fri, Apr 11, 2014

    BANGKOK (AP) — Nine Cambodians on their way home for a holiday break died when their van crashed into a tree and burst into flames in eastern Thailand, police said Friday. The van, carrying more than 20 passengers, took a sharp turn, veered off the road and smashed into a tree in Thamai district in Chanthaburi province early Friday morning, Police Col. Somchai Treesukhon said. Eight construction workers and one child died in the blaze, while 15 others, mostly Cambodians, were hurt in the accident. "The accident took place at a sharp curve and there was a long screeching tire track before the car went off the road," Somchai told The Associated Press. "We believe the van's driver was not familiar with the route.

  • Myanmar papers protest sentencing of reporters

    Updated: Fri, Apr 11, 2014

    YANGON, Myanmar (AP) — Several private newspapers in Myanmar printed black front pages on Friday to protest the recent arrests and sentencing of journalists, in the latest sign the country's media climate is worsening. The black front pages — which included a protest message — in the influential Daily Eleven newspaper, its Sports journal and other papers follow a court decision Monday in which a video journalist for Democratic Voice of Burma was sentenced to one year imprisonment for trespassing and obstructing a civil servant while doing a story on education.

  • AP Interview: Adam Schantz, US Navy plane searcher

    Updated: Fri, Apr 11, 2014

    PERTH, Australia (AP) — Every day from the Perth airport and a nearby military base, about a dozen planes from several countries take flight to search for debris from missing Flight 370 — so far without success. The U.S. Defense Department alone committed $7.3 million to the effort in the first month of the search, much of it spent on two U.S. Navy P-8 Poseidon planes that cost $4,000 per hour to fly. Lt. Cmdr. Adam Schantz is the officer in charge of the 32 air and ground crew manning the surveillance aircraft, which are modified Boeing 737s. This is an edited version of the interview: Q: What does a typical day involve? A: The maintenance crew have to come in very early in the morning, well before the sun comes up

  • Tech sell-off sends Asian stock markets lower

    Updated: Thu, Apr 10, 2014

    SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — Asian stock markets were lower Friday as investors dumped technology stocks again. The falls in Asia came after an overnight plunge in the Nasdaq Composite that led to the tech-heavy index's worst day since 2011. Tokyo's Nikkei 225 lost 2.1 percent to 14,000.43 and South Korea's Kospi slipped 1 percent to 1,989.07. Hong Kong's Hang Seng dropped 0.8 percent to 23,005.76 and China's Shanghai Composite Index fell 0.6 percent to 2,121.71. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 dropped 1 percent to 5,426.90. Stocks in Taiwan and Southeast Asian countries also lost ground. The drop in the tech-laden Nasdaq index spooked technology investors in Asia as jitters spread that Internet and related stocks are over

  • Guam lawmaker proposing minimum-wage hike

    Updated: Thu, Apr 10, 2014

    HAGATNA, Guam (AP) — The vice speaker of the Guam Legislature said Thursday he plans to introduce a bill to raise the minimum wage in the territory over three years, to $10.10 per hour. The Pacific Daily News reports (http://bit.ly/1qlwSzm ) that Vice Speaker Benjamin Cruz wants the minimum wage to increase to $8.20 per hour next year and to $9.15 per hour in 2016. The full increase to $10.10 per hour would come in 2017. More than 17,000 people — 40 percent of private-sector workers in Guam, 28 percent of all workers — would be affected by the increase. Cruz, a Democrat, announced his proposal during a wage and compensation forum hosted by the Guam Women's Chamber of Commerce, saying he studied the issue for

  • 2 nations leading jet search have turbulent past

    Updated: Thu, Apr 10, 2014

    CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — The leaders of Malaysia and Australia have used warm and glowing terms to assure the world that their partnership in the desperate hunt for a missing airliner is built on a firm and abiding friendship. But it's also an odd-couple relationship that has proved brittle in the past and has been blighted by hostility, rivalries and cultural misunderstandings. It has been a long time since an Australian leader accused Malaysia of being "barbaric," or since a Malaysian official offered a snide comment about Australia's origins as a British penal colony. And the countries appear to have recovered from a more recent tiff set off by Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott's party when it was in the opposition.

  • William and Kate meet director Peter Jackson

    Updated: Thu, Apr 10, 2014

    BLENHEIM, New Zealand (AP) — Britain's Prince William and his wife, Kate, have met with "The Lord of the Rings" director Peter Jackson during a visit to an aviation museum in New Zealand. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visited the museum Thursday in Marlborough, on the country's South Island, as part of a three-week tour of New Zealand and Australia. The Oscar-winning director gave the royal couple a tour of his collection of World War I aircraft that are housed at the museum. Kate and William have a busy few weeks ahead, with their planned activities including a wine tasting at a local vineyard, a jet boat ride and a visit to the city of Christchurch, which was devastated by an earthquake in 2011.

  • US envoy urges Myanmar to help aid groups return

    Updated: Thu, Apr 10, 2014

    YANGON, Myanmar (AP) — As Rohingya Muslims in western Myanmar face acute shortages of water, food and medical care, a visiting U.S. State Department official urged the government to work quickly to facilitate the return of aid groups, saying the word was watching. Daniel Russel, the assistant secretary for East Asia and the Pacific, met with President Thein Sein and other top government officials during a two-day visit ending Thursday. He said his main focus was the spiraling humanitarian crisis in the strife-torn state of Rakhine following the departure late last month of almost all foreign aid workers.

  • Gunmen attack NATO truck in Pakistan, kill driver

    Updated: Thu, Apr 10, 2014

    PESHAWAR, Pakistan (AP) — A Pakistani official says gunmen in the country's northwest have opened fire on a truck carrying gasoline for NATO forces based in Afghanistan, killing a driver and wounding another. Manzoor Khan says Thursday's attack took place in the tribal Jamrud region when the truck was heading to neighboring Afghanistan. No one has claimed responsibility for the shooting but authorities have blamed Pakistani militant groups for previous such attacks. Jamrud is located 40 kilometers (25 miles) west of the city of Peshawar. The land routes through Pakistan from the southern port city of Karachi have been vital to getting supplies to NATO troops.

  • Hagel seeks to increase ties with Mongolia

    Updated: Thu, Apr 10, 2014

    ULAN BATOR, Mongolia (AP) — After days of high-profile, pressure-filled meetings, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel got to horse around a bit during a short stop in Mongolia on Thursday. Following a time-honored tradition, Mongolian Defense Minister Bat-Erdene Dashdemberel presented Hagel with a buckskin-colored horse in a ceremony in front of that country's defense ministry. Hagel, who was wrapping up a 10-day trip to the Asia-Pacific region, named the horse Shamrock. Tradition dictates the 9-year-old gelding be named after something of importance to the recipient, Hagel said. "Shamrock was the mascot of the high school that I graduated from, St. Bonaventure in Columbus, Neb.," he said. "It was one of the most important times

  • Malaysia: Abductors want $11.3M for Chinese woman

    Updated: Thu, Apr 10, 2014

    KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — Gunmen have demanded a ransom of 500 million pesos ($11.3 million) for the release of a Chinese tourist abducted last week from a Malaysian resort off Borneo island, a Malaysian minister said Thursday. The gunmen, believed to be Abu Sayyaf militants, kidnapped a 28-year-old Shanghai woman and a 40-year-old Filipino woman from the Singamata Reef Resort in the eastern Malaysian state of Sabah on April 2. Philippines authorities believe the women were taken to the island township of Simunul in Tawi-Tawi, the Philippines' southernmost province. Sabah, a popular tourist destination, is just a short boat ride from the southern Philippines, home to Muslim militants and kidnap gangs.

  • India votes in crucial phase of national elections

    Updated: Thu, Apr 10, 2014

    PATNA, India (AP) — Indians voted in the crucial third phase of national elections Thursday, with millions going to the polls in the heartland states that are essential to the main opposition Hindu nationalist party's bid to end the 10-year rule of Congress party. Suspected Maoist rebels, who have urged a boycott, briefly disrupted voting in their strongholds in eastern Bihar state and neighboring Chhattisgarh, carrying out acts of violence despite thousands of security forces fanning out in the area. Nearly 110 million people were eligible to vote in the third phase of the elections in 92 constituencies in 11 of India's 28 states and three federally administered union territories.

  • Cambodian opposition almost ready to end boycott

    Updated: Thu, Apr 10, 2014

    PHNOM PENH, Cambodia (AP) — Cambodia's opposition leader said Thursday his party was close to reaching an agreement with the government that would end the party's boycott of Parliament, but that there were still unresolved issues keeping a deal from being signed right away. Cambodia National Rescue Party leader Sam Rainsy said talks with leaders of the ruling Cambodian People's Party had been held for the past two days but they were not able to finalize a deal, due mostly to a disagreement on when an early election should be held. He said, however, that he hopes the two sides can reach a deal on political reforms in the near future, saying there was agreement on 80 or 90 percent of the matters under consideration.

  • Indonesia's new presidential plane arrives

    Updated: Thu, Apr 10, 2014

    JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — Indonesia's new $91 million presidential plane arrived Thursday after several months of delay. The Boeing 737-800 plane landed at Halim Perdanakusuma air force base, in the eastern part of Jakarta, to a welcoming ceremony presided over by State Secretary Sudi Silalahi. The plane, named Republik Indonesia, was to have arrived late last year but was delayed after the government requested customized designs. Silalahi says the plane will go into official operation after it receives a certificate from the Ministry of Defense. The purchase of the plane was approved by Parliament in 2010, with the aim of cutting costs by replacing the need to rent jets for presidential trips.

  • Myanmar clunkers scrapped in rush for 'new' cars

    Updated: Thu, Apr 10, 2014

    YANGON, Myanmar (AP) — Mike Shwe Hlaing has a lot full of used SUVs and a potentially huge market to sell them to if Myanmar manages to spread some of the affluence blooming in its biggest city to a poor and still mostly road-less countryside. One of the quaintest of many anachronisms in Yangon, a city of moldering colonial villas and gleaming golden pagodas, used to be the decades old Toyotas, Chevys and other clunkers wheezing down its mostly empty roads, a visible sign of sanctions and economic isolation. Now, the streets have filled with a flood of newer used cars, mostly from Japan.

  • Afghan probe begins in attack on AP journalists

    Updated: Thu, Apr 10, 2014

    KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — Afghan central government authorities on Wednesday began questioning the police commander who killed an Associated Press photographer and wounded an AP reporter, a day after he was transferred by helicopter to the capital — a rare case in which an Afghan officer or soldier who shot a foreigner was captured alive. Local security officials who spoke with the suspect after he was first detained said he seemed a calm, pious man who may have come under the influence of Islamic extremists calling for vengeance against foreigners over drone strikes. Witness and official accounts so far have suggested the shooting was not planned.

  • Indonesia opposition leads, but less than expected

    Updated: Thu, Apr 10, 2014

    JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — Indonesia's biggest opposition party came out ahead in early election tallies Thursday, but the showing was far less than expected given the popularity of its pick for president, viewed as the favorite in this summer's presidential race. The Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle, or PDI-P, garnered nearly 20 percent of the vote, according to early results. The party's popular nominee for the top job, Jakarta Gov. Joko Widodo, known affectionately as Jokowi, had created a buzz and topped polls ahead of Wednesday's legislative elections. But analysts say the July 9 presidential race will likely be harder to win since his party fell short of the 27 percent of the vote it had hoped to win.

  • Pakistan toddler swept up in attempted murder case

    Updated: Wed, Apr 9, 2014

    LAHORE, Pakistan (AP) — A 9-month-old Pakistani boy has been swept up in an attempted murder investigation that highlights the country's dysfunctional criminal justice system where even children are not immune from questionable legal decisions. The toddler was brought to court last Friday as part of an investigation relating to an incident where residents in his neighborhood clashed with police. He was granted bail by a judge. The incident began in late January and touches on many of the challenges Pakistan faces such as electricity shortages and faulty police investigations. Police and energy officials went to the neighborhood on Jan. 31 to disconnect customers who they said were stealing electricity and gas.