• Avalanche traps 10 Indian army soldiers on Kashmir glacier

    Updated: Wed, Feb 3, 2016

    SRINAGAR, India (AP) — An avalanche hit the Siachen Glacier in the Indian-controlled portion of Kashmir early Wednesday, trapping 10 Indian army soldiers in the snow. Army and air force teams were trying to rescue the soldiers in the northern part of the glacier, army spokesman Col. S.D. Goswami said. Rescue dogs also have been pressed into service. Avalanches and landslides are common in Kashmir, which is divided between India and Pakistan and claimed by both entirely. The rival nations also dispute the undemarcated border through the Siachen Glacier at an altitude of nearly 19,000 feet (5,800 meters).

  • Philippines fears new fighting with stalled Muslim autonomy

    Updated: Wed, Feb 3, 2016

    MANILA, Philippines (AP) — The Philippine Congress ended its last regular session of its term Wednesday without passing a Muslim autonomy bill that aims to peacefully settle a decades-long Muslim rebellion in the south, sparking concerns the setback may ignite new fighting. Lawmakers had until Wednesday to deliberate on the bill before they start a three-month break at the end of the week. The long-delayed legislation is at the heart of a peace deal signed by the largest Muslim rebel group and the government of President Benigno Aquino III, whose term ends in June.

  • Zika virus forces India's Tata Motors to change car's name

    Updated: Wed, Feb 3, 2016

    NEW DELHI (AP) — The Zika virus has hit India's Tata Motors, which has decided to rebrand a new hatchback vehicle that it was planning to call Zica. The car was shown for the first time on Wednesday at the Auto Expo 2016 on New Delhi's outskirts. Tata Motors said in a statement Tuesday that the car would carry the Zica nameplate during the exhibition, but a new name will be announced in a few weeks. Zica is an abbreviation of "Zippy Car." The company said it decided to rebrand the car to empathize with the hardships caused by the outbreak of the Zika virus in many countries. The World Health Organization has declared the Zika virus a global emergency because of its explosive spread across the Americas.

  • Police: Australian school bomb threats coming from overseas

    Updated: Wed, Feb 3, 2016

    SYDNEY (AP) — Dozens of schools around Australia have received telephoned threats over the past week in what police believe is a hoax being orchestrated overseas. Police say the automated telephone threats, which warn of bombings or shootings at the schools, are believed to be originating from another country and none represents any legitimate danger. But the calls have been hugely disruptive. Several schools have gone into lockdown and others have ordered thousands of students to evacuate. A few children in Queensland state had to be treated for heat-related illnesses after having to wait outside their schools in sweltering temperatures. Schools across the world have received similar threats in recent months.

  • Ambassador: US to continue South China Sea flights, sail-bys

    Updated: Wed, Feb 3, 2016

    MANILA, Philippines (AP) — The U.S. ambassador says joint patrols with the Philippines in the South China Sea are possible when the United States demonstrates its freedom to navigation by sending planes and ships into China-claimed areas. Manila protested when a commercial Chinese aircraft landed recently on one of several artificial islands Beijing has built in the Spratlys, and officials say China has essentially declared an air defense identification zone over the sea by issuing "provocative" challenges to Philippine military flights in the area. Ambassador Philip Goldberg said Wednesday that the U.S. and the Philippines both have deep interest in ensuring freedom of navigation and he is not discarding the possibility of

  • Court rules Australia can send asylum seekers to Nauru

    Updated: Tue, Feb 2, 2016

    CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — More than 260 asylum seekers face the prospect of being deported from Australia to Nauru after Australia's highest court on Wednesday rejected a challenge to the legality of the government's refugee policy. A Bangladeshi woman, who cannot be named, had gone to the High Court to challenge the legality of Australia paying the tiny Pacific nation to detain asylum seekers who attempt to reach Australian shores by boat. The woman had been sent to Nauru in January 2014 but was brought back to Australia in August 2014 because for medical help due to pregnancy complications. She had a child then gained a court injunction preventing her return to Nauru pending her court challenge.

  • New democratic era dawning in Myanmar

    Updated: Tue, Feb 2, 2016

    NAYPYITAW, Myanmar (AP) — Led by a triumphant Aung San Suu Kyi, Myanmar is preparing to take a historic leap into uncharted territory, having only known democracy for 14 of its 1,000 years of recorded history. Suu Kyi, who scored a stunning victory in last year's elections, follows a procession of absolute monarchs, British colonial rulers and home-bred generals who are still standing tall in the wings. The new era dawns April 1, when Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy, which captured nearly 80 percent of the contested parliamentary seats, takes over power from a military-dominated regime and attempts to shed decades of political oppression, civil war and economic ruin in this resource-blessed Southeast Asian nation once hai

  • Airstrikes destroy IS radio station in Afghanistan

    Updated: Tue, Feb 2, 2016

    KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — U.S. airstrikes have destroyed an Islamic State-operated radio station in a remote part of eastern Afghanistan, officials said Tuesday. "Voice of the Caliphate" radio was destroyed by two U.S. airstrikes, according to a U.S. military official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to brief media on the subject. Army Col. Mike Lawhorn, spokesman for the U.S.-NATO mission in Afghanistan, said U.S. forces conducted two "counter-terrorism airstrikes" late Monday in Achin district, in the eastern Nangarhar province, without elaborating. An IS affiliate has emerged in Afghanistan over the past year, with a military presence in districts near the border with Pakistan.

  • Ship hijackings down in 2015, piracy mostly low-level theft

    Updated: Tue, Feb 2, 2016

    KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — A global maritime watchdog said Tuesday that ship hijackings declined in 2015 from a year earlier, while sea piracy incidents increased slightly but consisted mostly of low-level theft. The International Maritime Bureau said in its annual piracy report that 246 piracy incidents were recorded worldwide, one up from 2014. It said pirates hijacked 15 vessels and held 271 hostages, down from 21 ships and 442 hostages in 2014. It attributed the drop in hijackings to a fall in attacks against small fuel tankers around Southeast Asia's coasts, the last of which occurred in August.

  • Union: 2 Pakistan airline workers killed by police at rally

    Updated: Tue, Feb 2, 2016

    ISLAMABAD (AP) — A union leader of Pakistan's national airline says security forces opened fire on an anti-privatization rally in the port city of Karachi, killing two employees. Suhail Baluch said police also used batons Tuesday to disperse the demonstration against government plans to privatize Pakistan International Airlines (PIA). Police say they are still investigating the incident, and do not know who opened fire at the demonstration. Dr. Seemi Jamali, a spokesman at Jinnah Hospital in Karachi, confirmed the two deaths. A spokesman for PIA said steps are being taken to ensure that flights are not disrupted.

  • Thai elephant gores Scottish tourist to death on trek

    Updated: Tue, Feb 2, 2016

    BANGKOK (AP) — A Scottish tourist has been gored to death by an elephant that he and his 16-year-old stepdaughter were riding on the resort island of Samui, Thai authorities said Tuesday. Police Lt. Rotjanart Kiewjan said the animal threw Gareth Crowe and Eilidh Hughes to the ground during a trek on Monday. The elephant then gored Crowe with his tusk and stomped on him. Thai news reports said the elephant became enraged after its trainer, known as a mahout, climbed off to take a picture of the tourists. Police think hot weather may have disturbed the 13-year-old elephant. The mahout, who is from Myanmar, was also gored and Hughes was injured from her fall. Both were hospitalized.

  • Lawmakers allowed to breastfeed in Australian Parliament

    Updated: Tue, Feb 2, 2016

    CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — Lawmakers can now breastfeed in the Australian Parliament after the government changed the rules on Tuesday to make politics more family-friendly. But none of the nursing mothers appeared keen to take up the opportunity. The rule change in the House of Representatives — where 40 of the 150 members are women — on the first sitting day of the year means that lawmakers can now bring their babies into the chamber. Previously children were confined to the public galleries or offices. "No member, male or female, will ever be prevented from participating fully in the operation of the Parliament by reason of having the care of a baby," government minister Christopher Pyne said after moving a motion fo

  • Malaysian ex-minister challenges move not to charge Najib

    Updated: Tue, Feb 2, 2016

    KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — A former Malaysian law minister filed a legal suit Tuesday challenging a decision by the country's attorney general not to prosecute Prime Minister Najib Razak over a financial scandal involving more than $700 million channeled into his private bank accounts. Zaid Ibrahim said statements by the anti-corruption organization and other agencies investigating indebted state investment fund 1MDB, which is linked to Najib, indicated "strong evidence of wrongdoing" by the prime minister. He said the possible offenses included money laundering and criminal breach of trust. Zaid said Attorney General Mohamed Apandi Ali's decision last week not to prosecute Najib was "unreasonable and constituted a

  • Zika virus forces India's Tata Motors to change car's name

    Updated: Tue, Feb 2, 2016

    NEW DELHI (AP) — The Zika virus has hit India's Tata Motors, which has decided to rebrand a soon-to-be launched hatchback vehicle which was to have been called Zica, an abbreviation of "Zippy Car." The car is to be shown for the first time on Wednesday at the Auto Expo 2016 on New Delhi's outskirts. Tata Motors said in a statement Tuesday that the car would carry the Zica nameplate during the exhibition, but a new name will be announced in a few weeks. It said the company decided to rebrand the car to empathize with the hardships caused by the outbreak of the Zika virus in many countries. The World Health Organization has declared the Zika virus a global emergency because of its explosive spread across the Ameri

  • India's top court to re-examine gay rights

    Updated: Tue, Feb 2, 2016

    NEW DELHI (AP) — India's top court on Tuesday agreed to re-examine a colonial-era law that makes homosexual acts punishable by up to a decade in prison. The Supreme Court set up a five-judge panel to reconsider its 2013 ruling that only Parliament can change the 1861 law banning gay sex. Gay activists cheered the court decision and said they were hopeful that the verdict would ultimately go in their favor, giving them a chance to live openly. In 2009, a New Delhi High Court declared unconstitutional Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code, which says intercourse between members of the same sex is against the order of nature.

  • Bangladesh sentences 2 more to death in 1971 war crimes

    Updated: Tue, Feb 2, 2016

    NEW DELHI (AP) — A special war crimes tribunal in Bangladesh on Tuesday sentenced two more men to death after finding them guilty of killing, kidnapping and looting during the country's independence war against Pakistan in 1971. The three-judge panel in Dhaka, the capital, ruled that Obaidul Haque Taher and Ataur Rahman Noni were involved in the deaths of seven people. Prosecutors said they helped Pakistani soldiers attack a village in Netrokona district on Oct. 19, 1971. The men pleaded not guilty. Bangladesh says Pakistani soldiers, aided by local collaborators, killed 3 million people and raped more than 200,000 women during the nine-month war in 1971 that led to the creation of Bangladesh. Previously it was the eastern

  • 5-year-old Afghan boy could get to meet Lionel Messi

    Updated: Tue, Feb 2, 2016

    KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — A 5-year-old Afghan boy who made a splash on the Internet by wearing a homemade Lionel Messi jersey might get the chance to meet the Barcelona great. The Afghan Football Federation said it is planning to set up a meeting between Messi and Murtaza Ahmadi, who was pictured wearing an Argentina jersey made from a plastic bag with Messi's name and number on the back. Afghan federation spokesman Sayed Ali Kazemi said Tuesday officials hope Messi can come to Afghanistan to visit the boy, but otherwise they will arrange to send him to Spain, where Messi plays with Barcelona, or arrange a meeting in a third country.

  • Afghan Taliban open new front in war with attacks on media

    Updated: Tue, Feb 2, 2016

    KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — The Taliban suicide bombing against a bus carrying employees of Afghanistan's biggest media company last month has shocked local journalists, who fear they are now in the cross hairs of an increasingly lethal insurgency. Journalism has always been a dangerous line of work in Afghanistan, and reporters have long had to contend with threats and occasional attacks by various armed groups. But after Tolo TV, the most popular Afghan broadcaster, falsely accused the Taliban of mass rape in a report carried late last year, the insurgents declared war.

  • Panthers, Broncos meet reporters at Super Bowl media circus

    Updated: Mon, Feb 1, 2016

    SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — What happens when you put Peyton Manning, Miss Universe, an orange-and-blue leprechaun and 200 TV cameras into the same room? Answer: Super Bowl Opening Night. The NFL took a good idea gone surreal — what used to be known as "Media Day" — gave it a new name, added a live cover band and moved the whole thing to prime time Monday to kick off Super Bowl week between the Denver Broncos and Carolina Panthers. This new and amped-up interview-fest came complete with a guy walking around inside an inflatable football and a newly choreographed players' introduction that involved all 60 players from each team walking out onto a four-story-high catwalk.

  • Australian official says PM is considering an early election

    Updated: Mon, Feb 1, 2016

    CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — Australia's prime minister told government colleagues Tuesday that an early general election within weeks was "a live option," an official said. Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull alone decides the timing of the next election. He has maintained that he plans for his government to run a full three-year term which would make the election due around September. But he told his colleagues at their first meeting at Parliament House for the year that the election could be called much sooner, a government minister said. Turnbull said he could call a double dissolution election, so-called because both the House of Representatives and the Senate are dissolved.




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