• Image of Asia: Lava flows from Mount Sinabung at night

    Updated: Tue, Jun 23, 2015

    In this long-exposure photo by Binsar Bakkara, hot lava flows from the crater of Mount Sinabung as seen from a location about 6 kilometers (3.7 miles) from the volcano, in Tiga Kicat, in Indonesia's North Sumatra province early Tuesday. Lava, hot rocks and ash have spewed from the 2,460-meter (8,070-foot) volcano almost daily since its alert status was raised to the highest level on June 2. According to the monitoring post watching the volcano's activity, lava is continuing to flow into the dome but the small eruptions are keeping its estimated volume relatively constant at about 30 million cubic meters. Growth of the lava dome is a key indicator of a volcano's eruption potential. More than 10,300 villagers whose homes are in the danger

  • Report: economic growth failing to help world's poorest kids

    Updated: Tue, Jun 23, 2015

    NEW DELHI (AP) — Global resolve to rescue impoverished children from lives of squalor, disease and hunger has fallen short, with economic development in many countries still leaving millions of the most vulnerable behind, according to a UNICEF report released Tuesday. The data show a bleak situation: The world's poorest children are almost twice as likely to die before their 5th birthday as children from wealthier homes, and the proportion of those dying within days of being born is even increasing. "This is outrageous," UNICEF's Executive Director Anthony Lake told reporters in a teleconference highlighting the report's assessment of U.N. development goals laid out in 2000 for targeting poverty, hunger, gender inequality,

  • Radar failure in New Zealand temporarily grounds all flights

    Updated: Tue, Jun 23, 2015

    WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — All of New Zealand's international and domestic flights were temporarily grounded Tuesday afternoon after authorities reported that the nationwide radar system had failed. Airways New Zealand, which provides navigational services, wrote on Twitter that it experienced a radar failure at about 2:48 p.m. (0248 GMT). It said in a later statement that it had identified the issue, tested the system, and resumed full service about two hours after the flights stopped. The agency did not say what caused the problem. It said that "at no point was the safety of any airport operations compromised." The agency said its priority was resolving the issue and staff would not be immediately available for

  • Australia attempts to verify terrorist's death in Iraq

    Updated: Mon, Jun 22, 2015

    CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — Reports that an Australian terrorist, notorious for holding up the severed heads of Syrian victims, has been killed fighting in Iraq have raised the potential for his young family to be repatriated from the Middle East, Australia's foreign minister said on Tuesday. Australian intelligence agencies were attempting to verify the recent deaths of Australians Khaled Sharrouf and Mohamed Elomar in the Islamic State-held city of Mosul in Iraq, Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said. Both men were seen in photographs posted on social media holding heads of Syrians.

  • Afghan UN envoy says extremists have united in new offensive

    Updated: Mon, Jun 22, 2015

    UNITED NATIONS (AP) — A new offensive against the Afghan government and people is being compounded by "an unprecedented convergence" of Taliban insurgents, more than 7,000 foreign fighters, and violent groups including the Islamic State, Afghanistan's U.N. ambassador said Monday. Zahir Tanin told the U.N. Security Council that these groups not only target Afghan troops and civilians with suicide bombings, improvised explosive devices, hostage-taking and assassinations but they seek control of districts and provinces as bases for their activities in Afghanistan as well as south and central Asia. Nicholas Haysom, the U.N.

  • Australian Nick Kyrgios splits with coach Todd Larkham

    Updated: Mon, Jun 22, 2015

    SYDNEY (AP) — Australian tennis player Nick Kyrgios has split with coach Todd Larkham less than a week before the start of Wimbledon, saying on his website Tuesday that the pair "mutually agreed" to part ways. The 20-year-old Krygios says "it's never an easy decision to end a coaching relationship ... but I feel that this is the right decision for me at this time." He said he'll work with Tennis Australia coaches through Wimbledon and will look at hiring a new coach after the tournament ends. Larkham worked with Kyrgios for seven years during the Canberra player's junior years. He rejoined his team after Kyrgios' surprising run to the quarterfinals at Wimbledon last year which included an upset win over Rafael Nadal i

  • Taliban suicide bomber, gunmen attack Afghan parliament

    Updated: Mon, Jun 22, 2015

    KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — A Taliban suicide bomber struck the entrance to the Afghan parliament on Monday and gunmen tried to storm the heavily guarded compound, setting off a gunbattle with police that left two people dead as lawmakers were meeting inside to vote on the appointment of a new defense minister. Afghan security forces managed to repel the attack, killing all seven gunmen and ensuring that no members of parliament were harmed. But the audacious assault came as the Taliban captured two districts in as many days in the country's north, displaying their ability to operate on multiple fronts. Interior Ministry spokesman Sediq Sediqqi said the attack began with a car bomb explosion near the entrance to parliament.

  • Exiled Chagos islanders go to top UK court in bid to go home

    Updated: Mon, Jun 22, 2015

    LONDON (AP) — Indian Ocean islanders who were forced into exile to make way for a key U.S. military base are appealing to Britain's top court in their long-running campaign to return home. The islanders enlisted a legal team including Amal Clooney to take their case to the Supreme Court on Monday. Britain evicted about 2,000 people from the tropical Chagos archipelago, a British colony, in the 1960s and 1970s so that the U.S. military could build an air base on Diego Garcia, the largest of the islands. Almost a decade ago, Britain's High Court and Court of Appeal ruled that they and their descendants could return to some of the 65 islands, though not to Diego Garcia.

  • Philippines holds drills with US, Japan near disputed sea

    Updated: Mon, Jun 22, 2015

    PUERTO PRINCESA, Philippines (AP) — The Philippines launched separate naval exercises with the United States and Japan on Monday on an island province facing the disputed South China Sea, displaying its security alliances amid an increasingly tense territorial rift with Beijing. Philippine military officials, however, stressed that the weeklong exercises were aimed at enhancing disaster-response readiness and were not directed at any country or linked to the dispute. Still, China's state-run Xinhua News Agency immediately bristled at Japan's rare involvement in a military exercise with Philippine forces near the disputed region.

  • Image of Asia: Learning self-defense in Indian border region

    Updated: Mon, Jun 22, 2015

    In this photo by Channi Anand, Indian men learn stick-fighting during a self-defense training camp in Akhoor, India, in the Jammu region. The participants also learned shooting and other hand combat tactics. The camp was organized by the Vishwa Hindu Parishad, a Hindu nationalist group, for children and men living in towns near the border with Pakistan and areas where militants are active. The Jammu-Kashmir state includes the Indian-controlled section of divided Kashmir, where an insurgency started in 1989 and where many residents want independence or a merger with Pakistan. The VHP, or World Hindu Council, and other hard-line groups have been strong backers of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

  • Journalist abducted and killed in central India

    Updated: Mon, Jun 22, 2015

    NEW DELHI (AP) — Police have arrested two men suspected of kidnapping and killing a journalist in central Madhya Pradesh state, an official said Monday. Sandeep Kothari was abducted by a group of men who beat him to death and then burned his body and left it near a railway track in Katangi town, police Superintendent Neeraj Soni said. The two arrested men are being questioned and police are searching for a third man involved in the attack, he said. Kothari's family said the journalist was killed for reporting about illegal mining in the Balaghat district. They said Kothari had filed a court case against the owners of some mining companies to stop sand mining.

  • Indonesia court rejects appeal of Frenchman facing execution

    Updated: Mon, Jun 22, 2015

    JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — An Indonesian court on Monday denied the final appeal of a French citizen who faces execution for drug offenses, setting the stage for diplomatic retaliation by France after executions of other foreigners strained relations with Australia and Brazil. The administrative court in Jakarta said it did not have judicial authority to overturn a presidential rejection of clemency for Serge Atlaoui. His case has drawn attention in France, which vigorously opposes the death penalty. Muslim-majority Indonesia takes a hardline stance against drug crimes and resumed executions in 2013. So far this year it has executed 14 people, mostly foreigners, convicted in drug cases.

  • 3 Spanish mountain climbers die in rock slide in Kyrgyzstan

    Updated: Mon, Jun 22, 2015

    MADRID (AP) — A Spanish mountaineering club says three of its members have died in a rockslide while climbing in Kyrgyzstan. The Federation of Hiking Groups of Catalonia said in a statement that the three died Sunday while climbing a rock face. The statement Monday said the three were aged between 18 and 24. They were part of a group of 10 from eastern Spain that had gone to the central Asian country on June 16 for a month. The climbers were from towns in eastern Spain. No one else was injured in the accident. The federation said it is working to bring the bodies back to Spain.

  • More than 100 people die of heatstroke in Pakistan's Karachi

    Updated: Mon, Jun 22, 2015

    KARACHI, Pakistan (AP) — Pakistani officials say more than 100 people have died from heatstroke in the southern port city of Karachi in the last two days. Seemi Jamali, a spokeswoman for city's Jinnah Hospital, confirmed the deaths on Monday. She says hundreds more have been admitted to the hospital with heat-related ailments, including fever and dehydration. Karachi is in the grip of a rare heat wave, with temperatures soaring to 45 degrees Celsius (113 degrees Fahrenheit). A collapse of the local power grid over the weekend made matters worse. Meteorologist Mohammad Hanif says the heat wave is the worst in at least a decade, but that the arrival of monsoon rains in the coming days should bring relief.

  • Malaysia buries Rohingya human-trafficking victims

    Updated: Mon, Jun 22, 2015

    KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — Malaysian authorities have given a Muslim burial to 21 human trafficking victims, believed to be Rohingya Muslim refugees, found in shallow graves in jungles bordering Thailand. The 21 were among 106 bodies found last month in jungles in northern Kedah state, a remote area bordering Thailand that trafficking syndicates used as a transit point to hold migrants and refugees. Most were believed to be from Myanmar's persecuted Rohingya minority and impoverished migrants from Bangladesh. Kedah Chief Minister Mukhriz Mahathir says investigations showed the victims died of starvation and illness.

  • Pitcairn Island passes gay marriage but has no wedding plans

    Updated: Mon, Jun 22, 2015

    WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — Pitcairn Island, a tiny speck in the Pacific that's home to just 48 people, has passed a law allowing same-sex marriage — but has no gay couples wanting to wed. First settled in 1790, Pitcairn is a British Overseas Territory that has some legal autonomy and is often considered the world's smallest country by population. Islanders are descended from the mutineers of the British navy vessel Bounty and their Tahitian companions. Pitcairn Deputy Governor Kevin Lynch said Monday the new law came into effect May 15 but initially wasn't published online after the island's website encountered some technical issues. He said the change was suggested by British authorities after England, Wales and Scot

  • Australia, Malaysia and Netherlands to mark MH17 anniversary

    Updated: Mon, Jun 22, 2015

    CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — The Australian, Malaysian and Dutch governments will hold services on July 17 to mark the first anniversary of the shooting down of a Malaysia Airlines plane over Ukraine with the loss of 298 lives, Australia's prime minister said Monday. Australian lawmakers would be recalled to Parliament House for the national service and a plaque would be unveiled in the House of Representatives' gardens inscribed with the names of all victims, Prime Minister Tony Abbott said. Australian flags will be flown at half-staff on all government facilities throughout the country, he said. "We continue to support families who deal with the pain of loss and who have a deep yearning for justice," Abbott told Parli

  • Rights group slams Malaysia for prosecuting transgenders

    Updated: Mon, Jun 22, 2015

    KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — Human Rights Watch on Monday criticized a Malaysian Islamic court for fining nine Muslim transgender women for cross-dressing and jailing two of them for a month. Religious authorities in northeastern Kelantan state arrested the group in a raid on June 16 and they pleaded guilty the next day, the New York-based watchdog said in a statement. Their lawyer has filed an appeal and the two sentenced to jail were released on bail pending the outcome, it said. "The raid is the latest incident in a pattern of arbitrary arrests and harassment of transgender women in Malaysia," it said.

  • Millions of people bend and twist their bodies for Yoga Day

    Updated: Sun, Jun 21, 2015

    NEW DELHI (AP) — Millions of yoga enthusiasts across the world bent and twisted their bodies in complex postures Sunday to mark the first International Yoga Day. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi spread his mat among rows of people, including his Cabinet members and foreign diplomats, at New Delhi's main thoroughfare, which was transformed into a sprawling exercise ground. Thousands of people dressed in white sat on yellow mats under the Eiffel Tower, and similar events were held in Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, Seoul, Beijing, Manila and other places. Modi had lobbied the U.N. to declare June 21 as the first International Yoga Day. "We are not only celebrating a day, but we are training the human mind to begin a new era o

  • Jason Day can't make 2nd weekend charge at US Open

    Updated: Sun, Jun 21, 2015

    UNIVERSITY PLACE, Wash. (AP) — Jason Day was simply zapped. All the energy and effort needed to get through his remarkable third round at the U.S. Open caught up with the Australian while playing in the final group on Sunday. Tired and drained, and still feeling the effects of the vertigo that caused him to collapse on the final hole of his second round, Day faded. Understandable, and disappointing all the same. "He was totally exhausted. He was exhausted yesterday," Day's caddie and longtime coach Colin Swatton said. "I'm not sure how much of yesterday took it out of him. I really don't. It's in the result. I don't know what to say. I'm obviously disappointed.




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