• Memoir by Indian PM's ex-aide irks amid elections

    Updated: Sat, Apr 12, 2014

    NEW DELHI (AP) — A new book by a former aide to India's prime minister has caused a political stir during ongoing national elections by suggesting the outgoing leader was never fully in charge of his government. Instead, "The Accidental Prime Minister: The Making and Unmaking of Manmohan Singh," by Sanjaya Baru, describes the country's top technocrat as having to compete with the dynastic Congress Party's leader, Sonia Gandhi, for influence within his own Cabinet. Singh's office slammed the book, saying it "smacks of fiction and colored views of a former adviser" gathered during the first five of Singh's 10 years in office.

  • Rebels kill 14 in anti-election campaign in India

    Updated: Sat, Apr 12, 2014

    PATNA, India (AP) — Indian Maoist rebels killed 14 people in two separate attacks in the central state of Chhattisgarh on Saturday as they continue a campaign of violence aimed at disrupting a five-week national election. Five election officials and two bus drivers were killed when a land mine exploded under their vehicle in Bijapur district, where voting is due to take place next week, said the police director general, A.N. Upadhyay. After the explosion, the rebels opened fire on the bus. Five people were also injured in the attack and were being treated in a hospital, Upadhyay said. The rebels fled into the surrounding forest when paramilitary forces began firing back.

  • Waiting for water: Myanmar villages left behind

    Updated: Sat, Apr 12, 2014

    DALA, Myanmar (AP) — Every afternoon, the long lines start to form, hundreds of men, women and children waiting to dip their plastic buckets into the lotus-filled reservoir just outside Myanmar's biggest city, Yangon. It's their only source of clean drinking water, they say, and during the dry season, April and May, there is only so much to go around.   "It wasn't always this way," says 72-year-old Tin Shwe, one of the village elders, as he looks at the queue, some boys as young as 8 waiting their turn, yokes at their side. "It used to be only paddy fields. Only a few houses. There was enough water for all of us." Myanmar only recently emerged from a half-century of military rule.

  • AP Analysis: Japan anti-whaling ruling saves face

    Updated: Sat, Apr 12, 2014

    TOKYO (AP) — The international court ruling against Japanese whaling last week may have given the government a convenient political out. The Antarctic program was nearly bankrupt, but if the government had overhauled it on its own, it would have incurred the wrath of a strong pro-whaling lobby, and could have been criticized for caving in to foreign anti-whaling activists. Now officials can say the court forced their hand. "It seemed to me they were anxious to lose," said Masayuki Komatsu, a former fisheries official known for his battles at the International Whaling Commission to defend Japanese hunts. He accused Japanese officials of losing "passion and love" for whaling and not fighting hard enough in court.

  • Searchers race to find jet; no new signals heard

    Updated: Sat, Apr 12, 2014

    PERTH, Australia (AP) — With no new underwater signals detected, the search for the missing Malaysian passenger jet has resumed in a race against time to find its dying black boxes five weeks after families first learned their loved ones never arrived at their destination. The ocean search area has been condensed, as ships and planes continued to hunt Saturday for any clue that could help find Flight 370, which disappeared en route from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia to Beijing with 239 people on board, mostly Chinese. Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott appeared to couch his comments from a day earlier while on a visit to China, where he met President Xi Jinping. He said Friday he was "very confident" signals heard by an Austral

  • Fliers' thoughts, from 'no fear' to 'it's scarier'

    Updated: Sat, Apr 12, 2014

    JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — The Indonesian mother of three had flown without her kids before, but this was the first time she gave her eldest a to-do list in case something happened on the flight she and her husband were taking. "I never worried like this before what happened with the missing Malaysia Airlines plane," Yulveri, who like many Indonesians uses only a single name, said at Jakarta's Soekarno-Hatta International Airport. At airports across Asia and around the world, Flight 370 and its 239 passengers and crew, now lost for more than a month, are topics of avid speculation and sometimes anxiety.

  • Bradley, Pacquiao look for decisive win in rematch

    Updated: Fri, Apr 11, 2014

    LOS ANGELES (AP) — Timothy Bradley never imagined he would have to avenge a victory. When the welterweight champion defeated Manny Pacquiao two years ago on two injured feet, he thought for an instant that he had reached the pinnacle of boxing. He hadn't even left the MGM Grand Garden ring before learning that practically nobody agreed with the two judges who gave him that split decision. After death threats, depression and a remarkable personal transformation, Bradley returns to that ring Saturday night in Las Vegas for a rematch with the Filipino congressman. Bradley intends to let out two years of humiliation and frustration with a decisive win over Pacquiao, finally earning the credit that was two years deferred.

  • Pakistan: Taliban factions clash, killing dozens

    Updated: Fri, Apr 11, 2014

    ISLAMABAD (AP) — Clashes this week between two competing factions of the Pakistani Taliban in the country's remote northwest killed dozens of fighters, intelligence officials and militant commanders said Friday. The clashes, the result of a power struggle in the militant group, come at a time when the government is trying to negotiate a peace deal with the Pakistani Taliban. The violence likely will complicate those efforts. One senior Taliban commander put the number of dead at 23. Other Taliban commanders and intelligence officials put the number as high as 43. There was no immediate way to independently confirm the death toll in the remote and dangerous area.

  • Turkmen president: 2015 start for pipeline work

    Updated: Fri, Apr 11, 2014

    ASHGABAT, Turkmenistan (AP) — Turkmenistan's president has demanded that construction work begin in 2015 on a pipeline that will carry natural gas from his energy-rich country to Afghanistan, Pakistan and India. Gurbanguli Berdymukhamedov said all the agreements required for the project's launch should be completed this year, state media in the Central Asian nation reported Friday. A memorandum of understanding between the four countries linked by the TAPI pipeline was signed in 2010 and a supply deal was completed in 2012. According to the project specifications, the 1,735-kilometer (1,140-mile) pipeline will cost around $8 billion to complete and have an annual capacity of 33 billion cubic meters of gas.

  • Suicide bomber kills Afghan tribal elder

    Updated: Fri, Apr 11, 2014

    KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — A suicide bomber blew himself up in a market Friday in eastern Afghanistan, killing a pro-government tribal elder and wounding three civilians, authorities said. The bombing struck the tribal elder Gul Babri at about 2 p.m. in the market of the Jani Khil district of Paktiya province, provincial government spokesman Mokhlis Afghan said. No one immediately claimed responsibility for the attack, which comes after last week's presidential election. The Taliban and other insurgents frequently target government officials and their allies in a bid to undermine efforts to forge stability in the country as U.S.-led combat forces prepare to withdraw by the end of the year.

  • Tech sell-off roils global markets

    Updated: Fri, Apr 11, 2014

    LONDON (AP) — Renewed weakness in the tech-heavy Nasdaq index in the U.S. roiled global markets Friday. The Nasdaq index fell a further 0.6 percent to 4,029 after slumping 3 percent on Thursday — its worst day since 2011 — as tech and biotech stocks took another hammering after a two-day recovery. The Nasdaq has been the main driver of global markets since last Friday when concerns over the valuation of many of its constituent stocks first erupted. "There's a lot of pessimism in the markets right now," said Craig Erlam, market analyst at Alpari. Following broad-based losses in Asia, where Japan's Nikkei suffered another big retreat, shares in Europe have fallen sharply. The FTSE 100 index of leading British shares

  • Indian PM aspirant's marital status spurs question

    Updated: Fri, Apr 11, 2014

    NEW DELHI (AP) — India's governing Congress party on Friday asked election authorities to prosecute the Hindu nationalist opposition's prime ministerial candidate for filing "false affidavits" by not mentioning his marriage when he registered for past elections. Law Minister Kapil Sibal said the autonomous Election Commission promised to examine the party's petition. Narendra Modi, the top elected official of western Gujarat state, registered with the commission earlier this week to contest a seat in India's Parliament from Vadodra city in Gujarat state. The filing was his first official acknowledgment of his marriage to a retired school teacher.

  • Sri Lanka says it killed 3 trying to revive rebels

    Updated: Fri, Apr 11, 2014

    COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) — Sri Lankan soldiers on Friday killed three men who were attempting to revive the Tamil Tigers separatist group, which was defeated in the country's civil war nearly five years ago, the Defense Ministry said. Spokesman Brig. Ruwan Wanigasooriya said in a statement that the three men were operating from a jungle in the Padaviya area of northern Mullaittivu district. They were surrounded by soldiers and were shot and killed while trying to escape the cordon. Sri Lanka's quarter-century civil war ended in May 2009 after government forces defeated the Tamil Tigers, who were fighting to create a separate state for ethnic Tamils in the island nation's northern and eastern regions. Between 80,000 and 100,0

  • Cambodia sends 13 to prison for insurrection plot

    Updated: Fri, Apr 11, 2014

    PHNOM PENH, Cambodia (AP) — A Cambodian court on Friday sentenced 13 men to prison terms ranging from five to nine years for plotting to overthrow the government in a case that was criticized by a human rights group as a political setup. The men were members of a self-styled Khmer National Liberation Front calling for Prime Minister Hun Sen's removal, primarily through Internet postings. The government accused them of plotting an armed insurrection, charging them with "opposing the nation" by "treacherously plotting" to carry out attacks liable to endanger Cambodia's state institutions or violate its national integrity. The defendants denied their guilt.

  • 3 dead, 20 wounded in southern Philippine clash

    Updated: Fri, Apr 11, 2014

    MANILA, Philippines (AP) — Philippine troops launched an assault against Abu Sayyaf extremists in the south early Friday and sporadic clashes have left at least three militants dead and 20 soldiers wounded, officials said. Some of the more than 60 Abu Sayyaf gunmen took cover in a school during an initial gunbattle in a rural community on Basilan Island but it was not clear if they took hostages or if they have left, said army brigade commander Brig. Gen. Carlito Galvez. The school was supposed to be empty because students were on a summer break. Military spokesman Lt. Col. Ramon Zagala said about 200 soldiers were deployed before dawn to assault a group of gunmen led by Abu Sayyaf commander Puruji Indama in Basilan's Unkay

  • Powerful earthquake hits near Papua New Guinea

    Updated: Fri, Apr 11, 2014

    SYDNEY (AP) — A powerful earthquake struck off the South Pacific nation of Papua New Guinea on Friday, but there were no immediate reports of damage or injuries. The U.S. Geological Survey said the magnitude-7.3 earthquake was located 61 kilometers (38 miles) southwest of the town of Panguna on Bougainville Island. It struck at a depth of 50 kilometers (31 miles). The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said there was no threat of a destructive widespread tsunami. But the agency said quakes of this size can sometimes generate waves that can be destructive to coasts within a few hundred kilometers (miles) of the epicenter.

  • 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.