Pakistan expresses shock over deaths of US, Italian hostage
Asia / Australia & the Pacific / National / Politics

Pakistan expresses shock over deaths of US, Italian hostage

ISLAMABAD (AP) — Pakistan has expressed “shock and sorrow” over the inadvertent deaths of an American and an Italian hostage held by al-Qaida in a U.S. drone strike in January near the Afghan border. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs extended Pakistan’s condolences in a statement Friday, saying the deaths of hostages Warren Weinstein and Giovanni … Continue reading

Kazakhstan votes for continuity while keeping eye on Ukraine
Asia / Australia & the Pacific

Kazakhstan votes for continuity while keeping eye on Ukraine

ALMATY, Kazakhstan (AP) — As oil-rich Kazakhstan votes for a president Sunday, the governing elite is pounding home a mantra of stability as fears percolate about the country’s massive Russian minority taking inspiration from the Moscow-backed insurgency in Ukraine. With authorities clamping down on all opposition, Nursultan Nazarbayev’s re-election is a done deal. The former … Continue reading

Gunmen kill prominent female activist in Pakistan
Asia / Australia & the Pacific

Gunmen kill prominent female activist in Pakistan

KARACHI, Pakistan (AP) — Gunmen on a motorcycle killed a prominent women’s rights activist in Pakistan just hours after she held a forum on the country’s restive Baluchistan region, home to a long-running insurgency, police said Saturday. While investigators declined to speculate on a motive for the killing of Sabeen Mahmud, friends and colleagues immediately … Continue reading

Quake-aid need acute in Nepal capital, more so in villages
Asia / Australia & the Pacific

Quake-aid need acute in Nepal capital, more so in villages

KATHMANDU, Nepal (AP) — Shelter, fuel, food, medicine, power, news, workers — Nepal’s earthquake-hit capital was short on everything Monday as its people searched for lost loved ones, sorted through rubble for their belongings and struggled to provide for their families’ needs. In much of the countryside, it was worse, though how much worse was … Continue reading

US: Growing China, Russia military activity in Asia-Pacific
Asia / Australia & the Pacific / National / Politics / U.S. News

US: Growing China, Russia military activity in Asia-Pacific

WASHINGTON (AP) — The commander of U.S. forces in the Pacific said Wednesday that major land reclamation by China at outposts in the South China Sea could allow it to exert more influence over the contested area and deploy military assets such as long-range radar and advanced missile systems. Adm. Samuel Locklear also told the … Continue reading

India’s die-hard Hindus push to ban beef in blow to poor
Asia / Australia & the Pacific / Lifestyle

India’s die-hard Hindus push to ban beef in blow to poor

NEW DELHI (AP) — Every morning just before dawn, hundreds of trucks loaded with buffaloes trundle into New Delhi’s sprawling slaughterhouse complex where young men rush to unload the bellowing cargo. Skidding on heaps of fresh dung, they pull the animals out of the trucks, herding them for the daily auction and eventual slaughter. The … Continue reading

Thai charter, weakening political parties, ready for review
Asia / Australia & the Pacific / Politics

Thai charter, weakening political parties, ready for review

BANGKOK (AP) — A draft of Thailand’s new constitution, written to reduce the power of major political parties and keep politicians in check, was submitted to an advisory council for review on Friday, nearly a year after the military took power from an elected government. The military abolished an earlier constitution after the May 22 … Continue reading

Guam attorney general orders gay marriage to move forward
Asia / Australia & the Pacific / National

Guam attorney general orders gay marriage to move forward

HAGATNA, Guam (AP) — Guam’s attorney general directed officials to immediately begin processing same-sex marriage applications Wednesday, putting the island on course to be the first U.S. territory to allow gay nuptials. The move by Attorney General Elizabeth Barrett-Anderson came two days after a lesbian couple barred from applying to wed sued over the territory’s … Continue reading

Uzbekistan’s election sees turnout at 91 percent
Asia

Uzbekistan’s election sees turnout at 91 percent

MOSCOW (AP) — Uzbekistan’s election commission said 91 percent of eligible voters cast ballots in Sunday’s presidential election, where victory by longtime authoritarian leader Islam Karimov is a foregone conclusion. The 77-year-old Karimov has led the former Soviet republic in Central Asia since the late 1980s and ruthlessly quashed all opposition to his rule. While … Continue reading

UN rights chief slams Thai junta’s use of repressive law
Asia / National / U.S. News

UN rights chief slams Thai junta’s use of repressive law

BANGKOK (AP) — The United Nations joined international rights groups Thursday in criticizing a decision by Thailand’s military government to invoke a law that gives the junta chief near-absolute authority without any accountability. Junta chief and Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha on Wednesday lifted martial law, which he imposed shortly before taking power in a coup … Continue reading

Hundreds of fishermen rescued amid Indonesian slavery probe
Asia / Business / U.S. News

Hundreds of fishermen rescued amid Indonesian slavery probe

BENJINA, Indonesia (AP) — Hundreds of fishermen raced to be rescued Friday from the isolated Indonesian island where an Associated Press investigation found that many were enslaved to catch seafood that could end up in the United States and elsewhere. Indonesian officials probing labor abuses told the migrant workers they were allowing them to leave … Continue reading

Asia / Australia & the Pacific / National / Politics

US 1st lady visits Japan to showcase girls’ education aid

TOKYO (AP) — U.S. first lady Michelle Obama is visiting Japan and Cambodia, who are among Asia’s richest and poorest nations, to highlight cooperation on helping girls finish their educations. The five-day trip that began in Tokyo on Wednesday is Mrs. Obama’s first visit to Japan. In Tokyo she plans to announce, along with Japanese … Continue reading

Asia / Australia & the Pacific

Seven dead in suicide blast on Afghanistan government compound

KANDAHAR, Afghanistan (AP) — A massive car bomb attack on the governor’s compound in southern Helmand province on Wednesday killed at least seven people and wounded 43, officials said. The governor’s spokesman was among several bureaucrats hurt in the attack in the volatile southern city of Lashkar Gah. A suicide bomber detonated a car full … Continue reading

Asia / Australia & the Pacific / Politics

UN rights chief criticizes trial of Maldives ex-president

BERLIN (AP) — The United Nations’ human rights chief is voicing concern over the “rushed” trial that led to a terrorism conviction and 13-year jail term for the Maldives’ former president. U.N. high commissioner for human rights Zeid Raad al-Hussein said Wednesday “flagrant irregularities” in the case against ex-President Mohamed Nasheed could be rectified during … Continue reading