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  • US stocks rise; Oracle leads technology stocks higher

    NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stocks rose Thursday, led by gains in technology stocks after Oracle surged following a strong earnings report. Energy stocks fell back as oil gave resumed its slide. KEEPING SCORE: The Standard & Poor’s 500 index gained 25 points, or 1.2 percent, to 2,037 as of 11:20 a.m. Eastern. The Dow…

  • Cambodian villagers angry over HIV outbreak

    PHNOM PENH, Cambodia (AP) — Cambodia’s prime minister appealed Thursday to villagers in northwestern Cambodia not to lynch an unlicensed medical practitioner who they suspect caused more than 100 people to become infected with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. Teng Kunthy, head of the Health Ministry’s HIV/AIDS center, said 106 people out of more…

  • Rights group decries judges’ sacking in Maldives

    COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) — An international rights group on Thursday criticized the dismissal of two top judges in the Maldives, including the chief justice, calling it an assault on judicial independence. Parliament in the Indian Ocean nation voted last Sunday to remove Chief Justice Ahmed Faiz Hussain and Supreme Court Justice Muthasim Adnan to…

  • Pakistan grants bail to main Mumbai attack suspect

    ISLAMABAD (AP) — A Pakistani anti-terrorism court on Thursday granted bail to the chief suspect in the Mumbai attack trial, a defense lawyer said, a decision immediately criticized by India. The lawyer, Rizwan Abbasi, said the judge, Kausar Abbas, during a hearing in the garrison city of Rawalpindi found that there was not enough evidence…

  • Sony film took aim at North Korea’s biggest taboo

    TOKYO (AP) — If the U.S. government’s claim is correct that North Korea was involved in the unprecedented hack attack on Sony Pictures that scuttled Seth Rogen’s latest comedy, no one can say they weren’t warned. The movie, “The Interview,” pushed all of North Korea’s buttons. No country would welcome a movie portraying the glib…

  • Afghanistan: Suicide bomber kills policeman

    KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — An Afghan police officer was killed and three were wounded Thursday when a suspected suicide bomber they were pursuing detonated his explosives-laden vehicle, an official said. The Taliban issued a statement claiming responsibility for the attack. The bomber “was trying to enter Kabul with the intention of detonating explosives in a…

  • Chine arrests policeman blamed for wrongful conviction

    BEIJING (AP) — A Chinese police officer who oversaw the case of a teenager wrongfully convicted of murder and executed in 1996 has been arrested in a case that has caught national attention, the official Xinhua News Agency said Thursday. Feng Zhiming, now a deputy police chief in the northern city of Hohhot, was charged…

  • Myanmar tries NZ man on charge of insulting Buddha

    YANGON, Myanmar (AP) — A New Zealand bar manager and two Myanmar men have pleaded innocent to charges they insulted religion by posting an advertisement with an image of a pink Buddha wearing headphones. Philip Blackwood, general manager of the V Gastro Bar, was arrested last week after posting the online advertisement for the bar…

  • Image of Asia: Manila zoo gets in Christmas mood

    In this photo by Bullit Marquez, an orangutan named “Pacquiao” and a zoo owner wear Santa costumes while posing for pictures in the Philippine capital, Manila. The orangutan is one of the main attractions in Manny Tangco’s private animal collection in Manila’s suburb of Malabon, which also includes the native Philippine Brown Deer, in the…

  • S. Korean group cancels plans for border tree

    SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — A South Korean church group said Thursday it canceled plans to erect a giant Christmas tree near the border with North Korea after locals complained that it could provoke Pyongyang. The Seoul-based Christian Council of Korea faced strong resistance from residents in the border town of Gimpo after it announced…

  • India’s space program notches 2 more successes

    NEW DELHI (AP) — India on Thursday announced two more successes in its space program — launching the country’s largest rocket and testing the re-entry of an unmanned crew module, part of India’s quest to send humans into space. The Indian Space and Research Organization said that the 630-ton rocket blasted off from Sriharikota in…

  • Australian leader: Siege may have been preventable

    SYDNEY (AP) — Australia’s prime minister said Thursday that a deadly siege in a Sydney cafe may have been preventable, as the chorus of critics demanding to know why the gunman was out on bail despite facing a string of violent charges grew louder. Man Haron Monis, a 50-year-old Iranian-born, self-styled cleric with a lengthy…

  • Fed rate wording boosts Asian stock markets

    Asian stock markets powered higher Thursday, sweeping aside worries about a flagging global economy after the U.S. Federal Reserve said it would to remain “patient” in its approach to raising interest rates. KEEPING SCORE: Japan’s Nikkei 225 surged 2.5 percent to 17,242.33 and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng added 1.1 percent to 22,828.49. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200…

  • AP Exclusive: Sydney hostage planned daring escape

    SYDNEY (AP) — The siege at the Sydney cafe had been going on for more than five hours and 82-year-old John O’Brien had become convinced the gunman was insane and they would likely all end up dead. And so he made a decision, one he knew came with a cost: he was going to try…

  • Pakistan buries victims of school massacre

    PESHAWAR, Pakistan (AP) — As they buried their children Wednesday, the families spoke of their dreams. One boy had just gotten high marks on his midterm and hoped to become a pilot. A 13-year-old wanted to become a doctor. Another kid just loved playing video games with his cousins. At cemeteries across the Pakistani city…