Asia

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  • 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…

  • Afghanistan: Suicide bomber kills policeman

    KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — An Afghan police officer was killed and another three wounded on Thursday when a suspected suicide bomber they were following detonated the explosives in his vehicle, an official said. “A suicide bomber was trying to enter Kabul with the intention of detonating explosives in a crowded part of the city,” said…

  • 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 remain “patient” in its approach to raising interest rates. KEEPING SCORE: Japan’s Nikkei 225 surged 2.3 percent to 17,210.05 and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng added 1.1 percent to 22,829.86. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 rose…

  • 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…

  • Quotes from Pakistani families over school attack

    PESHAWAR, Pakistan (AP) — Reaction to the killings of 148 people — almost all of them students — at a military-run school in northwestern Pakistan: – “We sent our kids to this school because it is known for its high standards and quality of education…. My son was a brilliant student and even a few…

  • Steps Pakistan is taking after school massacre

    ISLAMABAD (AP) — A look at steps the Pakistani government is taking to address militancy following Tuesday’s Taliban massacre of 148 people at a school: __ PAKISTAN-AFGHANISTAN COORDINATION: Pakistan has reached out for help from neighboring Afghanistan, with which it has long had a rocky relationship. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif spoke to Afghan President Ashraf…

  • Afghan insurgents storm bank in south, killing 10

    KANDAHAR, Afghanistan (AP) — Afghan insurgents stormed a bank in the country’s restive southern province of Helmand on Wednesday, killing at least 10 people including three policemen, authorities said. In the attack, in the provincial capital, Lashgar Gah, five suicide bombers raided the city’s branch of the New Kabul Bank. One of the attackers blew…

  • China indicts ex-mayor of Nanjing on graft charges

    BEIJING (AP) — A former mayor of the major eastern Chinese city of Nanjing was indicted Wednesday on corruption charges amid a widening anti-graft crackdown Ji Jianye faces charges of using his Communist Party and government positions to take massive bribes in return for favors, the state prosecutor’s office said in a statement. His former…

  • Cash-strapped Indian airline SpiceJet grounded

    NEW DELHI (AP) — Low-cost Indian airline SpiceJet grounded all flights Wednesday after oil companies stopped supplies of jet fuel to the financially beleaguered carrier. No SpiceJet flights had taken off Wednesday and passengers were making arrangements to shift to other airlines, a Delhi airport official said speaking on condition of anonymity because he was…

  • McDonald’s in Japan limits orders of fries

    TOKYO (AP) — Only small fries with that? McDonald’s in Japan is limiting the serving size of fries as stocks run short due to labor disruptions on the U.S. West Coast. McDonald’s began rationing its fries Wednesday morning. It said prolonged labor negotiations with port workers on the West Coast have made it difficult to…

  • Beijing to get third airport to reduce congestion, delays

    BEIJING (AP) — China has green-lighted a third airport for the capital Beijing in a bid to reduce congestion and chronic delays, state media reported Wednesday. The massive new airport will be located 46 kilometers (29 miles) south of the city center and take five years to build, according to the China Daily newspaper and…