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 In The News provided by Koinonia House

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Koinonia Institute presents its 2014 Strategic Perspectives IX Conference in Coeur d' Alene, Idaho on DVD, intel and insight to understand the times.

DVD Set - 10 discs
Run time approximately 21 Hours
Dr. Chuck Missler: The Spiritual Entrepreneur
L.A. Marzulli: On the Trail of the Nephilim
Bill Salus: Nuclear Showdown in Iran: Revealing the Ancient Prophecy of Elam
Mark Biltz: The Blood Moons
Joseph Farah: ISIS SHMISIS: God's Mideast Peace Plan
Bob Cornuke: Amazing New Discoveries that Change Everything about the Location of Solomon's Temple
Louis Powell: China - The Sleeping Dragon
Ron Matsen: The Re-emergence of Assyria

Also featuring: Trevor MacDuff, Chris Corlett, Jeff Altus, Gordon McDonald, William Welty, Avi Lipkin, Dan Stolebarger, Kings Highway/Debbie Holland, Steve Elwart, John Loeffler, and Jay Seegert


Price R799.00



Strategic Perspectives Conference

Run time approximately 21 Hours


  • Avi Lipkin - Russia, Ukraine, ISIS at the Gates
  • Dr. William Welty - Surviving God’s Discipline of a Nation
  • Dr. Dan Stolebarger - The Future is Now: Koinonia Institute Small Group Fellowship
  • Ron Matsen - The Reemergence of Assyria?
  • The King’s High Way Panel - The King’s High Way Ministries with Debbie Holland and Tim Tyler
  • Louis Powell - China: The Sleeping Dragon
  • Mark Biltz - The Blood Moons 
  • Dr. William Welty - I, Jesus an Autobiography 
  • Steve Elwart - WWIII: A Hundred Year Old Prophecy 
  • Joseph Farah - ISIS-SCMISIS: God’s Middle East Plan 
  • Dr. Chuck Missler - The Spiritual Entrepreneur: The Encroaching Darkness 
  • John Loeffler - Stumbling Toward an Omega Point 
  • Jay Seegert - Evolution: Problem or Problematic 
  • L.A. Marzulli - On the Trail of the Nephilim 
  • Bill Salus - Nuclear Showdown in Iran: Revealing the Ancient Prophecy of Elam
  • Bob Cornuke - Amazing New Discoveries: The Temple

Also featuring bonus workshop sessions:

  • Trevor MacDuff - Discipleship
  • Chris Corlett - Education is an “Everyman” Strategic Perspective
  • Jeff Altus - Obamacare, the Affordable Care Act?
  • Gordon McDonald - Guard Your Heart
  • Louis Powell - Koinonia Institute

Copyright © 2014


*** IN STOCK****



With the wealth of information at our fingertips, it is sometimes hard to see the ‘’forest for the trees’’. In this Strategic Briefing, we will give you a current perspective on many of the trends that shape our world and their relevance to Biblical Prophecy. Now, more than ever, we need to stay informed about what is really going on.

What is REALLY going on in Syria, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt?
Who is going to deal with the nuclear Iran?
Will Israel go it alone?
What about America’s political future and what is on its' 2013 horizon?

Most Americans are totally unaware that the sacred Bill of Rights has been essentially
eliminated; how, when and by whom?

Europe - The State of Dis-Union and its Islamization.

Join Dr. Chuck Missler and Ron Matsen in the Executive Briefing Room of
The River Lodge, New Zealand, in an intensive summary of some of the
Strategic Trends that will impact all of us.

© 2012 Koinonia House Inc.

This briefing pack collection contains 4 hours of teaching


2 Disks
4 M4A Files
Color, 16:9, Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo, Region 0 encoding

 This DVD will be viewable in other countries WITH the proper DVD player and television set.)

Price R 299.00

We are including a PPT slide show with this DVD for use in special presentations for further study and discussion!

Highly recommended for the UN.


Mission Outreach.





Asia News Headlines - Yahoo! NewsAsia News Headlines - Yahoo! News


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India insists: Obama's tree is not dead

‎20 ‎February ‎2015, ‏‎11:02:59 AMGo to full article
FILE - In this Sunday, Jan. 25, 2015 file photo, U.S. President Barack Obama, left, participates in a tree planting ceremony at the Raj Ghat Mahatma Gandhi Memorial, New Delhi, India. The lack of leaves has been giving Indian officials sleepless nights, with the local media blasting them for allowing the tree to die. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File)NEW DELHI (AP) — Officials in India want to make one thing clear: The tree that President Barack Obama planted in New Delhi three weeks ago is not dead.

Foreigners shot in argument in Philippines; German slain

‎20 ‎February ‎2015, ‏‎10:36:22 AMGo to full article
MANILA, Philippines (AP) — Assailants fatally shot Friday a German and wounded a Frenchman and an Indian inside a restaurant in the central Philippines in what appeared to be random violence, police said.

Glimpse of Chinese New Year: The emperor returns to Beijing

‎20 ‎February ‎2015, ‏‎09:50:52 AMGo to full article
In this photo taken Wednesday, Feb. 18, 2015, Qi Xue’en, a performer dressed as a Qing Dynasty emperor, seated at center, is carried during a re-enactment of an ancient sacrificial ceremony at Beijing’s Ditan Park, the “Altar of the Earth,” on the eve of the Lunar New Year. Ditan Park is one of four altars dedicated to worship of the natural elements under the principles of Chinese cosmology and geomancy, popularly known as feng shui. During the seven-day Lunar New Year holiday, the parks throng with visitors shopping for festive goods, joining in carnival games and taking a break from hectic modern life. “I have been playing the part of emperor since 1990. I have two apprentices and several pupils now,” Qi, 58, said. “Today and tomorrow, I will play the part of emperor, so I can send New Year’s greetings to people I know. Let the pupils play on the second and third days of the Lunar New Year. I am getting old.” (AP Photo/Andy Wong)BEIJING (AP) — Outfitted in a robe of yellow silk embroidered with dragons, the emperor is carried in a procession of warriors in the blue robes and red helmets of the Manchu army that conquered China in the 17th century.

Thailand bans commercial surrogacy for foreigners, Thais

‎20 ‎February ‎2015, ‏‎09:10:31 AMGo to full article
BANGKOK (AP) — Thailand's military-picked legislature passed a law that criminalized commercial surrogacy and prohibited foreigners from seeking surrogacy services in the kingdom after a string of scandals last year, a lawmaker said Friday.

Perez gives 2 sides in West Coast port talks Friday deadline

‎20 ‎February ‎2015, ‏‎07:32:58 AMGo to full article
Loaded container trucks line-up at a gate at the Port of Seattle Tuesday, Feb. 17, 2015, in Seattle. Seaports in the U.S. West Coast that were all but shut over the weekend because of a contract dispute are reopening as the nation's top labor official tries to solve a stalemate between dockworkers and their employers that already has disrupted billions of dollars in U.S. international trade. U.S. Labor Secretary Thomas Perez plans to meet Tuesday in San Francisco with negotiators for both the dockworkers' union and the maritime association, which represents shipping lines that carry cargo and port terminal operators that handle it once the ships dock. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)LOS ANGELES (AP) — The nation's top labor official ratcheted up pressure on the two sides haggling over a new contract for dockworkers at West Coast seaports, telling them if they don't reach an agreement by Friday, they'll have to leave California and negotiate in Washington.

Figo proposes expanded World Cup, spreading more FIFA cash

‎19 ‎February ‎2015, ‏‎10:29:45 PMGo to full article
Luis Figo arrives for an interview with The Associated Press after holding a press conference to launch his FIFA Presidential Campaign Manifesto, at Wembley Stadium, London, Thursday, Feb. 19, 2015. The 2001 FIFA world player of the year launched his manifesto on Thursday at Wembley and spoke about his plan to restore the credibility and rebuild trust in football’s world governing body, as he tries to unseat Sepp Blatter, who is seeking a fifth, four-year term as president. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)LONDON (AP) — Out of his comfort zone, and being quizzed on football politics at Wembley Stadium rather than playing there, Luis Figo made his pitch to run the world game on Thursday.

Happy Ewe Year: Astrological signs bad for the Sheep Year

‎19 ‎February ‎2015, ‏‎05:21:25 PMGo to full article
In this Feb. 12, 2015 photo, a woman shops toy sheep for Lunar New Year decorations in Beijing, China. Chinese were seeing in the Year of the Sheep on Thursday, Feb. 19 but with fortune-tellers predicting accidents and an unstable economy and some parents-to-be fretting over the year’s reputation for docile kids, it wasn’t exactly warming everyone’s heart.(AP Photo/Andy Wong)BEIJING (AP) — Chinese were seeing in the Year of the Sheep on Thursday, but with fortune-tellers predicting accidents and an unstable economy and some parents-to-be fretting over the year's reputation for docile kids, it wasn't exactly warming everyone's heart.

US says world must fight 'new war on new enemy'

‎19 ‎February ‎2015, ‏‎05:01:13 PMGo to full article
Islamic State group militants hang the Islamic Jihad flag on a pole at the top of an ancient military fort after they cut a road through the Syrian-Iraqi border between the Iraqi Nineveh province and the Syrian town of Al-Hasakah on June 11, 2014On the third and final day of a White House summit called by President Barack Obama after a series of brutal jihadist attacks around the world, delegates were to hammer out ways to combat the threat posed by radical extremist groups. "We have to come together and ask what's our strategy?" Kerry said, as he opened the summit at the State Department in the wake of shocking beheadings and murders by the Islamic State group (IS) in Iraq and Syria. The "emergence of a new generation of transnational terrorist groups... is a grave threat to international peace and security," warned UN chief Ban Ki-moon.

AP PHOTOS: Fireworks, prayers usher in Lunar New Year

‎19 ‎February ‎2015, ‏‎04:01:11 PMGo to full article
In this Wednesday, Feb. 18, 2015, file photo, a devotee prays on the eve of the Chinese new year at the Lungshan Temple in Taipei, Taiwan. According to the Lunar calendar, Chinese will celebrate the Lunar New Year on Feb. 19 which marks the Year of the Sheep. (AP Photo/Wally Santana)Across Asia, fireworks and firecrackers ushered in the Lunar New Year on Thursday.

Image of Asia: A break in the clouds in Kashmir

‎19 ‎February ‎2015, ‏‎03:52:26 PMGo to full article
A shikara, or traditional gondola, moves on the Dal Lake after a spell of rainfall in Srinagar, India, Wednesday, Feb. 18, 2015. The Kashmir valley received a fresh spell of rain and snowfall and the minimum temperature increased in the region. (AP Photo/Mukhtar Khan)In this photo by Mukhtar Khan, a shikara, or traditional gondola, moves on Dal Lake during a break in the weather in Srinagar, the summer capital of Indian-controlled Kashmir. More rain and snow Thursday disrupted travel between Srinagar and the winter capital, Jammu. The shikaras are used by both locals and tourists for transportation, fishing and other purposes on the picturesque Himalayan valley lake, which freezes only in extreme cold.

US lawmakers say agreement on trade promotion authority near

‎19 ‎February ‎2015, ‏‎12:16:03 PMGo to full article
U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, speaks during a press conference at the Japan National Press Club in Tokyo, Thursday, Feb. 19, 2015. A delegation of U.S. lawmakers say a bipartisan congressional agreement on granting President Barack Obama trade promotion authority for a pan-Pacific trade deal is likely this spring. Ryan and seven other lawmakers were meeting Thursday with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and other top Japanese officials, promoting the U.S.-led Trans-Pacific Partnership, or TPP. (AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi)TOKYO (AP) — A bipartisan congressional agreement on granting President Barack Obama trade promotion authority for a pan-Pacific trade deal is likely this spring, U.S. lawmakers visiting Japan said Thursday.

WHO urges billions to fight neglected tropical diseases

‎19 ‎February ‎2015, ‏‎11:54:40 AMGo to full article
A boy affected by dengue fever rests at a hospital in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, on March 3, 2014The World Health Organization on Thursday urged countries to invest billions of dollars to tackle 17 neglected tropical diseases -- including dengue fever, leprosy and sleeping sickness -- which kill 500,000 people globally each year. "Increased investments by national governments can alleviate human misery, distribute economic gains more evenly and free masses of people long trapped in poverty," WHO Director General Margaret Chan said. Dirk Engels, who heads the WHO department of control of neglected tropical diseases, told reporters in Geneva that Africa is the "continent where the most absolute number of these diseases occur," with many people suffering from more than one of them. He said some 450 million people in sub-Saharan Africa are at risk of contracting these diseases.

Asia rings in Year of the Sheep with fireworks, festivities

‎19 ‎February ‎2015, ‏‎11:28:47 AMGo to full article
A security guard watches as fireworks explode over Beijing early on February 19, 2015, as millions across Asia usher in the Year of the SheepFireworks illuminated the skies across China as millions around Asia ushered in the Year of the Sheep on Thursday, kicking off festivities with an annual televised gala that got a thumbs down on social media for heavy Communist Party propaganda. Wednesday night, Lunar New Year's eve, was marked by loud booms as people shot off firecrackers in various parts of the country, filling the air with the pungent smell of explosives. Injuries involving fireworks in Beijing during the first hour of the New Year, however, declined 24 percent from last year as sales of the pyrotechnics dropped 34 percent, the official Xinhua news agency reported, citing local authorities. Indoors, hundreds of millions of Chinese tuned in for the annual televised Spring Festival gala, which lasts for about four hours and is broadcast nationwide, featuring singing, dancing, skits and comedy performances.

Glimpse of Chinese New Year, in Australian friendship garden

‎19 ‎February ‎2015, ‏‎08:47:37 AMGo to full article
In this photo taken on Wednesday, Feb. 18, 2015, Pen Pu, center, photographs his wife Chelsea Peng, right, and their three-year-old son Dore Peng, amongst a colorful display of arches and lanterns near the Chinese Garden of Friendship in Sydney, Australia. The gardens, conceived by Chinese landscape artists in consultation with the local Chinese community, are a popular destination for tourists and residents and is located next to the Chinatown district in Sydney. Pu, 35, who is Chinese but a permanent resident of Australia, says that for the coming New Year he has hopes that "our country will be peaceful and will get stronger and my family will be happy and healthy." (AP Photo/Rick Rycroft)SYDNEY (AP) — On a warm sunny morning, a colorful display of arches and paper lanterns adorn a path near the Chinese Garden of Friendship in Sydney for the Chinese Lunar New Year.

Japan trade deficit sinks 58 pct in Jan on lower oil prices

‎19 ‎February ‎2015, ‏‎07:27:11 AMGo to full article
Port workers chat next to a pile of cargo at a container terminal in Tokyo Thursday, Feb. 19, 2015. Japan's trade deficit plunged nearly 60 percent in January from a year before as exports rose and its import bill for oil and gas dropped thanks to sharply lower crude oil prices. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)TOKYO (AP) — Japan's trade deficit plunged nearly 60 percent in January from a year before as exports rose and its import bill for oil and gas dropped thanks to sharply lower crude oil prices.

Japan shares at 14-yr high; Asia holiday for lunar new year

‎19 ‎February ‎2015, ‏‎07:25:48 AMGo to full article
People look at an electronic stock board of a securities firm in Tokyo Thursday, Feb. 19, 2015. Japanese stocks climbed Thursday as strong trade data for January and a weaker yen boosted exporters' shares. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)TOKYO (AP) — Japanese stocks climbed to their highest level in nearly 15 years on Thursday as strong trade data and hopes for a compromise over Greece's debt boosted sentiment. Most regional markets were closed for lunar new year holidays.

Year of the Sheep won't be baaa-d, fortune tellers say

‎19 ‎February ‎2015, ‏‎06:41:44 AMGo to full article
A woman prays on the morning of the Lunar New Year in the City Temple of Shanghai on February 19, 2015, with fortune tellers in Hong Kong expecting a more docile Year of the Sheep than the preceding Year of the HorseThe Year of the Horse brought catastrophic international air accidents, brutal terror attacks, global political upheaval, a resurgent Ebola virus and war -- and, in Hong Kong, large-scale civil unrest. The sheep, in the eighth position, is "comparatively tame, meaning that if there is any challenge everyone can come together to solve it", Hong Kong based feng shui expert Cheng Chi-tai told AFP. Feng shui -- literally meaning "wind-water" -- is influential in many parts of Asia, where people adjust their lives, homes and offices based on its rules to maximise their luck and wealth. "This year will definitely be calmer in terms of disasters or accidents," feng shui expert Thierry Chow told AFP.

Healthy? No thanks: Diets of people worldwide are worsening

‎19 ‎February ‎2015, ‏‎01:55:00 AMGo to full article
Arbeitsstress: Die Junk-Food-FalleLONDON (AP) — There may be more fruit, vegetables and healthy options available than ever before, but the world is mostly hungry for junk food, according to a study of eating habits in nearly 190 countries.

China holiday makes business, cultural waves around world

‎18 ‎February ‎2015, ‏‎05:19:44 PMGo to full article
Performers from France practice in front of the sheep decorations during their rehearsal of International Chinese New Year Night Parade in Hong Kong Wednesday, Feb. 18, 2015. Decades ago the Chinese New Year holiday, also known as Spring Festival, had little impact outside of China. But as the country has gained outsized economic influence, the holiday, which has enormous cultural significance in the Chinese-speaking world, has become more prominent. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)HONG KONG (AP) — Decades ago the Chinese New Year holiday, also known as Spring Festival, had little impact outside of China. But as the country gained outsized economic influence, the holiday, which has enormous cultural significance in the Chinese-speaking world, has become more prominent. This is how it ripples around the world.

Chinese cosmetic tourists reap regret in South Korea

‎18 ‎February ‎2015, ‏‎05:15:49 PMGo to full article
Women who say they have been left disfigured by shoddy procedures in South Korea, wait in a clinic in BeijingChinese businesswoman Chen Yili paid a South Korean hospital thousands of dollars to reshape her face in the hope she would look more like the glamorous stars she saw on television. Instead she says she was disfigured by the operation - one of a growing number of Chinese women who claim shoddy procedures and a lack of regulation in South Korea's booming "medical tourism" industry, have left them physically scarred. Seoul on Friday announced a crackdown on illegal brokers and unregistered clinics in a bid to protect medical tourists, especially those drawn by the country's huge plastic surgery industry. The country is a cultural powerhouse in Asia -- its soap operas and pop music videos are massively popular in China and often feature cosmetically-enhanced stars.

Image of Asia: Acrobatics in the skies over Bangalore, India

‎18 ‎February ‎2015, ‏‎04:29:18 PMGo to full article
Members of British aerobatics team Breitling Wingwalkers perform at the inaugural function of Aero India 2015 at Yelahanka air base in Bangalore, India, Wednesday, Feb. 18, 2015. Aviation companies from around the world are participating in the five-day event that runs through Feb. 22. (AP Photo/Aijaz Rahi)In this photo by Aijaz Rahi, acrobats from the Breitling Wingwalkers perform at the opening of Aero India 2015 at Yelahanka air base in Bangalore, India. Prime Minister Narendra Modi watched the demonstrations of acrobatics teams and military combat maneuvers Wednesday, then visited pavilions where aviation companies showed their products and conducted business with government and commercial buyers. Modi stressed that India, now the world's biggest arms importer, could become a manufacturer of defense products and export to other countries.

Muslim rebels return 16 firearms of slain Filipino commandos

‎18 ‎February ‎2015, ‏‎01:59:40 PMGo to full article
COTABATO, Philippines (AP) — Muslim guerrillas returned to the Philippine government Wednesday at least 16 assault firearms of police anti-terror commandos who were killed in what the insurgents say was a "misencounter" that has stalled a new peace deal.

No dream World Cup debut for Afghanistan as Bangladesh win

‎18 ‎February ‎2015, ‏‎01:35:10 PMGo to full article
Bangladesh bowler Rubel Hossain celebrates taking the wicket of Afsar Zazai of Afghanistan in the World Cup match in Canberra on February 18, 2015Afghanistan never recovered from a horror start as Bangladesh overpowered the World Cup newcomers by 105 runs at Canberra's Manuka Oval on Wednesday. The Afghans marked their World Cup debut by holding Bangladesh to 267 all out after losing the toss but crumbled to three for three in the opening three overs of their reply. Their chaotic start with the bat meant Afghanistan were never likely to repeat their win over Test nation Bangladesh at last year's Asia Cup one-day tournament. Bangladesh, cheered on by their passionate fans, must now beat at least one of the big four in Pool A -- co-hosts Australia and New Zealand, Sri Lanka and England -- and also win against Scotland to keep their quarter-final hopes alive.

Carlsberg hit by drop in beer sales in Russia amid crisis

‎18 ‎February ‎2015, ‏‎12:41:54 PMGo to full article
HELSINKI (AP) — Danish brewer Carlsberg says its profit nose-dived in the fourth quarter due to slumping sales in the key Russian and eastern European markets.

Japan Post makes $5.07 billion bid for Australia's Toll

‎18 ‎February ‎2015, ‏‎10:17:15 AMGo to full article
Toll Holdings chairman Ray Horsburgh (R) laughs as Japan Post president Toru Takahashi looks on during a joint press conference in Sydney on February 18, 2015Japan Post flexed its muscles with a $5.07 billion takeover bid for Australia's Toll Holdings Wednesday in a move set to bolster its appeal ahead of what could be one of the world's biggest IPOs later this year. The behemoth, a state-owned global postal and logistics player, unexpectedly offered Aus$9.04 a share for Toll, a 49 percent premium to the company's closing price on Tuesday, valuing it at Aus$6.49 billion (US$5.07 billion). Under the proposal, the Melbourne-based transport logistics giant will be run as a division within Japan Post and retain the Toll name, with the company's chief executive Brian Kruger reporting to his counterpart Toru Takahashi. Toll has a global network spanning road, air, sea, and rail routes with significant operations in Asia, and Takahashi said it was a perfect fit for Japan Post as it looks to expand its international footprint.

Kazakh MPs ask President Nazarbayev to extend his rule in early polls

‎18 ‎February ‎2015, ‏‎10:05:36 AMGo to full article
A woman walks past a poster depicting Nazarbayev in AlmatyBy Raushan Nurshayeva ASTANA (Reuters) - Kazakhstan's parliament asked President Nursultan Nazarbayev on Wednesday to set the date for an early election which is likely to extend his rule over the oil producing nation into a fourth decade. The lower house of parliament, dominated by Nazarbayev's ruling Nur Otan party, swiftly passed a 104-0 vote to back a proposal for him to seek re-election this year. The 74-year-old authoritarian leader has ruled Kazakhstan since 1989. In what appears to be a well-orchestrated process, the initiative was first aired last weekend by the Assembly of the People of Kazakhstan, a constitutional body chaired by Nazarbayev.

Glimpse of Chinese New Year: Selling packets for luck

‎18 ‎February ‎2015, ‏‎07:57:33 AMGo to full article
In this photo taken on Tuesday, Feb. 17, 2015, Maman Rohman, 32, center, sells red envelopes locally known as "ang pao" which are used to give money as gifts during Chinese New Year celebrations, at a market in Tangerang, in the outskirts of Jakarta, Indonesia. Rohman, like many other Indonesians, temporarily leave their hometowns and jobs to come to the capital to earn extra money as the Lunar New Year is celebrated by Indonesia's ethnic-Chinese minority. A farmer from Kuningan, West Java, Rohman said, “I have come here every year since 1992 … to sell “ang pao,” which could get me up to 200,000 rupiah ($17) a day. Not bad at all for a few days of work.” Rohman said business this year is a bit quiet. “Maybe the Year of the Sheep is just not my year. I got more money last time, so I just hope that next year would be better for me." (AP Photo/Dita Alangkara)TANGERANG, Indonesia (AP) — Standing under a tarp-covered alley with vendors selling chicken, meatballs, and vegetables, Maman Rohman displays bundles of red envelopes traditionally used to give gifts of money symbolizing luck during Chinese New Year celebrations. They're known as "hong bao" in China, but "ang pao" here in Indonesia.

Analysis: Egypt embarks on ambitious anti-terror campaign

‎18 ‎February ‎2015, ‏‎12:59:27 AMGo to full article
An Egyptian Christian woman wearing a shirt with the photo of Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi during a vigil to morn Christians who were killed in Libya, at St. Mark's Cathedral in Cairo, Egypt, Tuesday, Feb. 17, 2015. Egypt is making an ambitious bid to place itself at the center of the fight against extremism across the Middle East. Beyond fighting militants in its own Sinai Peninsula, it is trying to organize an international coalition against the Islamic State in Libya and helping Saudi Arabia defend its borders. (AP Photo/Amr Nabil)CAIRO (AP) — Egypt is making an ambitious bid to place itself at the center of the fight against extremism across the Middle East. Beyond fighting militants in its own Sinai Peninsula, it is trying to organize an international coalition against the Islamic State in Libya and helping Saudi Arabia defend its borders.

Awash in opium, Afghan 'wild west' slips from Kabul's grasp

‎18 ‎February ‎2015, ‏‎12:54:38 AMGo to full article
Drug addict smokes heroin inside a cave in Farah provinceBy Jessica Donati and Mirwais Harooni FARAH, Afghanistan (Reuters) - In fields less than a 10-minute drive from the intelligence headquarters of Afghanistan's remote western province of Farah, farmers are planting their first illegal opium crop of the year. Taliban insurgents control half of the region bordering Iran, government officials estimate. In one district, Khaki Safed, the sacked local government chief refuses to step down. Worried villagers there say a former Taliban commander is leading an armed band several dozen strong who have pledged allegiance to Islamic State.

Two journalists held in Mozambique while investigating poaching

‎18 ‎February ‎2015, ‏‎12:12:25 AMGo to full article
South Africa, home to the world's largest rhino population, is facing a poaching crisis with 1,215 animals killed in 2014, with most of the attacks in Kruger National ParkTwo journalists, a German and a Swede, were held briefly by police on Monday while investigating rhino poaching in southern Mozambique, one of them said Tuesday. Bartholomaeus Grill, the Africa correspondent for the German magazine Der Spiegel, and Swedish photographer Torbjoern Selander were taken to the police by angry Mavodze villagers who suspected they were spies. "We were... arrested in Mavodze, a small village near Limpopo (national) park, while we were looking for the local kingpin of rhino poaching," Grill told AFP. The villagers took the journalists to the police station where they demanded that they be locked up.

US labor official looks to untangle West Coast port dispute

‎17 ‎February ‎2015, ‏‎04:58:28 PMGo to full article
A container ship sits anchored in Elliott Bay in view of other ships docked at the Port of Seattle beyond, Sunday, Feb. 15, 2015, in Seattle. The waters off Los Angeles, Oakland and Washington state's Puget Sound have become parking lots for dozens of ships awaiting space at the docks. Employers are locking out dockworkers who man the cranes that lift cargo on and off ships, saying they have slowed work as a bargaining tactic, but the union denies that. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)LOS ANGELES (AP) — Seaports in the U.S. West Coast that were all but shut over the weekend because of a contract dispute are reopening as the nation's top labor official tries to solve a stalemate between dockworkers and their employers that already has disrupted billions of dollars in U.S. international trade.

Image of Asia: Weaving traditional souvenirs in Myanmar

‎17 ‎February ‎2015, ‏‎02:51:40 PMGo to full article
An ethnic Kayan-Padaung woman in traditional attire weaves at a souvenir shop in Ywama village, Inle Lake, northeastern Shan state, Myanmar, Monday, Feb. 16, 2015. Wearing neck-rings is officially discouraged in Myanmar but shop owners employ Padang women in traditional attire as a tourist attraction. (AP Photo/Gemunu Amarasinghe)In this photo by Gemunu Amarasinghe, an ethnic Kayan Padaung woman in traditional attire weaves at a souvenir shop in Ywama village, Inle Lake, northeastern Shan state, Myanmar. Wearing neck rings is officially discouraged in Myanmar but shop owners employ Padang women in traditional attire as a tourist attraction.

Afghan cricket team set to debut in World Cup tournament

‎17 ‎February ‎2015, ‏‎09:27:08 AMGo to full article
CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — Mohammad Nabi has come a long way from the refugee camps of central Asia where he, along with other children displaced by war, whiled away the hours playing cricket.

New Zealand wins, Afghanistan ready for World Cup debut

‎17 ‎February ‎2015, ‏‎09:20:17 AMGo to full article
MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — New Zealand unconvincingly beat second-tier Scotland by three wickets in a low-scoring Pool A match at the World Cup on Tuesday.

Glimpse of Chinese New Year: Families toss up good fortune

‎17 ‎February ‎2015, ‏‎07:19:21 AMGo to full article
In this photo taken on Monday, Feb. 16, 2015, Cheong Lan Yang, 68, rear left, tosses "yu sheng," a raw fish salad, with family members during a family reunion dinner for Chinese New Year, at a restaurant in Singapore. This Singaporean tradition is known as “lo hei,” which means “tossing up good fortune” in Cantonese and is done at the start of family reunion dinners before Chinese New Year. The raw fish in the salad symbolizes the abundance of wealth and long life that Cheong, who lives in Australia, hopes for in the new year. “I hope this Chinese New Year brings good health because I would like to live long enough to see my grandchildren one day,” he said. “Chinese New Year is a time for family gathering and that means a lot to me because I currently live abroad, and this is a time for us to share old memories as well as make new ones.” (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E)SINGAPORE (AP) — Twenty family members are seated at two round tables in a Chinese restaurant. At the start of the eight-course meal, Cheong Lan Yang, 68, with chopsticks in hand, joins other family members in tossing raw fish salad, known as "yu sheng," from plates placed at the center of each table.

Under Xi, China's defense budget seen defying economic slowdown

‎16 ‎February ‎2015, ‏‎10:58:17 PMGo to full article
Chinese President Xi Jinping waits to welcome French Prime Minister Manuel Valls at the Great Hall of the People in BeijingBy Megha Rajagopalan BEIJING (Reuters) - President Xi Jinping is expected to authorize robust defense spending for this year despite China's slowing economy, determined to strengthen the country's armed capabilities amid growing unease in Beijing at Washington's renewed focus on Asia. While China keeps the details of its military spending secret, experts said additional funding would likely go toward beefing up the navy with anti-submarine ships and developing more aircraft carriers beyond the sole vessel in operation. The military budget will be announced at the start of the annual meeting of China's parliament on March 5. Last year, defense spending rose 12.2 percent to $130 billion, second only to the United States.

Europe stocks wary on Greece, Asia up on Japan recession end

‎16 ‎February ‎2015, ‏‎06:57:18 PMGo to full article
A girl drinks tea in front of an electronic stock board of a securities firm in Tokyo, Monday, Feb. 16, 2015. Tokyo's Nikkei 225 was up 91.41 points from Friday at 18,004.77 as Asian stock markets mostly rose Monday after Japan emerged from recession last quarter. (AP Photo/Koji Sasahara)LONDON (AP) — European stocks edged lower on Monday as investors were skeptical that Greece and its European creditors would find a quick deal to solve the country's debt problems. Asian stocks, however, closed higher after Japan emerged from recession.

Experts brainstorm ways to fund cities to withstand disasters

‎16 ‎February ‎2015, ‏‎03:06:03 PMGo to full article
By Alisa Tang BANGKOK (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Governments must persuade businesses to invest in protecting cities from natural disasters, and climate and development experts should heed the needs of poor communities hardest hit by climate catastrophes, experts said. Some 80 percent of global wealth is generated in cities, so the private sector has an interest in protecting those assets, according to Peter King, who works for a USAID project that helps Asia-Pacific countries polish climate adaptation projects and access funding.

Image of Asia: Ritual on the River Ganges

‎16 ‎February ‎2015, ‏‎02:50:46 PMGo to full article
An Indian woman performs morning rituals on the banks of the River Ganges in Allahabad, India, Monday, Feb. 16, 2015. Allahabad, at the confluence of River Ganges and River Yamuna, is one of Hinduism’s holiest cities. (AP Photo/Rajesh Kumar Singh)In this photo by Rajesh Kumar Singh, a woman performs morning rituals on the banks of the River Ganges in Allahabad, India, one of Hinduism's holiest cities. Hundreds of people visit the riverfront most days to pray and take holy dips in the water. On the most auspicious days, thousands of Hindus come to Allahabad to perform rituals at the confluence of the Ganges and Yamuna rivers.

Kazakh ruling party wants to extend Nazarbayev's 26-year reign

‎16 ‎February ‎2015, ‏‎12:57:33 PMGo to full article
Kazakh President Nazarbayev arrives at Chancellery in BerlinBy Dmitry Solovyov and Mariya Gordeyeva ALMATY (Reuters) - The ruling party of Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev said on Monday it wanted the veteran leader to extend his term in an early election this year, in a sign the oil-rich nation's elite sees no apparent successor after his 26-year grip on power. His Nur Otan party published a statement in support of a "people's initiative" aired at the weekend by the Assembly of the People of Kazakhstan, which he also chairs, to hold a snap election this year and extend his rule by another five years. "We believe the initiative on holding an early presidential election is the most correct decision in full compliance with the interests of the nation and the people," the Nur Otan party said in a statement posted on its website ( The president's office could not be reached for comments. Nazarbayev, who keeps a tight lid on dissent and faces no real challenge from the country's small opposition, was elected by almost 96 percent of votes in 2011 and his five-year term ends only in late 2016.

AP PHOTOS: Editor selections from Asia

‎16 ‎February ‎2015, ‏‎12:11:00 PMGo to full article
In this Wednesday, Feb. 11, 2015, file photo, Ramavva Lamani, an indigenous Indian woman, looks at the camera as she joins a protest by Hindu communities demanding equal rights in Bangalore, India. (AP Photo/Aijaz Rahi, File)Indonesia was hit with flooding from seasonal rains last week, while hot air balloons floated skyward at a Philippine festival — including one shaped like an octopus.

Thai economy barely grew in 2014 after protests, coup

‎16 ‎February ‎2015, ‏‎11:29:35 AMGo to full article
People walk around advertisements for a sale at a shopping mall in Bangkok, Thailand, Monday, Feb. 16, 2015. Thailand's economy barely grew last year as tourism, investment and exports fell after months of anti-government protests and a May coup. The National Economic and Social Development Board said Monday the economy grew 0.7 percent in 2014, falling short of expectations of 1 percent growth. (AP Photo/Sakchai Lalit)BANGKOK (AP) — Thailand's economy barely grew last year as tourism, investment and exports fell after months of anti-government protests and a May coup.

Q&A: What's next for Japan economy after exiting recession

‎16 ‎February ‎2015, ‏‎11:02:37 AMGo to full article
FILE - In this Aug. 20, 2014 file photo, a port worker walks past a piles of cargo at a container terminal in Tokyo. Japan's economy grew at a 2.2 percent clip in the last quarter on a sharp recovery in exports. The preliminary data released Monday, Feb. 16, 2015, show the world's third-largest economy emerged from recession in October-December, as many economists had forecast. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko, File)TOKYO (AP) — Japan emerged from recession last quarter, but the rebound in the world's third-largest economy was much weaker than economists had forecast. Questions and answers about what's next and the possible implications for global growth.

India's Modi talking with newly elected Sri Lankan president

‎16 ‎February ‎2015, ‏‎10:44:50 AMGo to full article
Sri Lanka’s President Maithripala Sirisena, left, and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi wave during a photo opportunity in New Delhi, India, Monday, Feb. 16, 2015. Sri Lanka's new leader is underlining India's importance as a regional ally by making it his first official foreign destination as president, following years of uneasy relations with New Delhi and international pressure to speed up post-civil war reconciliation efforts at home. (AP Photo/Saurabh Das)NEW DELHI (AP) — Prime Minister Narendra Modi is talking with Sri Lanka's newly elected president as the South Asia neighbors seek to strengthen strategic ties, increase trade and resolve long-standing issues between them.

Japan economy makes meek exit from recession

‎16 ‎February ‎2015, ‏‎09:18:00 AMGo to full article
A containership arrives at a port in Tokyo, Monday, Feb. 16, 2015. Japan's economy emerged from recession in the last quarter, growing at a 2.2 percent annualized rate as exports and public spending helped to offset weaker residential investment. (AP Photo/Koji Sasahara)TOKYO (AP) — After stumbling out of recession last quarter, Japan's economy looks set to do something familiar this year: slumber.

Glimpse of Chinese New Year: the incense maker

‎16 ‎February ‎2015, ‏‎08:26:14 AMGo to full article
In this photo taken on Friday, Feb. 13, 2015, Hsu Li-yen, 28, makes prayer offering incense sticks in his family shop to fill huge orders in the run up to the Chinese New Year in New Taipei City, Taiwan. After his mandatory 2-year military service, Hsu chose to learn the family craft from his uncle who currently runs the shop. “People like to go to temples (to pray) for a good start of the new year… they use incense and (fake) paper money to ask for a peaceful year ahead,” He plans to spend time with his family over the holidays and says, “I hope everyone can be healthy, safe, and happy throughout this new year.” (AP Photo/Wally Santana)NEW TAIPEI CITY, Taiwan (AP) — After his mandatory 2-year military service, Hsu Li-yen chose to learn the family craft of incense-making from his uncle, who currently runs the family's shop.

Michelle Obama to visit Japan next month: media

‎16 ‎February ‎2015, ‏‎07:37:44 AMGo to full article
US first lady Michelle Obama, who Japanese media say will visit Japan next month for the first time since her husband entered the White House, speaks during a rally in Baltimore, Maryland in November 2014Tokyo (AFP) - US First Lady Michelle Obama is set to visit Japan in March for the first time since her husband Barack Obama entered the White House, local media reported Monday.

Asia stocks gain as Japan emerges from recession

‎16 ‎February ‎2015, ‏‎05:11:27 AMGo to full article
BEIJING (AP) — Asian stock markets mostly rose Monday after Japan emerged from recession last quarter and as investors looked ahead to a meeting between Greece and its main European creditors.

Hackers steal up to $1 billion from banks, security co. says

‎16 ‎February ‎2015, ‏‎12:02:12 AMGo to full article
NEW YORK (AP) — A hacking ring has stolen up to $1 billion from banks around the world in what would be one of the biggest banking breaches known, a cybersecurity firm says in a report scheduled to be delivered Monday.

Victoria Beckham to expand fashion line to Asia

‎15 ‎February ‎2015, ‏‎09:35:50 PMGo to full article
Models present creations by designer Victoria Beckham during the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Fall 2015 in New York on February 15, 2015Cheered by her famous family, Victoria Beckham brought a sexy vision of fall/winter to an intimate New York runway show on Sunday and confided plans to open a second store in Asia. The one-time pop star, mother of four and wife of retired English football superstar David Beckham, has won plaudits in the fashion industry for designing beautiful collections that flatter women's bodies. David sat front row holding three-year-old daughter Harper on his lap and chatted to Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour after arriving with sons Brooklyn, Romeo and Cruz all dressed in sharp black outfits.

Dubai World gets creditor OK for $14.6B debt restructuring

‎15 ‎February ‎2015, ‏‎03:23:42 PMGo to full article
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — State-backed conglomerate Dubai World says it has reached a deal with creditors to rework terms on $14.6 billion of debt, giving it more breathing room as it works to move beyond its financial challenges.

Kazakh leader's allies suggest early election to strengthen economy

‎15 ‎February ‎2015, ‏‎03:05:58 PMGo to full article
Kazakh President Nazarbayev arrives at Chancellery in BerlinAn influential organization chaired by Kazakhstan's President Nursultan Nazarbayev has proposed holding an early presidential election this year, saying the veteran leader needs another term to steer his oil-rich state through economic crisis. Nazarbayev, a 74-year-old former steelworker, has ruled his steppe nation of 17 million with a strong hand since 1989 when he became the head of the local Communist Party. His swift re-election in a snap vote would end continued speculation about his possible successor, a question closely watched by investors in Kazakhstan. "It is crucial to strengthen the economy and ensure the continuity of the current policy by holding an early election," the Assembly of the People of Kazakhstan, a constitutional body representing Kazakhstan's ethnic groups and headed by Nazarbayev, said in a statement issued late on Saturday.

Land, finance key to India renewables drive: First Solar CEO

‎15 ‎February ‎2015, ‏‎02:38:52 PMGo to full article
India will struggle to hit its "hugely ambitious" renewable energy target if it fails to make more land available for plants and ensure utilities have the means to buy in clean energy, the head of U.S.-based First Solar said on Sunday. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has made renewable energy a priority for his government, as he looks to leverage the falling cost of solar power - expected to reach parity with conventional energy by 2017 - and address India's chronic power shortages. First Solar Chief Executive Jim Hughes said he welcomed the government's commitment to develop 100,000 megawatts (MW) of solar power by 2022 - a 33-fold rise from today's level - but that in some Indian states there were question marks over the financial viability of solar schemes.

U.S. companies pledge to build 20 GW of renewable energy in India

‎15 ‎February ‎2015, ‏‎09:40:03 AMGo to full article
U.S.-based SunEdison and First Solar on Sunday committed to build more than 20,000 megawatts of clean energy capacity in India by 2022, a boost for Prime Minister Narendra Modi's efforts to meet ambitious renewable targets. The companies announced the plans at the beginning of India's first major renewable energy conference, where Modi's government is trying to drum up support from investors to reach a target of 100,000 megawatts of solar power by 2022, a 33-fold rise from today's level. SunEdison said it would build 15,200 MW of solar and wind power capacity by 2022, while First Solar made a commitment to develop 5,000 MW of solar by 2019. "India has a critical need to add capacity to its grid as it continues to experience strong economic growth and growing demand for energy," said Pashupathy Gopalan, president of SunEdison Asia-Pacific.

India to resume talks with Pakistan after 6-month hiatus

‎13 ‎February ‎2015, ‏‎09:35:57 PMGo to full article
NEW DELHI (AP) — India is sending its top foreign ministry official to Pakistan to resume talks after a six-month hiatus.

Pope's new cardinals from far-flung places, value ministry

‎13 ‎February ‎2015, ‏‎04:15:36 PMGo to full article
In this Aug. 1, 2008 photo, Bishop Soane Patita Paini Mafi, Tongan Cardinal elect, speaks during a mass in Nuku?alofa, Tonga. Churches dot the heavily Christian, tiny island of Tonga everywhere and choirs can be heard singing on any day of the week. Mafi is one of 20 cardinals being elevated by the pope and is an outlier not only in geography but also in age: At 53, he will be the youngest member of the College of Cardinals. The island’s king, a Wesleyan Methodist, is hoping to attend the ceremony Saturday, Feb. 14, 2015 at the Vatican and later has a private meeting scheduled with the pope. (AP Photo/NZ Herald, Elino Maka) AUSTRALIA OUT, NEW ZEALAND OUTVATICAN CITY (AP) — One hails from Tonga, where climate change is threatening the very existence of the archipelago. Several live in places tormented by drug violence and organized crime. Another represents a tiny, remote church that has witnessed firsthand the deadly drama of Mediterranean migration.

EU criticizes detention policy, military courts in Thailand

‎13 ‎February ‎2015, ‏‎03:27:06 PMGo to full article
BANGKOK (AP) — Representatives of the European Union expressed concern over Thailand's use of detention without charge and having civilians tried in military courts, adding to mounting criticism of justice under the Southeast Asian nation's military rule.

Global stocks higher on Greek progress, eurozone data

‎13 ‎February ‎2015, ‏‎02:40:02 PMGo to full article
Jay Heller, left, IPO Execution Officer for Nasdaq, shows Keith Dunleavy, CEO of Inovalon, the progress of pricing for his company's stock on computer screens during the Bowie, Maryland health-tech firm's IPO at the Nasdaq MarketSite, Thursday, Feb. 12, 2015 in New York. Stocks rose in early trading Thursday as energy and technology stocks climbed. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)TOKYO (AP) — Global stocks rose Friday after Greece and its European creditors said they were willing to compromise to help Athens with its debts, while fresh data showed improvement in the eurozone's economy.

Image of Asia: Waiting in Beijing for the train home

‎13 ‎February ‎2015, ‏‎01:59:20 PMGo to full article
Workers clean the windows of the main entrance of the Beijing railway station as travelers wait, in Beijing, Friday, Feb. 13, 2015. Millions of Chinese will be traveling to their hometowns to celebrate the Lunar New Year on Feb. 19 this year which marks the Year of the Sheep on the Chinese zodiac. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)In this photo by Andy Wong, workers clean the windows of the main entrance of the Beijing railway station as travelers wait for trains to head to their hometowns to celebrate the Lunar New Year. People showed up early to get tickets and pass through security checks with their huge bags and boxes of dried food. Many of those leaving Beijing during the busy travel season are migrant workers who visit their hometowns only once a year. The transport ministry projected Lunar New Year travelers will make 295 million railway trips and 47 million plane trips this year. The holiday begins the Year of the Sheep on the Chinese zodiac.

US appeals to Japanese business to help push for trade pact

‎13 ‎February ‎2015, ‏‎01:01:02 PMGo to full article
U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Antony Blinken, right, is escorted by Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida prior to a meeting at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Tokyo Friday, Feb. 13, 2015. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko, Pool)TOKYO (AP) — Japan and the U.S. are moving closer to reaching agreement on market opening measures needed to conclude a Pacific Rim trade pact, a top U.S. envoy said Friday, urging Japanese business leaders to help bridge the last, difficult disagreements.

China must cut pollution by half before environment improves: official

‎13 ‎February ‎2015, ‏‎12:01:34 PMGo to full article
A man wearing a mask walks on a street on a hazy day in BeijingChina needs to slash emission levels by as much as half before any obvious improvements are made to its environment, a senior government official said on Friday, underscoring the challenges facing the country after three decades of breakneck growth. Zhai Qing, China's deputy minister of environmental protection, told a briefing that pollutants had been cut by just "a few percentage points" since 2006 and had to drop much further if any progress is to be made. China has vowed to close vast swathes of ageing heavy industrial capacity and slash coal consumption in heavily populated eastern coastal regions as part of its war on pollution. Last November, it imposed draconian restrictions on industry throughout northern China in order to guarantee air quality during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit held in Beijing.

Heart-shaped madness as Japanese women splurge for Valentine's Day

‎13 ‎February ‎2015, ‏‎11:47:58 AMGo to full article
A woman looks at a box of chocolates produced by Jean Paul Hevin and priced at 37,032 yen (308 USD) as a gift for Valentine's Day at Tokyo's Mitsukoshi department storeJapanese women jostled feverishly for elbow room at stores on Friday to buy Valentine's Day chocolates for the men in their lives -- guys who do sweet nothing in return. It's a far cry from the Western version of Valentine's Day with its saucy commercials featuring handsome hunks swooping in to leave a box of chocolates on a lover's bed. Although the confectionery traffic is one-way in Japan, the country celebrates White Day next month, when men are required to reciprocate with a white gift -- from cookies to lingerie. "This is for my hubby," she added after battling the crowds in a department store in Tokyo's swank Ginza district.

Thai investors buy up more English clubs

‎13 ‎February ‎2015, ‏‎10:59:03 AMGo to full article
Passengers walk past an advertisement for Manchester United's Wayne Rooney in Bangkok, Friday, Feb. 13, 2015. The popularity of English football in Thailand has led Thai investors to leverage their brands by buying English clubs.(AP Photo/Sakchai Lalit)BANGKOK, Thailand (AP) — The highway leading from downtown Bangkok to the northern reaches of the metropolis and the home of Thai Premier League club Bangkok Glass is strewn with billboards featuring English teams. Thailand has long loved English football and is increasingly backing that affection with investment.

China's President Xi to visit Pakistan this year

‎13 ‎February ‎2015, ‏‎06:30:54 AMGo to full article
China's President Xi Jinping addresses the Australia-China state and provincial leaders forum in SydneyChina's President Xi Jinping will visit Pakistan this year in what will be the first trip by a Chinese head of state to its western neighbor in nine years, as Beijing looks to take a bigger role in South Asia. China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi made the announcement on Thursday in Pakistan's capital, where he spoke of the two countries' "all-weather" friendship. During his two-day visit to Pakistan, Wang also offered to help in mediating stalled efforts to engage the Afghan Taliban in peace negotiations, reflecting China's desire to play a more active role in a region it sees as part of its sphere of influence. Afghanistan and its Western backers have been trying to bring Taliban figures to the negotiating table to end years of war in the country.

Sri Lanka minister optimistic about delaying war-crimes report

‎13 ‎February ‎2015, ‏‎05:24:45 AMGo to full article
By David Brunnstrom WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera said on Thursday he was optimistic about securing a delay in the release of a U.N. report on alleged war crimes during his country's civil war until the government has had time to establish a new judicial mechanism to deal with the allegations. Speaking to reporters after a meeting with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, whose support is crucial to such a delay, Samaraweera stressed the decision was one for U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein and the president of the U.N. rights council.

US West Coast seaports mostly shut down amid labor dispute

‎12 ‎February ‎2015, ‏‎08:06:02 PMGo to full article
FILE - This Feb. 9, 2015 file photo shows the Yang Ming Masculinity, YMMS cargo ship anchored off the Long Beach Harbor waiting to be unloaded due to a labor dispute in Long Beach, Calif. Amid an increasingly damaging labor dispute, 29 seaports which handle billions of dollars of goods will be mostly closed four of the next five days. Negotiations for a new dockworker contract were to resume Wednesday, Feb. 11, 2015, but were canceled. (AP Photo/Nick Ut, file)LOS ANGELES (AP) — Companies that operate marine terminals in major West Coast cities said they weren't calling workers to unload ships Thursday that carry car parts, furniture, clothing, electronics — just about anything made in Asia and destined for U.S. consumers. Containers of U.S. exports won't get loaded either.

NAFTA shadows Obama's efforts to seek clout for trade deals

‎12 ‎February ‎2015, ‏‎06:05:06 PMGo to full article
FILE - In this Feb. 19, 2014, file photo, President Barack Obama, left, Mexico's President Enrique Pena Nieto, center, and the Prime Minister of Canada, Stephen Harper, shake hands at the end of a news conference concluding the North American Leaders Summit in Toluca, Mexico. A 21-year-old ghost haunts President Barack Obama and his allies as he presses Congress for enhanced powers to make trade deals with Japan and other nations. Obama says new trade deals will avoid the shortcomings of the 1994 North America Free Trade Agreement with Mexico and Canada, which many Americans blame for big job losses, especially in manufacturing. (AP Photo/Eduardo Verdugo, File)WASHINGTON (AP) — A 21-year-old ghost haunts President Barack Obama and his allies as he presses Congress for enhanced powers to make trade deals with Japan and other nations.

From Bangkok to Bhutan, growing cities race to outrun disasters

‎12 ‎February ‎2015, ‏‎03:44:37 PMGo to full article
The sun sets over the Bangkok skylineBy Alisa Tang BANGKOK (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Asia's fast-growing cities are struggling to build the roads, waste management and drinking water systems that could help protect their swelling populations from climate-related disasters, said city leaders from across the region. "Asia-Pacific is the region of the world most affected by the impacts of climate change," Bangkok Deputy Governor Pusadee Tamthai told a forum on urban resilience. "This is because this is the fastest-growth region, with a lack of urban planning to accommodate the cities' expansion and especially the environmental problems." About 300 city officials, development experts and researchers from 100 cities in 30 countries in Asia, North America and Europe convened in Bangkok for the three-day conference that ends on Friday. Asia-Pacific is the region most affected by disasters, with 714,000 deaths from natural disasters between 2004 and 2013, more than treble the previous decade, and economic losses topping $560 billion, according to the United Nations.

Image of Asia: Up and away in octopus and van Gogh balloons

‎12 ‎February ‎2015, ‏‎01:51:15 PMGo to full article
Hot air balloons dot the sky at the start of the 19th Philippine Hot Air Balloon festival Thursday, Feb. 12, 2015 at Clark Economic Zone, a former US Air Force base in Pampanga province north of Manila, Philippines. Now on its 19th year, the hot air balloon festival features a total of 32 hot air balloons participating from all over the world. (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez)In this photo by Bullit Marquez, hot air balloons dot the sky at the start of the Philippine Hot Air Balloon festival in the Clark Economic Zone, Pampanga province north of Manila. Balloons shaped like Vincent van Gogh, an octopus and a beagle were among those lifting into the air Thursday. Now on its 19th year, the festival features 32 balloons from all over the world and other activities such as skydiving, motorized paragliding, aerobatics, formation flying, kite-flying and fireworks displays.

Cup winners Ivory Coast, Australia rise in FIFA rankings

‎12 ‎February ‎2015, ‏‎12:08:39 PMGo to full article
Ivory Coast players celebrates with the trophy after winning their African Cup of Nations final soccer match against Ghana in Bata, Equatorial Guinea, Sunday, Feb. 8, 2015. (AP Photo/Themba Hadebe)ZURICH (AP) — African Cup of Nations winner Ivory Coast rose eight places to No. 20 in the monthly FIFA rankings, with Germany remaining No. 1.

Asia eyes Oscar glitz, glamour even as its own films absent

‎12 ‎February ‎2015, ‏‎11:10:52 AMGo to full article
In this Tuesday, Feb. 3, 2015, photo, Chinese actor Feng Shaofeng talks about his latest work titled "Wolf Totem" during an interview in Beijing. Asia is gearing up for the Oscars, even though the region's films are missing from the shortlists. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)BEIJING (AP) — Asia will be tuning in to the Oscars and its glitz and glamour, even though the region's films are missing from the shortlists.

Thai PM bites bullet on growth, eyes fast trains to tourist hotspots

‎12 ‎February ‎2015, ‏‎10:44:32 AMGo to full article
Thailand's Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha listens as he meets with China's President Xi Jinping at the Great Hall of the People in BeijingThailand plans to build high-speed railway links connecting Bangkok to tourist destinations south of the Thai capital modeled on Japan's bullet trains, Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha said on Thursday. Prayuth heads a military government that is looking for big ticket schemes to stimulate growth in Thailand, Southeast Asia's second-largest economy, which is still struggling to regain traction following the putsch last May. During an official visit to Japan this week where he met Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe, Prayuth rode the Shinkansen, or bullet train, from Tokyo to Osaka, prompting him to consider a similar network for Thailand.

Inquiry: Children in Australian immigration detention abused

‎12 ‎February ‎2015, ‏‎04:44:30 AMGo to full article
SYDNEY (AP) — Australia's policy of indefinitely holding children of asylum seekers in immigration detention camps violates international laws, the government's human rights watchdog found, after an inquiry uncovered hundreds of reports of assaults involving child detainees.

Malaysia investigating dissenters over Anwar's jailing

‎11 ‎February ‎2015, ‏‎09:25:18 PMGo to full article
Malaysian police struggle with supporters of opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim, after the court case outside the Palace of Justice in Putrajaya, Malaysia, on Tuesday, Feb. 10, 2015. Malaysia's top court on Tuesday upheld opposition leader Ibrahim's sodomy conviction and sentenced him to five years in prison, a verdict he slammed as the "murder of judicial independence" and the result of a political conspiracy. (AP Photo/Joshua Paul)KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — Malaysian police have detained a cartoonist and are investigating two lawmakers for sedition over tweets and a cartoon condemning the judiciary for dismissing opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim's final appeal against a sodomy conviction.

Over 300 migrants feared drowned in new Mediterranean boat tragedy

‎11 ‎February ‎2015, ‏‎06:40:36 PMGo to full article
African migrants disembark on the Mediterrean island of Lampedusa after they were rescued by the Italian coast guard on February 9, 2015More than 300 migrants are feared drowned after their overcrowded dinghies sank in the Mediterranean, triggering calls for the world to act after the latest boat disaster on the perilous crossing from Africa to Europe. The victims were mainly from sub-Saharan Africa who had left the coast of Libya at the weekend in four small boats, the UN refugee agency said. A total 29 Africans believed to have sailed in the same fleet perished from exposure as they tried to reach Italy in rough seas. Details of the apparent mass drownings emerged after nine migrants -- in a group of more than 200 packed into two dinghies -- were rescued by the coastguard and taken to the Italian island of Lampedusa.

Stocks muted ahead of emergency meeting on Greek debt

‎11 ‎February ‎2015, ‏‎03:22:36 PMGo to full article
Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras looks on during a joint news briefing with Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development Secretary General Jose Angel Gurria, after their meeting in Athens on Wednesday, Feb. 11, 2015. Gurria met officials from Greece's new left-wing government who are seeking assistance in overhauling cost-cutting reforms imposed as part of an international bailout. Eurozone ministers are meeting Wednesday to discuss Greece's debt problem and efforts by Athens to restructure that debt. (AP Photo/Yorgos Karahalis)SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — Global stocks were muted Wednesday as investors turned their focus to an emergency meeting of eurozone finance ministers that will discuss Greece's appeal for more generous bailout conditions.

Image of Asia: Making the morning tea for Delhi's laborers

‎11 ‎February ‎2015, ‏‎02:55:21 PMGo to full article
A tea seller prepares tea for laborers in the old city area of New Delhi, India, Wednesday, Feb. 11, 2015. India is the second largest tea producer in the world and the drink is the most popular hot beverage in the country. Tea production declined across the country in 2014, according to the Tea Board of India. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)In this photo by Bernat Armangue, a tea seller prepares tea for laborers in metropolitan Delhi. India is the second-largest tea producer in the world and the drink is the most popular hot beverage in the country. Tea production declined across the country in 2014, according to the Tea Board of India.

China's Xi says treasures friendship with Vietnam, despite dispute

‎11 ‎February ‎2015, ‏‎02:34:43 PMGo to full article
Chinese President Xi listens with an earpiece as Chinese Foreign Minister Wang looks on during a meeting with Argentinian President Kirchner at the Great Hall of the People in BeijingChinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday told the head of Vietnam's ruling Communist Party he treasured the two nations' traditional friendship, but disagreements needed careful handling to ensure regional stability amid an ugly dispute. Communist parties rule both countries and trade has swelled to $50 billion annually, but Vietnam has long been suspicious of its giant neighbor, especially over China's increasingly assertive claims to almost the entire South China Sea. Anti-Chinese violence flared in Vietnam last year after a $1-billion deepwater rig owned by China's state-run CNOOC oil company was parked 240 km (150 miles) off the coast of Vietnam in the South China Sea.

Foreign militants a growing danger on home soil: U.S. envoy

‎11 ‎February ‎2015, ‏‎02:14:59 PMGo to full article
By Rujun Shen SINGAPORE (Reuters) - The danger of foreign fighters and self-radicalized individuals who support Islamic State (IS) mounting attacks in their home countries is growing even as the fight against the militants makes progress, a U.S. official said on Wednesday. "I do believe it's an increasing issue," Retired General John Allen, the U.S. special envoy for building a coalition against Islamic State, told reporters in Singapore, when asked about the risk of individuals and groups hitching themselves to IS and carrying out attacks in their home countries. "The foreign fighters are a reality that all of us are going to deal with in the future." Australia said earlier on Wednesday it had thwarted an imminent attack linked to IS, barely two months after a self-styled sheik aligning himself with the IS held hostages in a Sydney cafe for 17 hours. Victories on the battlefield against the IS would diminish the group's appeal to potential recruits, and there have been increasing reports of foreign fighters becoming disillusioned, Allen said.

Philippine police say rebels finished off wounded commandos

‎11 ‎February ‎2015, ‏‎01:38:56 PMGo to full article
Police Director Getulio Napenas, wipes his face at the start of the Lower House probe into the Jan. 25, 2015, incident killing 44 elite police commandos known as SAF (Special Action Force) on Wednesday, Feb. 11, 2015, in Quezon city northeast of Manila, Philippines. Deputy Director General Leonardo Espina said Wednesday that autopsy reports showed some of the commandos were wounded but still alive when shot to death at close range by Muslim insurgents in a recent clash. (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez)MANILA, Philippines (AP) — The Philippine police chief, holding back tears, said Wednesday that Muslim rebels shot to death some of his anti-terror commandos as they lay wounded in a fierce gunbattle last month that has stalled the government's peace deal with the insurgents.


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