11 August 2017

Key events in India-Pakistan relations since Partition

In this Feb. 20, 1999, file photo, Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, left, and his Indian counterpart Atal Bihari Vajpayee wave upon Vajpayee’s arrival in Wagha border, 28 kilometers (17 miles) from Lahore, Pakistan. Vajpayee rode a bus to the Pakistani city of Lahore to meet with Pakistan counterpart, Nawaz Sharif, and sign a major peace accord.
India and Pakistan have had testy relations at best since independence. Some key dates that helped define the South Asian nations:

August 1947 - Britain ends its colonial rule over the Indian subcontinent, which becomes two independent nations — Hindu-majority, but secularly governed India and the Islamic republic of Pakistan. The division, widely known as Partition, sparks massive rioting that kills up to 1 million, while another 15 million flee their homes in one of the world’s largest human migrations.

10 August 2017

AP Explains: 70 years of India-Pakistan tensions unresolved

In this June 10, 1947 file photo, Viceroy of India Lord Louis Mountbatten, right, speaks with Muslim League leader Muhammed Ali Jinnah during conferences on India’s division in New Delhi. Jinnah appealed to Indians to carry out peacefully the British plan for dividing the country. The Muslim League formally adopted the plan on the night of June 9. As the 70th anniversary of India-Pakistan Partition comes up next week, relations between the two nations are as broken as ever. In some ways, their violent birth pangs dictated their future course through suspicion and animosity.
When the British ended two centuries of colonial rule on the Indian subcontinent in August 1947, they left a jigsaw legacy — the vast country of India flanked on either side by a newly created Pakistan split in two parts. Excitement over independence was quickly overshadowed by some of the worst bloodletting the world has ever seen, leaving up to 1 million people dead as gangs of Hindus and Muslims slaughtered each other.

As the 70th anniversary of India-Pakistan Partition comes up next week, relations between the two nations are as broken as ever. In some ways, their violent birth pangs dictated their future course through suspicion and animosity.

Here’s a look at the troubled legacy of Partition:

Remembering Partition: 70 years since India-Pakistan divide

Survivors from both India and Pakistan, from left to right: Sohinder Nath Chopra in New Delhi; Mohammad Ishaq in Rawalpindi, Pakistan; Shamsul Nisa, in Srinagar, Indian controlled Kashmir; Krishen Khanna, in New Delhi; Shamim Uddin, in Karachi, Pakistan; Hira Gulrajani in New Delhi; Akhtari Begum in Lahore, Pakistan. It’s been 70 years since India and Pakistan were carved from the former British Empire as independent nations. Overnight, Hindu and Muslim neighbors became fearful of one another. Here, survivors from both India and Pakistan recall living through that uneasy time, and consider what it meant to the future of the two countries.
It’s been 70 years since India and Pakistan were carved from the former British Empire as independent nations, a process that triggered one of the largest human migrations in history. Overnight, Hindu and Muslim neighbors became fearful of one another. Mob violence broke out, leaving hundreds of thousands dead. Some 12 million people fled their homes — including Hindus afraid they would not be welcome in the newly declared Islamic state of Pakistan, and Muslims worried they’d suffer at the hands of India’s Hindu majority.

Here, survivors from both India and Pakistan recall living through that uneasy time, and consider what it meant to the future of the two countries.

8 August 2017

7 decades into Indian democracy, a royal palace thrives

This March 6, 2007 photo, shows a general view of the Umaid Bhawan Palace in Jodhpur, India. The 347-room palace, considered one of the world’s fanciest residences, was used as the primary location for “Viceroy House,” a film by director Gurinder Chadha. The movie details the last days of the British Empire in India and the bloody partition with what became Pakistan in 1947.
In the summer of 1944, hundreds of royals gathered for the opening of Umaid Bhawan Palace, a magnificent sandstone edifice that dominates the skyline in India’s northwestern city of Jodhpur. It was the last of its kind.

Three years later, India was free from British colonial rule, and more than 500 princely states — the semi-sovereign principalities ruled by royal clans — faced an uncertain future. Most have faded into obscurity, but the family that built this palace continues to thrive — in part by converting a section of it into a hotel.

2 August 2017

India’s central bank cuts key lending rate to 6 percent

Reserve Bank of India Governor Urjit Patel, looks on during a press conference in Mumbai, India, Wednesday, Aug. 2, 2017. India’s central bank Wednesday cuts its key interest rate by a quarter of a percentage point on Wednesday, raising hopes of lower borrowing costs for households as inflation ebbs.
India’s central bank cut its key interest rate by a quarter of a percentage point on Wednesday, raising hopes of lower borrowing costs for households as inflation ebbs.

The announcement by the Reserve Bank of India reduced to 6 percent its repo rate, the interest rate it charges on lending to commercial banks.

India’s inflation rate declined to a record low of 1.54 percent in June, while the annual rate of growth in factory output fell to 1.7 percent in May from 8 percent in the same month a year earlier.

27 July 2017

Blowing smoke? E-cigarettes might help smokers quit

In this April 23, 2014 file photo, E-cigarettes appear on display at Vape store in Chicago. Smokers who used e-cigarettes were more likely to kick the habit than those who didn’t, according to a new study that suggests a liberal approach to the electronic devices could help curb smoking rates. The American study was based on the biggest sample of e-cigarette users to date and attempted to clarify if e-cigarettes help smokers quit. The research was published online Wednesday, July 26, 2017 in the journal, BMJ.
People who used e-cigarettes were more likely to kick the habit than those who didn’t, a new study found.

Nicotine patches, gums and medications are known to aid smoking cessation, but there’s no consensus on whether vaping devices can help anti-smoking efforts. The U.S. research is the largest look yet at electronic cigarette users and it found e-cigarettes played a role in helping people quit.

“It’s absolutely clear that e-cigarettes help smokers replace cigarettes,” said Peter Hajek, director of the health and lifestyle research unit at Queen Mary University in London, who wasn’t part of the study.

26 July 2017

48 dead as heavy monsoon rains lash western India

An Indian woman who was air lifted from a flooded farm gets down from an air force helicopter after she arrived at an airport in Deesa, Gujarat, India, Wednesday, July 26, 2017. At least 29 people have died in the state of Gujarat amid torrential rains. This week’s deaths have taken the toll the state to 83 since the start of the monsoon season which runs from June through September.
At least 48 people have been killed as large swaths of western India have been lashed by heavy monsoon rains and flooding over the last week, officials said Wednesday.

In Rajasthan, home to a number of popular tourist destinations, the streets of at least four districts have been turned into virtual rivers, trapping tens of thousands of people on the upper floors of residential buildings. Rescue workers were scrambling to rescue thousands of others whose homes have been flooded or destroyed.

By Wednesday, the death toll in the state stood at 19.

Sri Lanka deploys army to distribute fuel during strike

Army soldiers guard the main oil installation facility after taking the control back from protesting union workers in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Wednesday, July 26, 2017. Sri Lanka's government has deployed army troops to restore fuel distribution crippled during a strike launched by trade unions who want to stop leases of oil tanks to India and China.
Sri Lanka’s government deployed army troops on Wednesday to restore fuel distribution crippled during a strike launched by trade unions who want to stop leases of oil tanks to India and China.

Long lines have formed at gasoline stations across Sri Lanka since Monday evening due to the strike by workers at the state-run petroleum company.

Military spokesman Brig. Roshan Seneviratne said troops entered the country’s main distribution facility and refinery at Kolonnawa and Muthurajawela outside Colombo early Wednesday and they are now working in distribution facilities alongside the workers not on strike to resume the distribution of fuel.

25 July 2017

5-story building collapses in India, killing at least 12

Rescuers work on the debris after a five-story building collapsed in the Ghatkopar area of Mumbai, India, Tuesday, July 25, 2017. A fire official says 11 people have been rescued and more are feared trapped.
A five-story building came crashing down Tuesday in Mumbai, India’s financial and entertainment capital, killing at least 12 people and injuring 12 others, police said. Another dozen people were feared trapped under the rubble.

The cause of the collapse of the building, which housed 15 families, was not immediately known.

Rescuers have been digging through the rubble in search of more victims since Tuesday morning and will continue during the night, police officer Lal Bhandari said.

24 July 2017

Girl’s HIV infection seems under control without AIDS drugs

This undated photo provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows a scanning electron micrograph of multiple round bumps of the HIV-1 virus on a cell surface. In a report released on Monday, July 24, 2017, researchers said a South African girl born with the AIDS virus has kept her infection suppressed for 8 1/2 years after stopping anti-HIV medicines _ more evidence that early treatment can occasionally cause a long remission that, if it lasts, would be a form of cure.
A South African girl born with the AIDS virus has kept her infection suppressed for more than eight years after stopping anti-HIV medicines — more evidence that early treatment can occasionally cause a long remission that, if it lasts, would be a form of cure.

Her case was revealed Monday at an AIDS conference in Paris, where researchers also gave encouraging results from tests of shots every month or two instead of daily pills to treat HIV.

“That’s very promising” to help people stay on treatment, the U.S.’s top AIDS scientist, Dr. Anthony Fauci, said of the prospects for long-acting drugs.

AP Explains: India and China face off in border standoff

In this Oct. 16, 2016, file photo, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, left, and Chinese President Xi Jinping listen to a speech during the BRICS Leaders Meeting with the BRICS Business Council in Goa, India. India and China have faced off frequently since fighting a bloody 1962 war that ended with China seizing control of some territory. India’s army chief warned in July 2017 that India’s army was capable of fighting “2 1/2 wars” if needed to secure its borders. The dispute was discussed briefly without resolution by Xi and Modi on the sidelines of the G-20 summit in Hamburg, Germany.
It was the tiny Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan that sounded the alarm: Chinese soldiers had arrived with bulldozers and excavators, and were building a high-mountain road near India’s border — in an area the two nuclear-armed Asian giants have disputed for decades.

India responded to the call by sending troops last month to evict the Chinese army construction party from the Doklam Plateau. Within a few days, Indian media were running leaked video footage of soldiers from both sides shoving one another atop a grassy flatland.The tense standoff has only escalated since then, raising concerns in both capitals of an all-out military conflict. Both sides have made threats while simultaneously calling for negotiations. The U.S. State Department has urged the two sides to work together toward a peaceful resolution.

20 July 2017

Researchers in Cambodia find nest of rare riverine bird

In this undated photo provided by Wildlife Conservation Society, a Masked Finfoot sits on a nest in Preah Vihear Province, Cambodia. The New York-based Wildlife Conservation Society said in a statement on Thursday, July 20, 2017 that its researchers, along with conservationists from Environment Ministry and local residents, found a nest of Masked Finfoot, along the Memay river in the Kulen Promtep Wildlife Sanctuary in Cambodia’s northern Preah Vihear Province. It said the site is the only confirmed breeding location in Cambodia for this very rare species.
Wildlife researchers in Cambodia have found a breeding location for the masked finfoot, one of the world’s most endangered birds, raising hopes of its continuing survival.

The New York-based Wildlife Conservation Society said Thursday its scientists, along with conservationists from Cambodia’s Environment Ministry and residents along the Memay river in the Kulen Promtep Wildlife Sanctuary, discovered the only confirmed breeding location in Cambodia for the very rare species.The International Union for Conservation of Nature has placed the bird on its red list of globally endangered species because its worldwide population of less than 1,000 is declining at an alarming rate. It is found only in Bangladesh, Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

India ready for talks with China to end border standoff

In this Wednesday, Oct. 23,2013, file photo, an Indian national flag is flown next to the Chinese national emblem during a welcome ceremony for visiting Indian officials outside the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. India says it is ready to hold talks with China with both sides pulling back their forces to end a standoff along a disputed territory high in the Himalayan mountains.
India said Thursday it was ready to hold talks with China with both sides pulling back their forces to end a standoff along a disputed territory high in the Himalayan mountains.

Tensions flared last month in the southernmost part of Tibet in an area also claimed by Indian ally Bhutan, after Chinese teams began building a road onto the Doklam Plateau.

19 July 2017

China urges India withdrawal in standoff, stages drills

China renewed a call for India to immediately withdraw its troops from disputed territory high in the Himalayan mountains, following a report that Chinese forces recently held live firing drills in the region.

Foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang said that Indian forces had to leave the area to avoid an “escalation of the situation.”

“We have stated many times that we hope the Indian side will get a clear understanding of the situation (and) immediately take measures to withdraw the troops that illegally crossed the border back to the Indian side of the border,” Lu said at a regular news briefing Tuesday.

14 July 2017

Political prisoner, Nobel laureate Liu Xiaobo dies at age 61

In this image taken from July 24, 2008, video footage by AP Video, Liu Xiaobo speaks during an interview at a park in Beijing, China. The judicial bureau in the northeastern Chinese city of Shenyang says jailed Nobel Peace Prize laureate Liu Xiaobo has died of multiple organ failure Thursday, July 13, 2017, at age 61.
Imprisoned for all the seven years since he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, Liu Xiaobo never renounced the pursuit of human rights in China, insisting on living a life of “honesty, responsibility and dignity.” China’s most prominent political prisoner died Thursday of liver cancer at 61.

His death — at a hospital in the country’s northeast, where he’d been transferred after being diagnosed — triggered an outpouring of dismay among his friends and supporters, who lauded his courage and determination.

12 July 2017

Scientists say massive iceberg has broken off in Antarctica

This Nov. 10, 2016 aerial photo released by NASA, shows a rift in the Antarctic Peninsula’s Larsen C ice shelf. A vast iceberg with twice the volume of Lake Erie has broken off from a key floating ice shelf in Antarctica, scientists said Wednesday July 12, 2017 . The iceberg broke off from the Larsen C ice shelf, scientists at the University of Swansea in Britain said. The iceberg, which is likely to be named A68, is described as weighing 1 trillion tons (1.12 trillion U.S. tons).
One of the biggest icebergs ever recorded, a trillion-ton behemoth more than seven times the size of New York City, has broken off of Antarctica, triggering disagreement among scientists over whether global warming is to blame.

The event, captured by satellite, happened sometime in the past few days when the giant chunk snapped off an ice shelf.

9 July 2017

G-20 shut Trump out on climate, strike deal on trade

Leaders, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel, left, and their partners attend a concert at the Elbphilharmonie concert hall on the first day of the G-20 summit in Hamburg, northern Germany, Friday, July 7, 2017.
World powers lined up against U.S. President Donald Trump on climate change, reaffirming their support for international efforts to fight global warming.

The Group of 20 summit that ended Saturday in Hamburg also revealed tensions on trade, as the U.S. administration and international partners forged a deal that endorsed open markets but acknowledged countries had a right to put up barriers to block unfair practices.

8 July 2017

Key points from the G20 summit of world leaders

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, left to right, World Bank President Jim Yong Kim, United States President Donald Trump, his daughter Ivanka Trump, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau pose for a photo after the Women and Development event at the G20 summit Saturday, July 8, 2017 in Hamburg, Germany.
Leaders of the Group of 20 rich and developing countries spent two days trying to come up with common positions on climate change, trade and migration at their summit in Hamburg, Germany.

Implementation depends on the will of national governments to take action, and compliance isn’t perfect. But a common statement of purpose sets the tone for policy and enables peer pressure.

Here’s a look at what the leaders did — and didn’t — agree on:

22 May 2017

Mumbai Indians clinch thrilling IPL final against Supergiant

Mumbai Indians celebrate after winning the Indian Premier League (IPL) cricket final against Rising Pune Supergiant in Hyderabad, India, Sunday, May 21, 2017.
Mumbai Indians won their third Indian Premier League title on Sunday, defeating Rising Pune Supergiant by just one run in a dramatic final which went to the last ball.

Supergiant lost three wickets in the last over — bowled by Mitchell Johnson (3-26) — to be restricted to 128-6 after Mumbai Indians scored 129-8.

Supergiant needed 11 runs off the last over but Johnson dismissed Manoj Tiway and top-scorer Steve Smith (51) off successive deliveries after conceding a boundary off the first ball.

19 May 2017

Reema Lagoo, who played mother to top Bollywood actors, dies

A woman wails near the body Bollywood actress Reema Lagoo during her funeral in Mumbai, India, Thursday, May 18, 2017. Lagoo, the ever-smiling screen mother to some of India’s top actors, died Thursday. She was 59.
Bollywood actress Reema Lagoo, the ever-smiling screen mother to some of India’s top actors, died Thursday. She was 59.

Condolences and tributes to the actress poured forth on Twitter, including from Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

“Reema Lagoo was a versatile actor who left a big impact in the film & TV world. Her demise is saddening,” Modi tweeted.

Veteran actor Rishi Kapoor tweeted “Good friend. heartfelt condolences.”

18 May 2017

UN court orders Pakistan not to execute Indian national

Friends of Indian naval officer Kulbhushan Jadhav celebrate the International Court of Justice order on Jadhav as they gather near a portrait of him in Mumbai, India, Thursday, May 18, 2017. The U.N. court on Thursday ordered Pakistan not to execute the Indian naval officer convicted of espionage and terrorism, in a case that has further strained relations between the Asian neighbors.
The International Court of Justice on Thursday ordered Pakistan not to execute an Indian naval officer convicted of espionage and terrorism, a case that has further strained relations between the Asian neighbors.

The officer, Kulbhushan Jadhav, was convicted in Pakistan and sentenced to death on April 10. The U.N. court ruled unanimously that Pakistan shouldn’t put Jadhav to death until India’s allegation that Pakistan breached his right to consular assistance is legally resolved.

Asian funerals go green, high-tech at Hong Kong trade fair

Wicker and seagrass coffins are displayed at the Asia Funeral and Cemetery Expo & Conference in Hong Kong, Thursday, May 18, 2017. The expo underscores how for some investors Asia’s rapidly aging population makes its death industry a potentially lucrative market. Asia’s aging population is projected to hit 923 million by mid-century, according to an Asian Development Bank, putting the region on track to become the oldest in the world.
Death is inevitable but it doesn’t have to be bad for the environment.

Caskets made of paper and wicker coffins on display at a recent Hong Kong funeral industry trade highlighted a trend toward “green burials” in an industry booming as Asia’s population rapidly ages.

Chinese businessman Alex Sun’s company, Shandong Ecoffin International, makes wicker and seagrass coffins, which first became popular in the West and are now catching on in Asia. Basket-weaving dates to the Tang Dynasty (618-907 AD) in northeast China’s Shandong province, where Sun’s factory uses fast-growing willow reeds to make caskets that are an eco-friendly alternative to wood.

17 May 2017

Christian sect attacks Congo prison, frees leader, 50 others

Burned minivans are seen outside the main prison in Kinshasa, Congo, Wednesday May 17, 2017. Christian sect members stormed a prison in Congo’s capital Wednesday, freeing the leader of their movement and 50 others, Congo’s justice minister said. Bundu dia Kongo movement leader Ne Mwanda Nsemi is now on the run after a 4 a.m. attack on Malaka prison in Kinshasa, Justice Minister Alexis Thambwe Mwamba told local radio station Top Congo FM.
Christian sect members stormed a prison in Congo’s capital Wednesday, freeing the leader of their movement and 50 others, Congo’s justice minister said.

Bundu dia Kongo movement leader Ne Mwanda Nsemi is now on the run after the 4 a.m. attack on Makala prison in Kinshasa, Justice Minister Alexis Thambwe Mwamba told local radio station Top Congo FM.

Gunfire could be heard in the morning, but the justice minister said the situation is now under control.

What we currently know about the global cyberattack

In this May 13, 2017 file photo, a screenshot of the warning screen from a purported ransomware attack, as captured by a computer user in Taiwan, is seen on laptop in Beijing. Global cyber chaos is spreading Monday, May 14, as companies boot up computers at work following the weekend’s worldwide “ransomware” cyberattack. The extortion scheme has created chaos in 150 countries and could wreak even greater havoc as more malicious variations appear. The initial attack, known as “WannaCry,” paralyzed computers running Britain’s hospital network, Germany’s national railway and scores of other companies and government agencies around the world.
As danger from a global cyberattack that hit some 150 nations continues to fade, analysts are starting to assess the damage.

Hard-hit organizations such as the U.K.’s National Health Service appear to be bouncing back, and few people seem to have actually paid the ransom. But the attack has served as a live demonstration of a new type of global threat, one that could encourage future hackers.

Here’s what we currently know about the ransomware known as WannaCry, which locked up digital photos, documents and other files to hold them for ransom.

12 May 2017

India’s Modi emphasizes links with Sri Lanka to deepen ties

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses the gathering at the UN celebration of Vesak ceremony in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Friday, May 12, 2017. During his two-day visit Modi participated in the United Nations celebration of Vesak or the day of birth, enlightenment and death of the Buddha. He also inaugurated a modern hospital for the benefit of tea plantation workers, ancestors of Indian laborers brought by the British from the 18th century.
India’s prime minister emphasized common heritage with Sri Lanka on Friday as he tries to woo the island neighbor that’s become an important cog in China’s plans for control of the Indian Ocean.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi made a speech in the Sri Lankan capital marking the International Day of Vesak, the remembrance of Buddha’s birth, enlightenment and death as part of his two-day visit to the country. He later went to meet tea-plantation workers with Indian ancestry.

11 May 2017

How are saints made? A primer on miracles, martyrs, virtues

In this photo taken May 4, 2017, souvenir tiles are displayed for sale at a shop in the village of Aljustrel, outside Fatima, Portugal. The tiles show Lucia Santos, Francisco Marto and Jacinta Marto, the Portuguese shepherd children who say they saw visions of the Virgin Mary 100 years ago. Pope Francis is visiting the Fatima shrine on May 12 and 13 to canonize Francisco and Jacinta Marto.
Lengthy historic investigations. Decrees of “heroic virtues.” Miraculous cures.

The Vatican’s complicated saint-making process has long fascinated Catholics and non-Catholics alike, and will be on display Saturday when Pope Francis canonizes two children whose “visions” of the Virgin Mary 100 years ago turned the sleepy farming town of Fatima into a major Catholic pilgrimage site.

Francis recently reformed the process to address financial abuses that had long tarnished the Vatican’s saint-making machine, but the basic criteria remain.

9 May 2017

Jakarta governor sentenced to 2 years prison for blasphemy

Jakarta Governor Basuki “Ahok” Tjahaja Purnama, center, enters the court room as he attends his sentencing hearing in Jakarta, Indonesia, Tuesday, May 9, 2017. The minority Christian governor is currently on trial on accusation of blasphemy following his remark about a passage in the Quran that could be interpreted as prohibiting Muslims from accepting non-Muslims as leaders.
An Indonesian court sentenced the minority Christian governor of Jakarta to two years in prison on Tuesday for blaspheming the Quran, a jarring ruling that undermines the reputation of the world’s largest Muslim nation for practicing a moderate form of Islam.

In announcing its decision, the five-judge panel said Gov. Basuki “Ahok” Tjahaja Purnama was “convincingly proven guilty of blasphemy” and ordered his arrest. He was taken to Cipinang Prison in east Jakarta. At the court, supporters of the governor wept and hugged each other amid shouts of jubilation from members of conservative Islamic groups.

Indian tycoon Vijay Mallya guilty of disobeying top court

In this June 3, 2010 file photo, United Breweries Group Chairman Vijay Mallya attends the Global Investors Meet organized by Karnataka state government in Bangalore, India. India’s top court on Tuesday, May 9, 2017, found wanted tycoon Mallya guilty of disobeying its order barring him from transferring $40 million to his children. Mallya, who fled to London last year, is wanted in India on charges of money laundering and bank demands that he pay back more than a billion dollars in loans extended to his now-defunct airline. India has been seeking his extradition over the charges, which Mallya denies.
India’s top court on Tuesday found wanted tycoon Vijay Mallya guilty of disobeying its order barring him from transferring $40 million to his children.

Mallya, who fled to London last year, is wanted in India on charges of money laundering and bank demands that he pay back more than a billion dollars in loans extended to his now-defunct airline. India has been seeking his extradition over the charges, which Mallya denies.

3 May 2017

India summons Pakistan envoy over killing of 2 soldiers

Indians burn an effigy of Pakistan and shout anti-Pakistan slogans during a protest in Ahmadabad, India, Wednesday, May 3, 2017. Two Indian soldiers were killed and their bodies mutilated Monday in an ambush by Pakistani soldiers along the highly militarized de facto border that divides the disputed region of Kashmir between the nuclear-armed rivals, the Indian army said. But Pakistan denied any such attack, calling the Indian claims false.
A top Indian diplomat Wednesday summoned Pakistan's ambassador to demand that Islamabad take action against soldiers and officers responsible for the killing and mutilation of two Indian soldiers.

The Indian army has said the soldiers were killed and mutilated Monday in an ambush by Pakistani soldiers along the highly militarized de-facto border that divides the disputed region of Kashmir between the nuclear-armed rivals.

Daredevils beat Sunrisers by 6 wickets in IPL

Sunrisers Hyderabad's cricketer Yuvraj Singh ties the shoelaces of Delhi Daredevils' batsman Rishabh Pant during their Indian Premier League (IPL) cricket match in New Delhi, India, Tuesday, May 2, 2017.
Delhi Daredevils broke their five-match losing streak in style on Tuesday with a six-wicket win against defending champions Sunrisers Hyderabad in the Indian Premier League.

Daredevils' third victory in the tournament lifted them from the bottom of the eight-team table to the No. 6 spot with six points after nine matches.

Sunrisers, with 13 points from 11 matches, still occupy third spot behind leader Mumbai Indians and Kolkata Knight Riders.

1 May 2017

India says Pakistan killed 2 Indian soldiers in Kashmir

Two Indian soldiers were killed and their bodies mutilated Monday in an ambush by Pakistani soldiers along the highly militarized de facto border that divides the disputed region of Kashmir between the nuclear-armed rivals, the Indian army said. But Pakistan denied any such attack, calling the Indian claims false.

Separately, five police officials and two bank employees were killed when suspected rebels ambushed a bank van in Indian-controlled Kashmir, police said.

27 April 2017

India Bollywood actor Vinod Khanna dies of cancer at age 70

In this Aug. 15, 2011, file photo, Bollywood actor Vinod Khanna attends the funeral of versatile Indian actor Shammi Kapoor in Mumbai. A hospital official says Vinod Khanna, a dashing Bollywood actor turned politician, has died of cancer in Mumbai. He was 70.
Vinod Khanna, a dashing Bollywood actor turned politician, has died of cancer, a hospital official said. He was 70.

Tushar Pania, a spokesman for Sir HN Reliance Foundation Hospital, said Khanna died Thursday due to bladder carcinoma.

Khanna made his Bollywood debut in 1968 and acted in more than 100 films. His popular performances included "Mere Apne" (My Own), "Mera Gaon Mera Desh" (My Village, My Country), "Gaddaar" (Traitor), "Kachhe Dhaage" (Delicate Thread) and "Amar Akbar Anthony." He acted with top stars Amitabh Bachhan and Dharmendra in several Hindi movies.

26 April 2017

Brazil police arrest 12 men suspected of stealing millions

Guards and police inspect a vault that the assailants blew up early morning in Ciudad del Este, Paraguay, Monday, April 24, 2017. Dozens of attackers armed with assault rifles used explosives to blast open the vault of an armored car company early Monday and apparently escaped by boat into Brazil with a haul of cash, authorities said.
Twelve men suspected of taking part in a dramatic, multimillion-dollar theft from an armored car company in a Paraguayan border city have been arrested in Brazil, officials in the Brazilian Federal Police said Tuesday.

The men are thought to be among roughly 50 men who used explosives to blast into the vault of the Prosegur company in Ciudad del Este, then escaped into Brazil, Federal Police Inspector Fabiano Bordignon said.

25 April 2017

'Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance' author dead

This 1975 image released by William Morrow shows author Robert M. Pirsig working on a motorcycle. Pirsig, whose novel “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance” became a million-selling classic after more than 100 publishers turned it down, died at his home in South Benwick, Maine on Monday, April 24, 2017. He was 88.
Robert M. Pirsig, whose philosophical novel "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance" became a million-selling classic and cultural touchstone after more than 100 publishers turned it down, died Monday at age 88.

Pirsig's publishing house, William Morrow, announced that he died at his home in South Berwick, Maine. He had been in failing health.

"Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance" was published in 1974 and was based on a motorcycle trip Pirsig took in the late 1960s with his 12-year-old son, Chris.

24 April 2017

Maoist rebels kill at least 24 Indian paramilitary soldiers

Maoist rebels killed at least 24 Indian paramilitary soldiers and injured six others in their stronghold in central India on Monday in one of the worst attacks on the country's security forces in recent years, police said.

The rebels fired from hilltops at a group of paramilitary soldiers who were guarding workers building roads in a forested area of Sukma district of Chhattisgarh state, police officer Vishwaranjan said.

The government has been trying to improve roads in the dense jungles of Chhattisgarh to make it easier for security forces to pursue the rebels.

22 April 2017

Queen Elizabeth II turns 91 with day at the horse races

Britain marked Queen Elizabeth II's 91st birthday on Friday with gun salutes, as the monarch herself enjoyed a family day and a trip to the races.

The queen, who owns and breeds racehorses, was spotted smiling broadly and chatting animatedly Friday with jockeys and staff at Newbury Racecourse, not far from her Windsor Castle home.

She visited the racecourse with daughter Princess Anne and sat in the royal box to watch her thoroughbred Maths Prize run; it finished fifth.

21 April 2017

Paris police shot on Champs-Elysees; IS group claims attack

Bystanders raise their arms as police seal off the Champs Elysees avenue in Paris, France, after a fatal shooting in which a police officer was killed along with an attacker, Thursday, April 20, 2017. French media are reporting that two police officers were shot Thursday on the famed shopping boulevard. Many police vehicles can be seen on the avenue that passes many of the city's most iconic landmarks.
A gunman opened fire on police on Paris' iconic Champs-Elysees boulevard Thursday night, killing one officer and wounding three people before police shot and killed him. The Islamic State group quickly claimed responsibility for the attack, which hit just three days before a tense presidential election.

Security already has been a dominant theme in the campaign, and the violence on the sparkling avenue threatened to weigh on voters' decisions. Candidates canceled or rescheduled final campaign events ahead of Sunday's first round vote.

19 April 2017

India ruling party leaders face trial in 1992 mosque attack

In this July 28, 2005 file photo, Indian opposition leader and President of the Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) L.K. Advani, second right, senior BJP leaders Uma Bharati, right, Kalyan Singh, second left, and Murli Manohar Joshi wave to people during a public rally in Rae Bareilly, in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. India's top court said Wednesday, April 19, 2017, that the four senior leaders of India's ruling Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party will stand trial for their role in a criminal conspiracy over the destruction of the 16th century Babri mosque in 1992, an event that sparked bloody nationwide rioting. Of the four main leaders who will now stand trial, Singh is currently the governor of an Indian province, and the constitution protects him from criminal trial. Therefore his trial will start after his term ends.
India's top court on Wednesday ordered four senior leaders of the ruling Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party to stand trial over a 1992 attack on an ancient mosque that sparked Hindu-Muslim violence that killed thousands.

A lower court had earlier dropped conspiracy charges against the four in a case that has languished in India's sluggish legal system for almost 25 years.

14 April 2017

US drops 'mother of all bombs' on Islamic State tunnel

This undated photo provided by Eglin Air Force Base shows a GBU-43B, or massive ordnance air blast weapon, the U.S. military's largest non-nuclear bomb, which contains 11 tons of explosives. The Pentagon said U.S. forces in Afghanistan dropped a GBU-43B on an Islamic State target in Afghanistan on Thursday, April 13, 2017, in what a Pentagon spokesman said was the first-ever combat use of the bomb.
U.S. forces in Afghanistan on Thursday struck an Islamic State tunnel complex in eastern Afghanistan with "the mother of all bombs," the largest non-nuclear weapon ever used in combat by the U.S. military, Pentagon officials said.

The bomb, known officially as a GBU-43B, or massive ordnance air blast weapon, unleashes 11 tons of explosives. When it was developed in the early 2000s, the Pentagon did a formal review of legal justification for its combat use.

The Pentagon said it had no early estimate of deaths or damage caused by its attack, which President Donald Trump called a "very, very successful mission."

Ocean world near Saturn top contender for life beyond Earth

This June 28, 2009 image provided by NASA, taken by the international Cassini spacecraft, shows Enceladus, one of Saturn's moons. NASA's Cassini spacecraft has detected hydrogen molecules in the geysers shooting off the ice-encrusted ocean world, possibly the result of deep-sea chemical reactions between water and rock that could spark microbial life, according to findings announced Thursday, April 13, 2017 in the journal Science.
A tiny, ice-encrusted ocean world orbiting Saturn is now a hotter-than-ever candidate for potential life.

NASA's Cassini spacecraft has detected hydrogen molecules in the geysers shooting off the moon Enceladus, possibly the result of deep-sea chemical reactions between water and rock that could spark microbial life, scientists announced Thursday.

NASA and others are quick to point out this latest discovery does not mean there's life on Enceladus (ehn-SEHL'-uh-duhs), but that there may be conditions favorable for life.

13 April 2017

Chase pays off as Mumbai beats Sunrisers in IPL by 4 wickets

Mumbai Indians Nitish Rana bats during their Indian Premier League (IPL) cricket match against Sunrisers Hyderabad in Mumbai, India, Wednesday, April 12, 2017.
The chasing team at Wankhede Stadium won for the sixth straight Indian Premier League game as Mumbai Indians beat defending champions Sunrisers Hyderabad by four wickets on Wednesday.

Mumbai won the toss and opted to field in what turned out to be a wise decision, given the recent success of teams batting second at this ground. Sunrisers made 158-8 off 20 overs, with only openers Shikhar Dhawan (48) and David Warner (49) achieving significant scores. Man-of-the-match Jasprit Bumrah took 3-24 as Sunrisers' middle-order collapsed. Harbhajan Singh also did some damage with 2-23, including the important wicket of Warner, who had smashed seven fours and two sixes.

12 April 2017

Philippines: Troops killed militant blamed for beheadings

Philippine National Police Chief Ronald dela Rosa walks after an anti-terror simulation exercise at a bus terminal in Quezon city, north of Manila, Philippines on Tuesday, April 11, 2017. Dela Rosa said at least several people have been killed in battle between government forces and suspected Abu Sayyaf militants on a central resort island, far from the extremists' southern jungle bases and in a region where the U.S. government has warned the gunmen may be conducting kidnappings.
Philippine troops battling militants in a central province killed a key Abu Sayyaf commander who had been blamed for the beheadings of two Canadians and a German hostage and was apparently attempting another kidnapping mission, the military chief said Wednesday.

Military chief of staff Gen. Eduardo Ano told The Associated Press that troops have recovered and identified the remains of Moammar Askali, who used the nom de guerre Abu Rami, in the scene of the battle in a far-flung coastal village on Bohol island, where five other Abu Sayyaf gunmen were killed in the fighting Tuesday, along with four soldiers and policemen.

Germany: Pregame blasts rock soccer team bus; player injured

A window of Dortmund's team bus is damaged after an explosion before the Champions League quarterfinal soccer match between Borussia Dortmund and AS Monaco in Dortmund, western Germany, Tuesday, April 11, 2017.
Three explosions went off near the team bus of Borussia Dortmund, one of Germany's top soccer clubs, as it set off for a Champions League quarterfinal match on Tuesday evening. One of Dortmund's players was injured.

Police said they were working on the assumption that the blasts were directed at the Dortmund team and caused by "serious explosive devices," which may have been hidden in a hedge near a car park.

10 April 2017

Pakistan's army sentences alleged Indian spy to death

In this March 29, 2016 photo, journalists look a image of Indian naval officer Kulbhushan Jadhav, who was arrested in March 2016, during a press conference by Pakistan's army spokesman and the Information Minister, in Islamabad, Pakistan. The army said in a statement Monday, April 10, 2017, that Jadhav was sentenced to death on charges of espionage and sabotage. Pakistan says Jadhav was an Indian intelligence official who aided and financed terrorist activities.
Pakistan's military sentenced an Indian naval officer to death Monday on charges of espionage and sabotage, officials said.

Kulbhushan Jadhav, who was arrested in March 2016, had been convicted by a military tribunal, the Pakistani army said in a statement. Gen. Qamar Javed Bajwa, the head of Pakistan's armed forces, signed off on the sentence.

Pakistan's Defense Minister Khawaja Mohammad Asif alleged that the spy had official Indian government backing.

9 April 2017

Bereaved Syrian father: US missile strike not enough

Abdel Hameed Alyousef, 29, of Khan Sheikhoun, Syria, looks at photographs of his deceased children on his cell phone in Antakya, southeastern Turkey, late Friday, April 7, 2017. His wife Dalal and his 9-month-old twins Aya and Ahmed, along with other members of his family were all killed in Tuesday's chemical weapon attack on the Syrian town that killed some 87 people. The human cost of the attack is evident as Alyousef says 'I had lost 19 of my close relatives' in the attack which has been widely blamed on Syrian President Bashar Assad's regime, although Syria officially denied using chemical weapons.
Abdel Hameed al-Yousef woke to the sound of an early morning bombardment in the northern Syrian town of Khan Sheikhoun and told his wife Dalal to take their twins Aya and Ahmed to safety outside.

He emerged to find the home covered in dust, and then a new strike exploded about 400 yards (300 meters away).

Within minutes, he said, his eyes started to water, and he soon lost consciousness.

Historian: Nazi leader Hitler once had Jewish landlord

A German historian says Nazi leader Adolf Hitler lived for almost a decade in a house that belonged to a Jewish merchant.

Paul Hoser says Hitler lived at Thierschstrasse 41 in Munich's Lehel district from 1920 till 1929, interrupted by a year spent at Landsberg prison for staging a failed coup in Bavaria.

8 April 2017

India extends $4.5 billion line of credit to Bangladesh

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi shakes hand with his Bangladeshi counterpart Sheikh Hasina at the Presidential Palace in New Delhi, India, Saturday, April 8, 2017. India and Bangladesh have signed a slew of agreements, including a $4.5 billion concessionary line of credit from India for development projects in Bangladesh, as the South Asian neighbors try to deepen their ties.
India and Bangladesh signed a slew of agreements on Saturday, including a $4.5 billion concessionary line of credit from India for development projects in Bangladesh, as the South Asian neighbors try to deepen their ties.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Bangladeshi counterpart, Sheikh Hasina, held wide-ranging talks in New Delhi, exchanging views on defense, regional security and cooperation in combating international terrorism.

6 April 2017

Former Mexican cartel head gets life for drug smuggling

In this Jan. 21, 2008, file photo, Mexican federal police officers escort Alfredo Beltran Leyva, known as "El Mochomo, upon his arrival at the Mexico City's airport. Beltran Leyva, 46, was sentenced to life in prison on April 5, 2017, after pleading guilty in February to charges his multibillion-dollar operation smuggled tons of cocaine and methamphetamine into the United States.
A once-powerful Mexican drug cartel leader and associate of Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman has been sentenced to life in a U.S. prison.

Alfredo Beltran Leyva, 46, was sentenced Wednesday after pleading guilty in February to charges his multibillion-dollar operation smuggled tons of cocaine and methamphetamine into the United States. Beltran Leyva led the organization from the 1990s to his indictment in 2014, as it shipped tons of cocaine from South America to the United States, prosecutors said.

5 April 2017

Indian police: Mob kills Muslim man who was transporting cow

In this Oct. 2, 2015 file photo, a student activist holds a placard during a protest denouncing the killing of a 52-year-old Muslim farmer Mohammad Akhlaq by villagers upon hearing rumors that the family was eating beef, a taboo for many among India's majority Hindu population, in New Delhi, India. A Muslim man accused of transporting cows for slaughter has died after he was beaten by a mob in western India, police said Wednesday, April 5, 2017, in the latest incidence of violence by Hindu vigilante groups enraged over the treatment of animals they consider sacred.
A Muslim man beaten by a mob that accused him of transporting cows for slaughter has died in western India, police said Wednesday, in the latest violence by Hindu vigilante groups enraged over treatment of the animal they consider sacred.

Pehlu Khan died late Tuesday of injuries sustained when he and 14 other men were brutally beaten three days earlier in Rajasthan state, police said.

Hindus, who form 80 percent of India's 1.3 billion population, consider cows to be sacred and for many eating beef is taboo. In many Indian states, the slaughtering of cows and selling of beef is either restricted or banned.

N. Korea fires ballistic missile ahead of Trump-Xi meeting

Visitors sit in front of the TV screen showing a news program reporting about North Korea's missile firing, at Seoul Train Station in Seoul, South Korea, Wednesday, April 5, 2017. North Korea fired a ballistic missile into its eastern waters Wednesday, U.S. and South Korean officials said, amid worries the North might conduct banned nuclear or rocket tests ahead of the first summit between President Donald Trump and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping this week. The letters read "North Korea fired a ballistic missile into its eastern waters."
North Korea fired a newly developed powerful ballistic missile into its eastern waters Wednesday, U.S. and South Korean officials said, amid worries the North might conduct nuclear or long-range rocket tests ahead of the first summit between President Donald Trump and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping this week.

The initial U.S. and South Korean assessments indicated it was a KN-15 medium-range missile, whose first publicly known test in February was considered by many foreign experts as a potentially worrying development. It uses solid fuel already loaded inside the missile, which would shorten launch preparation times, boost the weapon's mobility and make it harder for outsiders to detect the signs of its liftoff.

4 April 2017

India-China row deepens as Dalai Lama arrives in NE India

India said Tuesday that China should not interfere in its internal affairs, as the Dalai Lama began a weeklong visit to India's remote northeast that Beijing has protested.

The Tibetan spiritual leader was greeted by cheering supporters as he arrived in Arunachal Pradesh. China claims the partly ethnically Tibetan Himalayan state as its own territory, and warned last month of "severe damage" to relations with India and increased regional instability if the Dalai Lama proceeds with his trip.

Renowned Indian classical singer Kishori Amonkar dies at 84

A man pays his last respect to classical Indian musician Kishori Amonkar in Mumbai, India, Tuesday, April 4, 2017. Amonkar, renowned for her innovative interpretation of classical Indian music, has died, one of her students said Tuesday. She was 84.
Singer Kishori Amonkar, renowned for her innovative interpretation of classical Indian music, has died, one of her students said Tuesday.

Amonkar, 84, died late Monday at her home in central Mumbai after a brief illness, said Gandhar Bedekar. Music students in India often live with their mentors, and Bedekar's mother was one of Amonkar's oldest disciples.

One of the leading lights of the Jaipur "gharana" or community of musicians, Amonkar was trained by her mother, Mogubai Kurdikar, who was also a well-known singer.

3 April 2017

11 Indian sailors on small boat hijacked off Somali coast

In this Sunday, Sept. 23, 2012 file photo, masked Somali pirate Hassan stands near a Taiwanese fishing vessel that washed up on shore after the pirates were paid a ransom and released the crew, in the once-bustling pirate den of Hobyo, Somalia. Somali pirates have seized a small boat, kidnapped its Indian crew members, and are taking the vessel to the Eyl area of northern Somalia, an investigator said Monday, April 3, 2017, the latest vessel targeted by the region's resurgent hijackers.
Somali pirates have seized a small boat, and its 11 Indian crew members, and taken the vessel to along the central coast, a state official said Monday. It is the latest ship targeted by Somalia's resurgent hijackers.

The pirates on Monday afternoon anchored the sailboat on the coast off Elhur, 50 kilometers (31 miles) south of Hobyo, which was a center of the piracy that was rampant several years ago, said Ahmed Mohamed, an official with the Somali state of Galmudug.

Desperation sets in as flood death toll in Colombia tops 200

Firefighters search for survivors in Mocoa, Colombia, Sunday, April 2, 2017. Colombia's President Juan Manuel Santos, who has declared Mocoa a disaster area, said that at least 207 were killed but that the death toll was changing "every moment." Authorities said another 200 people, many of them children, were injured and just as many were unaccounted for amid the destruction.
Townspeople desperately searched their ruined homes and the local hospital for loved ones Sunday after a torrent of water, mud and debris swept through a city in southern Colombia, causing more than 200 deaths, many of them children, and leaving hundreds more missing and injured.

Neighborhoods were left strewn with rocks, wooden planks, tree limbs and brown muck after heavy rain caused the three rivers that surround Mocoa to rise up and surge through the city of 40,000 Friday night and early Saturday as people slept. The deluge smashed houses, tore trees out by the roots and washed cars and trucks away.

2 April 2017

Iconic New Delhi movie theater shuts down after 85 years

In this Thursday, March 30, 2017 photo, motorists drive past the colonial era Regal Theater in New Delhi, India. The Indian capital's iconic theater signed off on Thursday night after more than eight decades with nearly 600 movie buffs cheering a 1964 Bollywood classic at a final screening. With nostalgic theater-goers singing their way to the exits, the iconic New Delhi theater has closed its doors to make way for a multiplex.
From Bollywood superstars to political heavyweights, the Regal theater hosted some of India's biggest names over more than eight decades.

But with nostalgic theater-goers singing their way to the exits after a final showing of a Bollywood classic, the iconic New Delhi theater has closed its doors to make way for a multiplex.

"It's the end of an era. It's very sad," said Nanak, who had worked at the theater since 1979. Nanak, whose grandfather and father were part of the Regal's management team in the 1950s and '60s, uses one name.

28 March 2017

3 Kashmir civilians killed in protests against Indian rule

An Indian paramilitary soldier fires at Kashmiri protesters near the site of a gun battle in Chadoora town, about 25 kilometers (15 miles) south of Srinagar, Indian controlled Kashmir, Tuesday, March 28, 2017. Three civilians were killed and 28 other people were injured in anti-India protests that erupted Tuesday following a gunbattle between rebels and government forces that killed a rebel in disputed Kashmir, police and witnesses said. Witnesses said intense clashes between rock-throwing protesters and government forces erupted just a few hundred meters (yards) from the besieged house, with police and paramilitary soldiers firing shotgun pellets and tear gas to stop the protest. Later, government forces fired into the crowd, police said.
Three civilians were killed and 28 other people were injured in anti-India protests that erupted Tuesday following a gunbattle between rebels and government forces that killed a rebel in disputed Kashmir, police and witnesses said.

The gunbattle began after police and soldiers cordoned off the southern town of Chadoora following a tip that at least one militant was hiding in a house, said Inspector-General Syed Javaid Mujtaba Gillani.

As the fighting raged, hundreds of residents chanting anti-India slogans marched near the area in an attempt to help the trapped rebel escape.

27 March 2017

Avalanche kills 7 students, instructor in Japan

Firefighters make rescue operation at a ski resort following an avalanche in Nasu, Tochigi prefecture, Monday, March 27, 2017. Several high school students are feared dead after being caught in an avalanche Monday during a mountain climbing outing at a ski resort.
An avalanche killed seven Japanese high school students and an instructor Monday during a mountaineering field trip at a ski resort north of Tokyo, authorities said.

Nearly 50 students and instructors were caught by the morning avalanche in the town of Nasu in Tochigi prefecture, about 190 kilometers (120 miles) from the Japanese capital.

Police confirmed the death of the eight people late Monday, the prefecture said. Forty other people were injured, including two who were in serious condition, a prefecture report said.