KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — Two large oil slicks spotted Saturday by the Vietnamese air force offered the first sign that a jetliner carrying 239 people had crashed into the ocean after vanishing from radar without sending a single distress call. An international fleet of planes and ships scouted the waters between Malaysia and Vietnam for any clues to the fate of the Malaysian Airlines Boeing 777, which disappeared less than an hour after taking off from Kuala Lumpur bound for Beijing.
MILAN (AP) — Foreign ministry officials in Rome and Vienna confirmed Saturday that names of two nationals listed on the manifest of the missing Malaysia Airlines flight match passports reported stolen in Thailand. Neither European was on the plane, which disappeared Saturday less than an hour after it took off from Kuala Lumpur bound for Beijing, officials said. The Italian was traveling in Thailand and the Austrian was located in his native country.
NEW YORK (AP) — The Boeing 777 flown by Malaysia Airlines that disappeared Saturday morning over the South China Sea is one of the world's most popular — and safest — jets. The long-range jumbo jet has helped connect cities at the far ends of the globe, with flights as long as 16 hours. But more impressive is its safety record: The first fatal crash in its 19-year history only came last July when an Asiana Airlines jet landed short of the runway in San Francisco. Three of the 307 people aboard died.
KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — In 2009, the United States gave Wazhma Frogh the International Woman of Courage award for her women's rights activism in Afghanistan. Prominently displayed in Frogh's office is a picture of then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton granting her the award as First Lady Michelle Obama smiles, clapping by her side. Four years later, the United States denied her a visa when she was trying to get away from an Afghan militia commander who she says was persecuting her.
TOKYO (AP) — There is something surprising in the radioactive wreck that is the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant: opportunity. To clean it up, Japan will have to develop technology and expertise that any nation with a nuclear reactor will one day need. Eyeing dozens of aging reactors at home and hundreds of others worldwide that eventually need to be retired, Japanese industry sees a profitable market for decommissioning expertise.
BEIJING (AP) — China will never make concessions in territorial disputes with its neighbors, while good relations with the U.S. depend on Washington respecting Beijing's sovereignty claims, Foreign Minister Wang Yi said Saturday. Sounding a defiant note in his first national news conference since taking office a year ago, Wang touched on disputes with Japan, the Philippines and others that have sharpened tensions in the Asia Pacific.
KATMANDU, Nepal (AP) — An Indian jetliner caught fire while landing in Nepal's capital on Saturday, but there were no casualties reported among the 170 people on board, officials said. The right wheels of the Airbus 320 caught fire while landing in Katmandu after a flight from the Indian capital of New Delhi, said Rishikesh Sharma, head of Tribhuwan International Airport.
TOKYO (AP) — North Korean voters will make a choice Sunday when they elect a new national legislature, but not for a candidate. The ruling elite have already done that for them, and there's only one per district. They get to vote "yes" or "no." Virtually all pick "yes."
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Dalai Lama called China a "great nation" during an address Friday at Washington's National Cathedral but criticized its governmental system as "harmful." The Buddhist spiritual leader said that Tibetans are willing to remain part of China, though with greater autonomy to preserve their culture and environment.
KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — A bomb placed under the car seat of a district chief exploded Saturday in eastern Afghanistan, killing him and wounding six other people, officials said. The Taliban claimed responsibility for assassination, the latest targeting senior officials as the militant movement fights to undermine the Western-backed government. The Afghan army has recently carried out several operations against militants in Nangarhar province, where the attack occurred.
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — A Malaysian court on Friday sentenced opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim to five years in jail on sodomy charges, overturning an earlier acquittal and throwing his political career into jeopardy. An angry Anwar vowed to appeal to the country's highest court. He accused Prime Minister Najib Razak's government of orchestrating his conviction and warned that it "faces the wrath of the people."
MANDRA, Pakistan (AP) — Amna Bhatti has spent half a century shaping mud into bricks in a huge kiln south of the Pakistani capital, Islamabad. She started by paying off her parents' debt and now she's on to her late husband's. She'll probably spend the rest of her life here. Bhatti was 10 when she started working at the kiln to pay off her parents' debt. Now, at 60, she is paying off the 250,000 rupees (approximately $2,500) in debt her husband left behind when he died 12 years ago.
ISLAMABAD (AP) — Pakistani officials say authorities are investigating whether malnutrition is responsible for the deaths of nearly two dozen children in the country's drought-hit desert south. Kamran Zia, the chief spokesman for National Disaster Management Authority, said Saturday as many as 23 children have died in the villages of Tharparkar desert in the southern Sindh province since February.
KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — The elder brother of Afghan President Hamid Karzai said Friday he dropped out of the country's April 5 presidential election to leave the field open to a candidate that he hoped would steer the nation through a "dignified" transition. As he mused over giving up his bid to succeed his brother, businessman Qayyum Karzai said in an interview with The Associated Press that he places his hopes for the future of battered nation in what he believes is the moderate majority among the population. In the race, he is now throwing his support behind former Afghan Foreign Minister Zalmai Rassoul.
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