• China may pay "international price" in South China Sea legal case, experts say

    By Greg Torode and Manuel Mogato HONG KONG/MANILA (Reuters) - When an international court ruled in late October that it had jurisdiction to hear a case filed by the Philippines against China over the disputed South China Sea, Beijing dismissed the decision, saying it would "lead to nothing". Philippine officials as well as some foreign diplomats and experts disagree, saying China could come under intensified diplomatic and legal pressure if the Permanent Court of Arbitration in the Hague ultimately decides in favour of Manila. Legal experts say Manila has a significant chance of success, citing the court's detailed rejection of China's arguments in the hearing on jurisdiction.

  • Philadelphia 76ers end losing streak, LeBron stunned

    The Philadelphia 76ers' historic and agonizing losing streak finally ended as Kobe Bryant suffered more defeat with the Los Angeles Lakers in his first road match since announcing his plans to retire. One more defeat for the Sixers on Tuesday -- 0-18 heading into the game -- would have given them sole possession of the record for the worst start to a season in NBA history.

    AFP News
  • Body of Australian former Hells Angels member found in Thailand: police

    The body of an Australian former Hells Angels member who was abducted at gunpoint by a group of masked men in Thailand has been discovered in a woodland grave, police said Wednesday. Wayne Rodney Schneider, 37, was kidnapped on Monday by a gang of men, believed to be foreigners, outside his house in Pattaya, a seaside resort town notorious for its sprawling red light district and links with organised crime. Police have named their chief suspect as Antonio Bagnato, a 27-year-old Australian national.

    AFP News
  • North Korean ghost boats, in deadly hunt for fish, wash up in Japan

    By Ju-min Park and Kaori Kaneko SEOUL/TOKYO (Reuters) - Fishing boats carrying decomposed corpses have washed ashore in Japan in recent weeks, leading to speculation they are rickety North Korean vessels that have strayed dangerously far from port under the impoverished nation's push to boost its catch. There has been no mention from secretive North Korea of any missing boats, but its leader, Kim Jong Un, has put a high priority on fishing as a way of earning foreign currency and providing a sustainable food source that is not reliant on harvests and weather. The Japanese coast guard and police reported 12 incidents of wrecked wooden boats, including some that were in pieces, on the country's shores and waters since October, containing 22 dead bodies, including five skulls.

  • Mark Zuckerberg to give away 99 percent of his Facebook shares, or $45B, to charity during his lifetime

    Rick Wilking/Reuters Along with his daughter’s birth, Mark … Continued The post Mark Zuckerberg to give away 99 percent of his Facebook shares, or $45B, to charity during his lifetime appeared first on Business Insider.

    Business Insider
  • Sinead O'Connor begs her children for hospital visit

    Troubled singer Sinead O'Connor has begged her family to visit in her hospital less than 24 hours after she blasted them on social media.

    Cover Media
  • Gerrard's return to training ground a boost, says Klopp

    The return of former club skipper Steven Gerrard to Liverpool's training ground has put a smile on everyone's faces, manager Juergen Klopp said ahead of Wednesday's League Cup quarter-final at Southampton. Gerrard has finished his first season with Major League Soccer side LA Galaxy who he joined after 17 years at Anfield, and has been training with his old team mates. Everybody had a smile on their face when they saw Stevie," Klopp told a news conference on Tuesday.

  • U.S. bombing wider Islamic State oil supply chain - Obama nominee

    By Timothy Gardner WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States has stepped up the bombing of the Islamic State militant group's oil operations including drilling and trucking to go beyond hitting mostly mobile refineries, President Barack Obama's nominee for Assistant Secretary of State for energy said on Tuesday. "What you've seen over the last few weeks is a stepped up approach that is not only more bombings, but a different kind of bombing," Amos Hochstein, currently energy envoy at the department, told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. About 43 percent of Islamic State's oil revenue has been affected by U.S.-led strikes over the past month, U.S. General Joe Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said in testimony to a separate congressional panel.

  • GrabTaxi and Hailo go legit in Singapore, UberTaxi could be next

    Singapore’s Land Transport Authority has issued certificates of registration for the taxi-booking apps and is reviewing applications for more.

    Tech in Asia
  • Statue of Liberty inspired by Arab woman, researchers say

    The Statue of Liberty, a symbol of democracy and freedom that has greeted countless immigrants to US shores, was inspired by a project representing an Arab woman guarding the Suez Canal, researchers said. The recent findings are especially startling for some in the United States amid a heated debate over the arrival of refugees from war-scarred Syria and other Muslim majority countries. French sculptor Frederic Auguste Bartholdi, who traveled to Egypt in 1855-1856, developed there a "passion for large-scale public monuments and colossal sculptures," said the US National Park Service, which guards the Statue of Liberty in New York.

    AFP News
  • Josh Hartnett and Tamsin Egerton welcome a baby

    Josh Harnett and Tamsin Egerton have been photographed leaving a hospital in London with their newborn baby.

    Cover Media
  • 200 US special forces to fight IS jihadists in Iraq, Syria

    The United States will increasingly rely on special operations troops to battle Islamic State jihadists in Iraq and Syria, US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter said Tuesday, while calling on international powers to beef up their own efforts. Speaking to lawmakers in the House Armed Services Committee, the Pentagon chief said he was deploying a "specialized expeditionary targeting force" to Iraq to work alongside local Iraqi and Kurdish peshmerga forces battling the IS group.

    AFP News
  • Flight attendant accused of attacks appears in court

    CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — An American Airlines flight attendant accused of attacking fellow crew members and two U.S. air marshals during a trans-Atlantic flight made her first court appearance Tuesday, where attorneys argued over whether she should be held in custody or released to her family.

    Associated Press
  • Filipino bishops slam 'Dirty Harry' presidential hopeful

    Catholic bishops in the Philippines lashed out Tuesday at a presidential candidate popularly known as "Dirty Harry", after he made a rambling and obscenity-filled speech cursing the pope. Rodrigo Duterte, whose hardline anti-crime reputation has seen him compared with Clint Eastwood's no-nonsense enforcer, sparked the ire of the influential Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines, which questioned if he deserved to be president. "When a revered and loved and admired man like Pope Francis is cursed by a political candidate and the audience laughs, I can only bow my head and grieve in great shame," said a statement, issued by the group's president, Archbishop Socrates Villegas.

    AFP News
  • Rudder problem, pilot actions led to Indonesia AirAsia crash

    JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — A rudder control system problem that had occurred nearly two dozen times in the previous 12 months coupled with the pilots' response led to last year's crash of an AirAsia plane in Indonesia that killed all 162 people on board, investigators said Tuesday.

    Associated Press
  • Samsung replaces mobile chief, promotes chairman's daughter

    Samsung on Tuesday replaced the head of its mobile business and promoted the chairman's daughter as the South Korean giant seeks to reassert its smartphone dominance amid a generational power transfer in the founding Lee family. In an annual personnel reshuffle, Samsung named Koh Dong-Jin, executive vice head of Samsung Electronics's mobile research and development, as the new head of mobile business. Shin, 59, took over the mobile division in 2011 and oversaw Samsung’s rise to the world's number-one smartphone maker.

    AFP News
  • Philippine distiller buys major Spanish brandy maker

    The Philippines largest liquor producer Emperador said Tuesday it would purchase a major Spanish brandy and sherry brand, representing its latest foreign acquisition after obtaining Iberian vineyards and a Scottish whisky giant. Emperador said in a disclosure to the Manila stock exchange that it had reached an agreement to purchase Spain's Fundador from US-based Beam Suntory for 275 million euros ($291 million). Fundador produces popular brandies including one of the same name and the Terry Centenario and Tres Cepas brands.

    AFP News
  • Turkey PM urges Russia to give up 'baseless' claims on IS trade

    Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu on Tuesday called on Russia to re-establish dialogue channels instead of making "baseless accusations" of an alleged oil trade between Ankara and Islamic State (IS) jihadists. "We should sit at the table and discuss what to do instead of making baseless accusations," Davutoglu told reporters at Ankara airport before leaving for a visit to the Turkey-backed breakaway region of northern Cyprus. The downing of a Russian warplane last week by Turkish F-16 jets for allegedly violating Turkish air space on the Syrian border sparked tensions between Turkey and Russia, until now major trade partners.

    AFP News
  • Inside Sofia Vergara and Joe Manganiello's 'super private' honeymoon

    Sofia Vergara and Joe Manganiello were "super private and very much in love" on their stunning honeymoon at a private luxury resort on the Turks and Caicos islands.

    Cover Media
  • Report: Drug maker was focused on profits, not patients

    The makers of a breakthrough hepatitis drug put profits before patients in pricing the $1,000 pill that's become a symbol of the excessive cost of medications, Senate investigators said Tuesday. A bipartisan ...

    Associated Press