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A desert in Pakistan could be the answer to the country's energy crisis as construction gets under way for one of the world's biggest solar power plan…

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Australian Defence Force releases images of Bluefin-21 robot submarine…

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Pakistani journalist and talk show host Hamid Mir wounded in shooting …

  • Philippines' oldest artworks in danger of disappearing
    Philippines' oldest artworks in danger of disappearing

    The 127 engravings of people, animals and geometric shapes are the Southeast Asian nation's oldest known artworks, but encroaching urbanisation, vandals and the ravages of nature are growing threats. The artworks have been declared a national treasure, regarded as the best proof that relatively sophisticated societies existed in the Philippines in the Stone Age. "They show that in ancient times, the Philippines did have a complex culture. Museum scientists believe the carvings date back to …

  • Philippines boosts MERS monitoring after UAE nurse scare AFP News
    Philippines boosts MERS monitoring after UAE nurse scare

    The Philippines said Saturday it was stepping up its defences against the deadly MERS virus, with the large numbers of Filipino workers in the Middle East seen as potential carriers. …

  • Dane joins in Philippines' bloody Easter crucifixions AFP News
    Dane joins in Philippines' bloody Easter crucifixions

    A Danish man joined eight Filipinos in re-enacting the death of Jesus Christ Friday by being nailed to crosses in a bloody annual Easter spectacle in the Philippines before thousands of surprised onlookers. But local residents were surprised to see the Dane, identified by a local tourism officer as 48-year-old filmmaker Lasse Spang Olsen, participate in an act restricted to Philippine citizens after a series of embarrassing incidents involving foreigners in the past. Onlookers were surprised …

  • Top Asian News at 8:00 a.m. GMT Associated Press

    MOKPO, South Korea (AP) — The confirmed death toll from South Korea's ferry disaster rose past 50 on Sunday as divers finally found a way inside the sunken vessel, quickly discovering more than a dozen bodies in what almost certainly is just the beginning of a massive and grim recovery effort. About 250 people are still missing from the ship, the vast majority of them high school students who had been on a holiday trip. Anguished families, waiting on a nearby island and fearful they might be …

  • Top Asian News at 7:30 a.m. GMT Associated Press

    MOKPO, South Korea (AP) — The confirmed death toll from South Korea's ferry disaster rose past 50 on Sunday as divers finally found a way inside the sunken vessel, quickly discovering more than a dozen bodies in what almost certainly is just the beginning of a massive and grim recovery effort. About 250 people are still missing from the ship, the vast majority of them high school students who had been on a holiday trip. Anguished families, waiting on a nearby island and fearful they might be …

  • Fed Cup: Germany beat Australia in semifinal
    Fed Cup: Germany beat Australia in semifinal

    BRISBANE, Australia (AP) — Germany sealed its place in the Fed Cup final by beating Australia after Angelique Kerber clinched the victory with a three-set win over Sam Stosur on Sunday. …

  • Joyful homecoming for 4 French journalists after Syria captivity Reuters
    Joyful homecoming for 4 French journalists after Syria captivity

    By Sunaina Karkarey VILLACOUBLAY AIRBASE France (Reuters) - Four French journalists held captive in Syria for more than 10 months returned home to France on Sunday, freshly shaved and beaming, where they were met at an airbase by President Francois Hollande, their families and friends. Nicolas Henin, Pierre Torres, Edouard Elias and Didier Francois smiled at a crowd of journalists, some of them colleagues, after descending from a military helicopter at the Villacoublay airbase southwest of …

  • Baby Prince George visits Australian zoo AFP News
    Baby Prince George visits Australian zoo

    Baby Prince George stepped out in public with his parents on Sunday for the first time in Australia, for an encounter with wildlife at Sydney's Taronga Zoo. George, eight months old and third in line to the throne after grandfather Princes Charles and father William, stole the show as his parents toured the harbourfront zoo overlooking the Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge. …

  • Prosecutors extend Korea ferry captain's detention as death toll mounts Reuters
    Prosecutors extend Korea ferry captain's detention as death toll mounts

    By Ju-min Park and Jungmin Jang JINDO/MOKPO South Korea (Reuters) - South Korean prosecutors investigating last week's ferry disaster said on Sunday they wanted to extend the detention of the captain and two other crew by 10 days as they try to determine the cause of an accident that likely claimed more than 300 lives. The Sewol ferry was on a routine 400-km (300-mile) voyage from Incheon to the southern holiday island of Jeju in calm weather on Wednesday carrying 476 passengers and crew, …

  • 4 French journalists back home after Syria ordeal Associated Press
    4 French journalists back home after Syria ordeal

    PARIS (AP) — Four French journalists kidnapped and held for 10 months in Syria returned home on Sunday to joyful families awaiting them at a military airport outside Paris. …

  • Joyful homecoming for 4 French journalists after Syria captivity
    Joyful homecoming for 4 French journalists after Syria captivity

    By Sunaina Karkarey VILLACOUBLAY AIRBASE France (Reuters) - Four French journalists held captive in Syria for more than 10 months returned home to France on Sunday, freshly shaved and beaming, where they were met at an airbase by President Francois Hollande, their families and friends. Nicolas Henin, Pierre Torres, Edouard Elias and Didier Francois smiled at a crowd of journalists, some of them colleagues, after descending from a military helicopter at the Villacoublay airbase southwest of …

  • Prosecutors extend Korea ferry captain's detention as death toll mounts Reuters
    Prosecutors extend Korea ferry captain's detention as death toll mounts

    By Ju-min Park and Jungmin Jang JINDO/MOKPO South Korea (Reuters) - South Korean prosecutors investigating last week's ferry disaster said on Sunday they wanted to extend the detention of the captain and two other crew by 10 days as they try to determine the cause of an accident that likely claimed more than 300 lives. The Sewol ferry was on a routine 400-km (300-mile) voyage from Incheon to the southern holiday island of Jeju in calm weather on Wednesday carrying 476 passengers and crew, …

  • China's love of luxury cars undimmed by domestic troubles AFP News
    China's love of luxury cars undimmed by domestic troubles

    China's desire for luxury cars remains undimmed by an economic slowdown and political austerity drive as the country's growing band of wealthy motorists set their sights on high-end wheels. In a lavish event off Tiananmen Square, ahead of the opening of the Beijing Auto Show on Sunday, bejewelled models dressed in haute-couture graced the unveiling of Rolls-Royce's Pinnacle Travel Phantom. Mainland China is already Rolls-Royce's biggest market in terms of sales, representing 28 percent of the …

  • Spirit maker Diageo hopes for second time lucky in India AFP News
    Spirit maker Diageo hopes for second time lucky in India

    Diageo hopes it will be second time lucky for its $1.9-billion offer to wrest majority control of India's United Spirits as the British booze giant seeks to ramp up its presence in the whisky-loving nation. Last week's offer for shares it does not own in India's biggest liquor company is more than double a 2012 bid spurned by many investors as too low that forced Diageo to settle for a lower stake. While Diageo has de facto management control of Bangalore-based United Spirits thanks to its …

  • Pakistan plans huge desert solar park to fight energy crisis AFP News
    Pakistan plans huge desert solar park to fight energy crisis

    For years Pakistanis have sweated and cursed through summer power cuts, but now the government plans to harness the sun's ferocious heat to help tackle the country's chronic energy crisis. In a corner of the Cholistan desert in Punjab province, power transmission lines, water pipes and a pristine new road cross 10,000 acres (4,000 hectares) of parched, sandy land. The provincial government has spent $5 million to put in place the infrastructure as it seeks to transform the desolate area into …

  • Researchers use Twitter to predict crime AFP News
    Researchers use Twitter to predict crime

    Hidden in the Twittersphere are nuggets of information that could prove useful to crime fighters -- even before a crime has been committed. Researchers at the University of Virginia demonstrated tweets could predict certain kinds of crimes if the correct analysis is applied. The results are surprising, especially when one considers that people rarely tweet about crimes directly, said lead researcher Matthew Gerber of the university's Predictive Technology Lab. Gerber said even tweets that …

  • Ex-Apple chief plans mobile phone for India AFP News
    Ex-Apple chief plans mobile phone for India

    Former Apple chief executive John Sculley, whose marketing skills helped bring the personal computer to desktops worldwide, says he plans to launch a mobile phone in India to exploit its still largely untapped smartphone market. Inflexionpoint, an information technology supply company co-founded by Sculley, will start selling the smartphones next month in India under the new Obi Mobiles brand, the Singapore-based firm said in a statement emailed to AFP Saturday. "The smartphone share in India …

  • KakaoTalk reveals it has 140 million users, made $203 million in revenue last year Tech in Asia
    KakaoTalk reveals it has 140 million users, made $203 million in revenue last year

    Korean chat app company, Kakao, has disclosed that its 2013 revenue hit $203 million, netting $59 million in profits. …

  • 10 of our hottest tech stories, lists, and features for your weekend reading Tech in Asia
    10 of our hottest tech stories, lists, and features for your weekend reading

    Here’s a mix of the most popular tech news, features, and lists from the site this week. …

FEATURED BLOGS

  • Viernes Santo in Kalibo

    Viernes Santo in Kalibo

    Photos by Little Wing Luna, VERA Files Text by Mitch Meñez Kalibo, Aklan--Viernes Santo or Good Friday is the most solemn of all the days in Holy Week. It commemorates the Passion and Death of Jesus on the Cross. The … Continue reading → More »

  • Hugas Dugo

    Hugas Dugo

    Text by Kimmy Baraoidan, VERA Files Photos by Chris Quintana and Kimmy Baraoidan Pakil, Laguna--In the small town of Pakil, Laguna resides a group of men who call themselves Hugas Dugo. Most members of the group are residents of the … Continue reading → More »

  • Lenten procession more than just a spectacle

    Text and photos by Kiersnerr Gerwin Tacadena, VERA Files Baliuag, Bulacan--This town is hosting what could be the country’s biggest Lenten procession consisting of more than 100 religious statues riding on carriages or carrozas. But concerns are being raised that … Continue reading → More »

  • Holy Week in Mt Banahaw: Mysticism meets Catholicism

    Text and photos by Patricia Isabel Gloria, VERA Files Dolores, Quezon—Around this time each year, hundreds of devotees flock to Barangay Sta. Lucia in Dolores, Quezon on the slopes of Mount Banahaw to celebrate Holy Week. Here, mysticism meets Catholicism, … Continue reading → More »

  • Simbang lakad for Lolo Uweng

    Simbang lakad for Lolo Uweng

    By April Anne Benjamin, VERA Files San Pedro, Laguna--For 14 Maundy Thursdays now, Inding Amoranto has prayed the rosary while walking the eight-kilometer distance from her house to the Shrine of Jesus in the Holy Sepulcher in the village of … Continue reading → More »

  • Batangas women bear ‘the cross’ to save loved ones

    Batangas women bear ‘the cross’ to save loved ones

    Text and photos by Jane Dasal, VERA Files Nasugbu, Batangas—At the break of dawn on Good Friday, Celilia Zafra donned a black dress and shrouded her face with a black cloth. Then she walked to a place called “putol na … Continue reading → More »

  • Chronicling the komedya in Antique

    Chronicling the komedya in Antique

    By Alex C. Delos Santos, VERA Files The first time Cecile Locsin-Nava, a scholar on cultural studies in Western Visayas, came to Antique around ten years ago was to gather data for a research on the korido, or Philippine narrative … Continue reading → More »