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Pakistani journalist and talk show host Hamid Mir wounded in shooting by unidentified gunmen in Karachi. Paul Chapman reports.

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Every year, two rival parishes on the northern Greek island of Chios f…

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Pope Francis presides at Vatican Mass, leading Catholics into Easter a…

  • 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 5:30 a.m. GMT Associated Press

    MOKPO, South Korea (AP) — After more than three days of frustration and failure, divers on Sunday finally found a way into a submerged ferry off South Korea's southern shore, discovering more than a dozen bodies inside the ship and pushing the confirmed death toll to 50, officials said. More than 250 people are still missing, most of them high school students on a holiday trip, and anguished families are furious with the pace of rescue efforts. Divers had previously failed to enter the ferry, …

  • Top Asian News at 5:00 a.m. GMT Associated Press

    MOKPO, South Korea (AP) — After more than three days of frustration and failure, divers on Sunday finally found a way into a submerged ferry off South Korea's southern shore, discovering more than a dozen bodies inside the ship and pushing the confirmed death toll to 50, officials said. More than 250 people are still missing, most of them high school students on a holiday trip, and anguished families are furious with the pace of rescue efforts. Divers had previously failed to enter the ferry, …

  • Divers begin pulling bodies from sunken ferry
    Divers begin pulling bodies from sunken ferry

    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. …

  • Fed Cup: Germany 3, Australia 0 Associated Press
    Fed Cup: Germany 3, Australia 0

    BRISBANE, Australia (AP) — Germany sealed its place in the Fed Cup final by taking an unbeatable 3-0 lead over Australia when Angelique Kerber beat Sam Stosur in three sets on Sunday. …

  • Europe's mergers and acquisitions market heats up AFP News
    Europe's mergers and acquisitions market heats up

    Europe's mergers and acquisitions market is rebounding after years in the doldrums, as improving market sentiment is prompting companies to spend cash built up during the financial crisis. A flurry of new deals have been announced in the past month alone, including Numericable's purchase of Vivendi's SFR mobile phone unit in France, the merger of Swiss cement group Holcim and French rival Lafarge and the tie-up of Sopra and Steria to create a new French technology services giant. British …

  • Eighty percent of Syrian chemical weapons shipped out - monitors Reuters
    Eighty percent of Syrian chemical weapons shipped out - monitors

    Syria has shipped out or destroyed approximately 80 percent of its declared chemical weapons material, the head of the international team overseeing the disarmament process said on Saturday. Sigrid Kaag, special coordinator of the joint mission of the United Nations and the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), said if the momentum was sustained, Syria should be able to meet its April 27 deadline to hand over all declared chemical agents. Syrian President Bashar …

  • Hopkins wins split decision over Shumenov Associated Press
    Hopkins wins split decision over Shumenov

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Already the oldest boxer in history to win a world championship, Bernard Hopkins became the oldest to win a unification bout Saturday night as he captured a split 12-round decision over Beibut Shumenov of Kazakhstan. …

  • Pakistan plans huge desert solar park to fight energy crisis
    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 …

  • Reports of gunman at Los Angeles Times building - police Reuters
    Reports of gunman at Los Angeles Times building - police

    Reports that an unidentified person had threatened to open fire on the third floor of the building came in after 7 p.m. local time (0200 GMT), said Los Angeles Police Department spokesman Gus Villanueva. The Los Angeles Times newspaper, which has its headquarters in the building, said on social media website Twitter that a witness told one of its reporters a man "who allegedly made threats at Times building worked for a firm that rents space from the newspaper." The Times said on Twitter the …

  • 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 a ferry disaster said on Sunday they would seek to extend the detention of the ship's captain and two other crew by 10 days as they tried to determine the cause of an accident that may claim more than 300 lives. Out of the 476 passengers and crew, 339 were pupils or teachers from a high school in Ansan, a commuter city outside Seoul. Divers gained access to the passenger quarters of the …

  • Obamacare enrollees urged to change passwords over Heartbleed bug Reuters
    Obamacare enrollees urged to change passwords over Heartbleed bug

    By Chris Francescani NEW YORK (Reuters) - Americans with accounts on President Barack Obama's health insurance enrollment website, HealthCare.gov, were advised that their passwords had been reset to guard against the "Heartbleed" bug, in a message posted on the site on Saturday. The warning marks the latest fallout from the widespread security bug, which surfaced this month and allows hackers to steal data online without a trace. Companies from Amazon.com Inc to Google Inc. have been forced …

  • Documents detail another delayed GM recall Associated Press
    Documents detail another delayed GM recall

    DETROIT (AP) — General Motors waited years to recall nearly 335,000 Saturn Ions for power steering failures despite getting thousands of consumer complaints and more than 30,000 warranty repair claims, according to government documents released Saturday. …

  • 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 »