April 17, 2013 |
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan - Pakistani militants rely on a wide array of explosive devices to terrorize the South Asian nation, from suicide bomb vests and car bombs to rocket-propelled grenades. But within that arsenal, pressure cooker bombs such as the ones probably used in the attack on the Boston Marathon on Monday are a mainstay, accounting for roughly half of the explosive devices defused in the country's volatile northwest, a top Pakistani bomb disposal squad official says. “We are defusing pressure cooker bombs almost daily,” said Shafqat Malik, chief of the bomb disposal squad for Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province, which includes the violence-wracked city of Peshawar, Swat Valley and Pakistan's militant-ridden tribal areas along the Afghan border.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 11, 2013 |
Following a flurry of complaints, Los Angeles County inspectors have cited 16 "maternity hotel" owners for illegally operating boardinghouses in residential zones. The facilities, all in Rowland Heights or Hacienda Heights, will ultimately be shut down, county officials said. No major health or safety issues were found at the hotels, where women from Asia stay to give birth to U.S. citizen babies. Some were cited for building and fire code violations, according to a report released Thursday.
March 31, 2013 |
A picture may be worth a thousand words, but this one has inspired many more, because it has become a departure point for how Europeans became acquainted with Asia. When the Getty acquired an 17th century drawing by Flemish artist Peter Paul Rubens, "Man in Korean Costume," at a 1983 auction, it was already well known among the cognoscenti. Then six years ago Getty curator Stephanie Schrader learned that it had inspired two books in Korea - a bestselling novel in 1993 and a nonfiction volume by a Jesuit historian in 2004.
March 21, 2013 |
Cherry blossom season sprang to life earlier than usual this year in Tokyo and is now in full swing, according to Japan's weather agency. An official rite of spring, the blooming of cherry trees is a beloved natural spectacle in Japan, involving nationwide parties and celebrations to take in the flowers' short-lived beauty. The first blossoms were spotted this year on March 16, the earliest date on record. Among the festivities are special events at the Peninsula Tokyo , which got into the act early by importing cherry blossoms and setting 14 florists to work to create seven huge arrangements.
March 15, 2013 |
WASHINGTON -- Japan intends to join the talks for an ambitious free-trade pact with the U.S. and 10 other countries, raising the economic stakes of the negotiations but also potentially delaying agreement as American and Japanese interests tangle over protecting their respective car and farm markets. The decision, announced Friday by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, was expected after his White House meeting three weeks ago with President Obama, who sees the Trans-Pacific Partnership, or TPP, as a way to strengthen the U.S. economy and influence in the Asia-Pacific region.
March 14, 2013 |
Another longtime European hotel group is making fresh inroads into Asia. Kempinski Hotels , one of Europe's oldest luxury hotel groups, is adding to its portfolio of 75 properties by opening three hotels in China and another in India. "We are opening in growing market destinations in China and southeast Asia," said Reto Wittwer, president and chief executive. "Both China and India are countries with excellent growth potential for the group.” Kempinski, founded in Europe in 1897, now has hotels in 31 countries, and continues to add new properties in Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia, including historic landmark properties, urban hotels, resorts, and high-end residences.