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May 31, 2013 | By Ken Dilanian, Los Angeles Times
SINGAPORE - Chuck Hagel emerged from combat in the Vietnam War with two Purple Hearts and "a sense of how important it would be for America to engage wisely in Asia," as he put it to top defense officials gathered here. Now, more than a year after President Obama pledged to refocus America's security strategy toward Asia, Hagel is using his first visit to the region as Defense chief to reassure allies that the so-called pivot won't be derailed by Pentagon budget cuts or competing demands from the civil war in Syria, the nuclear stalemate with Iran and other high-priority issues.
May 30, 2013 | By Ken Dilanian
ABOARD A MILITARY AIRCRAFT - More than a year after the Obama administration announced it was shifting its defense policy to focus on Asia, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is trying to convince allies in the region that the so-called “Asia pivot” won't be stymied by the severe budget cuts being imposed on the Pentagon. “We are going to be limited in our budgets,” he told reporters as he flew to Singapore for a security conference during which he will meet with counterparts from Japan, South Korea, Indonesia and Vietnam, among others.
May 23, 2013 | By Rosemary McClure
Hungry for a change of pace? The World Street Food Jamboree in Singapore, May 31 to June 9, may be the place to find it. The event, described as a "mega street food feast," will feature 35 master chefs. Entries will hail from Indonesia, India, Thailand, Vietnam, the United States, Malaysia, Copenhagen, Denmark, China and Singapore, one of the world's best-known street food cities.   In addition to offering unusual cuisines, ongoing events will include masterclass cooking demonstrations, an awards ceremony, discussions on street food opportunities, live music and other entertainment.
May 18, 2013 | By Amina Khan, Los Angeles Times
The harlequin ladybird was once a stalwart ally of greenhouse growers around the world. Native to Japan, Korea and other parts of eastern Asia, the bright red ladybugs were prized for their aphid-eating abilities - until they caused serious declines in other ladybug populations. Now researchers have discovered the harlequin ladybird's secret weapon: a deadly parasite that lives harmlessly in its body but kills other species with abandon. The findings, published this week in the journal Science, demonstrate how things can go awry when a foreign creature is introduced into an ecosystem, even when done with the best intentions.
May 16, 2013 | By Rosemary McClure
It was a big job, but somebody had to do it, said editors at the Daily Meal . So they set out to recognize Asia 's top 101 restaurants. The list, which took six months to compile, includes restaurants in 25 cities. China topped the charts with 28 restaurants, 21 of them in Beijing. “Tackling Asia was a tremendous challenge for all kinds of reasons,” said Colman Andrews, editorial director for the Daily Meal, “but we felt we had to do it. "The number of superlative restaurants in that whole vast region is just extraordinary - Japan, remember, has more Michelin three-star places than France.” The list is part of a continuing series by the website, which earlier listed the “101 Best Restaurants in America” and "101 Best Restaurants in Europe.
May 14, 2013 | By Mark Magnier, Los Angeles Times
NEW DELHI - At least 58 people were missing and feared dead Tuesday after a boat capsized off Myanmar while residents tried to flee an approaching cyclone, United Nations officials said. The boat was carrying about 100 Rohingya Muslims, many of whom lived in camps in low-lying areas to escape Buddhist-Muslim violence, officials said. The boat apparently ran into rocks off Pauktaw township in the western state Rakhine and sank late Monday as people were evacuating, said Aye Win, spokesman for the U.N. Information Center in Myanmar, based on preliminary information.
April 26, 2013 | By Kim Murphy, Los Angeles Times
COLSTRIP, Mont. - Out in these windy stretches of cottonwood and prairie grass, not far from where Lt. Col. George Armstrong Custer ran into problems at Little Bighorn, a new battle is unfolding over what future energy development in the West will look like. Here, rancher Wallace McRae and his son, Clint, run cattle on 31,000 acres along Rosebud Creek, land their family has patrolled with horses and tamed with fences for 125 years. They could probably go on undisturbed for 100 years more if the earth under the pastures weren't laced with coal.
April 17, 2013 | By Alex Rodriguez
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.
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