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Australian leader: Siege may have been preventable
SYDNEY (AP) -- Australia's prime minister said Thursday that a deadly siege in a Sydney cafe may have been preventable, as the chorus of critics demanding to know why the gunman was out on bail despite facing a string of violent charges grew louder....

AP Exclusive: Sydney hostage planned daring escape
SYDNEY (AP) -- The siege at the Sydney cafe had been going on for more than five hours and 82-year-old John O'Brien had become convinced the gunman was insane and they would likely all end up dead....

Pakistan buries victims of school massacre
PESHAWAR, Pakistan (AP) -- As they buried their children Wednesday, the families spoke of their dreams. One boy had just gotten high marks on his midterm and hoped to become a pilot. A 13-year-old wanted to become a doctor. Another kid just loved playing video games with his cousins....

Quotes from Pakistani families over school attack
PESHAWAR, Pakistan (AP) -- Reaction to the killings of 148 people - almost all of them students - at a military-run school in northwestern Pakistan:...

Steps Pakistan is taking after school massacre
ISLAMABAD (AP) -- A look at steps the Pakistani government is taking to address militancy following Tuesday's Taliban massacre of 148 people at a school:...

Afghan insurgents storm bank in south, killing 10
KANDAHAR, Afghanistan (AP) -- Afghan insurgents stormed a bank in the country's restive southern province of Helmand on Wednesday, killing at least 10 people including three policemen, authorities said....

China indicts ex-mayor of Nanjing on graft charges
BEIJING (AP) -- A former mayor of the major eastern Chinese city of Nanjing was indicted Wednesday on corruption charges amid a widening anti-graft crackdown...

Cash-strapped Indian airline SpiceJet grounded
NEW DELHI (AP) -- Low-cost Indian airline SpiceJet grounded all flights Wednesday after oil companies stopped supplies of jet fuel to the financially beleaguered carrier....

Image of Asia: Indians pray for Pakistan victims
In this photo by Altaf Qadri, an Indian schoolgirl observes two minutes of silence Wednesday in New Delhi for those who were killed in a Taliban attack on a military-run school in Peshawar, Pakistan. Following Tuesday's attack, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted a series of statements, calling it "a senseless act of unspeakable brutality that has claimed lives of the most innocent of human beings - young children in their school." At least 148 people were killed in the attack, almost all of them schoolchildren. India and Pakistan, who are nuclear-armed neighbors, have a history of tense relations and have fought three wars since they gained independence in 1947....

Remembering tsunami: One man's agony on Thai beach
Some 230,000 people were killed in the Indian Ocean tsunami set off by a magnitude 9.1 earthquake on Dec. 26, 2004. A dozen countries were hit, from Indonesia to India to Africa's east coast. Scores of Associated Press journalists covered the disaster, and as the 10th anniversary approached, the AP asked nine of them to describe the images that have stuck with them the most. This is the first of their stories, which are being published daily through Dec. 25....