• Vietnam’s transgender say new law paves way for surgeries

    HANOI, Vietnam (AP) — Gay and transgender activists in Vietnam say a new law recognizing their rights will pave the way for gender reassignment surgery in the communist country and reduce discrimination.

  • ASEAN leaders from left, Philippine President Benigno Aquino III, Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha, Vietnam's Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung, Malaysia's Prime Minister Najib Razak, Laos' Prime Minister Thongsing Thammavong, Brunei's Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah, Cambodia's Prime Minister Hun Sen, Indonesia's Prime Minister Joko Widodo and Myanmar's President Thein Sein join their hands as they pose for photographers after the signing ceremony of the 2015 Kuala Lumpur Declaration on the Establishment of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Community and the Kuala Lumpur Declaration on ASEAN 2025, in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Sunday, Nov. 22, 2015. (AP Photo/Lai Seng Sin)

    SE Asia creates economic community, but challenges remain

    KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — Thirteen years after mooting the idea, Southeast Asian leaders on Sunday formally created a unified economic community in a region more populous and diverse than both the European Union and North America, and one that hopes to compete with China and India.

  • U.S. President Barack Obama arrives for a town hall event in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Friday, Nov. 20, 2015. President Obama is in Malaysia where he will join leaders from Southeast Asia to discuss trade and economic issues, and terrorism and disputes over the South China Sea. (AP Photo/Vincent Thian)

    Economic union, sea row and terrorism top SE Asia summit

    KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — Malaysia’s leader on Saturday denounced the Islamic State as an “evil” terrorist group, saying his Muslim-majority country is ready to join others to defeat it while cautioning that a military solution alone was not enough.