Australian Olympic chief says campaign is malicious

SYDNEY (AP) -- An increasingly bitter Olympic election in Australia has intensified with IOC Vice President John Coates describing the campaign as malicious and designed to damage him personally. Coates is facing his first challenge as president of the Australian Olympic Committee in 27 years, with 1996 Olympic field hockey gold medalist Danni Roche running against him in a May 6 ballot.

Pence embraces US-Australia partnership after Trump spat

SYDNEY (AP) -- U.S. Vice President Mike Pence and Australia's prime minister swept aside any lingering tensions Saturday over an Obama era agreement on the resettlement of refugees, joining forces to urge China to take a greater role in pressuring North Korea to scuttle its nuclear weapons and missile program.

The Latest: Pence, Turnbull urge China to pressure N. Korea

SYDNEY (AP) -- The Latest on U.S. Vice President Mike Pence's trip to Asia and Australia (all times local): 12:35 p.m. U.S. Vice President Mike Pence and Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull are joining forces in urging China to do more to pressure North Korea to drop its nuclear weapons and ballistic missile program.

Global stocks mixed ahead of French vote

BEIJING (AP) -- European stocks declined while most Asian markets rose Friday ahead of the first round of voting in France's closely watched presidential election. KEEPING SCORE: In early trading, France's CAC-40 retreated 0.6 percent to 5,043.53 and London's FTSE-100 shed just under 0.1 percent to 7,124.36. Germany's DAX was little-changed at 12,023.01. On Wall Street, the future for the Standard & Poor's 500 index was up 0.

In wake of tense Trump call, Pence aims to soothe Australia

SYDNEY (AP) -- More than two months after President Donald Trump got into a spat with the leader of Australia, Vice President Mike Pence will be working to smooth over any lingering hard feelings. Pence will meet with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull on Saturday as part of his 10-day, four-country trip to Asia. His agenda includes reassuring Turnbull about the state of the unusually strained U.S.

Asian stocks advance after US markets rally

BEIJING (AP) -- Asian stocks rose Friday ahead of the first round of voting in France's closely watched presidential election, after Wall Street rallied on strong corporate earnings. KEEPING SCORE: Tokyo's Nikkei 225 gained 0.8 percent to 18,585.31 and the Shanghai Composite Index edged up 0.1 percent to 3,174.74. Hong Kong's Hang Seng advanced 0.3 percent to 24,145.52 and Sydney's S&P-ASX 200 added 0.7 percent to 5,861.50. Seoul's Kospi rose 0.9 percent to 2,168.

Nauru president: Australia's refugee policy 'working well'

SYDNEY (AP) -- Nauru's president said Thursday that Australia's controversial policy of sending asylum seekers to his Pacific island nation was "working well," as he met with the Australian prime minister amid questions over the fate of hundreds of refugees languishing at Nauru's Australian-run detention camp.

Asian stocks higher after Wall Street gains

BEIJING (AP) -- Asian stock markets were mostly higher Friday after Wall Street gained and Chinese factory activity improved. KEEPING SCORE: Tokyo's Nikkei 225 rose 0.8 percent to 19,207.92 and the Shanghai Composite Index advanced 0.3 percent to 3,219.29. Hong Kong's Hang Seng lost 0.6 percent to 24,144.24 and Sydney's S&P-ASX 200 was unchanged at 5,893.10. Benchmarks in New Zealand, Singapore and Jakarta retreated while Taiwan and Manila gained.