BC-AS--Asian News Digest, AS
NKOREA-WAR ANNIVERSARY-PHOTO GALLERY
PYONGYANG, North Korea — The 1950-53 Korean War ended in an armistice, meaning the two Koreas remain technically at war. But in North Korea, the anniversary of the agreement ending the hostilities is commemorated as “Victory in the Fatherland Liberation War,” a major national holiday. SENT: 250 words, photos.
YANGON, Myanmar — The new U.N. human rights envoy for Myanmar has expressed serious concern about the conditions in camps for more than 100,000 mostly minority Muslims displaced by violence led by Buddhist extremists, and warned that the country’s human rights situation may be deteriorating. By Esther Htusan. SENT: 530 words, photo.
HONG KONG AT A CROSSROADS
HONG KONG — As skyscrapers around Hong Kong harbor erupted into a reverie of laser beams and giant digital displays during their synchronized nightly light show, one innocuous 28-story building near the water’s edge had stayed dark for months, clad in bamboo scaffolding for a face-lift. Then, in June, the renovated tower came to life, flashing giant Chinese characters that some in Hong Kong saw as a warning. By Kelvin Chan and Jack Chang. SENT: 2,440 words, photos. An abridged version is also available. Both versions moved on Saturday.
U.S. AND INTERNATIONAL:
BEIT HANOUN, Gaza Strip — Hamas has resumed rocket fire on Israel after rejecting Israel’s offer to extend a humanitarian cease-fire, the latest setback in international efforts to negotiate an end to the Gaza war. Despite the Hamas rejection, Israel’s Cabinet decides to extend a truce for 24 hours, until midnight (2100 GMT) Sunday. However, it warns that its military would respond to any fire from Gaza and would continue to demolish Hamas military tunnels during this period. By Karin Laub and Ian Deitch. SENT: 1,100 words, photos, video.
— ISRAEL-PALESTINIANS-PHOTO GALLERY — A brief cease-fire in the Gaza war between Israel and Hamas militants allows thousands to return home to see the destruction. SENT: 200 words, photos.
DONETSK, Ukraine — Ukrainian officials say their forces advanced to the outskirts of a key town north of Donetsk as they try to retake the stronghold held for months by pro-Russia rebels. By Ayse Wieting and David McHugh. SENT: 990 words, photos, video.
LONDON — When air travel goes wrong, the modern world has given us a script to follow. There is an orderly numbering of the dead and gathering of the evidence. Bodies are repatriated, funerals are held. Eventually, there is explanation. We take solace in science, logic, investigation, the gradual restoration of order. 2014 has been different. By Jill Lawless. SENT: An AP essay; 980 words, photos.
ABUJA, Nigeria — Nigerian health authorities race to stop the spread of Ebola after a man sick with one of the world’s deadliest diseases brought it by plane to Lagos, Africa’s largest city with 21 million people. By Heather Murdock. SENT: 770 words, photos.
— EBOLA-AMERICAN DOCTOR — A U.S. doctor working with Ebola patients in Liberia has tested positive for the deadly virus, an aid organization says. SENT: 190 words, photo.
BEIRUT — An al-Qaida-linked group fighting in Syria has released video of the first American to carry out a suicide attack in the country’s civil war, showing him smiling and saying he looked forward to going to heaven. By Bassem Mroue. SENT: 840 words, photos, video.
WASHINGTON — The United States has shuttered its embassy in Libya and evacuated its diplomats to neighboring Tunisia under U.S. military escort as fighting intensified between rival militias. Secretary of State John Kerry says “free-wheeling militia violence” prompted the move. By Matthew Lee and Lara Jakes. SENT: 1,010 words, photos.
EXECUTIONS-RETHINKING LETHAL INJECTION
SAN FRANCISCO — A third execution by lethal injection has gone awry in six months, renewing debate over whether there is a foolproof way for the government to humanely kill condemned criminals. Thirty years ago, states and the federal government gave little thought to the condemned inmates comfort. Most executioners used electric chairs, but death row inmates were also hanged, put to death in the gas chamber or faced a firing squad. Mistakes occurred. Inmates appeared to suffer in the gas chamber. Electric chairs caught fire or malfunctioned and didn’t kill. So a growing number of law enforcement officials, legislators and advocates began searching for a foolproof, constitutional way to execute people. Now, calls are mounting to scrap lethal injection, even by those who support capital punishment. But most death penalty observers say that’s not likely to happen any time soon. By Paul Elias. SENT: 890 words, photos.
OBAMA AND CONGRESS
WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama’s request for billions of dollars to deal with migrant children streaming across the border set off Democrats and Republicans. Lawmakers in both parties complain that the White House still doesn’t get it when it comes to working with Congress. Top leaders got no notice of the $3.7 billion emergency request. The administration spent days sending contradictory messages about what it wanted. As the proposal drew criticism with the crisis raging, the White House made few overtures to rally support. Democrats, Republicans and aides said it was emblematic of the administration’s rocky relationship with Congress. By Andrew Taylor and Donna Cassata. SENT: 800 words, photos.
NYC MAYOR-ITALY VACATION
ROME — New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and his family are wrapping up a whirlwind vacation in his ancestral homeland of Italy, complete with cheering crowds, paparazzi and, yes, even proof Italians do eat pizza with a knife and fork. But the city he is returning to Sunday is still roiled by the death of a suspect in police custody after he was put in an apparent chokehold. The videotaped scuffle threatens to reignite distrust of the New York Police Department in minority communities, a long-standing problem that de Blasio has vowed to improve. By Frances D’Emilio and Jonathan Lemire. SENT: 800 words, photos.
TV-SUCHET’S POIROTTV-SUCHET’S POIROT
LOS ANGELES — David Suchet’s 25-year run as the definitive Hercule Poirot is coming to an end with the last of Agatha Christie’s mysteries featuring the character of the brilliant Belgian detective. By AP Television Writer Lynn Elber. SENT: 600 words, photos.
ALSO GETTING ATTENTION
— FAST FOOD WORKERS-CONVENTION — Fast food workers from across the country vote to escalate their efforts for $15-an-hour pay and union membership. SENT: 700 words.
— ALGERIA-PLANE — UN finds second black box of Air Algerie jet among scattered debris in northern Mali. SENT: 570 words, photos.
— IMMIGRATION OVERLOAD —With one week before Congress’ August recess, Obama is prodding Republicans to ease the influx of minors and migrant families from Central America, but with chances dimming that border legislation will reach his desk before the break, the president also is focusing on other measures to stem the flow. SENT: 700, photos.
— PEOPLE-ARETHA FRANKLIN — Aretha Franklin slams NY server’s D-I-S-R-E-S-P-E-C-T in forbidding her to sit and eat takeout. SENT: 130 words.
YOUR QUERIES: The editor in charge at the AP Asia-Pacific Desk in Bangkok is Hrvoje Hranjski. Questions and story requests are welcome. The news desk can be reached at (66) 2632-6911 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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