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BC-AS--Asian News Digest, AS

April 16, 2014

ASIA:

SKOREA-SHIP SINKING

SEOUL, South Korea — More than 100 people are unaccounted for several hours after a ferry carrying 476, most of them high school students, sank in cold waters off South Korea’s southern coast, killing at least two and injuring 14. There are fears of a big jump in the number of deaths, as dozens of boats, helicopters and divers scramble to rescue passengers who had been on the ferry traveling to the southern island of Jeju. One rescued passenger said he believed that many people had been trapped inside the ferry when it sank. By Hyung-Jin Kim and Youkyung Lee. SENT: 700 words, photos.

CHINA-MISSING PLANE-COMPENSATION

BEIJING — Since Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 went missing, some lawyers have claimed they can get several millions of dollars in damages for each lost passenger by taking the cases to the United States. But past lawsuits show U.S. federal courts are more likely to throw such cases out if the crashes happened overseas. By Gillian Wong. UPCOMING: 1,000 words by 1000 GMT, photos.

PHILIPPINES-BUS ACCIDENT

MANILA, Philippines — At least five people, including a 2-year-old boy, are killed and 15 others injured when a passenger bus rams a stalled truck along the highway in eastern Philippines’ Camarines Sur province at the start of the Easter week exodus of vacationers to provinces. SENT: 140 words, photos.

INDIA-BUS FIRE

NEW DELHI — Indian police say at least six people were burned to death and another 12 seriously injured when a bus caught fire in southern India. SENT: 110 words.

NEW ZEALAND-YEMEN

WELLINGTON, New Zealand — New Zealand’s Prime Minister John Key says a New Zealand man and an Australian man with links to terrorism were killed in November during a drone strike in Yemen. By Nick Perry. SENT: 460 words.

AUSTRALIA-PREMIER QUITS

CANBERRA, Australia — The leader of Australia’s most populous state quits as premier in the face of mounting evidence that he failed to declare a 3,000 Australian dollar ($2,800) bottle of wine that arrived as a gift on his Sydney doorstep. By Rod McGuirk. SENT: 400 words, photo.

AUSTRALIA-ROYALS

SYDNEY — Britain’s Prince William, his wife, Kate, and their baby son, George, arrive in Sydney to kick off their tour of Australia. SENT: 170 words, photos.

BUSINESS AND FINANCE:

CHINA-ECONOMY

BEIJING — China’s economic growth slowed further in the latest quarter but appeared strong enough to satisfy Chinese leaders who are trying to put the country on a more sustainable path without politically dangerous job losses. By Joe McDonald. SENT: 550 words, photo.

U.S. AND INTERNATIONAL:

UKRAINE

KRAMATORSK, Ukraine — In the first Ukrainian military action against a pro-Russian uprising in the east, government forces say they repel an attack on a small air base by a group of some 30 gunmen. Ukraine’s acting president, Oleksandr Turchynov, had earlier announced an “anti-terrorist operation” against the insurgents who have seized control of numerous buildings in the east of the country. By Yuras Karmanau and Peter Leonard. SENT: 950 words, photos.

NIGERIA-VIOLENCE

LAGOS, Nigeria — Suspected Muslim extremists kidnap about 100 girls from a school in northeastern Nigeria, less than a day after militants bombed a bus station and killed 75 people in the capital — a surge of violence that raised new doubts about the military’s ability to contain an Islamic uprising. By Michelle Faul. SENT: 1,100 words, photos.

BOSTON MARATHON BOMBING-ANNIVERSARY

BOSTON — Survivors, first responders and relatives of those killed in the Boston Marathon bombing mark the anniversary with tributes combining sorrow with pride over the city’s resilience. Vice President Joe Biden says the courage shown by survivors and the grieving is an inspiration for other Americans, and he praises the 36,000 runners who plan to run the marathon next week, saying they will send a message to terrorists: “America will never, ever, ever stand down.” By Denise Lavoie. SENT: 1,000 words, photos, video.

PISTORIUS-TRIAL

PRETORIA, South Africa — For five days, Oscar Pistorius endured a withering cross-examination at his murder trial from a prosecutor who pounced on apparent inconsistencies in his testimony in an effort to undermine the athlete’s credibility. Yet, legal analysts predict that expert witnesses who are expected to testify for the defense could slow the prosecution’s momentum in trying to prove Pistorius intentionally killed girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp after an argument. By Christopher Torchia and Gerald Imray. SENT: 910 words, photos, video.

UNITED NATIONS-SYRIA-TORTURE PHOTOS

UNITED NATIONS — The U.N. Security Council falls silent after ambassadors view a series of ghastly photographs of dead Syrian civil war victims, France’s ambassador says. The pictures showed people who were emaciated, with their bones protruding, and some bearing the marks of strangulation and repeated beatings, and eyes having been gouged out. By Peter James Spielmann. SENT: 930 words, photo.

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YOUR QUERIES: The editor in charge at the AP Asia-Pacific Desk in Bangkok is Scott McDonald. Questions and story requests are welcome. The news desk can be reached at (66) 2632-6911 or by email at asia@ap.org.

The Asia Photo Desk can be reached at (81-3) 6215-8941 or by fax at (81-3) 3574-8850.

Between 1600 GMT and 0000 GMT, please refer queries to the North America Desk in New York at (1) 212-621-1650.

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