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BC-AS--Asian News Digest, AS

November 30, 2013

ASIA:

NKOREA-DETAINED AMERICAN

SEOUL, South Korea — North Korea state media claim an elderly U.S. tourist detained for more than a month has apologized for alleged crimes during the Korean War and for “hostile acts” against the state during a recent trip. North Korean authorities released video showing 85-year-old Merrill Newman, wearing glasses, a blue button-down shirt and tan trousers, reading his alleged apology, which was dated Nov. 9 and couldn’t be independently confirmed. By Foster Klug and Eun-Young Jeong. SENT: 600 words, photos.

— KOREAS-TENSIONS — A South Korean man has been found dead at a jointly-run factory park in North Korea. SENT: 260 words.

THAILAND-POLITICS

BANGKOK —A mob of anti-government protesters attacked at least two people they suspected of supporting the current Thai government and smashed the windows of a moving Bangkok bus Saturday in the first eruption of violence after a week of tense street protests. By Thanyarat Doksone. SENT: 540 words, photos.

CHINA-AIRSPACE

BEIJING — The United States has advised U.S. carriers to comply with China’s demand that it be told of any flights passing through its new maritime air defense zone over the East China Sea, an area where Beijing says it launched two fighter planes to investigate a dozen American and Japanese reconnaissance and military flights. By Ian Mader. SENT: 860 words, photos.

CHINA-CLEARING THE INTERNET

BEIJING — The Chinese government has declared victory in cleaning up what it considers rumors, negativity and unruliness from online discourse, while critics say the moves have suppressed criticism of the government and ruling Communist Party. By Didi Tang. SENT: 950 words, photos.

AFGHANISTAN

KABUL, Afghanistan — Pakistan’s prime minister said Saturday that the recent release of a senior Taliban leader shows he is committed to helping bring peace to Afghanistan. By Patrick Quinn. SENT: 660 words.

AUSTRALIA-SHARK ATTACK

SYDNEY — A teenager was killed after being attacked by a shark off Australia’s east coast in the second deadly attack this month, police said. SENT: 220 words.

CHINA-US RAPPERS IN NORTH KOREA

BEIJING — Two aspiring American rappers say they had filmed part of a music video in North Korea, hoping the novel locale will make a hit. SENT: 370 words, photos.

U.S. & INTERNATIONAL:

BRITAIN-HELICOPTER CRASH

LONDON — Scottish emergency workers were sifting through wreckage for survivors of a police helicopter crash onto a crowded Glasgow pub that has killed at least one person and injured more than two dozen. The number of fatalities is expected to rise, officials said. By Cassandra Vinograd. SENT: 880 words, photos.

MOZAMBIQUE-MISSING PLANE

JOHANNESBURGH — A Mozambique Airlines plane carrying 33 people crashed in a remote border area, killing all on board, Namibian media reported. SENT: 300 words.

CHEMICAL WEAPONS-SYRIA

AMSTERDAM — The United States has stepped forward to help destroy some of the most lethal parts of Syria’s chemical weapons stockpile at an offshore facility, the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical weapons said. By Toby Sterling. SENT: 530 words.

VOTING RIGHTS

WASHINGTON — The Obama administration is aggressively pursuing lawsuits over minority voting rights in Texas and North Carolina, but the Justice Department has not moved on evidence that the latest round of redistricting in Los Angeles County unfairly reduces the influence of Latino voters. My Mark Sherman. SENT: 790 words, photos.

—OBAMA-IMMIGRATION — President Barack Obama has visited the activists who are fasting on the National Mall to protest House inaction on immigration legislation. SENT: 360 words, photos, video, audio.

GEEK WARS

SAN JOSE, Calif. — Encrypted email, secure instant messaging and other privacy services are booming in the wake of the NSA’s recently revealed surveillance programs. But the flood of new computer security services is of variable quality, and much of it, experts say, can bog down computers and isn’t likely to keep out spies. In the end, the new geek wars —between tech industry programmers on the one side and government spooks, fraudsters and hacktivists on the other— may leave people’s PCs and businesses’ computer systems encrypted to the teeth but no better protected from hordes of savvy code crackers. By Martha Mendoza. SENT: 1,200 words, photo.

NUKE PARKS

LOS ALAMOS, N.M. — Tucked away in one of northern New Mexico’s pristine mountain canyons is an old log cabin that was the birthplace not of a famous person, but a top-secret mission that forever changed the world. Pond Cabin, along with a nearby small and stark building where the second person to die while developing the nuclear bomb still stands, are among a number of structures scattered in and around the modern day Los Alamos National Laboratory that are being proposed as sites for a new national park commemorating the Manhattan Project. Some say it’s an odd place for a national park. Nuclear critics have called the plan an expensive glorification of an ugly chapter in history. By Jeri Clausing. SENT: 720 words, photos.

EGYPT

CAIRO — Egyptian security forces firing tear gas and water cannons break up anti-government demonstrations by Islamists defying a draconian new law restricting protests. Authorities are seeking to put down unrest by both Islamists and secular activists as an assembly prepares to vote on a final draft of an amended constitution increasing powers for the military and president. By Mariam Rizk and Tony G. Gabriel. SENT: 900 words, photos.

IRAQ

BAGHDAD — Men dressed as Iraqi soldiers abducted 18 Sunnis whose bullet-ridden corpses turned up in farmland just south of Baghdad, authorities say, a grim reminder of the worst days of sectarian killings that plagued the country after the U.S. invasion. By Sameer N. Yacoub. SENT: 600 words, photos.

COMET ISON

STOCKHOLM — A comet that gained an earthly following because of its bright tail visible from space was initially declared dead after essentially grazing the sun. Now, new images are giving a sliver of hope that Comet ISON survived. By Karl Ritter. SENT: 485 words, photos.

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

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