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BC-AS--Asian News Digest, AS

July 11, 2014

ASIA:

KOREAS-EMBATTLED EX-SPY

GUNPO, South Korea — Once their espionage cases are resolved, some former North Korean spies find that life in the South can be pretty good. They write books, land TV gigs, work for think tanks and in general benefit from their new home’s fascination with their old homeland. Won Jeong-hwa is not one of those spies. By Hyung-Jin Kim. SENT: 1,260 words, photos.

CHINA-REGULATING JOURNALISTS

BEIJING — Chinese regulators have banned the country’s journalists from sharing information they have obtained on the job with overseas media or publishing it in any venue, such as blogging sites, outside the media they are employed, in a move that critics say will further stifle press freedom and curb the influence of social media. By Didi Tang. SENT: 530 words.

— CHINA-ONLINE TERROR CONTENT — Courts in the western Chinese region of Xinjiang sentences 32 people to prison, three of them for life, for terror charges stemming from downloading and spreading violent Internet content that authorities have blamed for inspiring a recent string of deadly attacks, state media say. SENT: 450 words.

— JAPAN-CHINA — Japan’s top government spokesman says an Asian regional summit in Beijing this November would be a good opportunity for the leaders of Japan and China to hold their first talks ever amid sour relations. SENT: 255 words, photos.

INDIA-REVENGE RAPE

NEW DELHI — A 14-year-old girl is dragged into a forest and raped on the orders of a village council in remote eastern India in retaliation for a sex assault blamed on her brother, her family and police say. By Munzeeza Naqvi. SENT: 350 words.

— INDIA-US — India’s new Prime Minister Narendra Modi will meet President Barack Obama in Washington in September during a visit aimed at restoring strained relations between the countries. SENT: 260 words, photo.

PHILIPPINES-AUSTRALIAN PREACHER

MANILA, Philippines — An Australian Islamic preacher is arrested in the central Philippines on suspicion of links to Muslim extremists and rallying support for militants in Syria, police say. By Teresa Cerojano. SENT: 360 words.

— PHILIPPINES-CORRUPTION — A Philippine court enters a not-guilty plea for a senator and dictatorship-era martial law enforcer who has been detained on charges of economic plunder with two other colleagues, bringing the case a step closer to what would be the country’s largest corruption trial in more than a decade. SENT: 420 words, photos.

JAPAN-WEEPING POLITICIAN

TOKYO — A Japanese politician who was seen sobbing over dubious spending in a video that went viral has resigned. By Yuri Kageyama. SENT: 235 words, photo.

— JAPAN-SAKAMOTO — Japanese musician Ryuichi Sakamoto, who shared an Oscar for Bernardo Bertolucci’s “The Last Emperor” score, has been diagnosed with throat cancer and has canceled his upcoming performances to focus on his health. SENT: 450 words, photo.

INDIA-OBIT-ZOHRA SEHGAL

NEW DELHI — Actress and dancer Zohra Sehgal, who charmed viewers with her impish grin and twinkling eyes, has died of heart failure in New Delhi at age 102. SENT: 220 words, photo.

INDIA-KASHMIR OBSERVER

NEW DELHI — India’s new Hindu nationalist government has asked a U.N. body overseeing military activity in divided Kashmir to vacate a government bungalow in the heart of the nation’s capital that it has used rent-free for 40 years. By Nirmala George. SENT: 570 words, photos.

THAILAND-ELEPHANT KILLED

BANGKOK — Poachers have killed and sawed the tusks off a 50-year-old elephant that performed in Thai royal processions and was featured in Oliver Stone’s 2004 movie “Alexander,” the manager of the conservation center where the animal was kept says. SENT: 390 words, photos.

BUSINESS AND FINANCE:

SKOREA-LG DISPLAY-FLEXIBLE DISPLAY

SEOUL, South Korea — LG Display Co. has developed an 18-inch flexible display that can be rolled into the shape of a thin cylinder, a step toward making a large display for flexible TVs. The South Korean display panel maker said Friday the flexible display has a resolution of 1200 pixels by 810 pixels and maintains its function when it is rolled up. By Youkyung Lee. SENT: 370 words, photos.

INDIA-EARNS-INFOSYS

MUMBAI, India — Indian outsourcing company Infosys reports a 15 percent increase in quarterly profit on Friday and maintained its revenue growth forecast. By Kay Johnson. SENT: 240 words.

U.S. AND INTERNATIONAL:

ISRAEL-PALESTINIANS

JERUSALEM — Gaza rocket fire strikes a gas station and sets it ablaze in southern Israel, seriously wounding one person as rocket fire also comes from Lebanon for the first time in the four-day offensive. The attack on the gas station in Ashdod looks to be the most serious attack in Israel in the four days of fighting that has seen Israel deliver a heavy blow to Gaza’s Hamas leaders. Its military has carried out more than 1,000 strikes against Gaza targets that have killed at least 98 people, including dozens of civilians. By Aron Heller. SENT: 760 words, photos, video.

— AP VIDEO MIDEAST_GAZA_FUNERAL — Palestinians in Gaza hold a funeral for eight members of a family, killed in an Israeli airstrike.

—AP PHOTO AXLP115 — Israeli soldiers begin their day next to their mobile artillery unit at a position on the Israel-Gaza border.

NSA SURVEILLANCE

WASHINGTON — The Obama administration knew in advance that the British government would oversee destruction of a newspaper’s hard drives containing leaked National Security Agency documents last year, newly declassified documents show. The White House had publicly distanced itself from doing the same to an American news organization. By Jack Gillum. SENT: 900 words, photos.

UNITED STATES-AFGHANISTAN

KABUL, Afghanistan — U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry seeks to broker an agreement between Afghanistan’s rival presidential candidates to hold off on declaring victory or trying to set up a government. With the U.S. now, too, citing extensive fraud, it hopes a U.N. audit of the vote can confer credibility on the process and prevent a political crisis from spiraling out of control. By Bradley Klapper. SENT: 880 words, photos. UPCOMING: 850 words by noon, photos.

— AFGHANISTAN — A roadside bombing targeting police officers and an attack on a convoy of de-miners kill at least 13 people in Afghanistan. SENT: 320 words.

BENGHAZI-STAND DOWN ORDER

WASHINGTON — Military officers testify that there was no “stand-down order” that held back military assets that could have saved the U.S. ambassador and three other Americans killed at a diplomatic outpost and CIA annex in Benghazi, Libya, undercutting the contention of Republican lawmakers. By Bradley Klapper and Donna Cassata. SENT: 1,040 words, photos, video, audio.

BOSNIA-SREBRENICA

SARAJEVO, Bosnia-Herzegovina — Hajrija Selimovic waited for 19 years to put her family back together. Her husband and her two sons are being reunited in a cemetery for Srebrenica massacre victims. After that, she will always be able to find them — and lean her head against their cold, white tombstones when she cries. On Friday, 175 newly identified victims of the massacre are being buried next to the 6,066 already in the memorial. By Aida Cerkez. SENT: 740 words, photos.

DUBAI-AIRPORT BOSS

DUBAI, United Arabic Emirates — Now that he’s had a taste of running the world’s busiest air hub for international passengers, Dubai Airports CEO Paul Griffiths is determined to hang on to the honor while setting his sights on an even bigger prize: beating Atlanta for the title of busiest airport on the planet. By Adam Schreck. SENT: 800 words, photos.

MED-DENGUE FEVER

LONDON — The most advanced vaccine for dengue only offers modest protection but could still help millions of people avoid the devastating effects of the disease known as “breakbone fever,” according to a large trial. Up until now there’s no treatment for dengue, which causes fever, severe joint pain, headaches and bleeding. About half the world’s population is at risk from the mosquito-borne disease, which sickens about 100 million people every year. By Medical Writer Maria Cheng. SENT: 450 words, photos.

CUBA-PRICEY CARS

HAVANA — It’s not your typical used car lot. Dozens of vehicles sit covered in grime, customers nowhere to be seen. A price list hints at why: $85,000 for a six-year-old Peugeot compact; $46,000 for a tiny 2008 Citroen C3 — in a country where wages average $20 a month. The euphoria over a January reform letting Cubans buy cars without a permit for the first time in decades turned to fury when prices were posted. By Andrea Rodriguez. SENT: 830 words, photos.

YACHT OVERDOSE KILLING

MILTON, Ga. — Twice last year, Alix Tichelman found herself alone with a man suffering from a drug overdose. The first time she called 911. The second time, police say, she just walked away. Tichelman, 26, faces manslaughter charges in California after police say the alleged high-priced prostitute calmly collected her things and left as Google executive Forrest Hayes lay dying on his yacht in November following a heroin overdose. About two months earlier in Georgia, she made a panicked call to 911 as her boyfriend Dean Riopelle, owner of a popular Atlanta music venue, suffered an overdose in their home. By Kathleen Foody and Terry Collins. SENT: 1,270 words, photos, video, audio.

SOCCER REFEREE KILLED-Q&A

LIVONIA — A Detroit-area soccer player is accused of killing a referee with a single punch to the neck. Baseel Abdul-Amir Saad is charged with second-degree murder in the death of John Bieniewicz, 44. The circumstances seem unusual, but someone dying from a single hit is not without precedent. Here are some questions and answers about the phenomenon. By Mike Householder. SENT: 600 words, photos.

WORLD CUP

WCUP-ARGENTINA PRIDE

BOGOTA, Colombia — With a reputation for arrogance and illusions of European-style grandeur, Argentines have long been the target of ridicule across Latin America. But for at least 90 minutes when Argentina plays Germany in the World Cup final, most Latin Americans will put aside their disdain as they count on Lionel Messi and his Argentine teammates to salvage what’s left of the region’s soccer pride. By Joshua Goodman. SENT: 600 words, photos.

WCUP-CANADA WATCHES

TORONTO — Canada has not sent a team to the World Cup in a generation. But that hasn’t stopped Canadians from going a little Cup crazy. The nation known more for shooting pucks than penalty kicks fields a national team that ranks 110th in the world. But its fierce love for the beautiful game has been on display for all the world to see in Brazil. FIFA organizers say Canadians bought more tickets to World Cup matches than all but 10 nations, despite not having a team in the tournament. Next year it hosts the Women’s World Cup. By Charmaine Noronha. SENT: 870 words, photos.

ALSO GETTING ATTENTION

— UKRAINE — Russian officials say they have closed three major border crossings in the wake of heavy fighting in Ukraine. SENT: 130 words.

— IRAN-NUCLEAR TALKS — Three European powers and the U.S. confirm their foreign ministers will join Iran nuclear talks in an effort to advance the stalled negotiations. SENT: 140 words.

— IMMIGRATION OVERLOAD — Dire situation: Obama official says border control funds drained by flood of immigrant kids. SENT: 760 words, photos.

— SKI-VANESSA-MAE — Four Slovenian ski officials are suspended for allegedly rigging the results of pop violinist Vanessa-Mae to help her qualify for the Winter Olympics in Sochi. SENT: 420 words, photos.

— GERMANY-US-SPYING — Germany’s foreign minister says he will tell U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry at a meeting that Berlin wants to reinvigorate the two countries’ friendship “on an honest basis.” SENT: 250 words, photos.

— GERMANY-SELF-IMMOLATION — Police say a man has sustained life-threatening injuries after setting himself alight outside the Libyan Embassy in Berlin. SENT: 100 words.

— PORTUGAL-FINANCIAL TURBULENCE — Portugal’s biggest bank says it can cope with losses, helping to steady financial markets. SENT: 290 words, photo.

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