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BC-AS--Asian News Digest, AS

November 28, 2014



TOKYO — A volcano in southern Japan blasts out chunks of magma in the first such eruption in 22 years, causing flight cancellations and prompting warnings to stay away from its crater. The Japan Meteorological Agency says Mount Aso spewed out lava debris and smoke, shooting plumes of ash a kilometer (3,000 feet) into the sky. Dozens of flights from Kumamoto, the nearest city, were canceled. SENT: 130 words.


CANBERRA, Australia — Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott, who rose to power in large part by opposing a tax on greenhouse gas emissions, is finding his country increasingly isolated on climate change as the U.S., China and other nations signal new momentum for action. He tried and failed to keep the issue off the agenda of the G-20 summit his country just hosted, and Australia may again find itself out of step next week at a climate change conference in Peru. By Rod McGuirk. SENT: 1,060 words, photos.


KABUL, Afghanistan — Taliban fighters staged an attack in an upscale district in the Afghan capital Kabul. Witnesses described multiple explosions and bursts of gunfire in the Wazir Akbar Khan district, which contains numerous foreign embassies and compounds housing international agencies and companies — as well as the homes of some senior Afghan government officials. The attack came hours after a suicide car-bomber struck a British embassy vehicle, killing five people including a British citizen. SENT: 750 words, photos, video.


BEIJING — Chinese authorities say in a six-month report card on their security crackdown in Xinjiang that they busted 115 terrorist gangs before they could unleash violence. But tallies of death tolls in the ethnically tense region suggest the violence has continued, and may even have intensified. Chinese state media outlets have reported at least 175 deaths in the past six months, compared with 46 reported killed during the same period last year. By Didi Tang.


TOKYO — Japan’s biggest newspaper apologized in print for using the term “sex slaves” in its English-language edition to describe Asian women forced into Japanese military-run brothels during World War II. The conservative Yomiuri said in articles in English and Japanese that it was inappropriate to have used the phrase and others implying the women were coerced to provide sex. The newspaper identified 85 articles with “sex slaves” or similar expressions between 1992 and 2013. SENT: 160 words.


MANILA, Philippines — A Philippine court convicts an Indonesian militant and two Filipino extremists for their role in a 2002 mall bombing that killed at least 12 people and signaled the start of the alliance of two of Southeast Asia’s most violent terrorist groups. Judge Leili Cruz-Suarez said in her ruling on Thursday that Jul Kifli from Indonesia and Abu Sayyaf militants Ahmad Jekeron and Yacob Basug were “guilty beyond reasonable doubt” of staging the April 21, 2002, bombing that also wounded dozens of people at the Fitmart shopping mall in the southern port city of General Santos. By Jim Gomez. SENT: 350 words.



VIENNA — OPEC oil ministers decide to keep their production target on hold and oil prices fall sharply on the news. The decision shows the cartel is losing the ability to push up markets to its own advantage. By George Jahn. SENT: 780 words, photos.


BEIRUT — The Islamic State group employs multiple tactics to subdue the Sunni Muslim tribes in Syria and Iraq under its rule, wooing some with gifts while brutally suppressing those that resist with mass killings. As a result, the extremists face little immediate threat of an uprising. By Ryan Lucas. SENT: 910 words, photos.

— ISRAEL-POPE-ISLAMIC STATE — Pope condemns Islamic State violence against Christians in interview. SENT: 130 words.


CAIRO — A verdict is expected on Saturday in Hosni Mubarak’s trial on charges of killing protesters in 2011, but after a drawn-out process, what was once Egypt’s “trial of the century” has faded from the public attention. By Merrit Kennedy. SENT: 940 words, photos.


CONAKRY, Guinea — Eight months into West Africa’s Ebola outbreak, aid efforts in Guinea still suffer from poor coordination, hampering deployments of international support to help quell a virus that has killed more than 1,200 people in the former French colony. By Michelle Faul and Jamey Keaten. SENT: 810 words, photos.


NASSAU, Bahamas — The government of the Bahamas actively makes life harder for tens of thousands of people living in the island chain without legal authorization, a group that is overwhelmingly made up of Haitians and includes some born in the Bahamas. By Ava Turnquest and Ben Fox. SENT: 840 words, photos.


FERGUSON, Missouri — Protesters in Ferguson pressed pause Thursday to observe the Thanksgiving holiday, gathering for church services and turkey giveaways in marked contrast to the previous days’ outrage over the grand jury decision not to indict a police officer in the shooting of unarmed black 18-year-old Michael Brown. SENT: 250 words, photos.


LONDON — P.D. James took the classic British detective story into tough modern terrain, complete with troubled relationships and brutal violence, and never accepted that crime writing was second-class literature. James, who has died aged 94, is best known as the creator of sensitive Scotland Yard sleuth Adam Dalgliesh. By Jill Lawless. SENT: 950 words, photo.


NEW YORK — Millions of Americans are expected to head to the stores for holiday gift shopping on Thanksgiving in what’s quickly becoming a new holiday tradition despite initial resistance from workers and shoppers who believed the day should be sacred. By Anne D’Innocenzio. SENT: 550 words, photos. UPCOMING: Updates after stores open.

— OBAMA-THANKSGIVING — President Barack Obama spends a quiet Thanksgiving at the White House where the menu features all the holiday’s basics. SENT: 430 words, photos, videos, audio.


SAN DIEGO — Advocacy groups barely waited for President Barack Obama to finish speaking about sweeping changes to the U.S. immigration system to start warning about scams. By Elliot Spagat. SENT: 590 words, photos.


PROVIDENCE, Rhode Island — A plan to open what would be the nation’s only museum centered on the trans-Atlantic slave trade would focus on the Episcopal church’s role in its history and the sometimes-buried legacy of slavery in northern states like Rhode Island. By Michelle R. Smith. SENT: 720 words, photos.


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.

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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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