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BC-AS--Asian News Digest, AS

September 4, 2014

ASIA:

INDIA AL-QAIDA

NEW DELHI — Al-Qaida has expanded into India, the leader of the terror group says in a video, vowing that its militants would bring Islamic law to the entire subcontinent and “wage jihad against its enemies.” At least three Indian states with large Muslim populations have been put on alert in the wake of the video’s release, local TV stations reported, though there was no indication of an increased security presence. By Tim Sullivan. SENT: 680 words, photos.

CHINA-COLLECTIVE COERCION

BEIJING — Xiao Yong used to hold up placards at protests, demanding that China’s leaders declare their assets in a call for political transparency. But he stopped after men began following his father, urging him to talk his son out of his activism. To deter activists, Chinese authorities routinely target their family, friends and associates. Experts say the practice is on the rise and is very effective. By Didi Tang. SENT: 930 words, photos.

AFGHANISTAN

KABUL, Afghanistan — The Taliban strikes a government compound in eastern Afghanistan in a dawn attack that includes two suicide truck bombings and leaves at least 12 people dead, including 10 policemen asleep in their quarters nearby. The assault followed a stark message from the Taliban to world leaders gathered at a NATO summit in Wales, which will also discuss the drawdown of the alliance’s mission in Afghanistan. By Amir Shah and Jason Straziuso. SENT: 650 words, photos.

KASHMIR-FLOODING

SRINAGAR, India — An overcrowded bus carrying wedding guests is swept away by a flooded stream in the Indian-held portion of Kashmir and about 70 people are missing, a state official says. Rescuers were searching for the bus but had not been able to locate it in the gushing waters, he said. By Aijaz Hussain. SENT: 340 words, photos.

JAPAN-FIRST LADY

TOKYO — Japan’s first lady says she has such a busy schedule that sometimes it’s up to the prime minister to do the dishes or take out the garbage. It’s the kind of flexibility that she says is needed for the advancement of women in Japan. By Mari Yamaguchi. SENT: 540 words, photos.

SOUTH AFRICA-DALAI LAMA

JOHANNESBURG — The Dalai Lama has again been refused entry into South Africa where he was going to attend the 14th World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates, his South African representative says. Concern about angering China has been cited for a visa refusal in the past. By Carley Petesch. SENT: 450 words.

CHINA-NEWS EXTORTION

BEIJING — Police in Shanghai detain the chief editor and several employees of an influential Chinese financial news site on allegations they extorted money from companies by threatening to publish negative news about them. The case surrounding www.21cbh.com, the website for the 21st Century Business Herald, is the latest scandal involving news corruption in China, where extortion schemes have plagued the state-owned media, especially those specializing in financial news. By Didi Tang. SENT: 590 words, photos.

MALAYSIA-AIRLINE-BUCKET LIST

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia — Malaysia Airlines has scrapped the title of a competition asking people what activities and destinations are on their “bucket list,” acknowledging it was inappropriate given the two deadly disasters it has suffered this year. A bucket list is a term used by some English-speakers to describe a list of adventures they want to have before they die. SENT: 350 words, photos.

SKOREA-SINGER DEATH

SEOUL, South Korea — South Korean singer Go Eun-bi, better known as EunB, dies after a van carrying her group Ladies’ Code crashed into a guard rail on a rain-drenched highway near Seoul. The 22-year-old Go’s bandmate RiSe, whose real name is Kwon Ri-sae, was seriously injured in the accident and remained in critical condition after undergoing emergency surgery, officials said. SENT: 200 words, photos.

BUSINESS AND FINANCE:

JAPAN-CYBER CRIMES

TOKYO — The boundary between the online and physical worlds got blurry last week when Sony’s PlayStation Network was disabled by an online attack, while simultaneously an American Airlines passenger jet carrying a Sony executive was diverted due to a bomb threat on Twitter. Experts say that’s a wakeup call for a world still coming to grips with cybersecurity: What goes down online can be equally if not more disruptive in the real world. By Yuri Kageyama. SENT: 940 words, photos.

JAPAN-TUNA

TOKYO — The multi-nation fisheries body that monitors most of the Pacific Ocean has recommended a substantial cut to the catch of juvenile bluefin tuna, a move conservationists say is only an initial step toward saving the dwindling species. The Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission announced the decision after meeting in Fukuoka, a city in western Japan. It said the catch should be cut to half of its average level in 2002-2004. By Elaine Kurtenbach. SENT: 600 words, photos.

U.S. AND INTERNATIONAL:

NATO

NEWPORT, Wales — Faced with a mounting militant threat in the Middle East, President Barack Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameron declare that their nations will “not be cowed” by extremists who have killed two American journalists. “We will be more forthright in the defense of our values, not least because a world of greater freedom is a fundamental part of how we keep our people safe,” the leaders write in a joint editorial in the Times of London. By Julie Pace. SENT: 820 words, photos. UPCOMING: video.

UKRAINE

MOSCOW — Russia’s foreign minister warns that Ukraine’s NATO ambitions are threatening to derail peace talks in eastern Ukraine. Russia and Ukraine say they are working on a deal to halt months of fighting in eastern Ukraine. Russian President Vladimir Putin spells out a seven-point plan for ending hostilities and expresses hope for a breakthrough at talks in Minsk, Belarus. By Nataliya Vasilyeva. SENT: 590 words, photos.

NATO-EASTERN FEARS

WARSAW — On the eve of a NATO summit, President Barack Obama gives the alliance’s eastern European members a soaring assurance of protection from any Russian threat. But Poland and the Baltic states seek more than lofty words: They want permanent bases with troops on their land. And they probably won’t get that. While the request from Poland, Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia will be on the agenda at the summit in Wales, European heavyweight Germany and other members strongly oppose it. They argue that it would violate a 1997 agreement with Russia in which NATO pledges not to put “substantial combat forces” in central and eastern Europe. By Vanessa Gera. SENT: 1,080 words, photos.

ISRAEL-AL-QAIDA

MEROM GOLAN, Golan Heights — For the first time in the Syrian civil war, al-Qaida fighters are hunkered down on Israel’s doorstep, and Israelis in the lush, hilly Golan Heights who have long considered Syrian President Bashar Assad their bitter foe are now worried about something more ominous — that they could become the militants’ next target. The push into the Golan by the Nusra Front, as al-Qaida’s branch in Syria is known, comes just two weeks after Israel ended a 50-day war against Hamas on its southern border with the Gaza Strip, giving the conflict-weary nation another cause for concern. By Daniel Estrin. SENT: 1,140 words, photos.

EBOLA BLOOD

LONDON — As West Africa struggles to contain the biggest ever outbreak of Ebola, some experts say an unusual but simple treatment might help: the blood of survivors. The evidence is mixed on the treatment, but without any licensed drugs or vaccines for the deadly disease, some say it’s worth a shot. Using survivors blood will be one of the experimental treatments discussed at a two-day meeting that opens in Geneva. By Medical Writer Maria Cheng. SENT: 770 words, photo.

OBAMA-IMMIGRATION-LENNON

WASHINGTON — Imagine. The argument over President Barack Obama’s legal authority to defer deportations begins 42 years ago with a bit of hashish, a dogged lawyer and, yes, John Lennon and Yoko Ono. By Jim Kuhnhenn. SENT: 620 words, photos.

SLAIN JOURNALIST-ONLINE MEDIA

SAN JOSE, Calif. — Silicon Valley firms were prepared this week to quickly block video of an Islamic State militant beheading an American journalist after a previous video by the same group showing the death of James Foley ricocheted through social networks in what was seen by some as a propaganda coup for the extremists. By Martha Mendoza and Lori Hinnant. SENT: 670 words, photos.

ALSO GETTING ATTENTION

— NETHERLANDS-UKRAINE-PLANE — A preliminary report by Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 investigators will be published on Sept. 9. SENT: 300 words.

— IRAN NUCLEAR — The European Union says that talks between Iran and six world powers on a nuclear deal will resume on New York on Sept. 18. SENT: 120 words, photos.

— BLOOMBERG — Former Mayor Michael Bloomberg returns to lead the financial data and news company he founded in 1981 but left to serve three terms in City Hall. SENT: 320 words, photos.

— SOCK EATING DOG — Surgery on an ailing Great Dane reveals a cause of the stomach upset: 43 ½ socks. SENT: 130 words.

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YOUR QUERIES: The editor in charge at the AP Asia-Pacific Desk in Bangkok is David Thurber. 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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