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BC-AS--Asian News Digest, AS

November 13, 2013



TACLOBAN, Philippines — Mobs overrun a rice warehouse on the island worst hit by the Philippine typhoon, setting off a wall collapse that kills eight people and carting off thousands of sacks of the grain, while security forces exchange gunfire with an armed gang. The incidents add to concerns about the slow pace of aid distribution and growing chaos in parts of the disaster zone. By Kristen Gelineau and Jim Gomez. SENT: 950 words, photos, video.


TACLOBAN, Philippines — Two days before the typhoon hit, officials rolled through this city with bullhorns, urging residents to get to higher ground or take refuge in evacuation centers. Warnings were broadcast on state television and radio. Some left. Some didn’t. Residents steeled themselves for the high winds, floods and mudslides that routinely come with the typhoons that afflict this tropical nation. But virtually no one was prepared for Typhoon Haiyan’s storm surge, a 6-meter-high (20-foot-high) wall of water headed straight for them. By Todd Pitman. SENT: 1,600 words, photos.

— PHILIPPINES-TYPHOON-PHOTO GALLERY — Chronological look at the typhoon’s landfall and deadly aftermath. SENT: 160 words, photos.

— PHILIPPINES-TYPHOON-DEATH TOLL — In the chaos of natural disaster, tallying an accurate death toll is often difficult and sometimes not a priority. SENT: 380 words, photos.

— PHILIPPINES-TOLL-GLANCE — Latest casualty figures and damage reports. SENT: 200 words.

— PHILIPPINES TYPHOON-PACQUIAO’S DEDICATION — Manny Pacquiao believes the best way to bring inspiration and hope to the victims of devastating Typhoon Haiyan in his native Philippines is to win his comeback fight against Brandon Rios. By John Pye. SENT: 750 words, photos.


BEIJING — China’s plan to create a new security committee demonstrates President Xi Jinping’s success in cementing his authority as Communist Party leader, analysts say. Chinese academics for decades have advocated a body to oversee coordination among police, intelligence, military and other security organs, which have sometimes appeared out of step with each other or with the party’s civilian leadership. By Gillian Wong. SENT: 1,000 words, photos.


BANGKOK — After two weeks of noisy protests, the message from the streets of Bangkok is clear: There will be no immediate homecoming for Thailand’s most polarizing political figure, Thaksin Shinawatra. The former prime minister has waited five years — the last two with his own sister in power — to come home from self-imposed exile as a free man. But broad-based protests over a proposed deal for his return, largely ending with the frantic extinguishing of a bill that would have erased a corruption conviction, suggest that wait is far from over. By Grant Peck and Thanyarat Doksone. SENT: 920 words, photos.


JALALABAD, Afghanistan — Afghanistan’s opium production surged this year to record levels, despite international efforts over the past decade to wean the country off the narcotics trade, according to a report by the U.N.’s drug control agency. The harvest this past May resulted in a staggering 5,500 metric tons (6,060 tons) of opium, 49 percent higher than last year and more than the combined output of the rest of the world. By Kathy Gannon. SENT: 520 words, photos.


NEW DELHI — The palm-flecked island nation of Sri Lanka plays host this week to leaders from dozens of Commonwealth nations at a summit it hopes will generate enough good will and photo opportunities to eclipse three decades of grim history — massive civilian deaths, persistent media harassment and gangster-style politics. Instead, as Friday’s opening approaches, global focus remains trained on the country’s 27-year civil war and alleged atrocities committed by both rebels and soldiers who, despite a sustained international outcry, have been spared from investigations and prosecutions since the war ended in 2009. By Katy Daigle. SENT: 1,100 words, photos.


NEW DELHI — India’s top police official apologizes for saying, “If you can’t prevent rape, you enjoy it,” a remark that has outraged women across the country. SENT: 290 words, photos.


SRINAGAR, India — Police and paramilitary soldiers use batons and fire tear gas to disperse hundreds of Muslims participating in religious processions in the Indian portion of Kashmir. Authorities had imposed a curfew in parts of Srinagar, the region’s main city, to prevent gatherings marking Muharram from developing into anti-India protests. By Aijaz Hussain. SENT: 220 words, photos.


KABUL, Afghanistan — Afghan officials say roadside bombings in the restive south and west have killed three boys. SENT: 130 words, photos.


HANOI, Vietnam — A camera trap in a forest in central Vietnam has managed to snap a photo of one of earth’s rarest mammals, the saola, which hadn’t been seen in 15 years. SENT: 290 words, photos.



MUMBAI, India — India has become a hot ticket for international carriers since opening its airline industry to foreign investors last year. But the potential of a giant market where only a sliver of the population travel by plane also comes with a catch: airlines in India are vastly unprofitable thanks to sky-high costs and cut-throat competition. In recent months, Abu Dhabi’s Etihad Air announced it was taking a $379 million stake in India’s Jet Airways. Malaysia-based AirAsia said it would start a budget carrier with Indian conglomerate Tata Group. Most recently, Singapore Airlines signaled its intention to go into business with Tata for a full-service airline. By Kay Johnson. SENT: 960 words, photos.


TOKYO — Japan’s finance minister pledged to crack down on lenders that fail to sever links with organized crime as lawmakers grill him over mob loans by banks and other financial institutions. Revelations that credit companies, banks and insurers failed to comply with laws against doing business with gangs and their associates have been an embarrassment for Japan, which has helped lead international efforts to prevent terrorism financing and other illicit transactions. By Elaine Kurtenbach. SENT: 700 words, photos.


BEIJING — General Motors Co. says it will move its international headquarters from Shanghai to Singapore, a trophy for the subtropical city-state that is aggressively promoting itself as a global business center. By Didi Tang. SENT: 300 words.


SAN FRANCISCO — The billion dollar patent fight between the world’s two biggest smartphone makers is resuming in a Silicon Valley courtroom. Lawyers for rivals Apple Inc. and South Korea-based Samsung Electronics Co. are scheduled to deliver opening statements in a San Jose courtroom in a trial to determine how much Samsung owes Apple for copying vital iPhone and iPad features. By Paul Elias. SENT: 390 words.



ROSCOE, S.D. — Across the Dakotas and Nebraska, more than 1 million acres of the Great Plains are giving way to cornfields as farmers transform the wild expanse that once served as the backdrop for American pioneers. This expansion of the Corn Belt is fueled in part by America’s green energy policy, which requires oil companies to blend billions of gallons of corn ethanol into their gasoline. Ethanol has become the No. 1 use for corn in America, helping keep prices high. By Chet Brokaw and Jack Gillum. SENT: 1,140 words, photos, graphic, interactive.


LOUISVILLE, Ky. —The newly elected leader of the United States’ Roman Catholic bishops says he will draw on his years as a pastor while seeking to reconcile Pope Francis’ message of a welcoming church with the conservative ideology of American bishops. By Dylan Lovan. SENT: 600 words, photos.


WASHINGTON — The world’s largest museum complex is working with 3D printing technology as part of a strategy to soon make some of its 137 million objects available in schools or research centers nationwide. Smithsonian Secretary Wayne Clough says museums face a greater challenge than the digitization of documents in libraries or archives because artifacts are three-dimensional. He’s calling on museums to speed up their work to innovate and digitize collections to make artifacts accessible online for a generation born in the Internet age. By Brett Zongker. SENT: 850 words, photos, video.


GROTON, Conn. — It could dive deeper than any other submarine, and when it reached the ocean floor, the one-of-a-kind Navy vessel could roll on wheels with lights illuminating the depths outside its windows. The nuclear-powered NR-1, launched in Groton in 1969, was one of the most secretive vessels in the U.S. undersea force. The Navy is collecting pieces of it for an exhibit at a submarine museum. Veterans who served aboard the tiny sub during the Cold War say that it was one of the most fascinating assignments of their careers — but that not even their wives know all the details. By Michael Melia. SENT: 740 words, photos, video.


TORONTO — Mayor Rob Ford’s refusal to resign over his admitted drug use has confounded Toronto’s City Council. Allies and opponents alike agree that a stream of revelations of the mayor’s erratic behavior — from smoking crack cocaine in a “drunken stupor” to threatening to kill someone in a videotaped tirade — has consumed Toronto’s politics and impacted the City Council’s ability to tackle other challenges. But with no clear legal path to force him out, the 44-member council is grasping for ways to shunt the larger-than-life leader aside and govern without him until next year’s municipal elections. By Charmaine Noronha. SENT: 1,200 words, photos.


BUENOS AIRES, Argentina — For women dealing with the physical and psychological trauma of cancer, even looking in the mirror can be difficult. An international program, “Look Good Feel Better,” offers help. Beauticians hold weekly workshops to give tips on using makeup, accessorizing with jewelry and scarves, and finding the right wig. By Almudena Calatrava and Paul Byrne. SENT: 465 words, photos.


WASHINGTON — The Obama administration is pleading with Congress to allow more time for diplomacy with Iran but faces sharp resistance from Republican and Democratic lawmakers determined to further squeeze the Iranian economy and wary of yielding any ground in nuclear negotiations. By Bradley Klapper. SENT: 870 words.


— ART AUCTIONS — Triptych by British artist Francis Bacon sets worldwide auction record at NYC sale. SENT: 510 words, photos.

— GAY MARRIAGE-HAWAII — Hawaii governor to sign gay marriage bill; measure expected to spur tourism, encourage aloha. SENT: 630 words, photos.

— ALEC BALDWIN-STALKING CASE — Alec Baldwin testifies he never had relationship with actress accused of stalking him. SENT: 800 words, photos.

— MISS TEEN USA EXTORTION — Calif. student pleads guilty to extorting nude photos from Miss Teen USA, others. SENT: 500 words, photo.

— TALLEST SKYSCRAPER-DILEMMA — Expert committee declares New York’s new World Trade Center tower the tallest building in U.S. SENT: 1,040 words, photos.

— PEOPLE-KIM KARDASHIAN — Kim Kardashian cited for speeding after apparently being chased by paparazzi on LA freeway. SENT: 200 words, photos.

— PALIN-BOOK TOUR — Sarah Palin launches tour for book about restoring spirit of Christmas in Bethlehem Township, Pa. SENT: 290 words, photos.


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