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BC-AS--Asian News Digest, AS

August 20, 2013


RAWALPINDI, Pakistan — A Pakistani court indicted former president and army chief Pervez Musharraf on murder charges in connection with the 2007 assassination of iconic Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, deepening the fall of a once-powerful figure who returned to the country this year in an effort to take part in elections. The court decision marks the first time any former army chief in Pakistan has been charged with a crime. By Zarar Khan.


BEIJING — When one of China’s most prominent political bosses slapped his police chief across the face, it reverberated far and wide. The final chapter in the Communist Party’s most embarrassing scandal in decades is unfolds Thursday: a closely orchestrated trial, in which the boss Bo Xilai is likely to be convicted of corruption and abuse of power. By Gillian Wong. AP Photos.


MANILA, Philippines — Flooding caused by some of the Philippines’ heaviest rains on record submerged more than half the capital, turning roads into rivers and trapping tens of thousands of people in homes and shelters. The government suspended all work except rescues and disaster response for a second day. Officials reported at least seven deaths. By Hrvoje Hranjski. AP Photos.


TOKYO — The operator of Japan’s tsunami-crippled nuclear power plant says about 300 tons of highly radioactive water have leaked from a storage tank there. Tokyo Electric Power Co. said the contaminated water leaked from a steel storage tank but hasn’t figured out how or where.


JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. — Army prosecutors said they have a recording of a phone call in which Staff Sgt. Robert Bales and his wife laugh as they review the charges filed against him in the killing of 16 Afghan villagers. The call may be evidence in the sentencing hearing that starts Tuesday in which Bales will be sentenced to life in prison with or without the possibility of release.


SEOUL, South Korea — North Korea criticized South Korea-U.S. military drills with milder-than-usual language that’s seen as a sign of its interest in keeping up diplomacy. By Hyung-Jin Kim. AP Photos.


BEIJING — Heavy rains brought by a typhoon triggered landslides in southern China that buried homes and vehicles and killed at least 15 people, as the number of dead or missing from recent flooding in the country surged past 200.


SYDNEY — A boat carrying around 100 asylum seekers sank in the Indian Ocean, and Australian officials were hurrying to rescue passengers from the water. The boat sank about 220 kilometers north of Christmas Island.


OKLAHOMA CITY — An Australian baseball player attending an Oklahoma college on a scholarship was shot and killed in what police described as a random act by three “bored” teenagers who decided to kill someone for the fun of it. By Sean Murphy.


BEIJING — China’s product safety agency has told New Zealand suppliers of a milk product to perform additional quality tests following a new contamination problem. Developing.



WELLINGTON, New Zealand — New Zealand announced details of a plan to list state-owned Meridian Energy on the stock market. The initial public offering will be among the country’s largest ever.


WELLINGTON, New Zealand — New Zealand’s central bank announced it will impose restrictions on mortgage lending, hoping to restrain increases in house prices without derailing economic growth. By Nick Perry.


BANGKOK — Asian stocks slid as investors, particularly those investing in up-and-coming markets, braced for the possible phaseout of a U.S. central bank stimulus program that has boosted stock prices worldwide. By Pamela Sampson. AP Photos.



BANGKOK — Behind the pink braces, a pony tail and a sweet smile lies a fierce, competitive side of Ratchanok Inthanon. It’s this side that powers the kind of smash that could send the shuttlecock piercing through the air. The Thai teenager is the youngest-ever badminton world champion and the first Thai player to win a world title. By Thanyarat Doksone. AP Photos.


YOUR QUERIES: The editor in charge at the AP Asia-Pacific Desk in Bangkok is Leon Drouin-Keith. 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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