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BC-AS--Asian News Digest, AS

November 23, 2013



TACLOBAN, Philippines — Hoping to lift the spirits of thousands of people left homeless by a deadly typhoon in the Philippines, cable operators have set up TV screens inside an astrodome, near a church and in other landmarks in the devastated region to broadcast live boxing icon Manny Pacquiao’s comeback fight. By Bullit Marquez. SENT: 550 words, photos.


BEIJING— The Chinese Defense Ministry has issued a map of an East China Sea Air Defense Identification Zone including a chain of disputed islands also claimed by Japan.


WASHINGTON — America is as important as ever for the stability of the Asia-Pacific region and nations in that part of the world want to see more U.S. leadership, not less, Australia’s new foreign minister says. Julie Bishop’s first trip to Washington since taking office has reaffirmed the U.S.-Australia alliance but has been shadowed by Canberra’s own problems with its most important Asian neighbor, Indonesia. By Matthew Pennington. SENT: 350 words.


CANBERRA, Australia — Prime Minister Tony Abbott says his response to the Indonesian president’s angry letter following reports of Australian phone tapping of Indonesian leaders was on its way to Jakarta. By Rod McGuirk. SENT: 290 words, photos.


BEIJING — China’s largest oil refiner Sinopec has apologized for explosions from a ruptured oil pipeline that killed 47 people and injured 136 others in one of the country’s worst industrial accidents this year. SENT: 500 words, photos.


WASHINGTON — Bangladesh has yet to meet benchmarks set by the U.S. government for restoration of trade benefits suspended after a garment factory collapse that killed more than 1,100 people, an influential Democratic senator says. By Matthew Pennington. SENT: 500 words.


PERTH, Australia — A surfer has been killed by a shark off a notorious stretch of the west Australian coast. SENT: 210 words.



DALLAS — From a street in downtown Dallas to the shores of Cape Cod, a somber nation pauses to remember John F. Kennedy 50 years after the young, handsome president was gunned down in an open-top limousine. A half-century later, the assassination still stirs quiet sadness in the baby boom generation that remembers it as the beginning of a darker, more cynical era. The anniversary ceremonies reflected that solemnity, with moments of silence, speeches by historians and, above all, simple reverence for a time and a leader long gone. By Jamie Stengle and Nomaan Merchant. SENT: 920 words, photos, video, interactive, graphic.

— JFK-MEMORIES OF KENNEDY — From points across America and around the world, AP reporters gather memories of John F. Kennedy, of the moments people learned he had been shot and the stories parents told their children about the slain president. A collection of vignettes. SENT: 1.900 words, photos.


GENEVA — Secretary of State John Kerry and foreign ministers of other major powers lend their weight to the Iran nuclear talks after envoys report progress in marathon negotiations to curb the Iranian program in return for limited sanctions relief. Kerry was en route to Geneva to “help narrow the differences,” the State Department says, and he was to be joined by the foreign ministers of Russia, Britain and France. The announcements follow a day in which diplomats appeared more and more optimistic that a deal can be struck. By George Jahn and Jamey Keaten. SENT: 1,000 words, photos.

— IRAN ENRICHMENT-Q&A — The cornerstone of Iran’s nuclear disputes with the West has been over uranium enrichment. Here are answers to some important questions about uranium enrichment. By Brian Murphy. SENT: 840 words, photo.


A day after setting off an uproar among travelers opposed to the idea of in-flight phone calls, the chairman of the Federal Communications Commission Chairman backtracks, saying he personally isn’t in favor of calls on planes, but that there is technically no reason to prohibit them. By Scott Mayerowitz. SENT: 430 words, photos.


RIGA, Latvia — As rescue workers search for bodies in the rubble of a supermarket collapse that killed at least 50 people, speculation on the cause turns to possible construction flaws in the state-of-the-art shopping mall. The mayor of Riga points to heavy bags of sand and earth on the grass-covered roof, where workers were putting in a garden and playground. By Gary Peach. SENT: 720 words, photos, video.


CAIRO — In Egypt, misery just keeps piling on and, fittingly, the nation is officially in mourning. Political violence and unrest have plagued the country since the 2011 ouster of Hosni Mubarak, but a flurry of deadly incidents this week appears to have touched a raw nerve, with many Egyptians abandoning hopes for democracy and freedom and instead embracing a grim view of the future. By Hamza Hendawi. SENT: 1,000 words, photos.

— EGYPT — Clashes erupt as thousands of Islamist supporters of Egypt’s ousted president hold protests marking the passage of 100 days since the start of a crackdown against them. Two die in the violence, including a 10-year-old boy. SENT: 700 words, photos.


HALIFAX, Nova Scotia — Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel warns that energy exploration in the largely untapped Arctic could heighten international tensions. He urges nations such as Russia, China, Canada and Norway to work together but asserts that the U.S. will exercise its sovereignty in the face of competing claims. By Lolita C. Baldor. SENT: 940 words, photo, interactive.

— CLIMATE CHANGE — UN climate talks near end without timeline for next step: announcing emissions targets. SENT: 515 words, photos.


JOHANNESBURG — The carjackers were swift and methodical. They were also creatures of habit. On three occasions this month, armed criminals pounced at the same intersection in Johannesburg while CCTV security cameras recorded the brazen heists. The footage illustrates the sophistication of gangs and points to South Africa’s uneven record in fighting crime. By Christopher Torchia. SENT: 640 words, photos, video.


LONDON — Three women who were freed from a London home after 30 years had been allowed outside in “carefully controlled circumstances” but were victims of slavery, a senior British police officer says. The man and woman arrested in the case are released on bail. By Cassandra Vinograd. SENT: 950 words, photos.


JERUSALEM — Israel’s new opposition leader is a pragmatic lawmaker and scion of the Labor Party who is likely to focus the movement on a diplomatic agenda. Isaac Herzog might even give a boost to the prime minister’s coalition should progress be made in peace talks with the Palestinians. By Aron Heller. SENT: 750 words, photos.



CANBERRA, Australia — “The Wolverine” star Hugh Jackman revealed he has been treated for skin cancer and shared a selfie showing his bandaged nose. SENT: 180 words, photos.



MACAO — Manny Pacquiao will enter the ring against Brandon Rios on Sunday (Saturday night U.S. time) both as a boxer with his career on the line and a Philippines icon and congressman representing a nation stricken by disaster. By Chris Lines. SENT: 800 words, photos


— PAKISTAN — The jailed Pakistani doctor who helped the CIA find Osama bin Laden has been charged with murder in an old case, raising further doubt about whether he’ll ever be freed as U.S. officials have demanded. SENT: 500 words, photo.


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