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BC-AS--Asian News Digest, AS

February 5, 2015

ASIA:

TAIWAN-PLANE CRASH

TAIPEI, Taiwan — Moments before the TransAsia Airways propjet banked sharply and crashed into a river, one of its pilots said, “Mayday, mayday, engine flameout.” ″Engine flameout” refers to flames being extinguished in the combustion chamber of the engine, so that it shuts down and no longer drives the propeller. By Ralph Jennings. SENT: 1,120 words, photos.

— TAIWAN-PLANE CRASH-PILOT’S WORDS — Transcript of pilot’s last words. SENT: 90 words.

— TAIWAN-PLANE CRASH-ATR — European aircraft maker ATR is in the spotlight again after the TransAsia Airways crash. By Kelvin Chan. SENT: 540 words, photos.

JAPAN-ISLAMIC STATE-TROUBLEMAKERS

TOKYO — In Japan, where conformity takes precedence over individuality, one of the most important values is to avoid “meiwaku” — causing trouble for others. And sympathy aside, the two Japanese purportedly slain by the Islamic State group are now widely viewed as troublemakers. By Mari Yamaguchi. UPCOMING: 1,000 words by 1500 GMT, photos.

NKOREA-MONEY LAUNDERING

TOKYO — North Korea, long accused by the U.S. and others of engaging in counterfeiting, drug trafficking and even online gambling scams, is trying to repair its international image by courting a little-known but influential body that fights money laundering and terrorist financing. Most mainstream financial institutions won’t go near North Korea, which is isolated by U.N. sanctions over its nuclear weapons program and by accusations it uses illegal activities to prop up its anemic economy. By Eric Talmadge. SENT: 1,170 words, photos.

INDIA-CHURCH ATTACKS

NEW DELHI — Police in India’s capital detain hundreds of Christian protesters as they prepare to march to the home minister’s residence to demand that the government investigate recent attacks on churches blamed on Hindu hardliners. By Nirmala George. SENT: 390 words, photos.

INDIA-CHILD LABOR

HYDERABAD, India — Police rescue hundreds of children working in hazardous industries in a southern Indian city despite laws that ban child labor. SENT: 310 words, photos.

AUSTRALIA-AL-JAZEERA

SYDNEY — For more than a year, the three jailed Al-Jazeera journalists did their best to prepare for the unsettling possibility that one of them would be released from the Egyptian prison, while the others were forced to stay. But when that day actually came, journalist Peter Greste struggled to leave behind the men who had become his brothers. By Kristen Gelineau and Brian Rohan. SENT: 850 words, photos, video.

CHINA-CANADA

BEIJING — A Canadian woman detained in China along with her husband on suspicion of stealing state secrets has been released on bail. She and her husband were detained in August in China’s northeastern city of Dandong, which borders North Korea. SENT: 350 words.

CHINA-LATIN AMERICA’S LENDER

BEIJING — China has become a frequent destination for Latin America’s presidents, especially populist ones who have spent freely over the past decade but are now grappling with a collapse in the prices of oil and other commodities that their economies produce and export. By Jack Chang. UPCOMING: 990 words by 1400 GMT, photos.

— ARGENTINA-PRESIDENT’S TWEETS — Argentine president’s jokes on Twitter about Chinese accent causes uproar back home. SENT: 500 words, photos.

BUSINESS AND FINANCE:

JAPAN-TAKATA

TOKYO — Takata Corp., the Japanese seatbelt and air-bag maker at the center of a defect scandal, is expecting more red ink for the fiscal year through March. By Yuri Kageyama. SENT: 440 words.

SKOREA-SAMSUNG-NEW TV

SEOUL, South Korea — South Korean electronics giant Samsung Electronics Co. has started domestic sales of high-end televisions powered by its Tizen operating system and plans to add washing machines, fridges and other appliances. By Youkyung Lee. SENT: 250 words. photos.

U.S. AND INTERNATIONAL:

UKRAINE

KIEV, Ukraine — In a new push for peace in eastern Ukraine, the leaders of France and Germany announce they are heading to Kiev and Moscow with a proposal to end the fighting. The surprise move Thursday came as the U.S. edged toward offering Ukraine lethal military aid. By Sylvie Corbet and Yuras Karmanau. SENT: 750 words, photos.

— NATO — NATO official: alliance to beef up response force in response to Russian aggression. SENT: 410 words, photos.

SOCHI-COSTLY LEGACY

SOCHI, Russia — Russia had vowed to pay for the Sochi Olympics, the most expensive games of all time, by getting super-rich private investors to take the cost from the state. Instead, as the first anniversary of those games approaches, at least two of those oligarchs are dumping their increasingly toxic assets on the state — a way to recoup billions of dollars in a sinking economy. By Nataliya Vasilyeva. SENT: 1,570 words, photos, video. An abridged of 1,010 words has also been sent.

ISLAMIC STATE

AMMAN, Jordan — Jordan’s king vows to wage a “harsh” war against the Islamic State group after the militants burned a captive Jordanian pilot in a cage and released a video of the killing. The images have sent waves of revulsion across the region. By Karin Laub. SENT: 210 words, photos, interactive.

— UNITED NATIONS-ISLAMIC STATE-CHILDREN — U.N.: Islamic State torturing, killing, raping children in Iraq; government must do more to help. SENT: 130 words.

AP POLL-GAY MARRIAGE

WASHINGTON — While finding that Americans narrowly favor allowing gay and lesbian couples to legally marry, a new Associated Press-GfK poll also shows most believe wedding-related businesses should be allowed to deny service to same-sex couples for religious reasons. By Emily Swanson and Brady McCombs. SENT: 580 words, photo, graphic.

SAUDI-KING’S FIRST MOVES

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — Saudi Arabia’s new monarch isn’t wasting time taking charge. Since assuming the throne Jan. 23, King Salman has promoted some of his closest relatives and sidelined other top figures, reformed how decisions will be made, and promised lavish payouts designed to win early goodwill. By Adam Schreck. SENT: 900 words, photos.

BRAZIL-AMAZON MUSSELS THREAT

RIO DE JANEIRO — The world’s mightiest waterway, the Amazon River, faces a dangerous threat from the most diminutive of foes — a tiny invasive mussel. While too small for human consumption, the golden mussel quickly gobbles up new territory and could decimate the river’s indigenous flora and fauna. By Jenny Barchfield. SENT: 930 words, photos.

FRANCE-TERROR FILMING BAN

PARIS — The filming of action movies set in Paris is in jeopardy, some industry types say, following stringent new rules arising after January’s terror attacks. The rules have already disrupted several productions and soured the mood at an annual trade fair meant to attract film crews to the French capital. By Thomas Adamson. SENT: 470 words, photos.

BOOKS-HARPER LEE

MONROEVILLE, Ala. — Hometown friends and fans of “To Kill A Mockingbird” author Harper Lee are struggling to reconcile a publisher’s sensational announcement — that her decades-old manuscript for a sequel had been rediscovered and will be released — with the image of the elderly writer at her sister’s recent funeral. By Jay Reeves. SENT: 500 words, photos.

ALSO GETTING ATTENTION

— EMPIRE STATE BUILDING RUN-UP — Australian woman, German man win race up Empire State Building steps to 86th-floor observatory. SENT: 230 words, photo, video.

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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.

The Asia Photo Desk can be reached at (81-3) 6215-8941 or by fax at (81-3) 3574-8850.

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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