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BC-AS--Asian News Digest, AS

October 12, 2014

ASIA:

ASIA-STORMS

HYDERABAD, India — Heavy rains and gusts rip through a large swath of India’s eastern seaboard, uprooting trees and snapping power cables as a powerful cyclone sweeps through the Bay of Bengal, one of two storms pounding Asia on Sunday. In Japan, at least 35 people have been reported injured as Typhoon Vongfong, packing winds of up to 180 kilometers (110 miles) per hour, unleashes rains and gusts on Okinawa and is aiming at the next island of Kyushu, where authorities told 150,000 people to evacuate. By Mohammed Shafeeq. SENT: 515 words, photos. Incorporates BC-AS--India-Cyclone and BC-AS--Japan-Typhoon. Developments will be expedited.

HONG KONG-MONEY AND IDENTITY

HONG KONG — The protests shaking Hong Kong have exposed a series of underlying divides, from worries over housing to bitterness over immigration from Chinese mainland. Underlying all those issues — an even deeper divide over Hong Kong’s distinct identity, and how it can survive in China’s ever-growing shadow. By Tim Sullivan and Sylvia Hui. SENT: 1,200 words, photos.

CHINA-SCHOLAR DETAINED

BEIJING — A Chinese scholar and rights advocate who founded an influential non-governmental think tank has been detained on the criminal charge of provoking troubles, his lawyer says.

BUSINESS AND FINANCE:

GLOBAL FINANCE

WASHINGTON — World financial leaders are pledging to act boldly to give a weak and uneven global recovery some momentum, but they have often fallen short in the past when trying to follow through on their promises. By Harry Dunphy and Martin Crutsinger. SENT: 815 words, photos.

U.S. AND INTERNATIONAL:

IRAQ-WORRIED CAPITAL

BAGHDAD — On the western edge of Iraq’s capital, Islamic State group militants battle government forces and exchange mortar fire, only adding to the sense of siege in Baghdad despite airstrikes by a U.S.-led coalition. Yet military experts say the Sunni militants of the Islamic State group, who now control a large territory along the border that Iraq and Syria share, won’t be able to fight through both government forces and Shiite militias now massed around the capital. It does, however, put them in a position to wreak havoc in Iraq’s biggest city, with its suicide attacks and other assaults further eroding confidence in Iraq’s nascent federal government and its troops, whose soldiers already fled the Islamic State group’s initial lightning advance in June. By Vivian Salama. SENT: 1,050 words, photos, video.

— HAGEL-SYRIA — U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel says the U.S. is making “considerable progress” in its negotiations with Turkey over the plan to train and equip moderate Syrian rebels in their fight against Islamic State militants. SENT: 445 words.

IRAQ-YAZIDI CAPTIVES

MAQLUBA, Iraq —The 15-year-old girl was snatched by Islamic State militants who overran her hometown in Iraq, and slaughtered hundreds of residents. With other girls and young women, she was passed from town to town, finally ending up in Syria, where they were sold to militant fighters as slaves for “marriage.” The girl and other women from Iraq’s Yazidi religious minority describe their ordeals to The Associated Press, after they escaped and made their way back to Iraq. By Dalton Bennett. SENT: 1,100 words, photo.

YEMEN-ROAD TO CRISIS

SANAA, Yemen — Yemen’s 2011 Arab Spring revolt began with a nucleus of young men and women, launching a protest movement seeking to end autocratic rule and transform the poorest Arab nation into a democratic society. Nearly four years later, Yemen is in chaos. Shiite rebels have overrun the capital. Al-Qaida’s branch in the country is carrying out deadly attacks in Sanaa. Attempts at real reform are in disarray. The activists behind the initial uprising look back at what went wrong. By Hamza Hendawi. UPCOMING” SENT: 1,100 words by 0900 GMT, photos.

AP EXCLUSIVE: EBOLA-DUNCAN’S LAST DAYS

Despite five days of intensive treatment, Thomas Eric Duncan’s condition was deteriorating. Then, suddenly on the afternoon of Oct. 2, there was a hopeful sign. Duncan was hungry. Nurses at a Texas hospital raised the 45-year-old welder from Liberia into a sitting position and gave him a snack — a packet of saltine crackers and some Sprite. Six days later, Duncan was gone. The first person ever to be diagnosed with the dreaded Ebola virus on United States soil was the first in this country to die of it. Hundreds of pages of medical records provided to The Associated Press chart the disease’s relentlessness march through Duncan’s body. And they provide an unprecedented look at how Ebola killed despite the aggressive efforts doctors made to save him. By Emily Schmall, Lauran Neergaard and Allen G. Breed. SENT: 1,800 words, photos. An abridged version of 800 words has also moved.

— AP PHOTO NCAB108 — Josephus Weeks, nephew of Ebola patient Thomas Eric Duncan, sits behind a stack of medical documents in a hotel room, in North Carolina.

EBOLA-AIRPORT SCREENING

NEW YORK — Customs and health officials began taking the temperatures of passengers arriving at New York’s Kennedy International Airport from three West African countries on Saturday in a stepped-up screening effort meant to prevent the spread of the Ebola virus. Federal health officials said the entry screenings, which will expand to four additional U.S. airports in the next week, add another layer of protection to halt the spread of a disease that has killed more than 4,000 people. By Karen Matthews. SENT: 530 words, photos, video.

POLICE SHOOTINGS-MISSOURI

FERGUSON, Mo. — A weekend of peaceful daytime protests and nightly police standoffs is expected to continue as organizers prepare for a wave of resistance they anticipate will lead to widespread, intentional arrests. By Alan Scher Zagier. SENT: 660 words, photos, video.

GAYS-BEYOND MARRIAGE

NEW YORK — Even as they celebrate epic victories in the push for marriage equality, gay-rights activists acknowledge that other thorny issues remain on their agenda. There’s the persistent high rate of HIV infections, the struggles to expand transgender rights, and the striking fact that even in some states allowing same-sex marriage, people can lose their job for being gay. By National Writer David Crary. SENT: 1,100 words, photos.

DRUG CARTELS-MONEY LAUNDERING

CHULA VISTA, California — For a company booking $12 million in annual sales importing snacks from Mexico, Baja Distributors Inc. was oddly quiet. There were no signs outside; its warehouse was almost empty. Prosecutors say there was a reason for the anonymity: The business was laundering money from Mexican drug traffickers. By Elliot Spagat. SENT: 830 words, photos.

BOLIVIA ELECTIONS

EL ALTO, Bolivia — President Evo Morales appears headed to an unprecedented third term in elections Sunday on the strength of the economic and political stability the coca growers’ union leader has brought to a country whose commodities’ wealth he has spread around. By Carlos Valdez. SENT: 590 words, photos.

HAITI-DUVALIER FUNERAL

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti — Hundreds of people attend the funeral of former dictator Jean-Claude “Baby Doc” Duvalier, displaying lingering respect for a man who was widely reviled for repression and corruption during his 15 years in power. By Evens Sanon and Danica Coto. SENT: 705 words, photos.

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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.

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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