BC-AS--Asian News Digest, AS
BEIJING — A series of small explosions kill one person and injure eight others outside the provincial headquarters of the ruling Communist Party in the northern Chinese city of Taiyuan, officials say. Officials give no word on the target or perpetrators of the blasts, which state media say were caused by homemade bombs. SENT: 350 words, photos.
MALE, Maldives — After two failed attempts, the Maldives likely will hold its presidential election Saturday as the three candidates have agreed on a voters’ register, the president says. The Supreme Court annulled results of a Sept. 7 election because it said fake names and dead people were on the voters’ list, and police stopped last month’s attempted vote because all the candidates had not approved the voters’ register as the Supreme Court mandated. By Hussain Sinan. SENT: 290 words.
DUSHANBE, Tajikistan — Voters in Tajikistan are casting ballots in a presidential election that is all but certain to extend the incumbent’s rule after officials barred the only real opposition candidate from the race. President Emomali Rakhmon, 61, is running for a fourth term in the impoverished mountainous Muslim nation neighboring Afghanistan and China. SENT: 380 words, photos.
KANDAHAR, Afghanistan — Afghan police say they have found the bodies of seven soldiers believed to have been killed by their Taliban captors in a southern province. By Mirwais Khan. SENT: 130 words.
JAKARTA, Indonesia — A man suspected of plotting to attack the Myanmar Embassy in Indonesia goes on trial on charges of terrorism that could result in a death sentence. Prosecutors say Separiano and four others wanted to retaliate against Buddhist-majority Myanmar for attacks there on ethnic Rohingya Muslims. SENT: 240 words, photos.
MANILA, Philippines — Al-Qaida-linked Abu Sayyaf militants abduct two contractors for a telecommunications company in the southern Philippines, the latest captives by a ransom-seeking group that still holds two European tourists and other hostages, officials say. SENT: 290 words.
BEIJING— The mother and brother of blind activist Chinese lawyer Chen Guangcheng fly to the U.S. for a family reunion amid concerns for the health of another relative imprisoned in China. By Aritz Parra. SENT: 310 words, photos.
SEATTLE — A fugitive anti-whaling activist known for confronting Japanese whaling vessels off Antarctica is to testify about his actions in a U.S. court. Paul Watson, founder of the Oregon-based Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, is expected to take the witness stand in a contempt of court hearing in Seattle. By Gene Johnson. SENT: 560 words, photos.
MIAMI — An Australian who trained with al-Qaida in Afghanistan and ended up a prisoner in Guantanamo Bay sought to walk back the plea deal that got him home, filing an appeal to overturn his terrorism conviction by a military court. David Hicks was the first Guantanamo prisoner to be convicted of war crimes, pleading guilty in March 2007 to providing material support for terrorism. The deal got him out of the U.S. base in Cuba, with most of his seven-year sentence suspended, and he was freed by the end of that year. By Ben Fox. SENT: 600 words, photos.
WASHINGTON — The chief of U.S. forces in the Pacific says he’s planning for the possibility that North Korea has an intercontinental ballistic missile that can hit America although it’s unclear if they really do. By Matthew Pennington. SENT: 300 words.
UNITED STATES-MYANMAR-ROHINGYA EXHIBIT
WASHINGTON — Just a few blocks from the White House where Myanmar’s president was feted for working for democracy, another side of his country is now on display at a more haunting Washington landmark: the plight of its most beleaguered people, the Rohingya Muslims, depicted in photos projected at night onto the external walls of the Holocaust Memorial Museum. By Matthew Pennington. SENT: 800 words, photos.
BUSINESS AND FINANCE:
SEOUL, South Korea — Samsung Electronics Co. has a new goal after overtaking Apple in smartphones: it wants to be world No. 1 in tablet computers too. By Youkyung Lee. SENT: 390 words.
TOKYO — Toyota’s quarterly profit soared 70 percent, and the world’s top-selling automaker raised its earnings forecast, as cost cuts and the weaker Japanese yen compensated for slightly weaker vehicle sales. By Elaine Kurtenbach. SENT: 650 words, photos.
DHAKA, Bangladesh — Bangladesh passes a law bringing the pioneering Grameen Bank under closer central bank supervision, a move bitterly opposed by its founder, Nobel laureate Muhammad Yunus, who warns of a government takeover of an institution lauded for alleviating poverty. Grameen was a trail blazer in extending small loans to the poor denied access to regular bank credit, earning it and Yunus the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize. But Yunus and the government have been at odds for several years over the running of the bank and Yunus’ failed effort to launch a political party when Bangladesh was under a state of emergency in 2006-2008. By Julhas Alam. SENT: 460 words.
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia — Karex Berhad, the world’s top condom producer, surges more than 30 percent in its trading debut on Malaysia’s stock exchange, following a 125 million ringgit ($39.2 million) initial public offering to bolster its market share. SENT: 190 words.
CHINA-TRIAL BY TV
BEIJING — The 27-year-old journalist wore a green jail uniform, his head shaved and hands in metal cuffs, when he appeared on national TV and confessed his guilt in bribery allegations. And he had yet to be charged with anything. “I willingly admit my crime, and I repent it,” Chen Yongzhou said in footage aired on state broadcaster China Central Television. It was the latest of several high-profile, televised confessions, a new tactic by Chinese authorities attempting to scrub information they deem harmful, illegal or false from the public domain, especially from the Internet. By Didi Tang. SENT: 1,000 words, photos.
U.S. & INTERNATIONAL:
WASHINGTON — Electability and pragmatism won. Ideology and purity lost. In Democratic-leaning New Jersey, voters gave Republican Chris Christie a second term and rewarded him for his bipartisan, get-it-done, inclusive pitch. In swing state Virginia, voters narrowly rejected Republican Ken Cuccinelli’s uncompromising, conservative approach. An AP News Analysis by Ken Thomas. SENT: 930 words, photos.
JERUSALEM — Israeli court clears former Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman of all charges in his graft case. The decision clears the way for the powerful hardline politician to return to his post at the Foreign Ministry. By Josef Federman. SENT: 500 words, photos.
JERUSALEM — U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry meets with Israeli prime minister and Palestinian president as part of the U.S. push to breathe life into Middle East peace talks that have quickly run into trouble. By Matt Lee. SENT: 400 words, photos.
HOUSTON ASTRODOME’S FUTURE
HOUSTON — The Houston Astrodome was a technological marvel when it opened in 1965. Dubbed the “Eighth Wonder of the World,” it was the first domed and air-conditioned stadium and became Houston’s defining landmark, a symbol of the city’s can-do spirit. But eventually bigger and sleeker stadiums took its place, leaving the iconic structure that once hosted both professional baseball and football games empty and dilapidated, its future in limbo. After Texas voters on Tuesday rejected a referendum that would have authorized up to $217 million in bonds to turn the Astrodome into a giant convention and event center, the stadium is likely to be demolished. By Juan Lozano. SENT: 670 words , photos.
LAW LICENSE FIGHT
SAN FRANCISCO — Disgraced former journalist Stephen Glass is asking the Supreme Court to let him practice law despite fabricating numerous articles for the magazines New Republic and Rolling Stone. State Bar officials oppose his candidacy for a law license, saying his numerous transgressions two decades ago cut to the heart of the profession. By Paul Elias. SENT: 740 words.
CHICAGO — Charlie Trotter had built a reputation so stellar that the culinary world still had high expectations for the famed chef after he closed his award-winning namesake Chicago restaurant last summer. Trotter changed the way Americans viewed fine dining, putting Chicago at the vanguard of the food world and training dozens of the nation’s top chefs. Fellow celebrity chef Rick Bayless said it’s sad the world will never get to see what Trotter would do next. Trotter, 54, died Tuesday at a Chicago hospital after paramedics found him unresponsive at his home. By J.M. Hirsch and Caryn Rousseau. SENT: 920 words, photos.
VENEZUELA-SICK HEALTH CARE
MARACAY, Venezuela — All the symptoms of Venezuela’s sick health care system beset the main public hospital in Aragua state. The 300 cancer patients in need of surgery have been sent home. Only emergency operations are performed. Patients must buy their own medicine. Experts say the lack of equipment and supplies is costing lives in this oil-rich nation where the constitution enshrines the promise of universal health care. By Frank Bajak. SENT: 1,290 words, photos.
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 email@example.com.
The Asia Photo Desk can be reached at (81-3) 6215-8941 or by fax at (81-3) 3574-8850.
Between 1700 GMT and 0000 GMT, please refer queries to the North America Desk in New York at (1) 212-621-1650.