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BC-AS--Asian News Digest, AS

June 9, 2014

ASIA:

PAKISTAN

KARACHI, Pakistan — The Pakistani Taliban claims responsibility for a brazen five-hour assault on the country’s busiest airport that saw gunmen disguised as police guards storm the international terminal in Karachi, set off explosions and kill 18 people. The Taliban said the assault on the Jinnah International Airport in Karachi, the capital of southern Sindh province, was in revenge for the killing last November of the militant group’s leader in a U.S. drone strike. By Adil Jawad. SENT: 690 words, photos, video.

INDIA-STUDENTS DROWNING

NEW DELHI — Rescuers in boats were searching a Himalayan river for dozens of students swept away when a dam released a rush of water without warning, and police said four bodies had been found. The 25 students from the southern IT-city of Hyderabad had been taking photographs Sunday evening at the banks of the Beas River when they were hit by the rush of water. SENT: 270 words, photos.

CHINA-FAMILIES ABROAD

BEIJING — China’s wide-ranging crackdown on corruption is now targeting officials who have sent their spouses and children abroad to provide them a channel with which to funnel potentially illicit gains and, eventually, escape. By Gillian Wong. UPCOMING by 1100GMT: 750 words.

CHINA-RIOT

BEIJING — A raid by officers on small bathhouses and other businesses associated with prostitution sparked clashes lasting hours in the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou, police said Monday. The riot Sunday in the city’s Sanyuanli district was started by people who were resisting inspections, according to a statement on the Guangzhou police’s microblog. SENT: 300 words.

INDIA-CUSTODY KILLING

NEW DELHI — An Indian court has sentenced 17 police officers to life in prison for killing a 22-year-old jobseeker in their custody in 2009. Prosecutors said business graduate Ranbir Singh had gone to the northern city of Dehradun looking for a job when he was arrested by police for alleged robbery. SENT: 130 words.

AFGHANISTAN

KABUL, Afghanistan — Three suicide bombers attacked a parking lot at a police base in eastern Afghanistan, killing a guard and setting 25 trucks ablaze. No one immediately claimed responsibility for the attack but the Taliban have recently staged a series of high-profile bombings ahead of the June 14 runoff in the country’s presidential election. SENT: 280 words, photos.

JAPAN-ECONOMY

TOKYO — Japan raises its estimate for economic growth in the January-March quarter as investment by companies was stronger than first thought. The government said Monday that the economy grew an annualized 6.7 percent in the quarter. The initial growth estimate was 5.9 percent. From the previous quarter, the economy expanded 1.6 percent. By Elaine Kurtenbach. SENT: 360 words, photos.

US & INTERNATIONAL

HILLARY CLINTON

WASHINGTON — Hillary Rodham Clinton is embarking on a book tour this week that will feature overtones of a potential presidential campaign in 2016 and could offer a window into the former Secretary of State’s stamina and how she might present her rationale for another White House bid. By Ken Thomas. SENT: 550 words, photo.

ISRAEL-PRESIDENT

JERUSALEM — A nasty race to succeed Shimon Peres as Israel’s head of state is finally coming to an end Tuesday, with five candidates facing off in parliament to become the country’s next president. Officially, the presidency is a largely ceremonial office. But Peres, a former prime minister and Nobel Peace Prize laureate, has risen above the post and turned it into a position with international gravitas. By Aron Heller. SENT: 740 words, photos.

SYRIA-STORYTELLER

DAMASCUS, Syria — For more than 20 years, the Storyteller of Damascus entertained crowds in a centuries-old cafe in the Syrian capital with long, poetic tales of Arab warriors and lovers, acting out scenes with his fists thumping and a sword that he’d swing and slam on a table. Rashid Hallak was the most famous of the few remaining “hakawatis” in Syria — traditional reciter-performers of old Arab legends. Now he’s a 70-year-old broken man, his life upturned by Syria’s war. By Diaa Hadid. SENT: 1,000 words, photos.

TONY AWARDS

NEW YORK — A singing, tapping and bouncing Hugh Jackman. A gender-bending Neil Patrick Harris. A heartfelt duet uniting Carole King with the actress who plays her. Tony history made by Audra McDonald. The Tonys are always one of the most entertaining award shows of the year, and this year again, it didn’t disappoint. A look at the evening’s most memorable moments. By National Writer Jocelyn Noveck. SENT: 930 words, photos.

— TONY AWARDS-LIST — A list of winners in selected categories. SENT: 230 words, photo.

MISS USA

BATON ROUGE, Louisiana — Newly crowned Miss USA Nia Sanchez, a fourth-degree black belt in the Korean martial art of taekwondo, says that women need to be able to defend themselves as a way to battle the problem of campus rape and that bringing awareness to the issue is very important. By Stacey Plaisance. SENT: 710 words, photos.

WORLD CUP

WCUP-ALL ABOUT THE BOOTS

PORTLAND, Oregon — Nike, adidas, Puma and other shoemakers are all trotting out new and innovative looks for this summer’s World Cup. Gone are the old-school black boots like the fabled Puma Kings worn by Pele. Now shoe deals are a part of the game for every star. Cristiano Ronaldo wears Nike. Lionel Messi wears adidas. Puma and Mizuno have their own athletes. So when the World Cup opens in Brazil on Thursday, there will be a clash of competing cleats on the pitch with everyone trying to get a leg up on the other guy. By Anne M. Peterson. SENT: 660 words, photos.

WORLD CUP COUNTDOWN-PHOTO GALLERY

RIO DE JANEIRO — The World Cup kicks off Thursday, and soccer fans from Rio de Janeiro’s slums to southern India’s playgrounds have been shining with their passion for the sport. SENT: 320 words, photos.

ALSO GETTING ATTENTION

— RUSSIA-POLITKOVSKAYA — A Russian court sentences two men to life in prison and three others to terms ranging from 12 to 20 years for the 2006 killing of renowned journalist Anna Politkovskaya. SENT: 130 words.

— PEOPLE-SANDRA BULLOCK — Police say they arrested a burglar at the Los Angeles home of Sandra Bullock while the actress was there, but she wasn’t harmed. SENT: 140 words, photo.

— APPLE STOCK SPLIT-5 THINGS TO KNOW — Apple’s stock split may clear its way to join Dow Jones, plus four other things to know about the move. SENT: 680 words.

— TRACY MORGAN-ACCIDENT — Tracy Morgan is expected to remain hospitalized for several weeks following surgery on a broken leg suffered in a crash on the New Jersey Turnpike. SENT: 720 words, photos, videos.

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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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