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BC-AS--Asian News Digest, AS

July 29, 2014

ASIA:

CAMBODIA-KHMER ROUGE TRIAL

PHNOM PENH, Cambodia — The slow course of justice for the leaders of Cambodia’s murderous Khmer Rouge regime will inch forward again as a U.N.-backed tribunal holds an initial hearing Wednesday against a pair of defendants in their 80s on genocide and other charges. It will be the second case for the defenendants, Khmer Rouge head of state Khieu Samphan and Nuon Chea, the right-hand man to the group’s late chief, Pol Pot, who have already been tried for crimes against humanity. The verdict in that trial is due next week. The new trial focuses on alleged policies to annihilate the nation’s ethnic Vietnamese and Muslim Cham people. By Abby Seiff. SENT: 850 words, photos.

AUSTRALIA-UK DRUGS

CANBERRA, Australia — Police have arrested six men in Australia and Britain for allegedly smuggling amphetamines from the United Kingdom halfway around the world through a courier service. SENT: 120 words.

NKOREA-PHOTO-HAPPY CAMPERS

WONSAN, North Korea — Summer camp in North Korea? It’s got one — and it’s got everything from giant water slides and a private beach to video games and volleyball courts. Oh, and, of course, a big bronze statue of the late leaders Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il surrounded by adoring children. After some on-the-spot guidance from North Korea’s new leader, Kim Jong Un, and a major face-lift, the Songdowon International Children’s Camp reopened Tuesday for this year’s flock of foreign campers — more than 300 young children and teenagers from Russia, China, Vietnam, Ireland and Tanzania. SENT: 270 words, photos.

FINANCIAL MARKETS

SEOUL, South Korea — Asian stock markets post modest gains as investors treaded cautiously ahead of U.S. and Chinese economic reports later this week. A chunky-text story highlights key stock indexes around Asia, economic indicators, earnings results and an analyst’s comment. SENT: 570 words, photos.

US & INTERNATIONAL

UKRAINE

SHAKHTARSK, Ukraine — Panicky residents clutching suitcases fled as fighting intensified in towns around Ukrainian fields where Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 went down, preventing Dutch and Australian police investigators from reaching the site for a second day in a row. By Peter Leonard and Mystyslav Chernov. SENT: 900 words, photos.

— OBAMA-UKRAINE — The United States and European Union plan to impose new sanctions against Russia this week, including penalties targeting key sectors of the Russian economy, the White House says. SENT: 480 words.

ISRAEL-PALESTINIANS

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip — Israeli aircraft, tanks and navy gunboats target symbols of Hamas control in Gaza City early Tuesday in the heaviest night of bombardment in three weeks of Israel-Hamas fighting after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned of a “prolonged” campaign in Gaza. The overnight strikes hit the home of the top Hamas leader in Gaza, Ismail Haniyeh, as well as government offices and the headquarters of the Hamas satellite TV station. By Karin Laub and Tia Goldenberg. SENT: 1,500 words with photos.

— PALESTINIANS-CHILDREN KILLED — Hamas and Israel blame each other for an explosion at a Gaza park that kills at least 10 Palestinians — including nine children playing on a swing — in a horrific scene that underscores the heavy price civilians are paying in the conflict. SENT: 675 words, photos.

— GAZA-NOTEBOOK — In war-struck Gaza, hardship felt more keenly during what’s meant to be joyous Muslim holiday. SENT: 1,000 words, photos.

— CONGRESS-ISRAEL. With war raging, US lawmakers offer full support for Israel, criticism of Obama administration. SENT: 800 words.

IRAQ-MOSUL MILITANTS

BAGHDAD — Residents of Mosul have watched helplessly as Islamic extremists in control of the northern Iraqi city demolished some of its most beloved landmarks for being heretical. Over the weekend, some residents pushed back. When fighters came to blow up an ancient minaret — famed for its lean like Italy’s Tower of Pisa — neighbors rushed in and formed a human chain to protect it. It was a brave show of discontent as the Islamic State group increasingly imposes its radical vision of Islam. By Vivian Salama. SENT: 1,000 words, photos.

IMMIGRATION

WASHINGTON — White House officials plan to act before November’s mid-term elections to grant work permits to potentially millions of immigrants in this country illegally, allowing them to stay without threat of deportation, according to advocates and lawmakers in touch with the administration. By Erica Werner. SENT: 880 words, pursuing photos.

WEST AFRICA-EBOLA

DAKAR, Senegal — No one knows for sure just how many people Patrick Sawyer came into contact with the day he boarded a plane in Liberia, had a layover in Togo, and then arrived in Nigeria. He died there days later from Ebola, one of the world’s deadliest diseases. Now health workers are scrambling to trace those who may have been exposed to Sawyer, including flight attendants and fellow passengers. Although Ebola cannot be spread by casual contact, unsettling questions remain: Could Ebola become the latest disease to be spread by air travel? By Krista Larson and Maria Cheng. SENT: 1,100 words, photos.

— 5 THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT EBOLA — Various facts about how Ebola and how it is spread. SENT: 400 words.

CONGRESS-AIRFARES

WASHINGTON — In a victory for airlines and their workers’ unions, the House rejects consumers’ complaints and easily passes legislation letting airline advertising emphasize the base price of tickets, before taxes and fees are added. The bipartisan legislation would roll back federal regulations that since 2012 have required ads to most prominently display the full ticket price. By Alan Fram. SENT: 750 words, photos.

RUSSIA-YUKOS

LONDON — Russian President Vladimir Putin’s government must pay $50 billion for using tax claims to destroy Yukos, once the country’s largest oil producer, and its Kremlin-critical CEO, an international court rules. Monday’s verdict by the court — a body that rules on global corporate disputes — comes at a time when Russia faces new, potentially painful sanctions from Western powers over its backing of Ukraine rebels. By Danica Kirka. SENT: 1,225 words, photo.

SYRIA

BEIRUT — Activists say more than 2,000 Syrians — almost half of them pro-government forces — have been killed in just over two weeks of fighting in Syria, marking one of the worst death tolls in the country’s civil war. The reports reflect a recent surge in attacks by an al-Qaida-breakaway group targeting President Bashar Assad’s forces, signaling shifting priorities as Sunni militants seek to consolidate their hold on territory and resources in northern Syria. By Zeina Karam and Sam Kimball. SENT: 900 words, photos.

AFRICA-PREDICTING FAMINE

NAIROBI, Kenya — Market shelves are bare. Children are getting skinnier. Warnings of mass hunger have been made. The question now being considered is the big one: Is it a famine? Health experts locked away in a hotel conference room in South Sudan’s capital are debating exactly how severe the hunger situation is in the world’s newest country. Does the hunger brought on by violence that erupted in December qualify as a famine? If yes, global headlines will ring out and new donations will pour in. If no, tens of thousands still face severe hunger and the aid money will still be needed. By Jason Straziuso. SENT: 800 words, photos.

TV-NAKED TELEVISION

NEW YORK — The “Dating Naked” series is the latest example of reality television’s newest trend. Nudity is hot, no longer confined to late-night premium cable. SENT: 775 words, photos.

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