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BC-AS--Asian News Digest, AS

February 27, 2015



GUIUAN, Philippines — French President Francois Hollande takes his warning about the need for funds for a landmark climate deal to a central Philippine town that was devastated by a killer typhoon in 2013. By Bullit Marquez. SENT: 500 words, photos.


HONG KONG — A Hong Kong court has sentenced a woman to 6 years in prison for abusing her Indonesian maid in a case that triggered outrage over its brutality. SENT: 270 words. UPCOMING: photos.

— MACAU-BOAT CAPSIZED — Boat capsizes off Macau, 15 people missing. SENT: 120 words.


DHAKA, Bangladesh — A prominent U.S. blogger, known for his writing against religious fundamentalism, has been hacked to death by unidentified attackers in Bangladesh’s capital, police say. By Julhas Alam. SENT: 360 words.


TOKYO — Britain’s Prince William, on his second day of his four-day trip to Japan, is having tea with Crown Prince Naruhito. Both princes may be equally charming, but it is no contest which one is seen as more approachable. By Yuri Kageyama. SENT: 755 words, photos.


SIEM REAP, Cambodia — Cambodia’s most popular tourist attraction — the complex of ancient temples that includes Angkor Wat — is suffering from a form of overexposure: At least five foreign visitors have been arrested and deported this year for taking nude photos at the sacred sites. The incidents are upsetting to official and to ordinary Cambodians, for whom the Khmer-era complex holds enormous spiritual and historical significance. By Kristi Eaton. UPCOMING: 890 words by 0700 GMT, photos.


WELLINGTON, New Zealand — Fijians will get the opportunity to design a new flag as the country prepares to ditch Britain’s Union Jack. SENT: 130 words. UPCOMING: 250 words, photos.


BEIJING — China has imposed a one-year ban on ivory imports that took immediate effect amid criticism that its citizens’ huge appetite for ivory has fueled poaching that threatens the existence of African elephants. SENT: 380 words, photo.


SEOUL, South Korea — A gunman has shot and killed three people before he was found dead at a home in a city near the capital Seoul in the second such incident in three days, police officials say. By Kim Tong-Hyung. SENT: 340 words.

— SKOREA-NUCLEAR POWER — South Korea renews license of 2nd-oldest nuclear plant. SENT: 420 words, photos.



TOKYO — Japanese factories churned out more machinery and electronic devices in January as export shipments rose, but lower energy costs due to cheaper crude oil failed to provide a long-awaited boost to consumer spending. By Elaine Kurtenbach. SENT: 520 words


BEIJING — Asian stocks are lackluster after U.S. markets drifted lower and Japan reported faster growth in factory output but weaker retail sales. By Joe McDonald. SENT: 355 words, photos.



WASHINGTON — Republican leaders eager to avert a partial government shutdown are getting heat from conservative colleagues. Numerous House Republicans say it’s preferable to let the Homeland Security Department go unfunded for a few days, at least, if that’s the cost of undoing a White House immigration policy they consider unlawful. By Charles Babington. SENT: 840 words, photos.

— CONGRESS-HOMELAND — Congress expected to vote on short-term funding for Homeland Security. SENT: 600 words, photos. UPCOMING: 700 words after House convenes at 9 a.m.


JERUSALEM — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu heads to Washington next week on a last-gasp effort to seal what he hopes will become his signature achievement: preventing Iran from attaining a nuclear weapon. But the hallmark of the visit, a much-hyped speech to Congress arguing against the international community’s emerging nuclear deal with the Islamic Republic, has been overshadowed by a damaging battle with the White House and electoral intrigue back home. By Aron Heller. UPCOMING: 1,000 words, photos.


IRBIL, Iraq — In gunsmith Bahktiyar Sadr-Aldeen’s workshop in the Kurdish city of Irbil in nortehrn Iraq, every weapon has a story — and these days, there are lots of stories to tell. The 36-year-old Iraqi Kurd has seen his business shoot up since last June, when the Islamic State took over the Iraqi city of Mosul. The Kurdish fighting force known as the pershmerga has been at war against the Sunni extremists ever since, keeping Aldeen busy. By Bram Janssen. UPCOMING: 600 words by 0800 GMT.


WASHINGTON — Internet activists scored a major victory after the Federal Communications Commission agreed to rules that would ban service providers from creating Internet fast lanes. What does “net neutrality” mean to your life online? By Anne Flaherty. SENT: 660 words, photos.


CAPE LEGOUPIL, Antarctica — Water is eating away at the Antarctic ice, mostly from below, melting it so rapidly that scientists say the continent has become “ground zero” for climate change. In a worst-case scenario that’s looking more likely with every study and every year, Antarctica’s melt could push sea levels up 10 feet worldwide in the next century or two, reshaping heavily populated coastlines. By Luis Andres Henao and Seth Borenstein. SENT: 1,100 words, photos, video, interactive.


HAVANA — Cuban cigar makers are licking their chops over new U.S. rules that let more Americans travel to the island and legally bring back as much as $100 worth in prized stogies for the first time in decades. Officials say they expect to double sales this year alone. By Andrea Rodriguez. SENT: 740 words, photos.


The new season of “House of Cards” debuts on Friday night, Feb. 27. This short step-back will focus on what a bellwether event the series has been in the history of Netflix and Internet TV. The success of that show validated Netflix’s expensive bet on original programming (there was a lot of skepticism at the time) and has unleashed a tidal wave of other high-quality online series, both on Netflix and other outlets (most notably Amazon Prime with “Transgender.”). And, oh yeah, Netflix’s stock has nearly tripled in value since Frank Underwood first hit the screen. By Michael Liedkte. SENT: 860 words, photos.





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