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BC-AS--Asian News Digest, AS

March 23, 2015

ASIA:

SINGAPORE-FUTURE — Lee Kuan Yew brought prosperity to Singapore with an authoritarian system designed to outlast him, but that legacy may be ill-suited for the 21st-century challenges facing the tropical city-state. By Stephen Wright. SENT: 1,120 words, photos.

— SINGAPORE-OBIT-LEE KUAN YEW — Lee Kuan Yew, the founder of modern Singapore who was both feared for his authoritarian tactics and admired worldwide for turning the city-state into one of the world’s richest nations while in power for 31 years, dies at age 91. By Stephen Wright. SENT: 1,170 words, photos.

— SINGAPORE-LEE KUAN YEW-REACTION — Singapore mourns longtime leader Lee Kuan Yew with raw emotion and a blanket of relentlessly positive coverage on its tightly scripted state television, mythologizing a man who was as respected as he was feared. By Stephen Wright and Jeanette Tan. SENT: 870 words, photos.

— CHINA-LEE KUAN YEW — Chinese leaders admired modern Singapore’s founder Lee Kuan Yew for his toughness, economic pragmatism and insistence on respect for authority. In many ways, Lee’s model of “Asian values,” combining authoritarianism and economic planning, became China’s own blueprint for modernity. By Christopher Bodeen. SENT: 880 words, photos.

— SINGAPORE-LEE KUAN YEW-QUOTE BOX — SENT: 700 words, photos.

— SINGAPORE-LEE KUAN YEW-TIMELINE — SENT: 260 words, photos.

AFGHANISTAN — Hundreds of Afghans protest in Kabul to demand justice for a woman who was killed by a mob outside one of the capital’s most famous mosques after falsely being accused of burning a Quran. SENT: 600 words, photos, video.

VANUATU-CYCLONE PAM —After Cyclone Pam, Vanuatu’s people revive, rebuild and, in some cases, rethink. By Nick Perry. SENT: 760 words, photos.

JAPAN-US-MILITARY — The governor of the southern Japanese island of Okinawa orders the Defense Ministry to suspend all work at the site where a key U.S. military air base is to be relocated, in a growing confrontation between the island and the central government. By Mari Yamaguchi. SENT: 500 words, photos.

PHILIPPINES-US-KILLING — A Philippine court begins the trial of a U.S. Marine charged with murdering a transgender Filipino. SENT: 130 words. UPCOMING: 400 words by 1300 GMT.

PAKISTAN — Pakistan demonstrates its first locally manufactured armed drone aircraft. SENT: 130 words.

AUSTRALIA-ANTARCTIC RESCUE — A seriously ill man begins a two-week ocean voyage on an icebreaker from an Australian Antarctic base to a hospital in Australia. SENT: 210 words.

BUSINESS AND FINANCE:

CHINA-CHEMCHINA-PIRELLI — China’s biggest state-owned chemical company announces plans to acquire Italian tire manufacturer Pirelli, adding to a string of high-profile Chinese corporate purchases in Europe. By Joe McDonald. SENT: 250 words, photos.

U.S. AND INTERNATIONAL:

REPUBLICANS PRESIDENTIAL RACE-CRUZ — Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, one of the Republican Party’s most conservative members, announces he is running for the party’s 2016 presidential nomination, making him the first among what is expected to be a crowded field of White House hopefuls to officially enter the race. By Steven R. Hurst. SENT: 650 words, photos.

SYRIA-KURDS-US — Syria’s Kurds are among the most effective forces battling the Islamic State group, but are not fully embraced by the U.S.-led coalition because of their historically fraught relations with Turkey and suspicions that they haven’t fully broken with President Bashar Assad’s government. By Ryan Lucas. SENT: 990 words, photos.

GENDER EQUALITY-PROFITS — Having more women at the top of the corporate ladder is not just politically correct window-dressing, but good business — it leads to higher profits, surveys show. Employers are starting to respond, but progress is undermined by social factors, inflexible work conditions and a male-dominated corporate culture. By Danica Kirka. SENT: 1,140 words, photos.

SOUTH AFRICA-HEWITT TRIAL — A South African judge convicts former Grand Slam doubles tennis champion Bob Hewitt of rape and sexual assault decades after the alleged assaults. SENT: 120 words.

GERMANY-GREECE — Alexis Tsipras is visiting Germany for the first time since becoming Greece’s prime minister, meeting Chancellor Angela Merkel as his country and its key creditor seek to halt a downward spiral in relations. SENT: 530 words, photo.

IRAN-NUCLEAR — An Iranian nuclear negotiator urges world powers to find a “common position” to achieve a “balanced” final nuclear deal with the Islamic Republic as a deadline for negotiations looms. SENT: 310 words.

CUBA-THE RUSH — In the weeks since Washington said it would renew ties with Havana, tour businesses have a rush of travelers eager to see Cuba now — before, as many predict, McDonald’s claims a spot in Old Havana and Starbucks moves in on Cubita, the island’s premium coffee. By Andrea Rodriguez and Peter Orsi. SENT: 940 words, photos.

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HOW TO REACH US: 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. 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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