BC-AS--Asian News Digest, AS
SEOUL, South Korea —North and South Korea agree to hold talks this weekend on restarting a jointly run factory park after weeks of testy silence between the two sides, the South Korean government says. Moved. By Youkyung Lee. AP Photos.
TOKYO — An American imprisoned in North Korea tells a pro-Pyongyang media outlet that he wants the U.S. to “try harder” to help him gain amnesty from a sentence of 15 years of hard labor for alleged crimes against the government. In what appears to be his first media interview since his November arrest, Kenneth Bae tells the Tokyo-based Choson Sinbo that he had hoped to be out by Thursday. That’s not only Independence Day but his father’s 70th birthday. Moved. By Eric Talmadge. AP Photos.
KABUL, Afghanistan — Afghan officials say four girls were killed by a roadside bomb in the country’s south as they were on their way home after being sent out to fetch water. Moved.
WASHINGTON — The Taliban won’t join talks with the United States and Afghanistan because of a dispute over the name of its representative office in Qatar, a senior U.S. official says. Moved.
WASHINGTON — Human rights activists and U.S. lawmakers are pushing for a cut in the more than $70 million in annual American aid to Cambodia if its prime minister Hun Sen extends his 28-year rule in unfair elections this month. Moved.
BEIJING — Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif meets with China’s President Xi Jinping during a visit to Beijing focused on courting Chinese investment. Moved.
TOKYO — Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe vows to speed up disaster reconstruction as he kicks off the campaign for parliamentary elections. Abe’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party and its junior partner, the New Komeito, are expected to gain a majority of the 242 seats in the less powerful upper house in the July 21 election. That would give them control of both houses of parliament, making it easier to pass legislation. Moved. By Mari Yamaguchi. AP Photos.
BLANG MANCUNG, Indonesia — The death toll from an earthquake that hit Indonesia’s Aceh province earlier this week has reached 30, and police and soldiers are searching the debris for 12 other people believed missing, officials say. Moved. AP Photos.
BEIJING — A Chinese grandmother dies while shielding her 15-month-old granddaughter from being crushed by a landslide that toppled their house around them, state media report. Moved.
NEW ZEALAND-MISSING SCHOONER
WELLINGTON, New Zealand — An American schooner missing in the South Pacific with seven people aboard sent an undelivered text message a month ago saying its sails were shredded and it was traveling at four knots. New Zealand’s Rescue Coordination Centre released the last-known message from the 70-foot (21-meter) Nina after seeking it from the satellite phone company Iridium and the U.S. State Department. Moved.
BUSINESS AND FINANCE:
CHINA-INFANT FORMULA PROBE
BEIJING — Nestle SA says it will cut infant formula prices in China by an average of 11 percent starting Monday in response to an investigation into alleged price-fixing by several foreign companies. The price cuts by the company’s Wyeth Nutrition unit will be maintained through 2014, and the prices of some products will be cut by up to 20 percent, it says. Moved. AP Photos.
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