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BC-AS--Asian News Digest, AS

August 8, 2014

ASIA:

UNITED STATES-AFGHANISTAN

KABUL, Afghanistan — U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is opening a second day of talks in Afghanistan aimed at preventing the fragile country from collapsing into political chaos after disputed elections. By Matthew Lee. SENT: 540 words, photo.

MYANMAR-MALNOURISHED ROHINGYA

OHN TAW GYI CAMP, Myanmar — Born just over a year ago, Dosmeda Bibi has spent her entire short life confined to a camp for one of the world’s most persecuted religious minorities. And like a growing number of other Rohingya children who are going hungry, she’s showing the first signs of severe malnutrition. Her stomach is bloated and her skin clings tightly to the bones of her tiny arms and legs. While others her age are sitting or standing, the baby girl cannot flip from her back to her stomach without a gentle nudge from her mom. Myanmar’s child malnutrition rate was already among the region’s highest, but it’s an increasingly familiar sight in the country’s westernmost state of Rakhine, which is home to almost all of the country’s 1.3 million Rohingya Muslims. By Esther Htusan. UPCOMING: 900 words by 0700 GMT, photos.

CAMBODIAN AMERICANS-VERDICT

SANTA ANA, California — Sophany Bay saw her two young daughters and son die at the hands of the infamous Khmer Rouge in Cambodia after the family was forced from their home and she was sent to toil in the fields under the movement’s reign of terror. Nearly four decades later, the mental health counselor who helps Cambodian-Americans cope with the trauma of the 1970s-era killings said she finally felt a sense of justice after a United Nations-backed tribunal convicted two top leaders of crimes against humanity. By Amy Taxin. SENT: 435 words, photo.

MALAYSIA-AIRLINE OVERHAUL

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia — Malaysia’s state investment company says it plans to make Malaysia Airlines fully government owned, removing it from the country’s stock exchange before carrying out a far-reaching overhaul of the carrier that is reeling from double disasters. By Eileen Ng. SENT: 420 words, photos.

CHINA-INVESTIGATORS TRIAL

SHANGHAI — A British man on trial with his American wife for illegally obtaining and selling private information about Chinese nationals says he buys such information from other consulting companies. Peter William Humphrey made the comments Friday after his trial opened in Shanghai. They are the first such proceedings against foreign nationals. SENT: 130 words.

BUSINESS AND FINANCE:

CHINA-TRADE

BEIJING — China’s export growth accelerated in July but imports sagged in a possible sign of weakness in the world’s second-largest economy. By Joe Mcdonald. By Joe McDonald. SENT: 280 words.

WTO-US-CHINA-RARE EARTHS

BERLIN — The World Trade Organization has upheld a ruling that China violated trade rules with restrictions on the export of “rare earths,” the minerals used in mobile phones, hybrid cars and other high-tech products. SENT: 235 words.

FINANCIAL MARKETS

HONG KONG — Asian stocks sink as jitters over the crises in Iraq and Ukraine escalate, but Chinese stocks rise after trade figures showed surprisingly strong growth in exports. By Kelvin Chan. SENT: 475 words, photos.

U.S. AND INTERNATIONAL:

UNITED STATES-IRAQ

WASHINGTON — Declaring that “America is coming to help,” President Barack Obama is authorizing U.S. airstrikes if necessary and airdrops of humanitarian aid in northern Iraq to counter advancing Islamic militants and the threat they pose to Americans as well as Iraqi civilians. By Julie Pace and Robert Burns. SENT: 900 words, photos, video.

IRAQ

BAGHDAD — The U.S. military drops humanitarian aid to tens of thousands of Iraqi religious minorities besieged by militants and desperately in need of food and water, President Barack Obama says, defending the action as helping to prevent a possible genocide. By Sameer N. Yacoub and Vivian Salama. SENT: 805 words, photos, video.

— FRANCE-UN MEETING— An alarmed U.N. Security Council condemns attacks and persecution of minorities in Iraq as the Islamic State militant group expands its grip on the northern part of the country. SENT: 465 words.

EBOLA-CONGRESS

WASHINGTON — The Ebola crisis in West Africa is on pace to infect more people than all other previous outbreaks of the disease combined, the health official leading the U.S. response tells Congress. The next few weeks will be critical, Dr. Tom Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which is sending more workers into the affected countries to help. More than 1,700 people have been infected in the current outbreak, in Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Nigeria. Nearly 1,000 have died, according to the World Health Organization. By Medical Writer Lauran Neegard. SENT: 890 words, photos. .

EBOLA-DRUG-FDA HOLD

WASHINGTON — U.S. health authorities have eased safety restrictions on an experimental drug to treat Ebola, a move that could clear the way for its use in patients infected with the deadly virus. By Matthew Perrone. SENT: 530 words.

— EBOLA-EMBASSY — The State Department is ordering all family members of U.S. personnel to leave the embassy in Liberia’s capital because of the Ebola outbreak. SENT: 110 words.

ISRAEL-PALESTINIANS

CAIRO — A senior Hamas official says the group has decided not to extend a 72-hour cease-fire with Israel that expires on Friday morning. Before the end of truce, Gaza militants fired two rockets at Israel, the army says. By Mohammed Daragmeh. SENT: 460 words, photos.

TURKEY-PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS

ISTANBUL — For the first time in its history, Turkey is directly electing its president on Sunday in a contest considered a turning point for the country of 76 million people — with its prime minister the strong favorite for a job he has pledged to transform from a symbolic role into one of real power. By Elena Becatoros. UPCOMING: 900 words by 1500 GMT, photos.

TROPICAL WEATHER

HONOLULU — Hurricane Iselle’s outer edges brings rain and wind to Hawaii early Friday as it was poised to become the first hurricane or tropical storm to hit the island chain in 22 years. Another hurricane closely followed. By Jennifer Sinco Kelleher and Audrey McAvoy. SENT: 320 words, photos, video.

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YOUR QUERIES: The editor in charge at the AP Asia-Pacific Desk in Bangkok is Scott McDonald. Questions and story requests are welcome. The news desk can be reached at (66) 2632-6911 or by email at asia@ap.org.

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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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