TOP STORIES:

INDIA-GANG RAPE

NEW DELHI — An Indian court convicts four men in the deadly gang rape of a young woman on a moving New Delhi bus, a brutal crime that galvanized public anger over the widespread — yet widely tolerated — sexual violence faced by Indian women. As word of the verdict filters out, protesters outside the courthouse chant "Hang them! Hang them!" By Katy Daigle and Shivani Rawat. SENT: 1,000 words, photos.

PHILIPPINES-REBEL STANDOFF

ZAMBOANGA, Philippines — About 200 Muslim rebels, enraged by a broken peace deal with the Philippine government, hold scores of hostages as human shields in a standoff with government forces that drags on for a second day in a major southern port city with no solution in sight. By Bullit Marquez. SENT: 700 words, photos.

CHINA-BOY'S EYES REMOVED

BEIJING — A 6-year-old Chinese boy whose eyes were gouged out receives implants at a hospital in southern China from a Hong Kong surgeon who volunteered his services after learning about the brutal attack. The implants are a precursor to prosthetic eyes that will look and move more like normal eyes, but not restore vision. SENT: 300 words.

PAKISTAN

PESHAWAR, Pakistan — A Pakistani government official says militants have beheaded three members of an anti-Taliban militia in the country's northwest. SENT: 300 words.

AFGHANISTAN

KABUL, Afghanistan — An Afghan official says a bus that took a detour to avoid one roadside bomb instead hit another in a central province, killing seven people, including three children. SENT: 130 words.

CHINA-EXPLOSION

BEIJING — Police say four people are killed and 14 injured in the second deadly explosion to strike southern China in two days. SENT: 130 words.

THAILAND-CORRUPTION

BANGKOK — Thailand's Supreme Court sentences a former minister and a former fire department chief to prison for corruption in connection with the purchase of fire trucks and boats for the Thai capital. SENT: 200 words.

SKOREA-DICTATOR'S MONEY

SEOUL, South Korea — A son of ex-dictator Chun Doo-hwan says his family will pay back the money his father amassed for a huge slush fund during his corrupt 1980s rule in South Korea. By Hyung-jin Kim. SENT: 380 words, photos.

JAPAN-OLYMPIC FAMILY-PHOTO ESSAY

TOKYO — The Olympics are in Japanese weightlifter Hiromi Miyake's blood, a heritage that stretches back to the 1960s, when her uncle won gold medals in Tokyo in 1964 and Mexico City in 1968, and her father also won bronze in 1968. By Emily Wang. SENT: 350 words, photos.

BUSINESS AND FINANCE:

CHINA-ECONOMY

BEIJING — China's auto sales, retail spending and factory output all improved in August in new signs of an economic recovery. By Joe McDonald. SENT: 450 words.

BANGLADESH-TELECOMMUNICATION

DHAKA, Bangladesh — The head of Bangladesh's largest mobile phone company says it is ready to invest millions of dollars to fit itself for 3G operations after having gained spectrum in an open auction for the first time. By Julhas Alam. SENT: 130 words.

FEATURES:

CHINA-XI'S MASS LINE

BEIJING — He rolls up his pants in a downpour, holds his own umbrella and reminisces with villagers about the good old days. In nearly 10 months as China's leader, Xi Jinping has projected himself as a man of the people in a Mao Zedong-inspired propaganda push to connect with an alienated public. Xi's populist approach, calling for party cadres to renew their ties with ordinary people, is part of his strategy to cement control of the Communist Party, protect its image and head off any challenges to the notion of one-party rule. By Gillian Wong. SENT: 1,000 words, photos.

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YOUR QUERIES: 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 or by fax at (81-3) 3574-8850.

Between 1700 GMT and 0000 GMT, please refer queries to the North America Desk in New York at (1) 212-621-1650.