BC-AS--Asian News Digest, AS
PERTH, Australia — The frustrating monthlong search for the Malaysian jetliner receives a tremendous boost when a navy ship detects two more signals that most likely emanated from the aircraft’s black boxes. The Australian official coordinating the search expresses hope that the wreckage will soon be found. By Nick Perry and Kristen Gelineau. SENT: 1,100 words, photos, audio.
— MALAYSIA-PLANE-GROUND CREW — As the brilliant orange glow of another Australian sunset fades and the raucous engines of the search planes stop whirring, the men and women who keep this high-profile operation in the air switch on the floodlights and get busy. The ground crews at this air force base near Perth typically work on the tarmac through the night so the planes are ready to fly again by daylight, as the international effort to find some trace of missing Flight 370 continues. SENT: 670 words, photos.
— MALAYSIA-PLANE-NEXT STEPS — Pinger locator still the best option in search for missing Flight 370, unmanned sub is next. SENT: 610 words, photo.
JAKARTA, Indonesia — Tens of millions of Indonesians vote in single-day legislative elections across the vast archipelago, a huge feat in the young democracy that will help clear the path for the country’s next president. By Ali Kotarumalos. SENT: 840 words, photos.
AHMEDABAD, India — To some, the man in pole position to be India’s next prime minister is a visionary reformer, while to others he’s an autocrat in bed with big business cronies. Perhaps nowhere are opinions of Narendra Modi more polarized than in Gujarat, the western state he led for more than a decade and that’s now touted as a model of prosperity for all of India to emulate. By Kay Johnson. SENT: 960 words, photos.
— INDIA-ELECTION — Hundreds of thousands of people in long-winding lines vote in the insurgency-wracked remote northeast of India in the second phase of the county’s national elections. By Wasbir Hussain. SENT: 440 words.
— INDIA-ELECTION-INVESTOR HOPES
ISLAMABAD — A bomb rips through a fruit and vegetable market on the outskirts of the Pakistani capital of Islamabad, killing at least 21 people and leaving dozens more wounded. By Asif Shahzad. SENT: 730 words, photos.
TOKYO — The Japanese scientist accused of falsifying data in a widely heralded stem-cell research paper says the results are valid despite mistakes in their presentation. By Elaine Kurtenbach. SENT: 515 words, photos.
COLOMBO, Sri Lanka — A Sri Lankan women’s rights group says the government is arresting innocent female relatives of males it suspects are trying to revive the Tamil Tiger rebel group and the women are suffering from ill treatment. By Krishan Francis. SENT: 550 words.
BANGKOK — Thai authorities work to clean up an oil spill from a vessel that sunk southwest of Bangkok. SENT: 140 words.
BANGKOK — Thai police arrest an Englishman whom French police accuse of masterminding a gang that sought to smuggle cocaine and heroin through France into England six years ago. SENT: 200 words, photos.
MOKPO, South Korea — The aroma of one of South Korea’s most popular delicacies is regularly compared to rotting garbage and filthy bathrooms. And that’s by fans. The unusual dish is typically made by taking dozens of fresh skate, a cartilage-rich fish that looks like a stingray, stacking them up in a walk-in refrigerator and waiting. Up to a month in some cases. By Foster Klug. SENT: 900 words, photos.
BUSINESS AND FINANCE:
TOKYO — Toyota Motor Corp. is recalling 6.39 million vehicles globally for a variety of problems spanning nearly 30 models in Japan, the U.S., Europe and other places. By Yuri Kageyama. SENT: 420 words, photo.
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia — Malaysia awards a manufacturing license to a 2 billion ringgit ($618 million) venture that will assemble fuel-efficient SUVs for China’s Great Wall Motor Co. The license was the first issued under the country’s new auto policy unveiled in January, aimed at making Malaysia a regional center for energy efficient vehicles. By Eileen Ng. SENT: 500 words.
TOKYO — U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman and a top Japanese official say they still hope to bridge significant differences over opening markets under an ambitious pan-Pacific trade pact. By Elaine Kurtenbach. SENT: 260 words, photos.
US AND INTERNATIONAL:
LUHANSK, Ukraine — Ukraine’s Security Service says 56 people held inside the agency’s local headquarters in the eastern city of Luhansk by pro-Russian separatists have been allowed to leave. The stand-off between government security forces and the pro-Russia demonstrators in eastern Ukraine continues. Kiev’s interior minister says it must end within 2 days by peaceful means or the use of force. By Peter Leonard. SENT: 630 words, photos.
NEW YORK —Twitter is seeking to broaden its appeal beyond its 241 million users with a redesign of user profiles that includes bigger photos and a distinct resemblance to Facebook. The more visual look is an attempt to attract the kind of people who may be put off by the quirky language of at-symbols and hashtags —and the onslaught of text— for which the service is known. The changes, which will take place in the coming weeks, come at a time when Facebook, too, is adding Twitter-like features to its site, highlighting the way the two companies are jockeying for people’s time and advertiser’s dollars. By Barbara Ortutay. SENT: 650 words, photo.
SPAIN-SCALING THE FENCE
MELILLA, Spain — They perched atop a barbed-wire laced fence for more than seven hours, hands and feet bloodied, buffeted by chill winds whipping the epic cliffs of Africa’s Mediterranean coast. The 27 sub-Saharan African migrants were literally on the edge between Africa’s economic misery and the long dreamt riches of Europe: On one side of the fence was Morocco, on the other the Spanish enclave of Melilla. Thirst, hunger and exhaustion wore the migrants down. The men are part of a spring migration offensive from Africa to Europe, with record numbers of desperate people risking death in their quest for a better life. By Paul Schemm. SENT: 1,100 words, photos.
YOUR QUERIES: The editor in charge at the AP Asia-Pacific Desk in Bangkok is Christie Hampton. Questions and story requests are welcome. The news desk can be reached at (66) 2632-6911 or by email at email@example.com.
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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.