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BC-AS--Asian News Digest, AS

September 25, 2014



HONG KONG — As trouble brews in Hong Kong, who’s Beijing going to call? The billionaires. With political tension in the southern Chinese financial hub at its highest in years, China’s leaders summoned dozens of the city’s tycoons earlier this week for talks. The rare trip to Beijing by the large contingent of business elites to meet President Xi Jinping highlighted the unlikely role that Hong Kong’s capitalists have played as longstanding supporters of China’s communist leaders. By Kelvin Chan. UPCOMING: 800 words by 0700 GMT, photos.


NEW DELHI — When India’s prime minister visits the United States this week, he’ll see a welcome normally reserved for rock stars — a sold-out appearance at Madison Square Garden. It’s a stunning rise for a former tea seller who rose to the country’s top job and was once denied a U.S. visa. By Muneeza Naqvi. UPCOMING: 780 words by 0600 GMT, photos.


PYONGYANG — An American man recently sentenced by North Korea to six years of hard labor says he is working eight hours a day digging in fields and being kept in isolation, but that so far his health isn’t deteriorating. UPCOMING: 500 words by 0600 GMT, photos.


SYDNEY — A terror suspect shot dead after he stabbed two Australian counterterrorism police officers may not have been acting alone as originally thought, a lead investigator says. By Kristen Gelineau. SENT: 410 words, photo.


PHNOM PENH, Cambodia — An Australian government minister says only refugees who volunteer will be resettled in Cambodia as part of a new bilateral pact. SENT: 445 words.


NEW YORK — Vietnam says it wants to be able to buy weapons from the United States and that regional powerhouse China should not be alarmed. By Matthew Pennington. SENT: 370 words.


WASHINGTON — A federal judge has left a small legal opening for some Indonesian villagers to pursue a lawsuit against Exxon Mobil Corp. for human rights abuses allegedly committed by Indonesian troops guarding an Exxon natural gas field. SENT: 300 words.


HAGATNA, Guam — A Guam man convicted of killing three Japanese tourists in a crash and stabbing rampage last year has been sentenced to life in prison. By Grace Garces Bordallo. SENT: 340 words, photos.

— AMERICAN SAMOA-AMNESTY — A U.S. territory has granted immigration amnesty to more than 4,000 foreigners who are physically present in American Samoa without current lawful immigration status. SENT: 380 words.


SAN FRANCISCO — An exhibition by Chinese artist and activist Ai Weiwei has transformed the former island prison of Alcatraz into a tribute to the world’s political prisoners, some famous and some forgotten. SENT: 310 words, photos.



SEOUL, South Korea — Asian stock markets are mostly higher after a surge in new home sales in the U.S. bolstered sentiment. But gains were limited by worries about Europe’s stagnant economy and violence in Iraq and Syria. By Youkyung Lee. SENT: 440 words, photos.


MANILA, Philippines — The Asian Development Bank trims its economic growth forecast for Southeast Asia this year and next due to slower domestic demand in some of its bigger economies. By Teresa Cerojano. SENT: 365 words.


SEOUL, South Korea — About 47,000 workers at Hyundai Motor Co. are striking to protest the automaker’s decision to spend $10 billion on land for a new headquarters. SENT: 130 words.


LONDON — Bend forward and keep your head down. Protect your dominant hand with your weaker one. When you hear the word, head for the exits. Seconds count, so he who hesitates ... is pushed down the emergency slide by a flight attendant. It’s all part of a safety awareness course run by British Airways for frequent fliers willing to drop $265 to learn the tricks of surviving a plane crash. The training may never be put to use — most if not all of the 93,500 flights around the globe each day land without incident. By Scott Mayerowitz. SENT: 870 words, photos, video.

— AP VIDEO US_FLIGHT_SURVIVAL — A half-day safety course encourages passengers to be aware of their surroundings and familiarize themselves with what happens during an emergency.



UNITED NATIONS — Confronted by a growing threat of Middle East militants, President Barack Obama implores world leaders at the United Nations to join in a campaign to stamp out the Islamic State group’s “network of death.” The American-led military mission dominates the opening of the annual U.N. gathering, and fellow leaders are expected to adopt a resolution aimed at slowing foreign fighters from joining terror groups. By Julie Pace and Edith Lederer. SENT: 1,000 words, video, photos, audio.

— UNITED NATIONS-GENERAL ASSEMBLY — UN chief calls on world leaders to find ‘seeds of hope’ in world seeming to fall apart. SENT: 530 words, photos.

—WHAT’S IMMINENT — In government speak, ‘imminent attack plotting’ may not mean an attack is all that imminent. SENT: 520 words, photo.


BEIRUT — U.S. fighter jets and bombers expand their aerial campaign with fresh strikes against Islamic State targets, hitting the militants in both Syria and Iraq even as the extremists press their offensive in Kurdish areas within sight of the Turkish border, where fleeing refugees tell of civilians beheaded and towns torched. By Ryan Lucas. SENT: 1,100 words, photos.


RABAT, Morocco — Algerian extremists allied with the Islamic State group behead a French hostage in what French President Francois Hollande calls a cruel assassination following airstrikes in Iraq. He vows that “France will never cede to terrorism because it is our duty and more than that, it is our honor.” By Paul Schemm and Sylvie Corbet. SENT: 1,000 words, photo, audio.


DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — The Arab nations that joined the United States in striking the Islamic State group in Syria were unusually open about it, throwing aside their usual secrecy and their wariness about appearing too close to Washington. Saudi Arabia even released heroic-looking photos of its pilots who flew the warplanes. That reflects the depth of their concern over the extremists’ threat — and their desire to flex some military muscle toward rival Iran. But the Sunni monarchies run the risk of a backlash by hardline Islamists around the region. By Adam Schreck. SENT: 1,000 words, photos.

— ISLAMIC STATE-POLITICS — The GOP, more trusted by the public in recent polls to handle foreign policy and terrorism, is using threat of extremists in Syria and Iraq as a political cudgel against Democrats in several Senate and House races. SENT: 800 words, photo.


ISTANBUL — Asiya Ummi Abdullah doesn’t share the view that the Islamic State group rules over a terrorist dystopia. For her, it’s the ideal place to raise a family. In interviews with The Associated Press, the 24-year-old Muslim convert explained her decision to move with her toddler to the territory controlled by the militant group, saying it offers them protection from the sex, crime, drugs and alcohol that she sees as rampant in largely secular Turkey. By Berza Simsek and Raphael Satter. SENT: 1,150 words, photos. An abridged version of 640 words also has moved.

— AP PHOTO ANK107 — A Turkish man shows photos of his ex-wife, a 24-year-old Muslim convert who took their child to the territory controlled by the Islamic State group.

— F-22 FIGHTER-5 THINGS TO KNOW — A look at how the new fighter jet fared in its first combat test. SENT: 380 words.


AMMAN, Jordan — A Jordanian court acquits radical Muslim preacher Abu Qatada — known for his fiery pro-al-Qaida speeches — of involvement in a plot to target Israeli and American tourists and Western diplomats in Jordan more than a decade ago. The ruling caps a lengthy legal odyssey for the 53-year-old cleric who has been described as a onetime lieutenant to Osama bin Laden, but in recent months emerged as a harsh critic of the Islamic State militant group. By Karin Laub. SENT: 880 words, photos.


PRATICA DI MARE AIR BASE, Italy — Italy, on the front lines of an African migration crisis, is gearing up for the possibility that the deadly Ebola virus might spread to Europe. The military hosts a three-day training seminar with simulation drills to teach health care workers how to isolate and transport potentially infected patients. The seminar comes a day after EU health ministers said the risk of Ebola spreading to Europe is low, but that better coordination and preparation measures are needed, just in case. By Nicole Winfield. SENT: 830 words, photos.

— EBOLA — A Red Cross team is attacked while collecting bodies believed to be infected with Ebola in southeastern Guinea, the latest in a string of assaults hindering efforts to control West Africa’s current outbreak. SENT: 700 words, photos.


WASHINGTON — The designers of a costly new proposed nationwide air traffic control system neglected to take drones into account. Now, a decade and $5 billion into the project, there are questions about whether the new system can cope with the dangers posed by the escalating demand for the unmanned aircraft. By Joan Lowy. SENT: 860 words, photos.


SAN FRANCISCO — Apple’s newest iPhones run into some glitches after users complain that a new software update blocks their calls, and a video circulates suggesting that the larger of the two new models is vulnerable to bending. By Technology Writer Brandon Bailey. SENT: 350 words, photo.


CANANDAIGUA, N.Y. — Three-time NASCAR champion Tony Stewart will not be charged with the death of a fellow driver at a sprint car race in upstate New York, prosecutors say in disclosing for the first time that the victim had enough marijuana in his system the night he died to impair his judgment. By Jenna Fryer and Carolyn Thompson. SENT: 1,100 words, video, photos, audio.


For weeks, amid the allegations involving several NFL players, domestic violence has been the focus of unprecedented national attention. Does the turmoil reflect a worsening epidemic of domestic violence, or has the U.S. in fact made great strides to curtail it? The answer is complicated, and the numbers — though down from 20 years ago — remain alarming. By National Writer David Crary. SENT: 1,100 words, photos.


CHEYENNE, Wyo. — A project to export twice as much Wyoming wind power to Los Angeles as the amount of electricity generated by the Hoover Dam includes an engineering feat at least as impressive as that famous structure: Four underground chambers, each approaching the size of the Empire State Building, would be carved from a Utah salt dome to hold a massive volume of compressed air. The caverns would serve as a kind of battery and help to overcome the fact that, even in Wyoming, the wind doesn’t blow all the time. By Mead Gruver and Matthew Brown. SENT: 790 words.



WASHINGTON — One of the big frustrations of surgery: There’s little way to predict if you’ll be a fast or slow healer. Now Stanford University researchers have discovered that patients’ blood harbors clues about how fast they’ll bounce back, work that one day may lead to a test that predicts who may need more help. By Medical Writer Lauran Neergaard. SENT: 670 words.



NEW YORK — The Fox network isn’t responding to suggestions that it edit its upcoming crossover episode of “The Simpsons” and “Family Guy” to remove a joke where the punchline is “your sister’s being raped.” Tim Winter, president of the advocacy group Parents Television Council, said he was particularly troubled by the scene in light of recent stories about sexual assaults on college campuses and abusive treatment of women by NFL players. By Television Writer David Bauder. SENT: 570 words, photo.

— TV-FOX-FAMILY GUY — Before rape joke, ‘Family Guy’ episodes have created controversy. SENT: 270 words.


— SOMALIA-REPORTER RELEASED — Somali pirate says $1.6 million ransom paid for German-American journalist. SENT: 300 words.

— POLICE SHOOTING-MISSOURI-UNREST — Federal officials plan a public meeting to discuss their investigation into police practices in Ferguson, a day after protesters returned to the streets hours after a memorial for Michael Brown burned down. SENT: 540 words, photos. UPCOMING: Updates from public meeting scheduled at 8 p.m.

— GERMS-BIOSECURITY — Obama administration tightening oversight of high-stakes scientific research involving dangerous germs that could raise security concerns. SENT: 560 words.

— RETHINKING POT-CALIFORNIA — Nation’s largest marijuana policy advocacy group says it will begin raising money for a ballot measure in 2016 to legalize recreational pot use in California. SENT: 249 words.

— ASIAN GAMES-HIJAB PROTEST — The Qatar women’s basketball team forfeits a match against Mongolia and is considering withdrawing from the Asian Games competition after players were refused permission to wear a hijab. SENT: 440 words, photos.

— SOUTH AFRICA-MOUNTAIN RESCUE — Rescuers in South Africa amputate part of man’s leg in cliffside operation to free him from rock. SENT: 590 words, photo.

— SCORSESE-NEW YORK REVIEW OF BOOKS — Martin Scorsese’s latest film is a documentary about one of the world’s most venerable literary publications, The New York Review of Books. SENT: 830 words, photos.

— THE SITUATION-TAXES — ‘Jersey Shore’ star Sorrentino charged with federal tax fraud charges. SENT: 500 words, photos.

— PEOPLE-WIZ KHALIFA — Wiz Khalifa’s wife Amber Rose files for divorce in Los Angeles after a year of marriage. SENT: 120 words, photos.





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