BC-AS--Asian News Digest, AS
BC-AS--Asian News Digest, AS
Jan. 07, 2014
NEW DELHI — A day after a 16-year-old reported being gang raped in eastern India, she said she was raped again by the same men. She was harassed for two months and ultimately set on fire. Her death on New Year's Eve in West Bengal came more than a year after a deadly gang rape in New Delhi raised outrage over chronic sexual violence in India, and the furious response to the latest case suggests that with general elections just months away, politicians are anxious to show voters they are taking action. By Katy Daigle. UPCOMING: 1,000 words by 0700GMT, photos.
PYONGYANG, North Korea — Dennis Rodman says that a game he and other former National Basketball Association players are planning in North Korea will be a "birthday present" for one of their most unlikely fans: leader Kim Jong Un. Rodman's squad — featuring ex-All Stars Kenny Anderson, Cliff Robinson and Vin Baker — will play against a team of North Koreans on Wednesday, which is believed to be Kim's birthday. The former NBA players, who arrived in Pyongyang on Monday, also include Eric "Sleepy" Floyd, guard Doug Christie and Charles D. Smith, who played for the New York Knicks. By Eric Talmadge. SENT: 780 words, photos, video.
BEIJING — Investigators say a former deputy governor took hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes, much of it in carved jade, as part of a trend in kickbacks involving artwork rather than money in attempts to conceal the graft. UPCOMING by 0900GMT, 500 words. By Didi Tang.
YANGON, Myanmar — Dozens of journalists stage a rare demonstration in Myanmar's biggest city to protest a jail term given to a reporter who was working on a story about corruption. Wearing black T-shirts with slogans saying, "We don't want threat on Press Freedom," nearly 60 reporters marched down a busy downtown Yangon street decrying the three-month prison sentence given to Ma Khine from the Daily Eleven newspaper. By Aye Aye Win. SENT: 350 words, photo.
HONG KONG — Pioneering Hong Kong movie producer Run Run Shaw, whose studio popularized the kung fu genre that influenced Quentin Tarantino and other Hollywood directors, died Tuesday. He was 107. His Shaw Brothers Studios, once among the world's largest, helped launch the careers of powerhouses including director John Woo and churned out nearly 1,000 movies. His television empire helped actors including Chow Yun-fat rise to fame. He also produced a handful of U.S. films, including the 1982 sci-fi classic "Blade Runner." By Kelvin K. Chan. SENT: 1,000 words, photos.
BUSINESS & FINANCE:
GADGET SHOW-LG'S WEBOS TV
SEOUL, South Korea — LG will bring the software that once powered Palm's smartphones to the majority of its Internet-connected TVs this year. The South Korean firm unveiled webOS-based smart TVs at a trade fair Monday in Las Vegas, less than a year after it bought the operating system for smartphones and tablet computers from Hewlett-Packard Co. By Youkyung Lee.
GADGET SHOW-TOYOTA-HYDROGEN-POWERED CAR
LAS VEGAS — Toyota says it expects to sell more hydrogen-powered electric cars in the U.S. than previously planned. The car, which Toyota calls FCV for now, uses hydrogen as fuel for a battery and emits only water vapor as exhaust. Toyota said the car will go on sale in the U.S. in 2015. Rival automakers Hyundai and Honda have also said they'd start selling cars with that technology in the U.S. that year. SENT: 350 words, photos.
LAS VEGAS — Samsung Electronics Co., the world's largest maker of TVs, says it is tackling the problem of getting ultra-high-definition content to its new TV sets by teaming up with the Internet streaming services of Comcast, Netflix and Amazon. SENT: 360 words, photos.
SEOUL, South Korea — Quarterly earnings at Samsung Electronics Co. fell for the first time in two years as sales of smartphones and tablets slowed in developed countries. The South Korean company Tuesday estimated an operating profit of 8.3 trillion won ($7.8 billion) for the final three months of 2013, a 6 percent decline over a year earlier. The result was lower than forecast by analysts and an 18 percent drop from the third quarter. Sales rose 5 percent to 59 trillion won ($55.4 billion). By Youkyung Lee. SENT: 300 words, photos.
GADGET SHOW-SONY SMARTBAND
LAS VEGAS — Sony is delving further into the wearable computing market with SmartBand, a waterproof wristband that tracks everything from daily physical activities and nightly sleep patterns to how much you've socialized with friends. SENT: 130 words, photos.
ELECTRIC RACE CAR
LAS VEGAS — A new kind of race car is making its debut with cartoonishly loud revving, the smell of burning rubber, and not a trace of exhaust. That's because the new FIA Formula E Championship car is all electric. The championship is the first series exclusively for electric cars. By Hannah Dreier. SENT: 350 words, photos.
WASHINGTON — The Senate opens its new year with an easily winnable vote on approving Janet Yellen as the first female head of the Federal Reserve, elevating a supporter of departing Chairman Ben Bernanke's policy of bolstering the economy through low interest rates and massive bond purchases. By Alan Fram. SENT: 750 words, photo.
US & INTERNATIONAL:
MINNEAPOLIS — The coldest, most dangerous blast of polar air in decades is gripping the Midwest and pushing toward the East and South, closing schools and day care centers, grounding flights and forcing people to pull their hoods and scarves tight to protect exposed skin from nearly instant frostbite. Many across the nation's midsection have gone into virtual hibernation, while others dared to venture out in temperatures that plunged well below zero. By Steve Karnowski and Rick Callahan. SENT: 970 words, photos, video, interactive.
SUPREME COURT-GAY MARRIAGE
WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court has put same-sex marriages on hold in Utah, at least while a federal appeals court more fully considers the issue. The court issued a brief order blocking any new same-sex unions in the state. The order grants an emergency appeal by the state following the Dec. 20 ruling by U.S. District Judge Robert Shelby that the state's ban on same-sex marriage violates gay and lesbian couples' constitutional rights. By Mark Sherman. SENT: 1,000 words, photos.
WASHINGTON — Vice President Joe Biden spoke by phone Monday with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and his frequent parliamentary critic, in a show of U.S. concern about escalating, al-Qaida-linked violence in Iraq two years after the U.S. pulled out of the Mideast country. As al-Maliki was urging residents of the city of Fallujah to expel al-Qaida fighters or face all-out battle, Biden lent his support to Iraq's fight against the local al-Qaida branch, and said he was concerned about those suffering from terrorism. By Josh Lederman. SENT: 380 words, photos.
WASHINGTON — Liz Cheney, the daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney, made a sudden exit from her Wyoming Senate race in a surprise end to a high-profile campaign that touched off a bitter fight within the Republican Party as well as a public spat with her lesbian sister over gay marriage. Cheney cited unspecified "serious health issues" in her family rather than her uphill race to unseat three-term Republican Sen. Mike Enzi in her announcement on Monday. By Donna Cassata and Mead Gruver. SENT: 529 words, photo.
TEHRAN, Iran — In Iran, free condoms and government-backed vasectomies are out, replaced by sermons praising larger families and discussions of even offering gold coins to the families of newborns. Having successfully curbed birth rates for two decades, Iran now is promoting a baby boom to help make up for its graying population. But experts say it is difficult to encourage Iranians to have more children in an economy smashed by Western sanctions and 36 percent inflation. By Ali Akbar Dareini. SENT: 750 words, photos.
PARIS — France's interior minister says local officials have the right to ban shows on a national tour of a comic whose performances are considered anti-Semitic. Hours later, Bordeaux's mayor accepts the offer, making the wine capital the first French city to cancel a show by Dieudonne M'Bala M'Bala ahead of the comic's tour. By Elaine Ganley. SENT: 725 WORDS, photos.
EGYPT-STATE SECURITY RETURN
CAIRO — After a bombing hit a security headquarters in Egypt's Nile Delta, calls flooded into a hotline run by security agencies as people reported suspected members of the Muslim Brotherhood in their neighborhoods. In the weeks that followed, hotline numbers have run in a scroll on the bottom of many TV news broadcasts. SENT: 1,100 words, photos.
SOCHI-GOOD AND BAD
LONDON — Tuesday marks the 1-month countdown to the start of the Winter Olympics in Sochi, a defining moment on the world stage for Russia and Vladimir Putin. Theseo games are among the most contentious in Olympic history, embroiled in controversy over terrorist threats, human rights, gay rights, cost overruns, corruption and environmental damage. But is it all doom and gloom for Putin's pet project? SENT: 1,260 words, photos.
— TRAVEL-TRIP-SOCHI — Getting to know Sochi, host city for Winter Olympics: A casual vibe amid palm trees and snow. SENT: 1,000 words, photos.
RIO DE JANEIRO — A stout green catamaran plied the polluted waters of Rio de Janeiro's Guanabara Bay Monday alongside the local fishing boats, but instead of grouper and swordfish its catch consisted of plastic bags, soda bottles and a discarded toilet seat. The catamaran is one of three so-called "eco-boats," floating garbage vessels that are a key part of authorities' pledge to clean up Rio's Guanabara Bay before it and other Rio waterways host events during the 2016 Olympic Games. Critics say the boats do little to address the more pressing question of sewage. By Jenny Barchfield. SENT, photos.
VITESSE ARNHEM-JEWISH PLAYER
THE HAGUE, Netherlands — A Dutch soccer club is facing criticism for traveling to Abu Dhabi for a training camp without a player who was barred from the Arab emirate because he is Israeli. SENT: 415 words, photos.
ALSO GETTING ATTENTION:
— AMERICAN TERROR PLOT — Pennsylvania woman who called herself "Jihad Jane" gets 10 years in terror plot against Swedish artist. SENT: 500 words, photos.
— TODDLER SLAPPED — A man who pleaded guilty to slapping a crying toddler on an Atlanta-bound flight has been sentenced to eight months in federal prison. SENT: 125 words.
— TEXAS ABORTION RESTRICTIONS — A federal appeals court in New Orleans is set to review a Texas law that led to the closing of many abortion clinics. SENT: 700 words.
— NATIONAL ZOO-PANDA — A public debut isn't scheduled until Jan. 18, but The AP and other media outlets will get their first look at cub Bao Bao in her panda house. SENT: 380 words, photos, video.
— BRITAIN-LAWYERS PROTEST — Hundreds of British lawyers — many dressed in traditional white curled wigs and black gowns — swap courtrooms for picket lines to protest planned cuts to legal aid. SENT: 320 words, photos.
— GERMANY-MERKEL — Chancellor Angela Merkel's spokesman says she cracked her pelvis during a skiing accident in the Swiss Alps and will have to cut back on her work schedule for the next three weeks. SENT: 330 words, photos.
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 email@example.com.
The Asia Photo Desk can be reached at (81-3) 6215-8941 or by fax at (81-3) 3574-8850.
Between 1600 GMT and 0000 GMT, please refer queries to the North America Desk in New York at (1) 212-621-1650.