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BC-AS--Asian News Digest, AS

November 12, 2013



TACLOBAN, Philippines — Thousands of typhoon survivors swarm the airport here seeking a flight out, but only a few hundred made it, leaving behind a shattered, rain-lashed city short of food and water and littered with countless bodies. Four days after Typhoon Haiyan struck the eastern Philippines, assistance is only just beginning to arrive. Authorities estimate the storm killed 10,000 or more across a vast swath of the country, and displaced around 660,000 others. Tacloban, a city of about 220,000 people on Leyte island, bore the full force of the winds and the tsunami-like storm surges. Most of the city is in ruins, a tangled mess of destroyed houses, cars and trees. Malls, garages and shops have all been stripped of food and water by hungry residents. By Todd Pitman and Jim Gomez. SENT: 1,300 words, photos, video.


MANILA, Philippines — Under a reforming president, the Philippines has emerged as a rising economic star in Asia but the trail of death and destruction left by Typhoon Haiyan has highlighted the country’s key weakness: fragile infrastructure resulting from decades of neglect and corruption. By Kelvin Chan and Teresa Cerojano. UPCOMING: 1100GMT.


WASHINGTON — Nature and man together cooked up the disaster in the Philippines. Geography, meteorology, poverty, shoddy construction, a booming population, and, to a much lesser degree, climate change combine to make the Philippines the nation most vulnerable to killer typhoons, according to several scientific studies. And Typhoon Haiyan was one mighty storm. SENT: 740 words, photos.

--- PHILIPPINES-DEATH TOLL -- Official death toll reaches 1,744 in Philippines, expected to rise much higher SENT: 120 words.

--- PHILIPPINES-TYPHOON-AIRCRAFT CARRIER -- US sends aircraft carrier to aid devastated Philippines. SENT: 130 words.

--- PHILIPPINES-TYPHOON-JAIL ESCAPE -- Inmates escape jail in typhoon-hit Philippine city. SENT: 110 words.

— PHILIPPINES-TYPHOON-JAPAN — Japan to donate $10 million to Philippines. SENT: 90 words.

--- PHILIPPINES-TYPHOON-AID-GLANCE -- Governments, agencies begin worldwide relief effort for Philippine typhoon victims. SENT: 730 words.

--- CHINA-TYPHOON --- Haiyan storm kills 8 people in southern China, inflicts millions of dollars in damage. SENT: 200 words.


CANBERRA, Australia — Australia’s government faces stiff resistance in Parliament to increasing the country’s public debt ceiling by a whopping two-thirds to 500 billion Australian dollars ($467 billion). Opposition parties are refusing to support the plan. SENT: 260 words.


KATMANDU, Nepal — Police say opposition activists have attacked cars that defied a transport blockade aimed at disrupting next week’s elections in Nepal. SENT: 130 words.


HANOI, Vietnam — Russian President Vladimir Putin arrives in Hanoi for a one-day state visit to boost ties between the former ideological allies. Military and energy cooperation is likely to top the agenda during talks with Vietnamese President Truong Tan Sang and other leaders. SENT: 200 words.


COLOMBO, Sri Lanka — The United States is concerned the Maldives president’s extended stay in office is endangering Maldivians’ right to elect a new leader. Mohamed Waheed said he would stay in office after his term ended last Sunday to avert a constitutional void since the presidential runoff was postponed by the Supreme Court. SENT: 100 words.



SEOUL, South Korea — Asian stock markets mostly traded higher after the Dow Jones industrial average hit another all-time high. SENT: 400 words.


WASHINGTON — Five years after a global financial crisis, the world’s biggest economies still need to be propped up. They’re growing a bit faster and adding jobs mainly because of extraordinary aid. From the United States to Europe to Japan, central banks are pumping cash into their economies and keeping loan rates near record lows. Even China has rebounded from an uncharacteristic slump only after the government poured money into projects and state-owned banks made loans easily available. Critics warn of risks fueled by the easy money. By Paul Wiseman. SENT: 1,100 words, photos.



DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — Iran and the United States blame each other for the failure to reach agreement on a deal to limit Iran’s uranium enrichment in exchange for an easing of Western sanctions. In spite of the accusations, there is some diplomatic progress as Iran promises to offer more information and expand access to U.N. nuclear inspectors — including more openings at a planned reactor and uranium site. By Brian Murphy. SENT: 1,100 words, photos, video, audio.


CORYDON, Iowa — The ethanol era has proved far more damaging to the environment than the government has acknowledged, an Associated Press investigation found. For years, corn ethanol has been a centerpiece of America’s green energy strategy. President Barack Obama and his administration have described this homegrown fuel as a way to reduce greenhouse gases and to wean the country from foreign sources of oil. But as farmers rushed to find new places to plant corn, they touched off a cascade of unintended consequences, including wiping out millions of acres of conservation land, polluting water and destroying habitat. By Dina Cappiello and Matt Apuzzo. SENT: 4,200 words sent Nov. 4 in advance for 12:01 a.m., photos, graphic, video, interactive. With an optional version of 2,900 words, an abridged version of 1,300 words and additional elements.

— ETHANOL-ETHANOL-7 THINGS — A list of 7 things you need to know about ethanol, the green energy source with some dirty secrets. SENT: 295 words.

— ETHANOL-Q&A — Questions and answers on ethanol, oil and what it means to be a green energy source. SENT: 1,306 words.


WASHINGTON — Suicides across the military have dropped by more than 22 percent this year, defense officials say, amid an array of new programs targeting what the Defense Department calls an epidemic that took more service members’ lives last year than the war in Afghanistan did during that same period. By Lolita C. Baldor. SENT: 900 words.


ZAATARI, Jordan — In this sprawling camp for Syrian refugees, a mosque preacher appeals to worshippers to join rebels in the fight to topple President Bashar Assad. Two men draped in the Syrian rebel flag walk amid the tents with a loudspeaker, urging refugees to sign up for military training. Rebels have stepped up recruiting in the camp, the AP has found, despite vows by U.N. and Jordanian officials that they will not allow rebel activities there. By Jamal Halaby. SENT: 1,250 words, photos.

Also getting attention:

— AMAZON-POST OFFICE-SUNDAY DELIVERY — Amazon is teaming with the U.S. Postal Service to deliver packages on Sundays, beginning with Amazon Prime members in New York and Los Angeles. SENT: 410 words, photo.

— ISRAEL-LIEBERMAN — Israeli hard-liner Lieberman reappointed foreign minister after acquittal in corruption case. SENT: 250 words.

— PAKISTAN-HAQQANI MILITANT KILLED — Gunmen kill a senior leader of one of the most feared militant groups fighting U.S. troops in Afghanistan when he stops to buy fresh bread from a bakery on the outskirts of Pakistan’s capital. SENT: 800 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 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.

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