SAVAR, Bangladesh — Red arrows on the walls of the cavernous AKH clothing factory point to emergency staircases, fire extinguishers and medical kits. At another factory down the road, seamstresses who look no older than their early teens sew snowsuits amid aisles blocked by piles of clothing and power cords hanging haphazardly along the walls. After two shocking garment-factory disasters, the government and major garment makers agree the industry needs more of the former and less of the later it is to continue to thrive. "Now is the time for survival of the fittest," an industry official says. Moved. By Ravi Nessman. AP Photos.


SINGAPORE — Air pollution in Singapore soared to record heights for a third consecutive day, as Indonesia dispatched planes and helicopters Friday to battle raging fires blamed for hazardous levels of smoky haze in three countries. Moved. AP Photos.


BEIJING — Liu Xia has had enough. First, Chinese authorities sent her dissident husband to jail for 11 years. Then they made her a prisoner in her own house after he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. Finally, they jailed her brother — also for 11 years. Fed up, she's now preparing a legal challenge against the authorities, her lawyers said. By Isolda Morillo and Gillian Wong. Moved. AP Photos.


WASHINGTON — U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry begins an overseas trip by plunging into two tough foreign policy problems facing the Obama administration: unrelenting bloodshed in Syria and efforts to talk to the Taliban and find a political resolution to the war in Afghanistan. Moved.


COLOMBO, Sri Lanka — Two retired judges and a former parliament official were appointed Friday to a presidential commission that will investigate a mass grave found last year with 154 bodies, most likely of Marxist rebels killed decades ago. Moved. By Bharatha Mallawarachi.


LUCKNOW, India — Rescuers found 40 bodies floating in the River Ganges near a Hindu holy city hit by heavy monsoon flooding that has killed more than 200 people and stranded tens of thousands, mostly pilgrims, in mountainous northern India. Moved. By Biswajeet Banerjee.


UNITED NATIONS — The United States welcomes Qatar's decision to take down a sign that cast the Taliban's new office in Doha as a rival Afghan embassy, saying the militant group can't represent itself "as an emirate, government or sovereign." Moved. By Edith M. Lederer.


UNITED NATIONS — Pakistan's U.N. ambassador angrily criticizes Afghanistan's U.N. envoy for saying that "terrorist sanctuaries exist" in Pakistan and some elements in the country are using terrorism as an instrument of foreign policy. Moved.


MANILA, Philippines —Philippine government workers used a backhoe and an incinerator to crush and burn more than five tons of smuggled elephant tusks worth an estimated $10 million in the biggest known destruction of trafficked ivory outside Africa. Moved. By Hrvoje Hranjski.



UNDATED — A squeeze on credit in China that is rattling world markets appeared to ease slightly as a key interbank interest rate edged lower, prompting speculation the country's central bank may have intervened to calm ravaged nerves. Moved. By Elaine Kurtenbach. AP Photos.


TOKYO — Apple Inc. has won a patent infringement lawsuit against Samsung Electronics Co. in a Japanese court, one of dozens of legal battles around the world between the technology giants. Moved.


TAIPEI, Taiwan —Taiwan and China have signed an agreement to open up their service sectors, further deepening their ever closer trade and economic ties. Moved.


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

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