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BC-AS--Asian News Digest, AS

October 8, 2014

Removes extraneous lines; Adds Thailand-Tourist Deaths.

ASIA:

CHINA-EARTHQUAKE

BEIJING — A strong, shallow earthquake has shaken southwestern China overnight, killing at least one person, damaging buildings and prompting thousands to camp outside as aftershocks continued to strike the area, officials say. SENT: 480 words, photos.

HONG KONG-SILENT MAJORITY

HONG KONG — The city’s young protesters may have captured the world’s attention with their passionate calls but many fellow Hong Kongers who consider themselves older and wiser have stood by watching with skepticism — they call themselves the “silent majority.” Typically middle class, educated and pragmatic, they may not identify with the Chinese Communist Party — or shout as loudly as the students — but they are some of Beijing’s best allies in the city. By Sylvia Hui. UPCOMING: 800 words by 0900 GMT, photos.

MYANMAR-ERASING ROHINGYA

YANGON, Myanmar — In Myanmar’s only Muslim-majority region, immigration and border guard officials have confined thousands of people to their villages, preventing them from working, bringing their children to school or going to markets for food, residents and activists say. Why? Because of a registration process that many of Myanmar’s estimated 1.3 million Rohingya Muslims refuse to comply with, over concerns that it suggests there is no place for them in this predominantly Buddhist Southeast Asian country. Some Rohingya say they have been beaten, threatened and arrested for refusing. By Esther Htusan. UPCOMING: 900 words by 0800 GMT, photos.

— MYANMAR-THAI HELICOPTER — A passenger onboard a helicopter that went missing over one of Myanmar’s tallest mountains walks into a remote village, saying both pilots also survived but are injured and need help, organizers of the search say. SENT: 210 words.

PIRACY

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia — A maritime watchdog agency says a Vietnamese tanker carrying gas oil has lost contact and may have been hijacked by pirates after leaving Singapore port almost a week ago. SENT: 130 words. UPCOMING: 250 words by 0600 GMT.

UNITED NATIONS-NORTH KOREA

UNITED NATIONS — North Korea publicly acknowledges the existence of its labor camps for the first time, an admission that appears to come in response to a highly critical U.N. human rights report earlier this year. Diplomats for the reclusive, impoverished country also tell reporters that a top North Korea official has visited the headquarters of the European Union and expressed interest in dialogue, with discussions on human rights expected next year. By Cara Anna. SENT: 690 words, photo.

AUSTRALIA-TERRORISM

CANBERRA, Australia — Australia will soon introduce a system to ban foreign “hate preachers” from entering the country and will attempt to outlaw the radical Islamic group Hizb-ut-Tahrir under proposed tougher counterterrorism laws, the prime minister says. By Rod Mcguirk. SENT: 480 words.

THAILAND-TOURIST DEATHS

BANGKOK — Human rights group Amnesty International calls on Thai authorities to launch an independent investigation into allegations that police tortured a pair of suspects who reportedly confessed to killing two British tourists on a southern island last month. By Todd Pitman. SENT: 500 words.

JAPAN-US-SECURITY

TOKYO — Japan and the US expected to release an interim report on revising the US-Japan Defense Guidelines to allow Japan to play a larger role in the alliance. By Mari Yamaguchi. UPCOMING: 500 words by 0800 GMT, photos.

TOKYO 2020-STADIUM WOES

TOKYO — A new round of bidding for the demolition of Tokyo’s old Olympic stadium to make way for a new main stadium for the 2020 Games will delay the start of the problematic project. By Yuri Kageyama. SENT: 390 words, photos.

CAPTAIN COOK-ENDEAVOUR

PROVIDENCE, Rhode Island — Nearly 250 years ago, Capt. James Cook ran aground on Australia’s Great Barrier Reef during a voyage to the South Pacific to observe the planet Venus. His ship was the Endeavour, an ugly and awkward little vessel that improbably helped him become the first European to chart Australia’s east coast. Today, schoolchildren in Australia learn about the Endeavour’s historic 1768-71 voyage. But few people give a second thought to what ultimately happened to the ship. A marine archaeologist in Rhode Island thinks she knows. By Jennifer McDermott and Kristen Gelineau. SENT: 560 words, photos.

BUSINESS AND FINANCE:

FINANCIAL MARKETS

TOKYO — Asian stocks sag as pessimism about global growth spreadsfollowing a decline on Wall Street overnight and a strengthening yen, which dampened prospects for export-oriented Japan. By Yuri Kageyama. SENT: 450 words.

U.S. AND INTERNATIONAL:

SYRIA

MURSITPINAR, Turkey — Islamic State fighters are poised to capture a strategic Syrian town on the Turkish border, Turkey’s president has warned, even as Kurdish forces battled to expel the extremists from their footholds on the outskirts. By Ryan Lucas and Lefteris Pitarakis. SENT: 1,100 words, photos, video.

ISLAMIC STATE-AIR CAMPAIGN-ANALYSIS

BAGHDAD — After two months, the U.S.-led aerial campaign in Iraq has so far hardly dented the core of the Islamic State group’s territory. The extremists’ grip on major cities across Iraq and neighboring Syria remains unquestioned, and they have even succeeded in capturing new territory from an Iraqi army that still buckles in the face of militants. The campaign has brought some gains, with Kurdish fighters taking back towns on the fringes of the Islamic State group’s territory. But those successes only underline a major weakness: Besides the Iraqi Kurds, there are no forces on the ground ready to capitalize on the airstrikes. AP News Analysis. By Vivian Salama. SENT: 1,400 words, photos, photos.

— EUROPE-KURDISH PROTESTS — Kurdish protesters clash with police in Turkey and force their way into the European Parliament in Brussels, part of Europe-wide demonstrations against the Islamic State group’s advance on a town on the Syrian-Turkish border. SENT: 600 words, photos.

— THE KURDS-Q&A — The Kurds of Syria and Iraq have become a major focal point in the war against the Islamic State group, with Kurdish populations in both countries coming under significant threat by the militants’ lightning advance. SENT: 600 words.

— TV-CBS-SYRIA — CBS’ Clarissa Ward slips into Syria to interview two Westerners turned jihadists, including an American from the Midwest. SENT: 450 words, photos.

— AP VIDEO TURKEY SYRIA WRAP VOX — The Islamic State group is about to capture the Syrian border town of Kobani, Turkey’s president said, as outgunned Kurdish forces struggled to repel the extremists with limited aid from U.S.-led coalition airstrikes.

EBOLA-DOGS

Ebola’s victims may soon include a dog. Officials in Madrid got a court order to euthanize the dog of a Spanish nursing assistant with Ebola because of the chance the animal could spread the disease. At least one major study suggests that dogs can be infected with the deadly virus without having symptoms. But whether or how likely they are to spread it to people is less clear. By AP Chief Medical Writer Marilynn Marchione. SENT: 630 words, photos.

MED-EBOLA

MADRID — Health officials scramble to figure out how the Ebola outbreak in West Africa got past Europe’s defenses, as three more people are placed in quarantine at a Madrid hospital where a Spanish nurse became infected with the deadly virus. The first case of Ebola being transmitted outside Africa, where a months-long outbreak has killed at least 3,500 people, has raised questions about how well prepared wealthier countries are to check the disease’s spread. Medical officials in the U.S. say the scare has spurred hospitals to improve their infection control procedures. By Jorge Sainz and Barry Hatton. SENT: 960 words with new approach, photos.

— EBOLA-US MILITARY — U.S. military efforts to construct treatment facilities, set up more labs and conduct testing and training in Africa to deal with the Ebola crisis are expected to cost $750 million over six months, the Army general who commands U.S. troops in Africa says. SENT: 545 words, photos.

— AP VIDEO SPAIN_EBOLA — Three more people were placed under quarantine for Ebola at Madrid hospital where a Spanish nurse became infected, the first case of the virus being transmitted outside of West Africa.

GAY MARRIAGE

BOISE, Idaho — A federal appeals court has declared gay marriage legal in Idaho and Nevada, a day after the U.S. Supreme Court effectively legalized same-sex marriage in 30 other states. By Kimberlee Kruesi and Paul Elias. SENT: 495 words, photos.

NOBEL-PHYSICS

STOCKHOLM — An invention that promises to revolutionize the way the world lights its homes and offices, and already helps create the glowing screens of mobile phones, computers and many TVs, earns a Nobel Prize for two Japanese scientists and a Japanese-born American. By Malcolm Ritter and Karl Ritter. SENT: 915 words, photos.

LIFE EXPECTANCY

NEW YORK — Americans are living longer than ever before, according to a new government report that is mostly good news. U.S. life expectancy inched up again and death rates fell. Rates also dropped for most of the leading causes of death except for suicide. By Medical Writer Mike Stobbe. SENT: 450 words.

FAKE FACEBOOK

WASHINGTON — The Drug Enforcement Administration set up a fake Facebook account using photographs and other personal information it confiscated from a woman arrested in a cocaine case, to trick her friends into revealing incriminating drug secrets. The Justice Department initially defended the practice but now says it’s reviewing whether the Facebook guise went too far. By Alicia A. Caldwell and Eric Tucker. SENT: 670 words, photos.

ENTERTAINMENT

FILM-Q&A-BILL MURRAY

TORONTO - Sitting through the premiere of his latest film, the dramedy “St. Vincent,” Bill Murray found himself unexpectedly moved. “I thought, ’Well I better not be crying when the lights come up. That will be bad for my image.” At 64, Murray remains the unquestioned king of the deadpan. But in his first lead role in years, Murray tries his most technically challenging performance yet, one with a coarse Brooklyn accent and a debilitating stroke. By Film Writer Jake Coyle. SENT: 1,100 words, photos. Abridged version of 600 words.

GAMES-WORLD OF TANKS

LOS ANGELES — “Fury” is rolling into “World of Tanks.” Before the World War II tank drama reaches theaters Oct. 17, gamers can make like Brad Pitt’s character and steer a virtual rendition of the tank he commands in the film. It’s the latest example of a likeminded movie and game aligning to hype each other, and it marks the first Hollywood pact for the popular online tank combat title. By Entertainment Writer Derrik J. Lang. SENT: 500 words, photos.

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