BC-AS--Asian News Digest, AS
SEOUL, South Korea — For the first time in three years, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un isn’t on a list of dignitaries at a celebration of the anniversary of the founding of the ruling Workers’ Party. The apparent no-show will add to mounting speculation that something is amiss with the authoritarian leader, who hasn’t been seen publicly in more than a month. By Foster Klug. SENT: 635 words, photos.
NEW DELHI — Building toilets in rural India, where hundreds of millions are still defecating outdoors, will not be enough to improve public health, according to a study published Friday. India is considered to have the world’s worst sanitation record despite spending some $3 billion since 1986 on sanitation programs, according to government figures. The country is now gearing up to spend 10 times that amount, as new Prime Minister Narendra Modi makes garbage and sanitation troubles a key issue for his first year in office. By Katy Daigle. SENT: 630 words. UPCOMING: photos.
SEOUL, South Korea — The captain of a Chinese fishing vessel is killed following a fight with South Korean coast guard officers who stopped his ship for suspected illegal fishing activities, officials say. SENT: 250 words.
PACIFIC AIR FORCES
JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR HICKAM, Hawaii — China’s declaration last year of an air-defense identification zone over disputed islands in the East China Sea has increased tensions with Japan, the top U.S. Air Force commander in the Pacific says. By Audrey McAvoy. SENT: 365 words, photos.
BEIJING — A U.S. report says China’s human rights record has worsened over the past year in key areas and that limits on speech and assembly are growing. SENT: 310 words.
BUSINESS AND FINANCE:
BANGKOK — Asian stocks sink after Wall Street suffered its worst day of the year and weak German trade data fueled worry Europe is sliding into recession. By Joe McDonald. SENT: 390 words, photo.
SEOUL, South Korea — Voters in a South Korean city have rejected plans to build a nuclear power plant in a referendum the government says has no legal effect. By Youkyung Lee. SENT: 370 words.
WASHINGTON — Finance officials from the world’s largest economies are being urged to prevent the global economy from falling into a “new mediocre” in which growth remains stuck at subpar levels for years to come, trapping millions of people on unemployment rolls. Finance ministers and central bank presidents of the Group of 20 nations aree wrapping up two days of talks with a joint statement of goals. The meetings come at a time when the news from Europe has been gloomy, raising the prospect that the 18 nations that share the euro currency could be in danger of slipping into another recession. By Economics Writer Martin Crutsinger. SENT: 880 words. UPCOMING: 900 words by 0800 GMT.
U.S. AND INTERNATIONAL:
MONROVIA, Liberia — Six U.S. military planes arrive in the Ebola hot zone with more Marines, as West Africa’s leaders plead for the world’s help in dealing with a crisis that one called “a tragedy unforeseen in modern times.” By Jonathan Paye-Layleh and Alan Clendenning. SENT: 950 words, photos, video.
— EBOLA-TRAVEL — Authorities in Europe and Morocco focusing on a quick response to handle airline passengers who may be infected with Ebola. SENT: 815 words, photos.
— EBOLA SCREENING-LEGAL AUTHORITY — The Obama administration’s plans to screen certain airline passengers for exposure to Ebola are based on the Constitution and long-established legal authority that would almost certainly stand up in court if challenged, public health experts say. SENT: 725 words.
— EBOLA-MILITARY TRAINING — Forgoing combat rifles and body armor, U.S. troops preparing to fight Ebola in Liberia are instead stepping gingerly into white germ-proof suits and pulling on thick, blue rubber gloves and gas masks. SENT: 385 words.
— EBOLA-HOW IT SPREADS — Facts about how Ebola spreads. SENT: 350 words.
— EBOLA-VACCINE-AFRICA — The first study of a possible Ebola vaccine is underway in Africa: University of Maryland researchers say three health care workers in Mali received the experimental shots. SENT: 130 words.
WASHINGTON — The barrage of U.S. cruise missiles aimed at a cell of al-Qaida militants in Syria last month failed to stop ongoing terror plots to blow up airplanes over Europe and the United States, American intelligence officials say. The strikes on a facility near Aleppo killed only one or two key members of what is referred to as the Khorasan Group, officials say, because many of the militants had scattered amid news reports highlighting their activities. By Ken Dilanian. SENT: 770 words, photos.
BAGHDAD — To get a home or an office built in the central Iraqi province of Salahuddin, contractors have usually had to pay hefty bribes to officials in Baghdad to clear away the red tape. It was just one example of the heavy, often corrupt hand that the central government holds over even the smallest details of life in Iraq’s provinces. That control by Shiite central authorities has long fueled resentments among Iraq’s Sunnis, one reason some welcomed Islamic State extremists in their rampage across the country. Iraq’s new prime minister now wants to reduce Baghdad’s monopoly on power and spread it out to local authorities. By Sameer N. Yacoub and Vivian Salama. UPCOMING: 1,000 words by 0730 GMT, photos.
BOGOTA, Colombia — U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel says the key military assistance the United States would like to get from Turkey would be access to the Turkish air base at Incirlik and an agreement to help train and equip the moderate Syrian forces. By Lolita C. Baldor. SENT: 460 words.
— TURKEY-KURDS — Turkey is playing a risky game of chicken in its negotiations with NATO partners who want it to join combat operations against the Islamic State group — and it’s blowing back with violence in Turkish cities. SENT: 830 words, photos, video.
— AP PHOTO — AXLP103 — Turkish soldiers stand with a tank and an armored vehicle as they hold their positions on a hilltop in the outskirts of Suruc, Turkey, at the Turkey-Syria border.
NOBEL PEACE PRIZE
STAVANGER, Norway — Bettors this year are putting their money on Edward Snowden, Pope Francis or a Pakistani schoolgirl as favorites to receive the Nobel Peace Prize. By Mark Lewis. SENT: 615 words, photo. Announcement at 0900 GMT.
MEXICO CITY — Federal police use a seemingly routine traffic checkpoint to nab Vicente Carrillo Fuentes, the alleged drug cartel leader accused by Mexico’s government of turning the border city of Juarez into one of the deadliest on the planet. By Peter Orsi. SENT: 750 words, photos.
— MEXICO-VIOLENCE — Two weeks after 43 students disappeared in a clash with police in rural southern Mexico, authorities say the suspects have led them to more mass graves, though Attorney General Jesus Murillo Karam does not say how many bodies are there. By Mark Stevenson. SENT: 780 words, photos.
— MEXICO-CARTEL ARREST-GLANCE — Top drug cartel captures or killings in recent years in Mexico. SENT: 315 words, photos.
— MEXICO-MALCOLM X GRANDSON — Police have made a third arrest in last year’s beating death of Malcolm X’s grandson following a dispute over a bar bill, authorities announce. SENT: 240 words.
LAS VEGAS — A dizzying legal wrangle is over in the wedding capital of the world with same-sex couples getting marriage licenses in Las Vegas and other Nevada cities. By Kimberly Pierceall. SENT: 295 words, photos, video.
HAVANA — The number of Cubans heading to the United States has risen dramatically since the island lifted travel restrictions last year, with most of the new arrivals passing through Mexico or flying straight to the U.S. rather than making the risky crossing of the Florida Straits on homemade rafts. Many in the new surge are from Cuba’s educated, relatively prosperous elite. By Michael Weissenstein and Christine Armario. SENT: 900 words, photos.
ATHENS, Greece — Archaeologists armed with top-notch technology have scoured one of the richest shipwrecks of antiquity for overlooked treasures, recovering a scattering of artifacts amid indications that significant artworks may await discovery under the seabed. By Nicholas Paphitis. SENT: 560 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.
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Between 1600 GMT and 0000 GMT, please refer queries to the North America Desk in New York at (1) 212-621-1650.