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BC-AS--Asian News Digest, AS

February 12, 2015



SEOUL, South Korea — The inflight tantrum dubbed “nut rage” culminates in a one-year prison sentence for Korean Air heiress Cho Hyun-ah, a humiliating rebuke that only partially quelled public outrage at the excesses of South Korea’s business elite. Cho, the daughter of Korean Air’s chairman, achieved worldwide notoriety after she ordered the chief flight attendant off a Dec. 5 flight, forcing it to return to the gate at John F. Kennedy Airport in New York. By Youkyung Lee. SENT: 810 words, photos.


TAIPEI, Taiwan — Six inmates led by a mob boss committed suicide at a prison after a failed breakout attempt in which they seized weapons and held a warden and guards hostage, officials say. All the hostages were released. By Gladys Tsai. SENT: 680 words, photos.


SYDNEY — One of two men charged with planning to launch an imminent terrorist attack in Australia appeared on a video threatening to stab the kidneys and necks of their victims, the nation’s prime minister says, accusing the pair of “monstrous extremism.” By Kristen Gelineau. SENT: 490 words.


WASHINGTON — Urging international patience, Sri Lanka’s new government that won a surprise election victory last month calls for a postponement in the publication of a U.N. investigation into alleged war crimes committed during the island nation’s civil war. By Matthew Pennington. SENT: 440 words.


KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia — Chinese relatives of passengers on a missing Malaysia Airlines flight protest outside the carrier’s office, urging Malaysia to rescind a declaration that all on board have perished. SENT: 290 words, photos.


TOKYO — A Japanese freelance photographer says he was forced to give up his passport because he planned a reporting trip to Syria. The government has stepped up warnings to its citizens not to visit the country after two Japanese were killed there in a recent hostage crisis. By Mari Yamaguchi. SENT: 390 words.


SEOUL, South Korea — An animal keeper dies after apparently being attacked by two lions at a zoo in South Korea’s capital. SENT: 160 words, photos.


WELLINGTON, New Zealand — Crews from the U.S. and New Zealand try to rescue a damaged fishing boat with 27 people aboard that is stuck in ice near Antarctica. SENT: 270 words.


CANBERRA, Australia — Australia’s foreign minister calls on Indonesia to show the same mercy to two Australian drug traffickers on death row as Indonesia seeks from countries where its citizens face execution. SENT: 280 words, photo.


HANOI, Vietnam — Vietnamese authorities release a second blogger jailed more than two months ago for posting comments deemed critical of the Communist Party in a rare gesture as the country prepares to celebrate the Lunar New Year. SENT: 300 words, photos.


BEIJING — Asia will be tuning in to the Oscars and its glitz and glamour, even though the region’s films are missing from the shortlists. Users of Chinese social media discuss animatedly whether comedy “Birdman” or the 12-years-in the-making “Boyhood” will win best picture — movies that haven’t been shown in theaters here but are available on streaming websites. By Louise Watt. SENT: 1,100 words, photos.



BEIJING — Baidu Inc., which operates China’s most popular Internet search engine, says its quarterly profit rose 16 percent but growth slowed as it spent more to attract users to its mobile services. SENT: 250 words.



MINSK, Belarus — Leaders of Russia, Ukraine, France and Germany on Thursday emerge from marathon 16-hour talks to announce a comprehensive peace deal for eastern Ukraine, but questions remained whether Ukraine and the pro-Russian rebels have agreed on all of its terms. By Yuras Karmanau. SENT: 1,130 words, photos, videos.

— UKRAINE IMF — International Monetary Fund agrees to give Ukraine new bailout deal worth $17.5 billion. SENT: 310 words, photo.


WASHINGTON — Obama is still searching for his first outright supporter for the measure backing the use of military force against Islamic State militants. SENT: 570 words, photos.


BRUSSELS — Galvanized by the recent terror attacks in France, European Union leaders debate a range of ambitious steps to better protect their 28 nations, including exchanging airliner passenger manifests, tightening controls at the border and combating extremism on the Internet. By John-Thor Dahlburg. SENT: 790 words, photo.


CAIRO — An Egyptian judge orders the release on bail of two Al-Jazeera English journalists and demands that one of them, a Canadian defendant, pay a $33,000 bail. The decision comes as the retrial of the reporters, which has drawn much criticism from rights groups, starts in Egypt. By Maggie Michael. SENT: 130 words, photo. UPCOMING: Developing.


CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — The North Carolina man accused of killing three Muslim students in a dispute over parking spaces had earlier run-ins with his neighbors, sometimes while wearing a handgun on his hip. By Michael Biesecker and Jonathan Drew. SENT: 670 words, photos.


Longtime “60 Minutes” correspondent Bob Simon, who covered most major overseas conflicts and news stories since the late 1960s during a five-decade career in journalism, died in a car crash. He was 73. By Tom McElroy. SENT: 470 words, photos, video.


NEW YORK — Jon Stewart and Brian Williams were mirror images of each other in an era when the nature of TV news, like the people who present it, has increasingly been muddled. Now the career of each of these big-time TV stars — a fake news anchor and a real one — lurched in an unexpected, opposite direction. By Television Writer Frazier Moore. SENT: 1,040 words, photos.


BEIRUT — The massive explosion that tore through former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri’s convoy on a Beirut seaside 10 years ago sent a tremor across the region and unleashed a popular uprising that briefly united the Lebanese and ejected Syrian troops from the country. But a decade later, and despite millions of dollars spent, justice remains elusive in a case that has been overshadowed by the current turmoil. By Bassem Mroue and Mike Corder. SENT: 890 words, photos.


JERUSALEM — At first glance, the ancient Babylonian tablets on exhibit for the first time at a Jerusalem museum look like nothing more than pockmarked lumps of clay. But the 2,500-year-old treasures from present-day Iraq have become part of a thorny archaeological debate over how to handle historically significant relics thought to have been dug up in the fog of war by Mideast antiquities robbers. By Daniel Estrin. SENT: 940 words, photos.


KINGSTON, Jamaica — Jamaican women have made such big advances in professions once dominated by men that a new U.N. study says the country has the world’s highest proportion of female bosses: nearly 60 percent. By David McFadden. SENT: 920 words, photos.


BRASILIA, Brazil — About 3,000 people who are part of the Homeless Workers Movement have pitched paltry shelters on six large tracts of land in and around Brazil’s capital in recent days, pressuring the government to promise help. By Eraldo Peres. Photos by Peres. SENT: 280 words, photos.


NEW YORK — The next phishing email you get could be from your boss — really. A growing number of companies, including Twitter, are trying to ensure that their workers are security-savvy by sending spoof phishing emails to see if anyone will bite. By Technology Writer Barbara Ortutay. SENT: 760 words, photo.


WASHINGTON — A 21-year-old ghost haunts Obama and his allies as he presses Congress for enhanced powers to make trade deals with Japan and other nations. Obama says new trade deals will avoid the shortcomings of NAFTA, the 1994 North America Free Trade Agreement with Mexico and Canada, which many Americans blame for big job losses, especially in manufacturing. By Charles Babington. SENT: 630 words, photo.


— FRANCE-ATTACKS-WIFE — Islamic State extremists’ publication claims interview with wife of French attacker Coulibaly. SENT: 160 words, photo.

— WORLD PRESS PHOTO — Danish photographer’s touching image of gay couple in Russia wins World Press Photo award. SENT: 360 words, photos, with WORLD PRESS PHOTOS-LIST.

— SPAIN-MADRID FASHION-PHOTO GALLERY — Madrid Fashion Week celebrates 30th anniversary, featuring 44 designers and brands. SENT: 130 words, photos.


YOUR QUERIES: The editor in charge at the AP Asia-Pacific Desk in Bangkok is David Thurber. 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 1600 GMT and 0000 GMT, please refer queries to the North America Desk in New York at (1) 212-621-1650.

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