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BC-AS--Asian News Digest, AS

September 24, 2014

ASIA:

INDIA-MARS MISSION

NEW DELHI — India has triumphed in its first interplanetary mission, placing a satellite into orbit around Mars and catapulting the country into an elite club of deep-space explorers. By Katy Daigle. SENT: 655 words, photos.

— INDIA-MARS MISSION-BOX — Getting a spacecraft to orbit Mars is a complex mission that few countries have attempted, and even fewer have achieved. SENT: 135 words.

AUSTRALIA-TERRORISM

CANBERRA, Australia — A terror suspect shot dead after he stabbed two Australian counterterrorism police officers had his passport canceled recently on national security grounds, top police officials say. By Rod Mcguirk. SENT: 900 words, photo.

CHINA-CORRUPTION TRIAL

BEIJING — The former deputy chief of the Chinese agency in charge of steering the world’s second-largest economy goes on trial accused of taking bribes worth almost $6 million, a court says, as a campaign against official corruption intensifies. SENT: 260 words, photo.

BUSINESS AND FINANCE:

SKOREA-SAMSUNG-GALAXY NOTE

SEOUL, South Korea — Samsung Electronics Co. saysits latest Galaxy Note 4 smartphone will go on sale in China and South Korea later this month as its flagging mobile business tries to defend sales from Apple’s new iPhones. By Youkyung Lee. SENT: 320 words, photos.

FINANCIAL MARKETS

BANGKOK — Asian stock markets drift as the boost from stronger Chinese manufacturing is offset by grim economic news from Europe and airstrikes in Syria. SENT: 545 words, photo.

NEW ZEALAND-EARNS-FONTERRA

WELLINGTON, New Zealand — New Zealand dairy giant Fonterra posts record revenue but signals a tougher year ahead for farmers by cutting its projected payout to them. SENT: 250 words.

FEATURES:

CHINA-DROUGHT

HEXINGTEN, China — The corn has grown to only half of its normal height on Yan Shuqin’s ranch in the hills of Inner Mongolia this year, as a swath of northern China suffers its worst drought in 60 years. Groundwater levels — declining even before the drought because of water-hungry industry and agriculture — have hit historic lows in northeast and central parts of China where much of the country’s population live. Reservoirs grew so dry in Henan province that the city of Pingdingshan closed car washes and extracted water from puddles. It’s a long-term problem that Chinese officials have proposed to solve with, among other things, a curb in production of water-intensive vegetable oil and a massive canal system to haul water from China’s wetter South to its dry North. By Jack Chang. UPCOMING: 950 words by 0700 GMT, photos.

INDONESIA-WASPS AT WAR

BOGOR, Indonesia — They are only the size of a crayon tip and they buzz without packing any sting, but these tiny wasps are cold-blooded killers. They work as nature’s SWAT team, wiping out pests that destroy one of the world’s staple foods: cassava. Indonesia is the latest country threatened by the mealybug, a white fuzzy-looking insect shaped like a pill, that has been making its way across Southeast Asia’s fields for the past five years. By Margie Mason. SENT: 700 words, photos.

U.S. AND INTERNATIONAL:

ISLAMIC STATE-AIRSTRIKES

WASHINGTON — The one-two-three punch of American and Arab airstrikes that struck Islamic State militants in Syria and Iraq was only the beginning of a sustained campaign showcasing a rare U.S.-Arab partnership aimed at countering the spread of radical extremism. The U.S. on its own struck a new al-Qaida cell said to be “nearing the execution phase” of an attack on the West. By Lolita C. Baldor and Bassem Mroue. SENT: 1,220 words, photos, video.

KHORASAN GROUP

WASHINGTON — The U.S. strike against an al-Qaida affiliate in Syria known as the Khorasan Group represents a significant expansion of America’s war against the terrorist organization that carried out the 9/11 attacks. Administration officials say they decided to strike now because intelligence showed the group was in the final stages of plotting attacks against the U.S. and Europe. By Intelligence Writer Ken Dilanian. SENT: 930 words, photos.

— TOP PHOTO — CAIMA112, the guided missile cruisers USS Philippine Sea launches a Tomahawk cruise missile at Islamic State group positions in Syria.

— TOP VIDEO —Raw-Aftermath-of-Airstrikes-in-Syria-26951571?playlistId=10212 — Aftermath of air strikes in village of Kfar Derian.

OBAMA-ISLAMIC STATE

NEW YORK — The participation of five Arab nations in airstrikes in Syria shifts the tenor of President Obama’s three days of diplomacy at the United Nations, allowing him to use the unexpected cooperation from Arab states to rally more reluctant nations to join the fight. By White House Correspondent Julie Pace. SENT: 950 words, photos.

— ISLAMIC STATE-GLANCE — Details of U.S.-Arab mission, the terror groups and targets. SENT: 500 words.

— ISLAMIC STATE-WARNINGS — There is no indication of advanced al-Qaida or Islamic State group terror plotting inside the United States, but airstrikes in Syria may have temporarily disrupted attack planning against U.S. or Western targets, according to a security bulletin from the FBI and the Homeland Security Department. SENT: 475 words.

IRAQ-SYRIA- ISLAMIC STATE

BAGHDAD — In their Syrian strongholds, extremists from the Islamic State group have been moving into civilian apartment buildings for cover for days before U.S.-led airstrikes finally came, activists say. It’s just one sign of how hard it will be for the U.S. to uproot and destroy the group mainly from the air. The militants can easily melt into the population. In some places, residents largely support them. And in Syria in particular, there are no U.S.-allied forces on the ground able to capitalize on the damage wreaked on the militants. By Vivian Salama and Diaa Hadid. SENT: 1,220 words, photos.

BRITAIN-SYRIA-HOSTAGE

LONDON — The wife of a British aid worker held hostage in Syria by the Islamic State group says she has received an audio message from him pleading for his life. Alan Henning, a 47-year-old former taxi driver, was kidnapped in December in Syria, shortly after crossing into the country from Turkey in an aid convoy. By Sylvia Hui. SENT: 340 words, photo.

— ISLAMIC STATE-TURKEY — Turkey considers military involvement in operations against Islamic State group. SENT: 300 words, photo.

UNITED NATIONS-GENERAL ASSEMBLY

UNITED NATIONS — Facing a world in turmoil from multiple crises ranging from wars in the Mideast and Africa to the deadly scourge of Ebola and growing Islamic radicalism, leaders from more than 140 countries open their annual meeting at the United Nations with few solutions. By Edith M. Lederer. SENT: 740 words, photos.

CLIMATE SUMMIT

NEW YORK — President Barack Obama declares the U.S. is leading the global effort to curb climate change and calls on the world to follow. But a one-day United Nations summit reveals the many obstacles that still stand in the way of wider agreements to reduce heat-trapping pollution. None of the pledges or proposals offered at the meeting was binding, and key countries made it clear they would only go so far. Brazil, home of the Amazon rain forest, refused to join a treaty to halt deforestation. And the United States, one of the biggest polluters, would not support putting a price on carbon. By Dina Cappiello and Seth Borenstein. SENT: 950 words, photo, video.

— CLIMATE SUMMIT-FACT CHECK — Obama glosses over inconvenient truths in climate-change pitch to world leaders. SENT: 810 words, photo, graphic.

— BRAZIL-DEFORESTATION — More than 30 countries set the first-ever deadline to end deforestation by 2030, but the feasibility of such a goal is eroded when a key player, Brazil, says it will not join. SENT: 800 words, photos.

EBOLA ESTIMATES

NEW YORK — U.S. health officials Tuesday lay out worst-case and best-case scenarios for the Ebola epidemic in West Africa, warning that the number of infected people could explode to at least 1.4 million by mid-January — or peak well below that, if efforts to control the outbreak are ramped up. The widely varying projections by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention were based on conditions in late August and do not take into account a recent international surge in medical aid for the stricken region. That burst has given health authorities reason for some optimism. “I’m confident the most dire projections are not going to come to pass,” CDC chief Dr. Tom Frieden said in releasing the report. SENT: 720 words, photos.

— EBOLA — Sierra Leone’s president: Many corpses and new Ebola cases found during shutdown. SENT: 760 words, photos.

BRAZIL-ELECTION-POOR VOTE

SAO PAULO — Life may still be tough for millions of poor Brazilians — but it’s also never been better. And that’s the key for President Dilma Rousseff’s re-election bid. Although Rousseff and top rival Marina Silva are locked in a virtual tie among those in the middle class, the biggest group of voters, the president has a wide edge with Brazil’s poorest people because of generous welfare programs that have helped slash hunger and extreme poverty under the watch of her Workers Party. By Stan Lehman. SENT: 880 words, photos.

UPS SHOOTING

BIRMINGHAM, Alabama — The man who killed two former co-workers and then himself at a UPS shipping center had told some people that he was having problems at work but never suggested the situation might turn violent, his pastor says. By Jay Reeves. SENT: 450 words, photos, video.

PAINKILLERS-FDA CRITICISM

WASHINGTON — Anti-addiction activists are calling for the Food and Drug Administration’s top official to step down, saying the agency’s policies have contributed to a national epidemic of prescription painkiller abuse. By Matthew Perrone. SENT: 740 words.

ALSO GETTING ATTENTION

— BIN LADEN SPOKESMAN — Ex al-Qaida spokesman, bin Laden son-in-law gets life prison term in NY; SENT: 700 words, photos.

— MISSING UVA STUDENT — Officials say they have taken articles of clothing from the apartment of the man they believe was the last person seen with a missing University of Virginia student. SENT: 500 words, photos.

— SPACE STATION — A SpaceX Dragon capsule arrives at the space station with the first 3-D printer for astronauts. SENT: 250 words, photos.

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