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BC-AS--Asian News Digest, AS

September 16, 2014

ASIA:

CHINA-INDIA

BEIJING — Chinese President Xi Jinping’s trip to India this week highlights subtle shifts in the regional power dynamic that are bringing warmer ties between the two Asian giants, challenging China’s traditional relationship with Pakistan, and opening a new chapter in Beijing’s ongoing competition for influence with arch-rival Japan. Xi is due in New Delhi on Wednesday for a three-day visit focused on trade, investment and the resolution of decades-old border disputes. With the world’s second-largest economy and a proven track record at building highways, railways, and industrial zones, China has much to offer India as it seeks to upgrade its creaky infrastructure. By Christopher Bodeen. SENT: 1,000 words, photos.

PHILIPPINES-VOLCANO

MANILA, Philippines — One of the Philippines’ most active volcanoes is showing signs of heightened unrest and an eruption is possible within weeks, government scientists warned Tuesday. The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology raised the alert level to “critical” for Mount Mayon in eastern Albay province late Monday after recording an escalation of unrest over a 15-hour period, including 39 incidents of hot rocks falling in the summit area and 32 low-frequency volcanic earthquakes. SENT: 310 words, photos.

THAILAND-TOURIST DEATHS

BANGKOK — Police on the scenic resort island of Koh Tao in southern Thailand are conducting a sweep of hotels and workers’ residences searching for clues into the slayings of two British tourists whose nearly naked, battered bodies were found on a beach a day earlier. More than 70 police officers were deployed to Koh Tao, a popular diving destination in the Gulf of Thailand, as the country’s leaders called for a swift investigation into a pair of brutal killings that marked a new blow to Thailand’s tourism industry. By Thanyarat Doksone. SENT: 530 words, photos.

ASIA-STORM

BEIJING — A typhoon struck China’s southernmost island of Hainan on Tuesday, forcing the cancellation of dozens of flights as it headed northwest toward Vietnam. About 90,000 people in southern China were evacuated from high-risk areas ahead of Typhoon Kalmaegi, China’s official Xinhua News Agency said. But the typhoon’s course was giving only a glancing blow to southern China as the storm headed toward northern Vietnam, where it was expected to make landfall Tuesday night. SENT: 130 words, photos.

MYANMAR-CLAY POTS-PHOTO ESSAY

TWANTE, Myanmar — For generations, the Myanmar town of Twante has been known for its thriving pottery industry. Even today, residents can be seen sitting on wooden stools beneath the thatched roofs of their homes, placing lumps of soft clay onto wheels and shaping it with the gentle press of their fingertips into pots for cooking, storing water, preserving fish or flowers. But the opening up of this once-isolated Southeast Asian has affected traditional ways. Modernization and the reluctance of the younger generation to learn the art of pottery, compounded by the cost of transporting the bulky and fragile products, have turned it into an unstable, dying industry. SENT: 200 words, photos.

ALIBABA-RISKY CHINESE STOCKS

WASHINGTON — Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba is about to launch what may prove the biggest initial public stock offering ever. Yet anyone who expects to get rich from buying into China’s high-growth story will be betting against history. China’s explosive economic rise has delivered virtually nothing to most stock investors. When Chinese companies have listed stocks on American markets, their shares have lost an average 1 percent a year for the next three years, compared with an average 7 percent annual gain for other U.S. IPOs, according to research by Jay Ritter, a finance professor at the University of Florida. By Paul Wiseman and Marcy Gordon. SENT: 1,250 words.

AFGHANISTAN

KABUL, Afghanistan — A Taliban attacker detonated his car bomb next to an international military convoy on Tuesday, killing three troops from the NATO-led force and wounding nearly 20 troops and civilians, officials said. Security forces in full battle gear administered CPR to wounded comrades shortly after the 8:10 a.m. blast, which rattled nearby neighborhoods and sent a plume of smoke high into the sky. The attack happened only a couple hundred yards from the U.S. Embassy, on a main Kabul road that leads to the airport. By Jason Straziuso. SENT, photos.

PAKISTAN

ISLAMABAD — Pakistan’s army says a group of militants have attacked one of its positions from neighboring Afghanistan, sparking a shootout that left 11 insurgents and three soldiers killed. In a statement, the military says “a group of terrorists” from Afghanistan the Pakistani post in the North Waziristan tribal region on Tuesday. The military has been carrying out a major offensive in the area against local and foreign militants since June 15. SENT, photos.

NEW ZEALAND-EMINEM

WELLINGTON, New Zealand — The music publishers for American rapper Eminem filed a lawsuit Tuesday against New Zealand’s ruling political party over the music it used in a campaign commercial. Detroit-based Eight Mile Style and Martin Affiliated both claim the National Party breached copyright laws by using Eminem’s song “Lose Yourself.” Joel Martin, a spokesman for the two companies, said they filed a case in the New Zealand High Court and are seeking damages. SENT: 280 words.

ASIAN GAMES

INCHEON, South Korea — The formidable North Korean women’s football team has more reasons than usual to kick off its Asian Games campaign with a stirring win over Vietnam. The participation of 150 North Korean athletes competing in 14 sports is drawing special attention in Incheon because of enduring tensions on the divided peninsula dating from the 1950-1953 Korean War that ended in a ceasefire rather than a peace treaty. SENT: 650 words, photo.

WITH:

— ASIAN GAMES-INDIA-BOXING. AIBA recognizes Indian boxing federation ahead of Asian Games, team can now use national flag. SENT, photos.

— ASIAN GAMES-SEXUAL HARASSMENT. SENT, photos.

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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 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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