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BC-AS--Asian News Digest, AS

August 6, 2014



LUDIAN, China — The death toll in southern China’s earthquake rises to 589 a search and rescue teams push into isolated mountain communities to clear debris from collapsed homes. By Christopher Bodeen. SENT: 330 words, photos, video.


PHNOM PENH, Cambodia — A U.N.-assisted court will deliver its verdicts in a case against the two most senior surviving leaders of Cambodia’s Khmer Rouge, charged with crimes against humanity. The case — covering forced movements of people and a mass execution — is just a sliver of the offenses that led to the deaths of an estimated 1.7 million people through starvation, medical neglect, overwork and execution when the group held power in 1975-79. The Associated Press asked legal and academic experts to explore questions beyond facts and figures. SENT: 1,150 words, photos.


DHAKA, Bangladesh — The ferry that capsized in Bangladesh with hundreds of people on board this week had a capacity of only 85 passengers, the country’s shipping minister says as he announces charges against the vessel’s owner and five of its employees. By Julhas Alam. SENT: 320 words, photos.


TOKYO — Is it the Persian or Arabian gulf? Mumbai or Bombay? Mt. McKinley or Denali? Some place names don’t just tell us where we live or where we’re going. They’re also a political statement, or in the eyes of some a politically incorrect one. They may not spark a war of the worlds, but a war of words they can. China struck back after Japan launched a verbal fusillade last week, slapping monikers on 158 previously unnamed islands off its shores. Five of them are part of a cluster that the two both claim and is itself the subject of a name dispute. Is it the Senkaku or Diaoyu islands? By Ken Moritsugu. UPCOMING: 1,000 words by 0700 GMT, photos.


MANILA, Philippines — A captured Abu Sayyaf commander tells investigators that a top Southeast Asian terror suspect, who the military reported was killed in a U.S.-backed airstrike two years ago, is alive and being harbored by a hardline Muslim rebel group in the southern Philippines, a confidential police report says. By Jim Gomez. SENT: 540 words, photos.


JAKARTA, Indonesia — Indonesia’s Constitutional Court has opened a hearing on a dispute over the results of the July 9 presidential election, which ended in the victory of Jakarta Gov. Joko Widodo. SENT: 130 words.


TOKYO — Japan marked the 69th anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshimay, as Mayor Kazumi Matsui called on President Barack Obama and other world leaders to visit the city to see the scars of the atomic bombing first hand. By Mari Yamaguchi. SENT: 460 words, photos.


CANBERRA, Australia — A Dutch contractor will conduct the underwater search for the Malaysian airliner that crashed off the Australian coast in March. By Rod Mcguirk. SENT: 290 words, photo.


UNITED NATIONS — A U.N. diplomat says the Security Council committee monitoring sanctions on North Korea may impose further ones. SENT: 130 words.

— VIETNAM-NORTH KOREA — North Korea’s foreign minister is holding talks in Vietnam in a visit to a fellow communist country as part of efforts to break the North’s diplomatic isolation. SENT: 130 words, photos.



SEOUL, South Korea — Samsung and Apple Inc. have agreed to end all patent lawsuits between each other outside the U.S. in a step back from three years of legal hostilities between the world’s two largest smartphone makers. By Youkyung Lee. SENT: 445 words.


MUMBAI, India — Worries over Russian troops amassing near the Ukraine border send most Asian stock markets lower. By Kay Johnson. SENT: 405 words, photos.



KABUL — An American major general is shot to death in one of the bloodiest insider attacks of the long Afghanistan war when a gunman dressed as an Afghan soldier turned on allied troops, wounding about 15 including a German general and two Afghan generals. Maj. Gen. Harold Greene, who was on his first deployment to a war zone, was the highest-ranked American officer killed in combat in the nation’s post-9/11 wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and the highest-ranked officer killed in combat since 1970 in the Vietnam War. By Robert Burns, Rahim Faiez, Lolita C. Baldor. SENT: 920 words, photos, video.


GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip — The outline of a solution for Gaza emerges from the Israel-Hamas cease-fire: Norway is setting up a donor conference and the Palestinian president aims to oversee rebuilding and reassert authority in the seaside strip. Hamas wants to retain some power in the territory, while Israel seeks a “demilitarization” of Gaza. The hope is that the promise of a better life for Gazans will yield compromise and avert what looked to be a desperate fight to the finish. By Karin Laub and Maggie Michael. SENT: 1,360 words, photos, video.

— PALESTINIANS-RAFAH’S DEVASTATION — The widow noticed the cracks appearing in the walls of her home last year. She was befuddled, but her neighbors had the explanation: Militants were building a tunnel in a nearby field. Last week, gunmen launched an attack through the tunnel, surprising and killing Israeli troops inside Gaza — and Israel responded with some of the most devastating bombardment of the Gaza war. With a new truce, residents return to find their southern district flattened into a crumpled, ravaged landscape. SENT: 1,200 words, photos.

— UNITED NATIONS-ISRAEL-PALESTINIANS — Jordan circulates a revised U.N. resolution calling for a permanent cease-fire in Gaza and condemning “all violence and hostilities against civilians.” SENT: 475 words.


LAGOS, Nigeria — Nigerian health authorities acknowledge that they did not immediately quarantine a sick airline passenger who later died of Ebola, announcing that eight health workers who had primary contact with him were now in isolation with symptoms of the disease. Ebola, which can cause victims to bleed from the eyes and mouths before a grisly death, has killed nearly 900 people across four countries in West Africa, a deeply impoverished region with severely limited medical resources. By Maram Mazen. SENT: 1,020 words, photos.

— AMERICANS-EBOLA — An American aid worker infected with Ebola has arrived in Atlanta, joining a second patient being given an experimental treatment that has never before been tested on humans. SENT: 585 words, photos.


WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama announces $33 billion in commitments aimed at shifting U.S. ties with Africa beyond humanitarian aid and toward more equal economic partnerships. By White House Correspondent Julie Pace. SENT: 770 words, photos.

— AFRICA SUMMIT-DINNER— Take a White House state dinner and multiply it by 50. The result is the most elaborate and unusual dinner of President Barack Obama’s administration, a one-of-a-kind affair for a one-of-a-kind gathering of several dozen African leaders. SENT: 490 words, photos, video.

— US-AFRICA-BUSINESS TIES — They export BMWs and birdseed and plenty in between. Their middle class is growing fast enough to draw the likes of Marriott and Wal-Mart. China, Europe, Japan and the United States are vying to build roads and power plants there. SENT: 1,290 words, photos.


UNITED NATIONS — A senior U.N. official warns the Security Council at an emergency meeting that the humanitarian situation in eastern Ukraine is steadily worsening as power and water supplies are scarce, homes are destroyed and health workers flee. By Trenton Daniel. SENT: 460 words, photos.

— UKRAINE-SHELTER-VIDEO — Inside a bomb shelter with residents huddling in the chilly, dark as fighting closes in on major Ukrainian city. SENT: 210 words, photos, video.


PARIS — Unprecedented numbers of migrants reaching Europe from Africa and the Middle East are causing a tense summer in France. Officials in the northern city of Calais say they are overwhelmed with migrants trying to sneak across the channel into Britain, as brawls break out at a notorious squatters camp. Officials in southern France are asking for police reinforcements. By Elaine Ganley. SENT: 630 words, photos, video.


MIAMI — The former clinic owner accused of selling performance-enhancing drugs to Alex Rodriguez has agreed to plead guilty in what prosecutors called a wide-ranging conspiracy to distribute steroids to both major league ballplayers and high school athletes. The charges against former Biogenesis of America owner Anthony Bosch and six others mark one of the biggest salvos yet in a case that has dragged on for nearly two years, sparking lawsuits, mudslinging and suspensions against numerous major leaguers, including Rodriguez. By Jennifer Kay and Tim Reynolds. SENT: 870 words, photos.


NEW YORK — Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox is abandoning its attempt to take over Time Warner in a proposed deal that would have combined two of the world’s biggest media companies. The about-face comes three weeks after Time Warner Inc. revealed that it had rejected 21st Century Fox’s unsolicited $76 billion buyout offer. SENT: 540 words, photo.


KENTWOOD, Mich. — A 9-year-old boy was repeatedly stabbed in the back by a 12-year-old boy at a playground, then ran screaming to his western Michigan home and collapsed bleeding on his porch, witnesses and police say. Michael Conner Verkerke died at a hospital shortly after the Monday evening attack in Kentwood, outside Grand Rapids. Witnesses said the 12-year-old boy went to a nearby home after the stabbing, called 911 and calmly turned himself in, then tried to flag down offices when they arrived. SENT: 530 words, photos.


YORBA LINDA, Calif. — Almost a decade after Richard Nixon resigned, the disgraced former president sat down with his one-time aide and told the tale of his fall from grace in his own words. For three decades, that version of one of the nation’s largest and most-dissected political scandals largely gathered dust — until this week. To commemorate the 40th anniversary of Nixon’s resignation, portions of the tapes are being published, and Nixon didn’t shy away from the tough questions, commenting on everything from the threat of impeachment to the so-called “smoking gun” conversation that included evidence he participated in a Watergate cover-up. By Gillian Flaccus and Krysta Fauria. SENT: 750 words photos.


WASHINGTON — Mainstream conservatives try to beat the latest tea party upstart as three-term Republican Sen. Pat Roberts faces Milton Wolf in Kansas, one of four states kicking off a busy month of primaries to set ballots for November. Competitive primaries in Michigan, Missouri and Washington state fill out the lineup. By Donna Cassata. SENT: 850 words, photos. UPCOMING: Updates from poll closings, 800 words by 10 p.m., photos. Eds: Coverage advisory has moved.


CINCINNATI — Federal appeals courts soon will hear arguments in gay marriage fights from nine states, part of a slew of cases putting pressure on the U.S. Supreme Court to issue a final verdict. If even one ruling goes against same-sex marriage supporters in the four courts taking up the issue in the coming weeks, it would create a divide that the Supreme Court also could find difficult to resist settling. A three-judge panel of the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati will hear arguments from attorneys in six cases from Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio and Tennessee, all Wednesday, the most of any federal appeals court so far. Similar arguments are set soon in federal courts in Chicago and San Francisco. By Amanda Lee Myers. SENT: 810 words, photos. UPCOMING: Updates from 5:30 p.m. rally, then 900 words by 7 p.m.


McALLEN, Texas — Overwhelmed by the arrival of thousands of unaccompanied immigrant children, the state of Texas relaxed its standards for the shelters that house them, easing rules governing how much space each child needs and what kind of facilities they should have. In some ways, the response to the influx resembled the reaction to a hurricane, with congested shelters asking the state licensing agency to temporarily bend some of its bedrock regulations to accommodate a large population of homeless refugees. By Christopher Sherman. SENT: 810 words, photo.



SAN FRANCISCO — The filmmakers behind the “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” reboot were initially shell shocked when fans didn’t deem their radical digital redesign of the sewer-dwelling superheroes to be totally tubular. Unlike the puppety renditions from the 1990s film trilogy, the new Ninja Turtles were painstakingly created by combining human motion-capture performances with computer-generated wizardry. By Entertainment Writer Derrik J. Lang. SENT: 840 words, photos.


— NSA SURVEILLANCE-ALEXANDER — Keith Alexander, the recently retired NSA director, says he is trying to patent a new cybersecurity technology that he acknowledges could make him a very rich man, while disputing any ethical impropriety. SENT: 680 words.

— ANCIENT SKELETON — Museum rediscovers 6,500-year-old skeleton; rare specimen was buried in storage for decades. SENT: 510 words, photos.





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