AP NEWS
Related topics

BC-AS--Asian News Digest, AS

December 23, 2013

ASIA:

THAILAND-POLITICS

BANGKOK — Anti-government protesters surround a Bangkok stadium in an unsuccessful attempt to physically block political parties from registering for February polls. By Jinda Wedel and Grant Peck. SENT: 450 words, photos.

CHINA-MAO ANNIVERSARY

BEIJING — With his image gracing bank notes and staring out from Tiananmen Gate, Mao Zedong remains a constant presence in China 120 years after his birth, revered as a hero who founded the communist state and restored national pride — even as China moves ever further from his vision of a communist society. By Christopher Bodeen. SENT: 860 words, photos.

BUSINESS AND FINANCE:

APPLE-CHINA

BEIJING — Apple says it has reached a deal to bring the iPhone to China Mobile, the world’s biggest phone carrier. By Joe McDonald and Marley Seaman. SENT: 460 words, photo.

— CHINA-IPHONE-GLANCE: A list showing how Apple’s market share has declined over the past year while those of most of its biggest rivals have grown. SENT: 130 words.

WORLD MARKETS

SEOUL, South Korea — Asian stocks rose Monday as the report that the U.S. economy expanded more than expected in the third quarter outweighed concerns about a credit crunch in China. By Youkyung Lee. SENT: 300 words.

HOLIDAY SHOPPING-ELECTRONICS

NEW YORK — Listen up, Santa. Headphones, wireless speakers and soundbars are flying off the shelves this holiday season. After years of Americans stocking up on screens via tablets, smartphones and ever-bigger size TVs, they’re realizing they need strong audio equipment to go with them. Meanwhile, prices on audio equipment have been slashed this year. And trendy gear like oversize headphones “Beats by Dre” and wireless speakers like Jawbone’s Jambox have upped the style factor. By Mae Anderson. UPCOMING: 600 words by 0700 GMT, photos.

YE-WALL STREET-2014-PREVIEW

NEW YORK — While 2013 was great for stock investors, next year isn’t going to be as kind. The simple strategy of buying U.S. stocks, selling bonds and staying out of international markets isn’t going to work. By Markets Writer Ken Sweet. UPCOMING 1,200 words by 0700 GMT, photos, video.

U.S. AND INTERNATIONAL:

GAY MARRIAGE-UTAH

SALT LAKE CITY — A federal judge decides whether to block gay weddings that have been taking place since Friday in Utah after a ruling declared the state’s same-sex marriage ban unconstitutional. Lawyers for the state want the ruling put on hold as they appeal the decision that has put Utah in the national spotlight because of its long-standing opposition to gay marriage. By Brady McCombs and Paul Foy. SENT: 600 words. UPCOMING: 800 words by 0700 GMT, photos.

BRAZIL-POLICE VIOLENCE

RIO DE JANEIRO — American Liz Martin is raising the alarm for the millions of visitors set to flood into Brazil for the World Cup and Olympics. s nephew was shot to death by an off-duty officer in Rio de Janeiro. Her message: Watch out for the police, who are notoriously ruthless and corrupt. An off-duty officer shot her nephew in 2007 after an argument, and she’s devoted her life since then to raising awareness. By Jenny Barchfield. UPCOMING: 1,000 words by 0700 GMT, photos.

BOLIVIA-CHOLITA TRAFFIC COPS-PHOTO GALLERY

EL ALTO, Bolivia — A city in Bolivia’s highlands has hired Aymara women dressed in traditional multilayered Andean skirts and brightly embroidered vests to work as traffic cops and bring order to its road chaos. With photo gallery by Juan Karita. sent: 280 words, photos.

MILITARY BENEFITS

WASHINGTON — The Pentagon’s top civilian says it’s time to tame burgeoning military personnel costs, but he’s facing a test of wills with powerful veterans groups that want no cut in their benefits and are fighting part of the new budget deal that curbs annual pension increases for military retirees under age 62. After a barrage of protests from the military community, lawmakers said they’ll review the cut next year and possibly reverse it. But Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel says reform of military compensation can’t be put avoided. A look at what members of the armed forces get now and the debate over it. By Pauline Jelinek. SENT: 1,430 words, photos.

PANCHO CLAUS

HOUSTON — They have black hair and black beards, though sometimes just a mustache. They, like Santa, wear hats — usually sombreros but sometimes a fedora. They are clad in serapes and ponchos or, in one case, a red and black zoot suit. And they make their grand entrance on low riders, Harleys and, in San Antonio, via a pack of burros. Meet Pancho Claus. This Tex-Mex Santa, borne from the Chicano civil rights movement in the late 1970s and early 1980s, is now an adored Christmas fixture in many Texas cities. Each one has a unique local flavor, but all share common roots that set Pancho apart from Santa. It’s Feliz Navidad, amigos, and the ultimate goal is to help low-income families and at-risk children. By Ramit Plushnick-Masti. SENT: 900 words, photos, video.

DUBAI-CHRISTMAS

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — Just days before Christmas, an artificial snow company is doing brisk business delivering faux flurries to Dubai homes, and Christmas trees and Santas are out in force. The Middle East’s brashest city is increasingly embracing the trappings of the holiday in a way that would be unthinkable in more conservative parts of the Muslim world. By ADAM SCHRECK. UPCOMING: 900 words by 0800 GMT, photos.

VEGAS CHRISTMAS

LAS VEGAS — Las Vegas has mostly shelved its attempt to rebrand itself as a family-friendly wonderland except during the holiday season, when room vacancies soar. In an attempt to lure tourists, Las Vegas casinos are staging increasingly elaborate holiday events. By Hannah Dreier. SENT: 700 words, photos.

SPORTS

FIG--TONYA AND NANCY -THE IMPACT

It’s been nearly 20 years since Nancy Kerrigan was clubbed after practice in Detroit by a member of a bumbling goon squad hired by Tonya Harding’s ex-husband with the hope of eliminating his former wife’s top competition for the U.S. Olympic team. The assault led to a soap opera that practically created tabloid television journalism, taking what had for decades been a niche sport and putting it squarely into the media mainstream. By Barry Wilner. SENT: 854 words, photos.

With:

— FIG--Tonya And Nancy-The Tours. How skating tours benefited from Tonya-Nancy skating scandal. By Barry Wilner. SENT: 895 words, photos.

— FIG--Tonya And Nancy-TV. From legit competitions to bogus creations, TV wanted more skating after Tonya and Nancy saga. By Barry Wilner. SENT: 675 words, photos.

ALSO GETTING ATTENTION:

— DUCK DYNASTY-HOMETOWN — Folks in Louisiana town stand by Duck Dynasty clan; Willie Robertson baptizes 3 at church. SENT: 1,270 words, photos.

— OBAMA-HAWAII VACATION — How Obama spent Day 2 of his holiday vacation in Hawaii. SENT: 152 words.

___

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.

AP RADIO
Update hourly