BC-AS--Asian News Digest, AS
Apr. 22, 2014
JINDO, South Korea — For a moment there is silence in the tent where bodies from the ferry disaster are brought for identification. Then the anguished cries begin. After not knowing the truth for days, their family members now sound like they're being torn apart. "How do I live without you?" a woman cries. The toll has reached 113 dead, with about 190 people still missing. By Gillian Wong. SENT: 1,100 words, photos, video.
SKOREA-SHIP SINKING-EMBATTLED CREW
MOKPO, South Korea — As a South Korean ferry sank, some crew members gave their lifejackets to passengers. One refused to leave until she shepherded students off the boat, and was later found dead. Others worked from rescue boats to break windows with hammers and pull people trapped in cabins to safety. The public verdict against the crew of the Sewol has been savage, but not all fled. At least seven of the 29 crew members are missing or dead, and several survivors stayed on or near the boat to help passengers. Sent: 940 words, photos.
TOKYO — President Barack Obama's travels through Asia this week aim to reassure partners about the renewed U.S. commitment to the region, with an eye both to China's rising assertiveness and the fast-growing markets that are the center of gravity for global growth. The question: Will it be enough? By Elaine Kurtenbach. Sent: 1,100 words, photos.
KABUL, Afghanistan — A prominent campaign worker in Afghanistan's presidential election was shot dead outside his home in the country's east, officials said Tuesday. The Taliban denied they were involved in the killing. By Amir Shah. SENT: 350 words, photo.
SRINAGAR, India — Suspected rebels in India-controlled Kashmir gunned down two village elders and one victim's son in attacks that police said were aimed at scaring off voters in the country's general election. The attacks late Monday led the ruling Congress party to cancel a nearby election rally, said Ghulam Nabi Monga, a lawmaker with the party. By Aijaz Hussain. Sent: 280 words, photos.
UNITED STATES-MYANMAR-ETHNIC REBELS
WASHINGTON — A leader of ethnic Kachin rebels battling government forces in Myanmar has urged the U.S. to play a role in peace talks to quell decades of conflict in the country's lawless border regions. Clashes in northern Myanmar intensified this month despite efforts to forge a cease-fire agreement with all armed ethnic groups. A rebel general said Myanmar's army is trying to militarily weaken the Kachin forces before any cease-fire is signed. By Matthew Pennington. Sent: 700 words.
MANILA, Philippines — A court has ordered eight Philippine coast guard personnel to be arrested on a homicide charge in the fatal shooting of a Taiwanese fisherman last year. Sent: 340 words.
KATMANDU, Nepal —Nepal agreed to set up a relief fund for Sherpas who are killed or injured in climbing accidents, one of several key concessions to the mountain guides following the deadliest avalanche ever recorded on Mount Everest. By Binaj Gurubacharya. Sent: 700 words.
SOUTH CHINA SEA
MANILA, Philippines — Chinese coast guard vessels repeatedly blocked or chased Filipino and Vietnamese fishermen from a disputed shoal where they previously had only tried to block military supply runs, a Philippine marine officer said. Marine 1st Lt. Mike Pelotera said he and his men saw the fishermen being "bullied" away from the Second Thomas Shoal at least eight times. By Jim Gomez.
SYDNEY — An air search for the missing Malaysia Airlines jet is suspended for a day due to stormy weather as the painstakingly slow sonar scanning of the targeted patch of seabed continued. SENT: 430 words, photos, video, audio.
QINGDAO, China —Naval officials from the U.S. and two dozen Asia-Pacific nations adopted an agreement Tuesday aimed at improving communication at sea to reduce the possibility of conflict amid rising friction between an increasingly assertive China and its neighbors. By Christopher Bodeen. SENT: 780 words.
MANILA, Philippines — The mayor of Manila flies to Hong Kong to apologize to the families of eight Hong Kong tourists who were killed in a mishandled hostage taking in 2010 which soured relations between the Philippines and Hong Kong. SENT: 330 words, photos.
SYDNEY — Britain's Prince William and his wife, Kate, have received a traditional Aboriginal welcome during a visit to the Australian Outback. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge arrived in the tiny town of Yulara, near the bright red sandstone monolith Uluru, also known as Ayers Rock.
CHINA-SHOE FACTORY STRIKE
BEIJING — Workers on strike at a Chinese factory owned by the world's largest maker of athletic shoes have rejected management's latest offer in an ongoing labor dispute that is crimping production for brands such as Nike and Adidas. By Didi Tang and Kelvin K. Chan.
TOKYO — Japanese and U.S. negotiators are struggling to reach a preliminary agreement on a free trade pact that might have served as a centerpiece for President Barack Obama's visit to Tokyo this week. Japan's economy minister Akira Amari told reporters the sides remained "at a considerable distance" a day before Obama arrives. By Elaine Kurtenbach.
BEIJING — Tesla Motors has delivered its first eight all-electric sedans to customers in China and the CEO says the company will build a nationwide network of charging stations and service centers as fast as it can. Elon Musk said the California company probably will invest several hundred million dollars in charging infrastructure in China.
US & INTERNATIONAL:
KIEV, Ukraine — Vice President Joe Biden is sitting down with Ukrainian officials as part of a high-profile show of support for Kiev's pro-Western government. Biden's visit comes days after an international agreement was reached aimed at quelling violence in Ukraine. The vice president also is announcing new technical support to help the fledgling government with energy and economic reforms. By Nedra Pickler. SENT: 590 words, photos.
KAHULUI, Hawaii — Surveillance cameras showed a teenager on the San Jose airport tarmac as he climbed up the landing gear of a jet. But no one noticed the security breach until the plane — and the boy — landed in Hawaii. His success in slipping past layers of security made it clear that a determined person can still get into a supposedly safe area and sneak onto a plane. By Oskar Garcia and Justin Pritchard. SENT: 740 words, photos, video, audio.
WASHINGTON — Tens of thousands of immigrants who are in the U.S. illegally but don't have serious criminal records could be shielded from deportation under a policy change being considered. By Erica Werner. SENT: 690 words, photos.
SYRIA-HOMS LAST STAND
BEIRUT — Weakened Syrian rebels are making their last desperate stand in Homs, as government forces launch their harshest assault yet to expel them from the city once known as the capital of the revolution. The fight for Homs underscores the determination of President Bashar Assad's forces determination to rout the rebels ahead of presidential elections in June. By Diaa Hadid. SENT: 1,000 words, photos.
POLAND-FADING JOHN PAUL
WADOWICE, Poland — His death triggered a massive outpouring of grief in Poland. His beatification, an explosion of pride and jubilation. But days before John Paul II is to be declared a saint, many of his countrymen are greeting the landmark with little more than a shrug. One reason is that John Paul already is a saint in Polish. But it's also clear that the enthusiasm Poles accord their great countryman seems to be dissipating, as memories fade and this young country moves toward a more secular outlook. By Monika Scislowska. SENT: 730 words, photos.
MANCHESTER, England — David Moyes is fired as Manchester United manager, paying the price for the English club's spectacular and sudden decline in his 10 months in charge since replacing Alex Ferguson. United installed club great Ryan Giggs as interim boss until a permanent replacement is found. By Steve Douglas. SENT: 760 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 email@example.com.
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.