Adds MYSTERIES OF CHINA

ASIA:

HONG KONG-DEMOCRACY PROTEST

HONG KONG — Riot police clear an offshoot Hong Kong pro-democracy protest zone in a dawn raid, taking down barricades, tents and canopies that have blocked key streets for more than two weeks, but leaving the city's main thoroughfare still in the hands of the activists. By Sylvia Hui and Kelvin Chan. SENT: 590 words, photos, video, audio.

NEPAL-AVALANCHE

KATMANDU, Nepal — Rescuers widen their search for trekkers in Nepal's northern mountains who were stranded since a series of blizzards and avalanches battered the Himalayas early this week leaving at least 29 people killed, officials say. The government, meanwhile, announced a high level committee with two senior ministers that would monitor and coordinate rescue efforts following criticism that the Nepal government was not doing enough to help. By Binaj Gurubacharya. SENT: 660 words, photos, video.

CAMBODIA-KHMER ROUGE TRIAL

PHNOM PENH, Cambodia — The first trial on charges of genocide against Cambodia's brutal 1970s Khmer Rouge regime opens with a prosecutor saying it will show that Cambodians were enslaved in inhumane conditions that led to the deaths of 1.7 million people from starvation, disease and execution. Sopheng Cheang. SENT: 750 words, photos.

CHINA-ARTISTS' LIMITS

BEIJING — The brick studios and sunny restaurant terraces of the Songzhuang art district in eastern Beijing have long provided artists, poets and other creative thinkers with islands of apparent free speech in this sprawling Chinese capital, even as authorities cracked down on dissent elsewhere. Now that illusion is shattered as Chinese authorities crack down on Songzhuang denizens who went online with their support for pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong. The arrests exposed an unwritten rule that applies here: Artists who produce provocative work had better keep a low profile. By Jack Chang. UPCOMING: 1,000 words by 0900 GMT, photos.

MYSTERIES OF CHINA

SANTA ANA, Calif. — The mysterious people of Sanxingdui in the Sichuan province of China vanished some 3,000 years ago, leaving behind no written language and few clues as to whatever became of them. Instead, they left behind a cache of intricately carved, larger-than-life bronze sculptures, more than 200 pieces of ancient jade, several dozen elephant tusks and a life-sized statue of a nobleman. Three thousand years later, many of those objects are on the move, just as their creators apparently once were. They are headed to Southern California, where the exhibit "China's Lost Civilization: The Mystery of Sanxingdui" opens Oct. 19 at the Bowers Museum in Santa Ana. From there it will travel to Houston's Museum of Natural Science next year. The Sanxigndui treasures, often referred to in China as the ninth wonder of the world, stunned the country when they were uncovered in 1986. Since then, they have caused historians to rethink their long-held beliefs that the cradle of Chinese civilization was born several hundred miles to the northeast, along the Yellow River in China's Central Plain. By John Rogers. SENT: 750 words, photos.

JAPAN-SHRINE VISITS

TOKYO — Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has ent religious offerings to a Tokyo shrine honoring the war dead including convicted wartime leaders, as dozens of lawmakers prayed at the site in a ceremony that has repeatedly drawn rebukes from Japan's neighbors. By Mari Yamaguchi. SENT: 315 words, photos.

AUSTRALIA-TERRORISM

BRISBANE, Australia — A man charged in an Australian court with supporting the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria faces a fresh accusation of planning a terrorist attack in Australia. SENT: 310 words.

— AUSTRALIA-SHARK ATTACK — Ateenage competition surfer has told how a small shark tried to drag her from her board after biting her ankle as she surfed off the Australian east coast. SENT: 255 words.

INDONESIA-POLITICS

JAKARTA, Indonesia — Indonesia's defeated presidential candidate meets the winner and president-elect Jokowi Widodo for the first time since the bitterly contested polls in July, in a sign that political tensions in the Southeast Asian nation might be thawing. SENT: 350 words.

— UNITED STATES-INDONESIA — Secretary of State John Kerry will travel to Indonesia for the inauguration Monday of the Southeast Asian nation's new president. SENT: 125 words.

UNITED NATIONS-SECURITY COUNCIL ELECTION

UNITED NATIONS — Turkey has failed in its effort to join the U.N.'s most powerful body, while Venezuela, New Zealand, Spain, Angola and Malaysia are elected to coveted Security Council seats. By Cara Anna. SENT: 625 words, photos.

BUSINESS AND FINANCE:

FINANCIAL MARKETS

Asian stock markets mostly steady after a fall in U.S. unemployment applications and comments from a Federal Reserve official eased nerves about a stalling economic recovery. SENT: 495 words, photos.

CHINA-RAILWAY CORRUPTION

BEIJING — A Chinese court has sentenced a former top railways official to death with a two-year reprieve for taking nearly $8 million in bribes. SENT: 185 words.

U.S. AND INTERNATIONAL:

EBOLA

WASHINGTON — Facing renewed criticism about the U.S. response to the Ebola, President Barack Obama is conceding that it may make sense to have a single person lead the administration's effort. But he says imposing a travel ban from disease-ravaged West Africa, as Republicans have demanded, would be counterproductive. UPCOMING: 850 words by 0730 GMT., photos, video, interactive.

— EBOLA-DALLAS — Texas health workers who had contact with Ebola patient signing legal agreements to stay home. SENT: 840 words, photos, video.

— TOP VIDEO: — 1017_usmd_nina_pharm_arrival_vox— First nurse to be diagnosed with Ebola at a Dallas hospital arrives in Frederick, Maryland. Nina Pham will be treated at the National Institutes of Health.

EBOLA-FRIEDEN

WASHINGTON — Dr. Tom Frieden was the science "whiz kid" who never got in trouble and who would spend hours in the yard trying to perfect his baseball pitch. As director of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Frieden has become the public face — and potential scapegoat — for the Ebola scare inside the United States. By Anne Flaherty. UPCOMING: 830 words by 0800 GMT, photo.

STRATEGIC KOBANI

WASHINGTON — Dusty and remote, the Syrian city of Kobani has become an unlikely spoil in the war against Islamic State militants — and far more of a strategic prize than the United States wants to admit. By Lara Jakes. SENT: 1,285 words, graphics.

ISLAMIC STATE-FINDING MODERATES

WASHINGTON — Despite years of diplomacy and a CIA campaign to train moderate Syrian rebels, the U.S. finds itself without any credible partner on the ground as it bombs IS targets. The Obama administration acknowledges air strikes alone won't do it, and hopes to turn moderate Syrian rebels into its boots on the ground. But a lack of trust is hampering that effort. By Ken Dilanian and Zeina Karam. SENT: 950 words, photos.

— SYRIA — In its relentless quest to take over the Syrian town of Kobani, the Islamic State group enjoys a key advantage: an enormous supply of weapons, ammunition and fighters shuttling between Syria and Iraq. SENT: 950 words, photos, video.

— AP VIDEO SYRIA_KOBANI — Intensified U.S.-led airstrikes and a Kurdish military force appear to have had some success in halting advances by Islamic State fighters on Kobani.

ISRAEL-RAISING THE DEAD

PETAH TIKVA, Israel — At first glance, the multi-tiered jungle of concrete off a major central Israeli highway does not appear unusual in this city of bland high-rises. But the burgeoning towers are groundbreaking when you consider its future tenants: They will be homes not for the living but rather the dead. With real estate at a premium, Israel is at the forefront of a global movement building vertical cemeteries in densely populated countries. From Brazil to Japan, elevated cemeteries, sometimes stretching high into the sky, are providing the final resting place for thousands of people. They are now the default option for the recently departed in the Holy Land. By Aron Heller. UPCOMING 1,200 words by 0700 GMT, photos, video.

— ISRAEL RAISING THE DEAD PHOTO GALLERY — Cemetery overcrowding is an issue that resonates around the world, particularly in its most cramped cities and among religions that forbid or discourage cremation. UPCOMING: 230 words by 0700 GMT, photos.

LIBYA

BENGHAZI, Libya — Egypt's military involvement in Libya underlines Cairo's concern about the threat posed by Islamic militant groups operating near the countries' porous border, as well as home-grown jihadis who rely on their like-minded Libyan comrades for weapons, analysts say. Above all, Egypt aims to prevent the groups from linking up. Fighting continues for a second day in Benghazi, Libya's main city near the border where Egyptian warplanes have been pounding Islamist militias' positions. By Omar Almosmari and Maggie Michael. SENT: 900 words with a new approach, photos.

TECHNOLOGY

BETTING ON APPLE PAY

CUPERTINO, Calif. — Apple's skinnier iPads and flashy big-screen iMac are sleek and stunning. But the tech giant is making a bigger strategic bet with next week's launch of Apple Pay — the mobile pay service aimed at turning your iPhone into your wallet. By Brandon Bailey. SENT: 630 words, photos.

ALSO GETTING ATTENTION

— BIDEN'S SON-NAVY DISCHARGE — AP sources: Biden's son discharged from Navy Reserve after testing positive for cocaine. SENT: 500 words, photos.

— FBI DIRECTOR-ENCRYPTION — FBI director: Cellphone encryption has "very serious consequences." SENT: 750 words, photos.

— COMET AT MARS — Once in million years: Comet buzzing Mars on Sunday, robotic explorers have best seats in house. SENT: 420 words, photo.

— MISSING ACTRESS-UPHAM — Police: Body found near Washington river believed to be missing actress Misty Upham. SENT: 230 words, photo.

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YOUR QUERIES: The editor in charge at the AP Asia-Pacific Desk in Bangkok is Hrvoje Hranjski. 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.