ASIA:

SKOREA-POPE

SEOUL, South Korea — As Francis becomes the first pope in 25 years to visit South Korea, Seoul's never-timid rival, North Korea, makes its presence felt by firing three short-range projectiles less than an hour before he arrived, officials say. By Nicole Winfield and Jung-yoon Choi. SENT: 930 words, photos.

— KOREAS-TENSIONS — South Korea says rival North Korea fires two additional projectiles into the sea. SENT: 135 words.

— SKOREA-POPE-FERRY SINKING — The relatives of some of the more than 300 people killed in an April ferry sinking are hoping Pope Francis' visit to South Korea will provide both solace for their anger and grief — and a boost in their struggle against the government. SENT: 490 words, photos.

— CHINA-POPE — A greeting from Pope Francis to Chinese President Xi Jinping is being seen as a rare cordial exchange between the sides that have no diplomatic relations and are embroiled in a sometimes bitter contest for authority. SENT: 135 words.

NEW ZEALAND-ELECTION RACISM

WELLINGTON, New Zealand — A surprising theme has emerged in New Zealand's election campaign: racism. With the general election just over a month away, racially charged comments made by the leaders of two political parties and the candidate for a third, along with anti-Semitic slurs posted on political billboards, have struck a jarring tone in a nation that generally prides itself on its tolerance. By Nick Perry. UPCOMING: 660 words by 0700 GMT, photos.

KERRY-ASIA

HONOLULU — Improving U.S. cooperation with China is critical to maintaining stability and security in the Asia-Pacific as well as combating the effects climate change, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry says. By Matthew Lee. SENT: 650 words, photo.

JAPAN-US MILITARY

TOKYO — Buoys are being floated off the southernmost island of Okinawa in one of the first steps in the long-planned but highly contentious relocation of an American military base. By Yuri Kageyama. SENT: 425 words, photos, video.

VIETNAM-US-MILITARY RELATIONS

HANOI, Vietnam — U.S. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey holds talks with Vietnamese officials aimed to boosting military ties between the former foes. SENT: 330 words, photos.

MYANMAR-BELL SALVAGE

YANGON, Myanmar — Divers attached to safety ropes have plunged into waters south of Myanmar's old capital as part of renewed efforts to retrieve a bronze bell that has been lying for centuries at the confluence of three rivers. By Aye Aye Win. SENT: 290 words.

THAILAND-BUILDING COLLAPSE

BANGKOK — The death toll from the collapse of a six-story building under construction on the outskirts of Thailand's capital has risen to 10, with at least four more people trapped under the rubble feared dead, three days after the accident, police say. SENT: 165 words.

BUSINESS AND FINANCE:

CHINA-QUALCOMM

BEIJING — A panel that advises China's Cabinet on anti-monopoly policy has fired an economist who was paid to help prepare a report for Qualcomm, a U.S. company that is the target of a pricing investigation, according to state media. By Joe McDonald. SENT: 540 words.

FINANCIAL MARKETS

HONG KONG — Asian stock markets are mostly higher, with Australia's benchmark leading gains on a crop of healthy corporate earnings reports. By Kelvin Chan. SENT: 470 words, photo.

CHINA-EARNS-LENOVO

BEIJING — Lenovo Group, the world's biggest personal computer maker, says its latest quarterly profit rose 23 percent on strong growth in sales of smartphones and other mobile devices. By Joe Mcdonald. SENT: 350 words.

SKOREA-ECONOMY

SEOUL, South Korea — South Korea's central bank cuts its key interest rate for the first time in 15 months, providing support to an economy dragged down by the shock of a ferry sinking that killed hundreds of teenagers. By Youkyung Lee. SENT: 295 words.

U.S. AND INTERNATIONAL:

POLICE SHOOTING-MISSOURI

FERGUSON, Mo. — Police and politicians in the St. Louis suburb where a white police officer fatally shot an unarmed black teenager vow to reach across the racial, economic and generational divide in a community in search of answers. In the streets of Ferguson, the polite dialogue heard at community forums and news conferences is nowhere to be found. Instead, officers from multiple departments in riot gear and in military equipment have clashed nightly with protesters after the weekend shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown. By Alan Scher Zagier and Jeff Roberson. SENT: 800 words, photos, video.

UNITED STATES-IRAQ-THREAT

WASHINGTON — The Obama administration is grappling with how to bridge the gap between its increasingly dire assessment of the threat posed by the Islamic State group and the limited, defensive air campaign it has so far undertaken, which military officials acknowledge will not blunt the group's momentum. By Ken Dilanian and Lara Jakes. SENT: 1,100 words, photo.

ISRAEL-PALESTINIANS

CAIRO — Gaza is seeing the longest cease-fire yet since the Israel-Hamas war broke out last month after both sides agreed to a five-day extension of the truce in what is perhaps the clearest sign that the Egypt-hosted talks on a sustainable roadmap for the coastal strip could be making some progress. By Mohamed Daraghmeh. UPCOMING: 500 words by 0900 GMT, photos, video, interactive.

IRAQ

BAGHDAD — Iraq's crisis in the face of an onslaught by Islamic militants who overran much of the country's north and west and drove out hundreds of thousands from their homes rises to a new level after the U.N. announced its highest level of emergency for the battered country. The Security Council says it's also backing a newly nominated premier-designate in the hope that he can swiftly form an "inclusive government" that could counter the insurgent threat. By Vivian Salama. UPCOMING: 300 words by 0900 GMT, photos, videos, interactive.

UKRAINE

VORONEZH, Russia — A Russian aid convoy is on the road again, taking a highway which leads to the rebel-held city of Luhansk. The choice of route suggests that Russia is not abiding by an earlier, tentative agreement to deliver the aid to a Ukraine government-controlled crossing in the Kharkiv region, where it could be inspected by the Red Cross. By Alexander Roslyakov. SENT: 500 words, photos.

BRAZIL-PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE DIES

SANTOS, Brazil — Brazil's presidential race is in stunned disarray after one of the top three contenders dies on the campaign trial when a small plane carrying him and aides crashes into a residential area in this port city. By Adriana Gomez Licon. SENT: 770 words, photos.

VENEZUELA-HOSPITAL ATTACKS

CARACAS, Venezuela — For years, hospitals were among the few safe havens in Caracas. Now, the street violence of one of the world's most dangerous cities is spilling into the operating room. Reports are increasing of armed gangs storming into emergency rooms to finish off victims or compel doctors to try to work medical miracles on wounded companions. By Hannah Dreier. SENT: 880 words, photos.

URUGUAY-GUANTANAMO PRISONERS

MONTEVIDEO, Uruguay — Six men who have been held without charge for more than a decade at Guantanamo are expected soon to be resettled in Uruguay, where they will find a tiny Muslim population and many people with mixed feelings about them coming. By Leonardo Haberkorn. SENT: 630 words.

GETTING ATTENTION

— ROBIN WILLIAMS-SHERIFF — Sheriff's officials say law required them to release details about Robin Williams' suicide. SENT: 430 words, photos.

— HILLARY CLINTON-OBAMA — Hillary Rodham Clinton, White House try to shrug off differences after foreign policy split. SENT: 770 words, photos.

— ARIZONA ST-GAY PLAYER — Arizona State's Sarafin becomes first active Division I football player to come out. SENT: 470 words, photo.

— WOODS-RYDER CUP — Tiger Woods removes himself from U.S. Ryder Cup consideration because of back problems. SENT: 810 words, photo.

— CORBETT-AMISH MAFIA — Pennsylvania governor, other politicians call for Discovery Channel to drop "Amish Mafia." SENT: 140 words.

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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.