BC-AS--Asian News Digest, AS
Sep. 01, 2014
HONG KONG-CHINA'S PLAYBOOK
HONG KONG — China's Communist leaders have pulled out their usual playbook to suppress resistance to their plans to tightly limit the first direct election of Hong Kong's leader, but are likely to find that the results are quite different. Beijing is blaming radicals and foreigners and showing off its military might, all things unlikely to go down well in the freewheeling capitalist bastion where a sizeable middle class accustomed to freedom of speech and the rule of law plans to push back with acts of civil disobedience. By Kelvin Chan and Christopher Bodeen. SENT: 980 words, photos, video.
— HONG KONG-CHINA — Pro-democracy lawmakers disrupt a Beijing official's speech as he seeks to explain a decision to tightly limit voting reforms. By Kelvin Chan. SENT: 300 words, photos.
ISLAMABAD — Pakistani anti-government protesters storm the state TV building, forcing the channel briefly off the air as they clash with police and push further into a sprawling government complex in Islamabad in an effort to reach the prime minister's residence. The violence is the latest in the turmoil roiling Pakistan, where anti-government cleric Tahir-ul-Qadri and cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan have been leading twin protests since mid-August calling on Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to resign. By Zarar Khan and Anjum Naveed. SENT: 710 words, photos.
PYONGYANG, North Korea — North Korea gives foreign media access to three detained Americans who said they have been able to contact their families and — watched by officials as they spoke — called for Washington to send a representative to negotiate for their freedom. The three all described their situations as urgent. By Eric Talmadge. SENT: 790 words, photos.
SEOUL, South Korea — North Korea fires another short-range projectile into the sea, a Seoul official says, in the country's latest weapons test made three days after it canceled a plan to send cheerleaders to the upcoming Asian Games in the South. The projectile flew about 220 kilometers (135 miles) before landing in waters off the North's east coast. By Hyung-jin Kim. SENT: 240 words.
TOKYO — Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi courts Japan's government and business leaders, winning pledges of help for his effort to revitalize the lagging Indian economy. Modi brought a delegation of more than a dozen Indian tycoons on his five-day visit, hoping to take the still relatively low-key business relations between the countries to a "new level." By Elaine Kurtenbach. SENT: 700 words, photos.
TOKYO — Japan is urging local authorities to be on the lookout for further outbreaks of dengue fever, after confirming another 19 cases that were contracted at a popular local park in downtown Tokyo. The cases raise to 22 the number of dengue infections thought to have been contracted locally. The health ministry earlier reported three cases, the first in nearly 70 years. SENT: 160 words, photos.
TOKYO — A message Japan begins delivering is a bit unusual, but true enough: Don't wait until it's too late to think about toilet paper. The government and paper companies kicked off a "Let's stockpile toilet paper!" campaign to mark Disaster Prevention Day, warning of a possible crisis because nearly half of the supply comes from one of Japan's most earthquake-prone areas. By Mari Yamaguchi. SENT: 450 words, photos.
CANBERRA, Australia — Australia ratchets up sanctions against Russia in line with the United States and European Union in response to Russian soldiers openly violating Ukraine sovereignty. Prime Minister Tony Abbott accused Russia of "brazenly" trying to break eastern Ukraine away from the rest of the country. SENT: 250 words.
WELLINGTON, New Zealand — A man suspected of killing two unemployment-office workers and critically injuring a third is taken into custody following a manhunt that lasted seven hours and kept a town on edge. By Nick Perry. SENT: 400 words, photos.
BUSINESS AND FINANCE:
BEIJING — China's manufacturing growth decelerates in August due to weaker global demand and a slowdown in domestic investment, two surveys show. HSBC Corp.'s purchasing managers index fell to 50.2 from July's 18-month high of 51.7 on a 100-point scale on which numbers above 50 show an expansion. An official industry group, the China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing said its separate PMI declined to 51.1 from 51.7. SENT: 200 words.
BEIJING — Foreigners who want to buy Alibaba Group shares in the Chinese e-commerce giant's U.S. public offering will need to get comfortable with an unusual business structure. Alibaba's online and mobile commerce businesses will be controlled by a "variable interest entity," an arrangement meant to allow investors to buy into Internet and other businesses in which Beijing bans or limits foreign ownership. By Joe McDonald. SENTL: 720 words, photos.
TOKYO — Sony is trying to woo Japanese game fans to the PlayStation 4 home console that went on sale in November in the U.S. and Europe, but didn't arrive at stores here until February. Atsushi Morita, who heads Sony Computer Entertainment's Japan operations, acknowledges the momentum for the PlayStation 4 in Japan wasn't catching up with the West, although its cumulative global sales reached 10 million recently, the fastest pace for any game console. By Yuri Kageyama. SENT: 450 words, photos.
WEEK THAT WAS IN ASIA
A selection of our favorite images from Asia. SENT: 230 words, photos.
U.S. AND INTERNATIONAL:
TRIPOLI, Libya — An Islamist-allied militia group in control of Libya's capital now guards the U.S. Embassy and its residential compound, a commander said Sunday, as onlookers toured the abandoned homes of diplomats who fled the country more than a month ago. SENT: 920 words, photos, video, audio.
BAGHDAD — The bumbling young militant first drops the rocket launcher on the toes of his boss before taking aim and firing toward a military checkpoint outside of an Iraqi town — not realizing he's fired it backward at his leader. The "Looney Tunes"-style cartoon targeting the Islamic State group comes after its militants have swept across large swaths of Syria and Iraq, declaring their own self-styled caliphate while conducting mass shootings of their prisoners. The group cheers its advances and beheadings in slickly produced Internet videos. In response, television networks across the Middle East have begun airing cartoons and comedy programs using satire to criticize the group and its claim of representing Islam. By Vivian Salama. SENT: 625 words, photos.
BEIRUT — Syrian rebels clashed with government troops in the Golan Heights, where al-Qaida-linked insurgents abducted U.N. peacekeepers last week, activist said. By Ryan Lucas. SENT: 580 words, photos.
MOSCOW — Russia's foreign minister urged those holding a new round of talks Monday on easing Ukraine's crisis to push for a cease-fire between Ukrainian government troops and pro-Russian separatists. SENT: 470 words, photos.
HAVANA — Cubans are bracing for a clampdown on the flow of car tires, flat-screen televisions, blue jeans and shampoo in the bags of travelers who haul eye-popping amounts of foreign-bought merchandise to an island where consumer goods are frequently shoddy, scarce and expensive. On Monday the Cuban government enacts new rules meant to take a big bite of that traffic, sharply limiting the amount of goods people can bring into Cuba in their luggage, and ship by boat from abroad. By Michael Weissenstein. SENT: 890 words, photos.
MADE IN AMERICA-LA
LOS ANGELES — An inaugural outdoor music festival in downtown Los Angeles reflected the city's diversity with a lineup that included rap, rock, punk, blues and Latin music. Kanye West, Cypress Hill, Weezer, Rise Against, John Mayer and Juanes were among the performers. By Sandy Cohen. SENT: 680 words, photos.
ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. — The most spectacular and costly failure in Atlantic City's 36-year history of casino gambling begins to play out Monday when the $2.4 billion Revel Casino Hotel empties its hotel. Its casino will close early Tuesday morning. By Wayne Parry. SENT: 660 words, photos.
PHILADELPHIA — Severe thunderstorms across the Northeast on Sunday slowed operations at airports, wreaked havoc at outdoor sporting and musical events in New York and Philadelphia and sent people scurrying from a beach after three men were struck by lightning. By Kathy Matheson. SENT: 390 words, photos.
ALSO GETTING ATTENTION
— WEST INDIAN DAY PARADE — Caribbean culture is in the spotlight at the annual West Indian Day Parade. NN setup. SENT: 130 words.
— PEOPLE-WAHLBERG MCCARTHY — New Kids on the Block member and actor Donnie Wahlberg marries TV personality Jenny McCarthy. SENT: 130 words, photo.
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.