ASIA:

NEW ZEALAND-ANTARCTIC RESCUE

WELLINGTON, New Zealand — Rescuers reach a fishing boat with 26 people aboard trapped in ice near Antarctica and plan to use an unmanned underwater vehicle to assess the damage to it. By Nick Perry. SENT: 280 words, photos.

JAPAN DIARY: JAPAN-VALENTINE'S DAY

TOKYO — Perusing the Valentine's Day chocolate selection during my lunch break made me stand out in the crowd in Tokyo: I was the only male in the Godiva store. In Japan, women buy chocolates for men on Valentine's Day, not vice versa. By Ken Moritsugu. SENT: 160 words, photos.

INDIA-PAKISTAN-DIALOGUE

NEW DELHI — India is sending its top foreign ministry official to Pakistan to resume talks after a six-month hiatus. Taking advantage of the Cricket World Cup, where their teams play this weekend, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted that he spoke to his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif on the phone and offered to further strengthen ties. By Ashok Sharma. SENT: 385 words.

INDIAN MAN-POLICE STOP

MADISON, Alabama — A man from India who was slammed to the ground by a police officer had been singled out by police after a caller said a "skinny black guy" with a toboggan hat was walking in the neighborhood and peering into garages, recordings show. SENT: 640 words, photo.

CHINA-HOLIDAY TRAVEL

BEIJING — China has ordered stepped-up safety measures over the Lunar New Year travel rush in the wake of terrorist threats and a December stampede in Shanghai that killed 36 people. SENT: 130 words, photos.

ENDANGERED MAMMAL-US BASE

SAN FRANCISCO — A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit that sought to stop construction of a U.S. military base in Japan that it said would harm the Okinawa dugong, an endangered marine mammal related to the manatee. By Sudhin Thanawala. SENT: 380 words.

BUSINESS AND FINANCE:

CHINA-TAXI APP

BEIJING — Leading China taxi apps Didi Dache and Kuaidi Dache announce a plan to merge, creating a new challenge for Uber Technologies Ltd.'s global expansion. SENT: 185 words.

U.S. AND INTERNATIONAL:

MUSLIMS KILLED

RALEIGH, North Carolina — The suspect in the deaths of three Muslim college students in North Carolina had at least a dozen firearms stashed in his home, according to search warrants released, as world leaders decried the shootings. By Michael Biesecker and Jonathan Drew. SENT: 665 words, photos, video.

APNEWSBREAK: CANADA-HALIFAX PLOT

TORONTO — A senior police official says police foiled a plot by two suspects who were planning on going to a mall and killing as many people as they could before committing suicide on Valentine's Day in Halifax. By Rob Gillies. SENT: 390 words, photo.

UKRAINE-NEW COLD WAR-ANALYSIS

WASHINGTON — The Cold War didn't end. It just took on a 24-year pause. The East-West showdown over Ukraine makes that clear. As the non-Russian republics broke free in the Soviet collapse and Eastern European Soviet satellite countries snapped the chains of Moscow's dominion, common wisdom held the Cold War was over. The victors: The United States and its European allies — bound together in the NATO alliance to block further Soviet expansion in Europe after World War II. By Steven R. Hurst. An AP News Analysis. SENT: 780 words.

— UNITED NATIONS-UKRAINE — Russia asks UN Security Council to take action on Ukraine. SENT: 365 words.

BRAZIL-CARNIVAL KICKOFF

RIO DE JANEIRO — The five days of over-the-top parades and raucous, alcohol-soaked street parties that make up Rio de Janeiro's world-famous Carnival celebrations kick off amid a recent avalanche of bad news, including more evidence of Brazil's stalling economy, an ongoing drought and a snowballing corruption scandal at state-run oil giant Petrobras. By Adriana Gomez Licon. SENT: 420 words, photos, video.

AMERICAN SNIPER-TRIAL

STEPHENVILLE, Texas — While defense attorneys mount an insanity defense for the former Marine on trial in the shooting deaths of "American Sniper" author Chris Kyle and a friend, prosecutors have described Eddie Ray Routh as a troubled drug user who knew right from wrong. By Jamie Stengle and Emily Schmall. SENT: 655 words, photos, video.

PEOPLE-JON BON JOVI

NEW YORK — Most of the time when you hear a Bon Jovi song in a store, it's playing over a loudspeaker. But Thursday night, around 100 lucky fans were treated to seeing the New Jersey-born rocker perform a bunch of his hits during an intimate acoustic set inside a Kenneth Cole store in Soho. SENT: 285 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.