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BC-AS--Asian News Digest, AS

March 6, 2015

ASIA:

FLIGHT 370 ANNIVERSARY-FAMILIES UNITED

BEIJING — The families of the missing aboard Flight 370 feel apart from the rest of the world, which has largely accepted the Malaysian government’s pronouncements that their loved ones surely have been lost in the ocean. They have banded together in a desperate, continuing quest to find the plane, petitioning governments, poring over details of technical analyses, raising doubts and demanding answers. By Didi Tang. UPCOMING: 1,150 words by 0700 GMT, photos.

— FLIGHT 370 ANNIVERSARY-ROOMS OF THE LOST — A photo gallery with vignettes on the places the missing of Flight 370 left behind: their bedrooms, their houses. UPCOMING: 250 words by 0800 GMT, photos.

THAILAND-POLITICS

BANGKOK — A Thai court has sentenced 15 members of the “Red Shirt” political movement to four years in prison for inciting rioting that disrupted an important regional conference in 2009, the latest blow against supporters of ousted former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra. SENT: 490 words, photo.

CHINA-SLOGANS

BEIJING — “The Four Modernizations,” ″The Three Represents,” and now the “Four Comprehensives.” A look at the slogans of the Chinese Communist Party over the years, and what they mean. UPCOMING: 700 words by 0800 GMT.

— CHINA-KNIFE ATTACK — Knife attack at China train station leaves 9 injured. SENT: 160 words.

MYANMAR-PROTEST CRACKDOWN

LETPADAN, Myanmar — Police have cracked down on student protesters opposing Myanmar’s new education law, roughly grabbing demonstrators and loading them onto trucks in the third such clampdown in as many days. SENT: 320 words, photos.

UNITED STATES-INDONESIA

WASHINGTON — Indonesia’s President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo is expected to visit the White House in early June to forge closer ties with the U.S., according to his chief of staff. By Matthew Pennington. SENT: 400 words.

BUSINESS AND FINANCE:

FINANCIAL MARKETS

SEOUL, South Korea — Asian stock markets are higher as investor sentiment is boosted by the European Central Bank’s growth forecast upgrade and expectations for a solid increase in U.S. employment. By Youkyung Lee. SENT: 390 words, photos.

U.S. AND INTERNATIONAL:

HARRISON FORD-PLANE CRASH

LOS ANGELES — Harrison Ford crash-lands his vintage plane after losing engine power, suffering serious but not life-threatening injuries — the latest and most serious in a series of crashed and close calls for the action-adventure A-lister, who like his “Star Wars” alter-ego Han Solo has a taste for speed. By Lynn Elber and Tami Abdollah. SENT: 700 words, photos. UPCOMING: video.

— HARRISON FORD-REAL ADVENTURES — Ford’s real-life bravado equals Han Solo, Indiana Jones. SENT: 460 words, photos.

GREECE-GOVERNMENT’S CHALLENGE

ATHENS — The new Greek government rode to power on big promises, such as getting rid of budget austerity measures, but it is facing a hard time making them a reality. It has one advantage: a still-high approval rating, that could buy it time to achieve its goals. By Elena Becatoros. UPCOMING: 900 words by 1200 GMT, photos.

EURABIA-MYTH AND REALITY

BERLIN — Is Europe actually heading toward Islamization? Research shows that Europe’s Islamic population has risen sharply over the last two decades, and continues to grow. But the numbers fall far short of any possibility of Europe coming under the thumb of Muslim populations. And there are little signs that Islamic culture is spreading beyond the boundaries of Muslim communities — let alone becoming dominant in Europe. By Frank Jordans. UPCOMING: 940 words with by 1400 GMT, photos.

TURKEY-INSULTING THE PRESIDENT

ISTANBUL — There’s no monarch in democratic Turkey — but you might not know it watching the news these days. It has become as easy to get jailed for offending the country’s paramount leader, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, as it is in countries where lese majeste laws forbid insults to royals. The trend alarms many people who have harbored hope for Turkey as a beacon of Western-style government in the Islamic world. By Desmond Butler and Suzan Fraser. UPCOMING: 850 words by 0900 GMT, photos.

EGYPT-POLICE ABUSES

CAIRO — Three men killed in a single day in Cairo. One was beaten to death by police inside his cell. Another, a minibus driver, was shot by police who asked for his license. The third, a 19-year-old detainee, was lying in a hospital bed when he argued with his guard, who responded by pumping seven bullets into him. Rights activists say Egypt’s police, whose oppressiveness helped spark the 2011 uprising, feel they have a license to abuse again now that they are waging the government’s “war on terror.” By Maggie Michael. UPCOMING: 1,200 words by 1000 GMT, photos, video.

ANTARCTICA-CHURCH AT WORLD’S END

KING GEORGE ISLAND, Antarctica — Sophrony Kirilov pulls hard on the strings of the heavy Russian bells from inside the world’s southernmost Eastern Orthodox church, calling to Mass anybody wanting to pray on this remote Antarctic island. By Luis Andres Henao. SENT: 790 words, photos.

PRESIDENTIAL RACE-CLINTON

WASHINGTON — Hillary Rodham Clinton says that if she pursues the presidency again, it will be different this time around. But revelations that the presumed Democratic front-runner sidestepped the government email system as secretary of state suggest she may have a ways to go to make good on that pledge. By Julie Pace and Ken Thomas. SENT: 730 words, photos, video.

— PRESIDENTIAL RACE-CLINTON EMAILS — Hillary Clinton email trove reviewed for release, security. SENT: 975 words, photos.

SELMA’S 50TH

They lasted only minutes, but the beatings of civil rights marchers in Selma, Alabama, permanently seared the inhumanity of Southern segregation onto the American conscience. SENT: 605 words, photos.

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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.

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