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BC-AS--Asian News Digest, AS

January 27, 2015



NEW DELHI — President Barack Obama gently nudges India to fulfill its constitution’s pledge to uphold the “dignity of the individual,” drawing on his own experience as a minority in the United States as he closes out a three-day visit to New Delhi. By Julie Pace and Muneeza Naqvi. SENT: 900 words, photos.


TOKYO — A Japanese envoy in Jordan expresses hope that both Japanese hostage Kenji Goto and a Jordanian pilot held by Islamic militants will return home “with a smile on their faces,” as questions rise over the government’s handling of the crisis. By Mari Yamaguchi and Elaine Kurtenbach. SENT: 920 words, photos.


TOKYO — The plight of freelance journalist Kenji Goto, taken captive by Islamic State group militants, has gripped Japan, and the people’s hopes for his safety are now on Facebook with a simple, unifying plea: “I am Kenji.” By Yuri Kageyama. SENT: 650 words, photos.

— ISLAMIC STATE-JAILED BOMBER — The Islamic State group is purportedly demanding the release of a failed female suicide bomber in exchange for Japanese hostage Kenji Goto. SENT:710 words, photos.

— JAPAN-ISLAMIC STATE-VOICES — Voices from Japan on its hostage crisis. SENT: 340 words, photos.


PANGKALAN BUN, Indonesia — Indonesia’s military halts its recovery efforts for the crashed AirAsia plane, including attempts to locate bodies and raise the fuselage from the Java Sea. SENT: 130 words.


MANILA, Philippines — Philippine officials remove the commander of a police special action force from his post after at least 44 anti-terror commandos were killed in a clash with Muslim rebels in the country’s south. The government’s biggest single-day combat loss in recent memory shocked many and led to fears it could endanger a recent peace deal with the biggest Muslim rebel group. By Jim Gomez. SENT: 450 words, photo.


MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines rejects an appeal by a U.S. Marine that it drop a murder case against him in the death of a transgender Filipino woman last year. By Oliver Teves. SENT: 320 words.


NEW DELHI — Acclaimed Indian cartoonist R. K. Laxman, creator of the character the Common Man, who held up a mirror to the absurdity and silliness of Indian politicians, dies of multiple organ failure at age 94. By Nirmala George. SENT: 270 words, photos.



SEOUL, South Korea — Facebook says it suffered a self-inflicted outage lasting an hour that made its site inaccessible to users worldwide. The glitch reported in Asia, the United States, Australia and the U.K. affected access from PCs and Facebook’s mobile app. The social media giant’s Instagram service was also inaccessible. By Youkyung Lee. SENT: 270 words, photos.


NEW DELHI — India and America’s declaration of a breakthrough in contentious nuclear energy cooperation is met with a lukewarm response from industry and analysts. Few expect the potentially lucrative Indian market to suddenly become less complicated for U.S. nuclear companies. By Katy Daigle. UPCOMING: 900 words, photos.



NEW YORK — NEW YORK — Tens of millions of people along the East Coast hunkered down for a storm that for most failed to live up to predictions that it would be one of the worst they’d ever seen. By Meghan Barr. SENT: 600 words, photos, video, audio.


NEW DELHI — President Barack Obama will lead a delegation of lawmakers, senior U.S. officials and two former secretaries of state to Saudi Arabia Tuesday to pay respects to the royal family following King Abdullah’s death. SENT: 650 words, photo.


BUCHANAN, Liberia — A failed U.S. government-backed plan to produce environmentally friendly energy in one of Africa’s poorest countries was marred by insider connections and questionable planning, an Associated Press investigation found. The federal agency at the center of the deal is one of the government’s biggest secrets and routinely escapes public scrutiny. By Ronnie Greene and Jonathan Paye-Layleh. SENT: 3,400 words, photos. A shorter version of 800 words has also moved.


OSWIECIM, Poland — Holocaust survivors and world leaders including the presidents of Germany and Austria are preparing mark the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz by the Soviet Red Army, but Russian President Vladimir Putin will not be among those gathered. Poland apparently snubbed Putin, failing to send him an invitation. Poland is extremely critical of Russian actions in Ukraine. By Vanessa Gera. SENT: 730 words, photos.


TRIPOLI, Libya — Gunmen storm a luxury Libyan hotel popular with foreigners Tuesday, killing at least three guards and taking hostages. The standoff continues at the Corinthia Hotel, which sits along the Mediterranean Sea. By Esam Mohamed. SENT: 430 words.


WASHINGTON — A special House committee investigating the deadly 2012 attacks in Benghazi, Libya, began last year with promises of bipartisanship and cooperation. But as the panel holds its third public hearing Tuesday, Democrats complain that the panel’s Republican chairman has excluded them from crucial steps in the investigation, while Republicans say Democrats are playing politics. By Matthew Daly. SENT: 810 words, photo.


HAIFA, Israel — For the first time in Israel’s history, the country’s Arab political parties are banding together under one ticket to boost their chances in upcoming national elections and to help try to unseat incumbent Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The awkward political marriage of communists, Palestinian nationalists, religious Muslims, feminists and even one Jew could improve chronically low Arab voter turnout and help block another Netanyahu victory. SENT: 910 words, photos.


UNITED NATIONS — Deadly rocket attacks on the Ukrainian port city of Mariupol this weekend that “knowingly targeted civilians” violated international humanitarian law and could amount to war crimes, the U.N. political chief says. By Edith M. Lederer. SENT: 410 words, photos.


HAVANA, Cuba — Former Cuban leader Fidel Castro ends his long silence over his country’s decision to restore diplomatic ties with the United States, writing that he backs the negotiations even though he distrusts politics in Washington. By Andrea Rodriguez. SENT: 320 words, photo.


BUENOS AIRES, Argentina. By Peter Prengaman. President Cristina Fernandez calls on Congress to dissolve Argentina’s intelligence services in the wake of the mysterious death of a prosecutor, strongly denying his accusation that she had sought to shield former Iranian officials suspected in the 1994 bombing of a Jewish center. SENT: 690 words, photos.


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 asia@ap.org.

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