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BC-AS--Asian News Digest, AS

July 7, 2014

ASIA:

AUSTRALIA-ASYLUM SEEKERs

SYDNEY, Australia — Australia’s government confirmed Monday that it had handed over a boatload of asylum seekers to Sri Lankan authorities in a transfer at sea, drawing outrage from human rights groups who fear those on board could face persecution when they return to their home country. By Kristen Gelineau. SENT: 660 words.

CHINA-JAPAN

BEIJING — President Xi Jinping criticized people who “beautify the history of aggression” as China on Monday marked the 77th anniversary of the start of a war with Japan amid rising tensions between Beijing and Tokyo. By Louise Watt. SENT: 560 words. photos.

KOREAS-TENSION

SEOUL, South Korea — North Korea said Monday it will send a cheering squad to the coming Asian Games in rival South Korea that its athletes plan to attend. By Hyung-jin Kim. SENT: 430 words.

CHINA-MINERS TRAPPED

BEIJING — Seventeen coal miners have died after being trapped by a weekend gas explosion in northwestern China, an official news agency reported Monday. SENT: 150 words.

VIETNAM-HELICOPTER CRASH

HANOI, Vietnam — A Vietnamese military helicopter on a parachute training mission crashed close to the Vietnamese capital on Monday, killing 16 people on board and wounding five others, officials and state-controlled media said. SENT: 170 words.

CHINA-GERMANY

BEIJING — German Chancellor Angela Merkel met the Chinese premier Monday and hailed ties between the two sides as she led a large business delegation on a visit to promote trade with the Asian economic giant. SENT; 410 words. photos.

U.S. AND INTERNATIONAL:

ISRAEL-PALESTINIANS

JERUSALEM — Israeli authorities arrest six Jewish suspects in the grisly slaying of a Palestinian teenager who was abducted and burned alive, marking a breakthrough in a case that touched off violent protests in Arab sections of Jerusalem and northern Israel. Israeli leaders appeal for calm amid signs the attack was revenge for the killings of three Israeli teenagers. By Josef Federman. SENT: 930 words, photos, videos, interactive.

IRAQ

BAGHDAD — Iraqi security agencies are working to determine whether the man in black robes and a turban who appeared in a recent video is indeed the elusive leader of the Sunni extremist group that has declared an Islamic state in the territory it has seized straddling Iraq and Syria. The video purportedly showing Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi delivering a sermon at a mosque in northern Iraq last week would be the first public appearance for the Islamic State group leader, who has become perhaps the pre-eminent figure in the international jihadi community. By Ryan Lucas. SENT: 900 words, photos, video, interactive.

— SYRIA — The main Western-backed Syrian opposition group begins a three-day meeting in Istanbul to elect a new president and discuss the offensive by Islamic State. SENT: 640 words, photos.

SUPREME COURT-BIRTH CONTROL

WASHINGTON — How much distance from an immoral act is enough? That’s the difficult question behind the next legal dispute over religion, birth control and the new health law that is likely to be resolved by the Supreme Court. The issue in more than four dozen lawsuits from faith-affiliated charities, colleges and hospitals who oppose some or all contraception as immoral is how far the Obama administration must go to accommodate them. By Mark Sherman and Rachel Zoll. SENT: 1,080 words, photo, graphic.

UKRAINE

DONETSK, Ukraine — Discouraged but defiant, pro-Russia separatists vow to keep fighting the government in Kiev from the largest city in eastern Ukraine, where they regrouped Sunday after being driven out of a key stronghold. At a rally in a central Donetsk square, the rebels were cheered on by thousands of supporters waving flags from Russia and the self-proclaimed independent Donetsk People’s Republic. Many urged Russian President Vladimir Putin to quickly come to their aid — but there was no comment Sunday from Moscow. By Yuras Kamanau. SENT: 880 words, photos, interactive.

MENTAL HOSPITAL-FORGOTTEN SOULS

SALEM, Ore. — They were dubbed the “forgotten souls” — the cremated remains of thousands of people who came through the doors of Oregon’s state mental hospital, died there and whose remains were left inside 3,500 copper urns. Discovered a decade ago at the decrepit institution that was the set for the film, “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest,” the remains became a symbol of Oregon’s — and the nation’s — dark history of treating the mentally ill. A research effort to unearth the stories of those who moved through the hospital’s halls takes center stage Monday as officials dedicate a memorial to those patients who were forgotten. By Jonathan J. Cooper. SENT: 800 words, photos.

WIMBLEDON

LONDON — Novak Djokovic’s large lead in the rollicking Wimbledon final was slipping away, due in no small part to Roger Federer’s regal presence and resurgent play. No man has won the oldest major tournament more often than Federer, and he was not about to let it go easily. But Djokovic held on for a 6-7 (7), 6-4, 7-6 (4), 5-7, 6-4 victory to win Wimbledon for the second time — and deny Federer what would have been his record eighth championship at the All England Club. By Tennis Writer Howard Fendrich. SENT: 820 words, photos.

SENATE-OBAMACARE OR BUST

RALEIGH, N.C. — Running for U.S. Senate re-election for the first time, Democrat Kay Hagan is talking a lot about what’s happening at North Carolina’s Capitol. Her Republican challenger knows plenty about that because he’s the state House speaker. But Thom Tillis only wants to talk about only thing, President Barack Obama’s health care law. Republicans eager to take control of the U.S. are focusing on Obama, the Affordable Care Act and little else in several pivotal races nationwide. Democrats trying to defend their endangered majority want to make the midterm election about just about anything else. By Charles Babington. SENT: 830 words, photos.

IMMIGRATION OVERLOAD

WASHINGTON — The legal, humanitarian and political constraints facing the Obama administration as it copes with thousands of Central American children entering the country illegally came into sharp focus on Sunday’s news shows. A 2008 law prevents the government from promptly turning these children back at the border, a restriction that doesn’t apply to minors from Mexico and Canada. The administration wants the law made more flexible. But that might not do much to ease the partisan disagreements and complex logistical and humanitarian challenges surrounding the issue. By Charles Babington. SENT: 820 words, photos.

GERMANY-US-SPYING

BERLIN — German-U.S. relations face a new test over a German intelligence employee who reportedly spied for the U.S., with Germany’s president saying if the allegations are true, that kind of spying on allies must stop. Prosecutors say a 31-year-old German was arrested last week on suspicion of spying for foreign intelligence services, and that he allegedly handed over 218 documents between 2012 and 2014. By Geir Moulson. SENT: 330 words, photos.

GREAT WHITE SHARK BITE

MANHATTAN BEACH, Calif. — Steven Robles was an hour into his regular weekend swim off some of Southern California’s most popular beaches when he came face-to-face with a great white shark. The 7-foot-long juvenile had been trying to free itself from a fisherman’s hook for about half an hour when it attacked. He tried to pry open the shark’s mouth, but it quickly disappeared. SENT: 530 words, photos, video.

WWII-SAIPAN ANNIVERSARY

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. — Even after seven decades, Wilfred “Spike” Mailloux won’t talk about surviving a bloody World War II battle unless his longtime friend John Sidur is by his side. It was Sidur who found the severely wounded Mailloux hours after both survived Japan’s largest mass suicide attack in the Pacific. The predawn assault launched 70 years ago Monday on the Japanese-held island of Saipan nearly wiped out two former New York National Guard battalions fighting alongside U.S. Marines. Mailloux and Sidur are among the dwindling ranks of WWII veterans of the Army’s 27th Infantry Division, which endured some of the bloodiest fighting in the Pacific only to have its reputation besmirched by a volatile Marine general in one of the war’s biggest controversies. By Chris Carola. SENT: 800 words, photos.

GETTING ATTENTION

— FLORIDA BOAT COLLISION — Four young adults identified as victims in Fourth of July boat crash in Florida. SENT: 520 words, photos.

— MONTANA TRAIN DERAILMENT — Slow going removing airline fuselages that fell in western Montana river after train derailed. SENT: 130 words, photos.

— PEOPLE-JESSICA SIMPSON — Jessica Simpson marries retired NFL player Eric Johnson; their two kids participated in wedding. SENT: 120 words, photo.

— WCUP-BRAZIL-WHAT NOW? — Brazil tries to stay confident after losing star striker Neymar at World Cup. SENT: 700 words, photos, interactive.

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