MANILA, Philippines — One of the strongest storms on record has killed more than 100 people and injured another 100 in the central Philippines as it wiped away buildings and leveled seaside homes before sweeping west toward Vietnam, still packing destructive winds. By Oliver Teves. SENT: 800 words, photos, videos, interactive.

— HURRICANE VS TYPHOON — Hurricane? Cyclone? Typhoon? Here's the difference. SENT: 450 words, photo.


MALE, Maldives — After two months of political bickering and repeated failure to hold an election, Maldives voters head to polling stations to elect a new president for their vulnerable new democracy. By Hussain Sinan. SENT: 600 words, photos.


BEIJING — Reform advocates are looking to China's leaders to launch a new era of change by giving entrepreneurs a bigger role in the state-dominated economy and farmers more control over land at a policymaking conference that opened Saturday. The Communist Party has yet to give details of the four-day meeting's agenda. But the official Xinhua News Agency, which reported the closed-door gathering had begun, says it would consider "major issues concerning comprehensively deepening reforms." By Joe Mcdonald. SENT: 700 words.


DHAKA, Bangladesh — Bangladeshi authorities have arrested three senior leaders of the main opposition party amid increasing tensions ahead of next year's elections, an official says. Police detectives arrested Moudud Ahmed, M.K. Anwar and Rafiqul Islam Mia on late Friday, hours after an alliance led by main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party announced a new round of a 72-hour nationwide strike. By Julhas Alam. SENT: 450 words.



BEIJING — China's inflation rose to an eight-month high in October as a surge in vegetable prices pushed up politically sensitive food costs. Prices rose 3.2 percent, accelerating from September's 3.1 percent, data showed Saturday. Food prices rose 6.5 percent, propelled by a 31.5 percent jump in the cost of fresh vegetables. SENT: 200 words.



SRINIGAR, India — India is bracing for more militancy in the battle-scarred region of Kashmir, believing that fighters now focused on resisting U.S.-led troops in Afghanistan will shift toward the Himalayan flashpoint with Pakistan. Some say increased violence recently along India's heavily militarized border with Pakistan proves that shift is already under way. By Aijaz Hussain and Katy Daigle. UPCOMING: 1,200 words, photos by 0700 GMT.


ISLAMABAD — "Waar" seems ordinary enough as an action movie — Pakistani forces fighting terrorism, a James Bond-like character hunting an assassin, a woman ensnaring a patriot with her sexual wiles. But the Pakistani-made film playing to packed houses these days has some critics worried, because it suggests that the country's terrorism problem is not homegrown, but a sinister plot by outside enemies, particularly long-term enemy India. By Rebecca Sanata. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos by 0800 GMT.



WASHINGTON — The 16-day government shutdown didn't seem to hurt the economy after all. U.S. employers added a surprisingly strong 204,000 jobs in October. And that was after they added far more jobs in August and September than previously thought. Activity at service companies and factories also accelerated last month. All of which suggests the U.S. economy may be sturdier than many assumed. By Christopher S. Rugaber. SENT: 850 words, photos, audio, video.


GENEVA — With a boost from Russia and China, Secretary of State John Kerry mounts a major diplomatic push to reach an interim nuclear deal with Iran, despite fierce opposition from Israel and uncertainty in Congress. By George Jahn and John Heilprin. SENT: 1,300 words, photos, audio, video.

— IRAN-NUCLEAR-CRITICS — From Israel to Iran: a look at critics raising their voice over push toward nuclear deal. SENT: 990 words, photo.


RAMALLAH, West Bank — Four investigations, hundreds of testimonies and stacks of medical reports on Yasser Arafat's unexplained death in 2004 failed to produce hard evidence of what killed him — and new findings create more confusion. Palestinian officials say a Russian report is inconclusive on the role of polonium in Arafat's death, after Swiss scientists say the Palestinian leader was probably poisoned by the radioactive substance. For the Palestinians, there's only one certainty: Israel killed Arafat, despite its denials. By Karin Laub and Mohammed Daraghmeh. SENT: 800 words, photos.


CHICAGO — Rising from the ashes of 9/11, One World Trade Center in New York has reached its powerfully symbolic height of 1,776 feet and become the tallest building in the country. Or has it? A committee of architects with authority on world building heights is set to decide whether a design change affecting the skyscraper's needle disqualifies its hundreds of feet from being counted, denying it the title of biggest and watering down its symbolic effect. To add insult to being judged, the ruling comes from a panel based in the rival metropolis of Chicago, another city that revels in its superlatives and wants to be sure its Willis Tower (formerly the Sears Tower) hangs on to the crown of tallest in the nation. By Jason Keyser. SENT: 870 words, photos.

— TALLEST SKYSCRAPER-GLANCE — A look at some of the tallest buildings in the United States. SENT: 540 words, photos.


NEW YORK — CBS News admits it was wrong to trust a "60 Minutes" source who claimed to be at the scene of a 2012 attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya, and the publisher of the source's book on the incident has halted its publication. Reporter Lara Logan says that "60 Minutes" would correct its Oct. 27 report on Sunday's broadcast. A video copy of that story was taken off the "60 Minutes" web site late Thursday. By David Bauder. SENT: 900 words, photos.


— SYRIA — The main Western-backed opposition group has refused to participate in talks in Moscow with Syrian government organizations on resolving the country's humanitarian crisis, officials say. SENT: 770 words, photos.

— CHILE-NERUDA DEATH — The four-decade mystery of whether Chilean Nobel Prize-winning poet Pablo Neruda was poisoned is seemingly cleared up after forensic tests show no chemical agents in his bones. SENT: 440 words, photos.

— ODD ASTEROID — Hubble spots asteroid with 6 tails of dust, strange appearance. SENT: 130 words, photo.


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

The Asia Photo Desk can be reached at (81-3) 6215-8941 or by fax at (81-3) 3574-8850.

Between 1700 GMT and 0000 GMT, please refer queries to the North America Desk in New York at (1) 212-621-1650.