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BC-AS--Asian News Digest, AS

December 1, 2014

ASIA:

HONG KONG-DEMOCRACY PROTEST

HONG KONG — Pro-democracy protesters clash with police Monday as they try to surround Hong Kong government headquarters in an attempt to revitalize their flagging movement for democratic reforms after camping out on the city’s streets for more than two months. Repeating scenes that have become familiar since the movement began in late September, protesters carrying umbrellas — which have become symbols of the pro-democracy movement — battled police armed with pepper spray, batons and riot shields. By Kelvin Chan. SENT: 630 words, photos.

SKOREA-BASE LOCKDOWN

SEOUL, South Korea — The U.S. Osan Air Base in South Korea lifts a lockdown that had been ordered as a precaution after someone reported an unscheduled “active shooter drill” at the high school. Security forces swept the school and its perimeters and found no injuries or suspicious activities, according to a posting on the base’s Facebook site. SENT: 230 words, photos.

JAPAN-CLIMATE-FINANCING COAL

KANCI KULON, Indonesia — A sprawling coal-burning power station that hums and coughs along the Indonesia coast is labeled as a Japanese contribution to the global fight against climate change. Japan has helped fund three coal-fired plants in Indonesia with nearly $1 billion in loans earmarked as climate finance, or money provided by rich countries to poorer ones to tackle global warming, The Associated Press has found. Despite a growing backlash against supporting coal power in developing countries, there are no rules against counting such projects as climate finance in the U.N. system. By Karl Ritter and Margie Mason. SENT: 1,590 words, photos. A 1,000-word abridged version also moved.

AUSTRALIA-POLITICS

CANBERRA, Australia — Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott defends his unpopular government against mounting criticism, saying his administration has made achievements during its first year in power and its performance was more important than appearances. Public dislike of Abbott has been blamed in part for his conservative coalition’s weekend loss in state government elections in Victoria, Australia’s second-most populous state. By Rod Mcguirk. SENT: 330 words, photos.

SKOREA-SAMSUNG-RESHUFFLE

SEOUL, South Korea — Samsung retained the chief of its mobile business in an annual executive reshuffle announced Monday despite a steep decline in mobile profit. The extent of this year’s reshuffle was the smallest in recent years, showing how Samsung is opting for stability in its executive ranks in the absence of chairman Lee Kun-hee who was hospitalized in May after a heart attack. By Youkyung Lee. SENT: 310 words.

NEW ZEALAND-KIM DOTCOM BAIL

WELLINGTON, New Zealand — Indicted Internet entrepreneur Kim Dotcom defeats efforts by prosecutors to send him back to a New Zealand jail or make him wear an electronic monitoring bracelet but says his long-running legal battle has left him broke. After a three-day hearing, Auckland District Court Judge Nevin Dawson ruled there was no evidence Dotcom had secret assets or posed a flight risk, according to Fairfax Media. By Nick Perry. SENT, photos.

CHINA-MANUFACTURING

BEIJING — A gauge of China’s manufacturing activity falls to a six-month low in November in a new sign an economic slowdown is deepening. HSBC Corp. said Monday its monthly purchasing managers’ index fell to 50.0 from the previous month’s 50.4. SENT: 120 words.

INDIA-RAGPICKER FAMILY

NEW DELHI — Six months ago, Marjina stepped off a train in New Delhi with her two children, hoping to find a better life after her husband abandoned them without so much as a goodbye. She thought leaving her home in West Bengal to find work in the Indian capital would give her children a chance at a better life. But the only job she could find was as a “rag picker” — picking through other people’s garbage to find salvageable bits to resell or recycle. It is filthy, dangerous work, performed by millions of people across India. By Altaf Qadri. SENT, photos.

US & INTERNATIONAL

PERU-CLIMATE TALKS

LIMA, Peru — Negotiators from more than 190 countries get together Monday in Lima for the last main stop of the U.N. climate negotiations on the road to a planned global warming deal in Paris next year. The slow-moving talks have gained momentum in the past two months with pledges from the world’s top carbon polluters — China, the U.S. and the European Union — to limit their emissions in the next 10-15 years. By Karl Ritter. SENT, photos.

FERGUSON

FERGUSON, Missouri — The white police officer who killed an unarmed black 18-year-old resigned from his job with the Ferguson Police Department after learning of threats of violence against other officers and the department, his lawyer says. Darren Wilson, 28, had been on administrative leave since Aug. 9, when he shot and killed Michael Brown. A grand jury decided Monday not to indict Wilson, sparking days of sometimes violent protests in Ferguson and other cities across the U.S. SENT: 820 words, photos.

ISRAEL-POLITICS

JERUSALEM — Israel’s fractious coalition government seems headed for a breakup that could spark new elections against a backdrop of security turmoil inside the country, agitation for nationalist legislation from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s party and a deep freeze in peace efforts with the Palestinians. By Josef Federman. SENT: 800 words, photos.

EGYPT-MUBARAK’S TRIAL-Q&A

CAIRO — The dismissal of the murder case against toppled President Hosni Mubarak over the killing of protesters during Egypt’s 2011 uprising has sparked muted and scattered protests. Here’s a look at what it means for the Arab world’s most populous country. By Hamza Hendawi. SENT: 500 words. photos.

UGANDA-AIDS ACTIVIST

KAMPALA, Uganda — Dreadlocked Hood Katende, 26, is now an anti-AIDS activist who urges young men to wear condoms if they can’t avoid premarital sex and encourages teenage girls to reject the sexual advances of older men with money. As World AIDS Day is marked, Katende is trying to stem a troubling resurgence in Uganda of HIV, which now infects more than 500 young women between the ages of 15 and 24 each week. By Rodney Muhumuza. SENT: 650 words, photos.

TURKEY-POPE

ISTANBUL — Pope Francis and the spiritual leader of the world’s Orthodox Christians demand an end to the persecution of religious minorities in Syria and Iraq and call for a “constructive dialogue” with Muslims, capping Francis’ three-day visit to Turkey with a strong show of Christian unity in the face of suffering and violence. By Nicole Winfield and Suzan Fraser. SENT: 900 words, photos.

HOLIDAY SHOPPING-WEEKEND SALES

NEW YORK — The Black Friday shopping weekend may be losing its mojo. A survey of shoppers shows 5.2 percent fewer people shopped in stores and online on the weekend that kicks off the holiday shopping season than last year, as early sales, increased online shopping and an improving economy made the discounts less of a draw. By Anne D’Innocenzio. SENT: 850 words, photos.

— HOLIDAY SHOPPING-CYBER MONDAY — After a bustling holiday weekend for retailers, millions of Americans are expected to log on and keep shopping on the day dubbed Cyber Monday. SENT: 600 words, photos.

EBOLA-MISSED GOALS

LONDON — Two months ago, the World Health Organization launched an ambitious plan to stop the deadly Ebola outbreak in West Africa, aiming to isolate 70 percent of the sick and safely Ebola 70 percent of the victims in the three hardest-hit countries — Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone — by December 1. With the target date looming, it looks almost certain WHO’s goals will be missed. By Maria Cheng. SENT: 740 words, photos.

QATAR-ADOPTION CASE

DOHA, Qatar — An American couple cleared by a Qatari appeals court of wrongdoing in the death of their adopted daughter has been barred from leaving the Middle Eastern country just hours after they were told they were free to go. By Abdullah Rehby and Adam Schreck. SENT: 780 words, photos.

SUPREME COURT-FACEBOOK THREATS

WASHINGTON — After Anthony Elonis posted a series of graphically violent rap lyrics on Facebook about killing his estranged wife, shooting up a Kindergarten class and attacking an FBI agent, he was convicted of violating a federal law that makes it a crime to threaten another person. In a far-reaching case that probes the limits of free speech over the Internet, the Supreme Court on Monday will consider whether Elonis’ Facebook posts — and others like it — deserve protection under the First Amendment. By Sam Hananel. SENT: 700 words, photos.

ALSO GETTING ATTENTION

— BOX OFFICE — ‘Mockingjay’ rakes in $56.9M, tops ‘Penguins of Madagascar,’ ‘Horrible Bosses 2’ at weekend box office. SENT.

— EMERGENCY LANDING-BUSWAY — US pilot who made emergency landing on busway had survived a plane crash into a river in 2008. SENT: 400 words.

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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.

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