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BC-AS--Asian News Digest, AS

April 27, 2014



JINDO, South Korea — South Korea’s prime minister offered to resign Sunday over the government’s handling of a deadly ferry sinking, blaming “deep-rooted evils” in society for a tragedy that has left more than 300 people dead or missing and led to widespread shame, fury and finger-pointing. By Hyung-Jin Kim and Youkyung Lee. SENT: 1,150 words, photos, audio.


KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia — President Barack Obama is hopscotching through China’s neighborhood with a carefully calibrated message for Beijing, trying to counter and court the Asian power. During visits to U.S. allies in the region, Obama has signaled that American military power can blunt Chinese aggression in the Asia-Pacific region, even as he urges Beijing to use its growing clout to help resolve international disputes with Russia and North Korea. The dual tracks are evidence of Beijing’s outsized importance to Obama’s four-country swing through Asia, which doesn’t include a stop in China. By White House Correspondent Julie Pace. SENT: 970 words, photos.


MANILA, Philippines — Filipino officials and a confidential government document say that the United States and the Philippines have reached a 10-year pact that will allow a larger U.S. military presence in the country and give American forces temporary access to local military camps where they can preposition fighter jets and warships. The deal will be signed shortly before President Barack Obama’s arrival in Manila early next week. By Jim Gomez. SENT: 130 words. UPCOMING: 600 words by 0700 GMT.


CANBERRA, Australia — A robotic submarine scanning the Indian Ocean floor for the missing Malaysia Airlines jet will extend the area of its current search, which will end soon with no clues of the Boeing 777 found yet, authorities say. By Rod Mcguirk. SENT: 260 words, photos.

OBAMA-MALAYSIA-PLANE — President Barack Obama says he and Malaysia’s prime minister are discussing “lessons learned” in the wake of the disappearance of a Malaysia Airlines jetliner. SENT: 130 words, photo.


SITTWE, Myanmar — The two children stood on the beach, at the end of the only world they knew, torn between land and sea. They couldn’t go back to their tiny Muslim village in Myanmar’s northwest Rakhine because it had been devoured in a fire set by an angry Buddhist mob. In the smoke and chaos, the siblings became separated from their family. And after seven months of searching, they had lost hope of finding anyone alive. By Margie Mason and Robin McDowell. Also moved in advance for Sunday. SENT: 2,600 words, photos. An abridged version is also available.


KABUL — A British helicopter crashes in southern Afghanistan, killing five NATO troops in the single deadliest day this year for foreign forces as they prepare to withdraw from the country. In Kabul, an Afghan university official identifies two Americans killed in a shooting at a Kabul hospital earlier this week, the latest shooting by local security forces on those they are supposed to protect. By Rahim Faiez and Kay Johnson. SENT: 860 words, photos.

— AFGHAN-ELECTIONS — Full preliminary results from Afghanistan’s presidential show a former foreign minister winning the most votes but not the majority needed to avoid a runoff. SENT: 520 words, photos.

— AFGHAN-ELECTIONS-Q&A — No quick finish expected in Afghan elections, as preliminary results point to long process. SENT: 670 words, photos.



TAMPA, Florida — The Indian film industry’s top awards show sails into the U.S. with a pirate-themed opening musical number and celebrities ranging from “Slumdog Millionaire” star Anil Kapoor to John Travolta. By Tamara Lush. SENT: 420 words, photos.



SLOVYANSK, Ukraine — As Western governments vowed to impose more sanctions against Russia and its supporters in eastern Ukraine, a group of foreign military observers remained in captivity, accused of being NATO spies by a pro-Russian insurgency. The German-led, eight-member team was traveling under the auspices of the Organization of Security and Cooperation in Europe when they were detained Friday. SENT: 900 words, photos.

— UKRAINE-TYMOSHENKO — Former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, who is running in the presidential election, told the AP that Ukraine “must be a member of NATO” in order to protect itself from Russian aggression. SENT: 420 words, photos.


VATICAN CITY — Retired pontiff Benedict XVI will help Pope Francis celebrate the sainthood ceremony Sunday for John Paul II and John XXIII, setting the stage for an unprecedented occurrence of two living popes canonizing two of their predecessors. About 1 million pilgrims are expected at the event and many were flooding into Rome. Vatican spokesman the Rev. Federico Lombardi told reporters on Saturday that Benedict will be in St. Peter’s Square for the canonization of John and John Paul. He said Benedict and many cardinals will “concelebrate” the Mass with Francis. By Frances D’emilio. SENT: 650 words, photos.

— AP VIDEO VATICAN_PILGRIMS — Thousands of pilgrims from all over the world gathered at the Vatican ahead of the historic canonization of Pope John Paul II and Pope John XXIII.

— VATICAN-PHOTO GALLERY — Images of pilgrims and faithful gathering in Rome to attend Sunday’s sainthood ceremony. UPCOMING: 300 words, photos by 6 p.m.

— POLAND-JOHN PAUL II-FIVE PLACES — Five places in Poland associated with John Paul II. SENT: 420 words, photos.

— VATICAN-5-THINGS-TO-KNOW-THE-CEREMONY —Facts and figures about Sunday’s canonization. SENT: 600 words.


SAN FRANCISCO — Anger, frustration and calls for action echo around the NBA after an audio recording surfaced of a man identified as Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling telling his girlfriend not to bring black people to games. By Antonio Gonzalez. SENT: 970 words, photos.

— OBAMA-CLIPPERS-STERLING — President Barack Obama says comments reportedly made by the owner of the Los Angeles Clippers are “incredibly offensive racist statements.” SENT: 130 words, photo.


SAN FRANCISCO — Students on college campuses across the country are increasingly asking their professors to provide “trigger warnings” for classes where the content might be upsetting to individuals who have been sexually assaulted, touched by suicide, survived war or experienced other traumatic situations. Student government leaders at the University of California, Santa Barbara recently passed a resolution encouraging instructors to give advance warning before they present “content that may trigger the onset of symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.” The alerts have already prompted a backlash, however, among academics who fear it will lead to censorship. By Lisa Leff. SENT: 1,010 words, photos.


Inside the long-awaited package, government paperwork affirmed Carol Tapanila’s anxious request. But when she slipped the contents from the brown envelope, she saw there was something more. “We the people....” declared the script inside her U.S. passport — now with four holes punched through it from cover to cover. Her departure from life as an American was stamped final on the same page: “Bearer Expatriated Self.” This native of upstate New York who has lived in Canada since 1969 was joining in a largely overlooked phenomenon. Last year, the U.S. government reported a record 2,999 people renounced citizenship or terminated permanent residency; most are widely assumed to be driven by a desire to avoid paying taxes on hidden wealth. The reality, though, is more complicated. By National Writer Adam Geller. SENT: 2,900 words, photos.


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 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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