BC-AS--Asian News Digest, AS
BC-AS--Asian News Digest, AS
Feb. 24, 2014
BANGKOK — The father grimaces and weeps as he struggles to contain his grief at the death of his two children in a grenade attack during a weekend trip to a mall in downtown Bangkok — the latest casualties in Thailand's months of political crisis. "I'm asking and pleading to every side to let my children be the last case (of violence) on Thai soil," Tayakorn Yos-ubon says. The boy and girl, who were not part of the anti-government protests, are some of the first children killed in the country's unrest. By Thanyarat Doksone. SENT: 490 words, photos.
SEOUL, South Korea — A year ago, North Korea vowed nuclear attacks to retaliate for U.S.-South Korean war games. But the start Monday of this year's joint military drills comes as Pyongyang allows wrenching reunions of elderly Koreans separated since the Korean War. As always with the rival Koreas, cold political calculations loom behind the scenes of pure emotion. By Foster Klug. SENT: 660 words, photos.
BANNU, Pakistan — Gunmen kill a top leader of the Pakistani Taliban in a tribal region near Afghan border, intelligence officials and militant commanders say. By Ishtiaq Mahsud. SENT: 510 words.
PAKISTAN-HOSPITAL'S LAST RESORT
RAWALPINDI, Pakistan — Mohammed Aqeel spent weeks at home in Pakistan waiting for death after suffering a debilitating spinal cord injury in a car crash before friends suggested he come to St. Joseph's Hospice on the outskirts of the capital, Islamabad. Now 13 years later, his life and those of some 40 others who live on its grounds might be changed forever as this hospital of last resort faces closure over its rising debts. By Munir Ahmed. SENT: 540 words, photos.
MANILA, Philippines — Philippine police arrest a key commander of the main Muslim rebel group that recently concluded a peace deal with the government, the national police chief says in a move criticized by the insurgents. SENT: 130 words.
NEW DELHI — In a reversal, India's government tells the Supreme Court that it will not use a severe anti-piracy law when it tries two Italian marines accused of killing two Indian fishermen in 2012. Attorney General Goolam Vahanvati tells the court that the government has decided that the law, which carries the death penalty, will not apply in the case. SENT: 280 words.
TOKYO — Japan's foreign minister is trying to distance his government from recent right-wing comments about World War II. He calls them "regrettable" and says they don't represent the government's views. SENT: 120 words.
MANILA, Philippines — Filipino fishermen have reported that a Chinese coast guard vessel used a water cannon to drive them away from a disputed shoal, the Philippine military chief says, adding that his forces would respond if any country involved in regional territorial disputes uses force against Filipinos. By Jim Gomez. SENT: 530 words, photos.
DHAKA, Bangladesh — An Islamist prisoner who had been freed by gunmen was killed hours later in a gunfight between his accomplices and Bangladesh security officials, a police official says. Rakibul Hasan and two other convicted militants escaped Sunday when dozens of gunmen exploded bombs and opened fire on the van transporting them. One policeman was killed in the attack. SENT: 210 words.
KABUL, Afghanistan — Afghanistan's defense minister pays tribute at a somber ceremony to 21 soldiers killed in the deadliest single incident for the Afghan army in at least a year. The soldiers died Sunday when hundreds of heavily armed Taliban insurgents attacked a remote army outpost in eastern Afghanistan's Kunar province. SENT: 210 words, photos.
HANOI, Vietnam — At least seven mourners are killed and 37 others are injured when a suspension bridge breaks as they are transporting a coffin to a graveyard in northern Vietnam, police say. SENT: 160 words.
JAKARTA, Indonesia — Torrential rains trigger floods and landslides that kill at least 11 people in Indonesia's easternmost province of Papua. SENT: 140 words.
BUSINESS AND FINANCE:
SEOUL, South Korea — LG Electronics Inc. says it will launch a computerized wristwatch later this year, entering a nascent market where Samsung Electronics Co., Sony Corp. and smaller companies such as Pebble are already jostling for dominance. By Youkyung Lee. SENT: 360 words.
BARCELONA, Spain — Sony is borrowing innovations from its audio and camcorder businesses and incorporating its new Xperia Z2 smartphone with noise-cancelling technology and ultra-high-definition video recording. Noise cancellation works with an in-ear headset sold separately for 60 euros ($82), while the Z2's built-in camera can capture video in so-called 4K resolution, an emerging standard that offers four times the details as current high-definition video. By Anick Jesdanun. SENT: 560 words.
TOKYO — Honda appoints a woman to its board for the first time and gives a major promotion to a foreigner in signs the automaker wants to change perceptions of a hidebound corporate culture. Technology expert Hideko Kunii, 66, will join the board, and Issao Mizoguchi, a Brazilian of Japanese ancestry who has worked with Honda's South American operations for nearly 30 years, has been appointed operating officer, Honda Motor Co. says. By Yuri Kageyama. SENT: 540 words, photos.
U.S. AND INTERNATIONAL:
SIMFEROPOL, Ukraine — Ukraine's acting government issues a warrant for the arrest of President Viktor Yanukovych, last reportedly seen in the pro-Russian Black Sea peninsula of Crimea, accusing him of mass crimes against protesters who stood up for months against his rule. Calls are mounting in Ukraine to put Yanukovych on trial, after a tumultuous presidency in which he amassed powers, enriched his allies and cracked down on protesters. By Yuras Karmanau and Maria Danilova . SENT: 1,150 words, photos.
CULIACAN, Mexico — As Mexican troops forced their way into Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman's main hideout in Culiacan, the country's most powerful drug lord sneaked out of the house through an escape tunnel beneath the bathtub. Mexican marines working with U.S. authorities chased him but lost the man known as "Shorty" in a maze of tunnels. It would be a short-lived escape for Guzman, who was captured in a condominium in Mazatlan, a beach resort town on Mexico's Pacific Coast. By Alicia A. Caldwell and Adriana Gomez Licon. SENT: 1,370 words, photos.
CAIRO — Egypt's interim prime minister announces the resignation of his Cabinet, a surprise move that could be designed in part to pave the way for the nation's military chief to leave his defense minister's post to run for president. By Hamza Hendawi. SENT: 480 words, photos.
SUPREME COURT-GREENHOUSE GASES
WASHINGTON — The Obama administration is squaring off at the Supreme Court with industry groups and Republican-led states over a small but important program aimed at limiting power-plant and factory emissions of gases blamed for global warming. The justices are hearing arguments in a challenge to a regulation that forces companies that want to expand industrial facilities or build new ones that would increase overall pollution to evaluate ways to reduce the carbon they release. By Mark Sherman. SENT: 450 words, photos.
ENTEBBE, Uganda — Uganda's president signs a controversial anti-gay bill that has harsh penalties for homosexual sex, including life imprisonment for repeat offenders. The bill is popular in Uganda, but international rights groups have condemned it as draconian in a country where homosexuality is already criminalized. By Rodney Muhumuza. SENT: 540 words, photos.
OLYMPICS-THE DAY AFTER
SOCHI, Russia — By the busload, the world's athletes and visitors roll toward Sochi's airport and take off for home, fresh from a Winter Games experience that many Russians pronounced a smashing success and that the head of the Olympic movement enthusiastically labeled a victory for the region and the host nation. "We did it," one Olympic volunteer exulted as she darted into the night. By Ted Anthony. SENT: 850 words, photos.
DRUGS ON HIGH SEAS
SAN DIEGO — While security has been tightened along the U.S.-Mexico border, smugglers are increasingly turning to the high seas. U.S. authorities say the area where boats were seized off the Pacific coasts of Mexico's Baja California and California tripled to a size comparable to the state of Montana last year. By Julie Watson and Elliot Spagat. SENT: 1,000 words, photos.
MEXICO CITY — Mexico's salamander-like axolotl apparently hasn't disappeared from its only known natural habitat in Mexico City's few remaining lakes, say researchers who have sighted, but not caught, two of the slippery little creatures during a second effort to find them. By Teresa de Miguel. SENT: 500 words, photos.
CRAZY ABOUT QUIZZES
NEW YORK — For a compulsive quiz-taker like Chrissy Noh, the temptation posed by the link that appeared on her Facebook feed was too great to resist: "Which sandwich are you?" After answering a series of unscientific, seemingly unrelated questions that included selecting her favorite donut from a lineup of frosted pastries, she had her answer. (Grilled cheese, for the record.) And she's not the only one. A recent explosion of silly personality quizzes created by the young social media mavens at Buzzfeed.com has everybody talking about which state they really ought to be living in and which Harry Potter character they really are. By Meghan Barr. SENT: 1,000 words, photo.
LOS ANGELES — CNN's prime-time talk show "Piers Morgan Live" is coming to an end, the news channel said. Morgan, who succeeded Larry King in the 9 p.m. EST time slot three years ago, was drawing lackluster ratings. In contrast, King had a 25-year run on CNN. The airdate for Morgan's last show has yet to be determined, CNN said in a statement. SENT: 300 words, photo.
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