BC-AS--Asian News Digest, AS

ASIA:

NKOREA-CYBERATTACK — Was the WannaCry cyberattack a North Korean job? Despite bits and pieces of evidence suggesting a possible link, experts warn there's nothing conclusive yet and a lot of reasons to be dubious. By Eric Talmadge. UPCOMING: 850 words by 900 GMT, photos.

CHINA-US-PLANE INTERCEPTED — A pair of Chinese fighter jets conducted an "unprofessional" intercept of an American radiation-sniffing surveillance plane over the East China Sea, the U.S. Air Force said. By Matthew Brown. Sent 400 words.

JAPAN-EMPEROR — Japan's Cabinet approved a bill to let 83-year-old Emperor Akihito abdicate and allow his elder son Crown Prince Naruhito to ascend the Chrysanthemum Throne. Sent 260 words.

CHINA-SOUTH CHINA SEA — China and ASEAN countries have agreed on the rough outline of a legally binding code of conduct designed to prevent clashes in the strategic South China Sea. Sent 600 words.

CHINA-SOUTH KOREA — A senior foreign policy adviser to Chinese President Xi Jinping stressed the importance of relations with South Korea as the two countries attempt to mend a rift over the deployment of a U.S. missile-defense system.

CHINA-JAPAN-COMBUSTIBLE ICE — Commercial development of the globe's vast reserves of a frozen fossil fuel known as combustible ice has moved closer to reality after Japan and China successfully extracted the material from the seafloor. Sent 130 words.

PHILIPPINES-ARRESTED KOREANS — Philippine authorities have arrested 25 South Koreans for alleged internet fraud and illegal online gambling. Sent 180 words.

AUSTRALIA-GUINEA TEEN CAPTIVE — A teenage girl from West Africa told police she was flown to Australia by a man who held her against her will in a house where she was sexually assaulted by several men, police said. Sent 180 words.

INTERNATIONAL:

IRAN-ELECTION — Iranians begin voting in the country's first presidential election since its nuclear deal with world powers, as incumbent Hassan Rouhani faced a staunch challenge from a hard-line opponent over his outreach to the wider world. By Adam Schreck and Amir Vahdat.

TRUMP — Trump is denying that his campaign collaborated with Russia or that he tried to kill an FBI probe of the issue. By Erica Werner and Darlene Superville. SENT: 830 words, photos, video. With TRUMP-FBI DIRECTOR — Candidate to lead FBI could be named Friday.

BRAZIL-POLITICAL CRISIS — Brazil's president is vowing to remain in power despite a damaging new corruption allegation. By Mauricio Savarese. SENT: 600 words, photos; likely to develop.

VENEZUELA-POLITICAL CRISIS — The U.S. imposes sanctions on Venezuelan Supreme Court justices accused of damaging their nation's democracy by stripping congressional powers. By Joshua Goodman and Christine Armario. SENT: 600 words, photos.

ISLAMIC STATE-ENDGAME — The United States is looking ahead toward a decisive battleground in its bid to destroy the Islamic State group. By Robert Burns. SENT: 820 words, photos.

AILES-POLITICAL LEGACY — Roger Ailes is gone, but the world he created is not. After Fox News founder's death, prominent Republicans say his TV network's influence cannot be overstated. By Steve Peoples. SENT: 710 words, photos. With OBIT-ROGER AILES — Ailes dies of complications from fall; ROGER AILES-A LIFE — Ailes' legacy: transforming media and politics.

CHINA-DISSIDENTS' WIVES — Wives of human rights lawyers persecuted by China urged the Trump administration to press the communist government to free detainees and end the use of torture. By Matthew Pennington. Sent 600 words, photos.

TIMES SQUARE CRASH — Car mows down Times Square pedestrians for blocks, killing 18-year-old woman. SENT: 770 words, photos, video.

SOTHEBY'S-BASQUIAT — Basquiat painting fetches record $110.5M at New York auction, purchased by Japanese entrepreneur. SENT: 200 words, photos.

FINANCIAL:

JAPAN-FUEL CELL CARS — Japan is backing a push for pollution-free vehicles that run on hydrogen and planning to build more hydrogen fueling stations so that fuel-cell vehicles on roads will grow to 40,000 by 2020, from the current handful. Sent 130 words.

FINANCIAL MARKETS — Asian stocks meandered following an overnight recovery on Wall Street, though investor optimism was tempered by U.S. political uncertainties and a crisis brewing in Brazil. By Yuri Kageyama. Sent 400 words, photo.

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HOW TO REACH US:

The editor in charge at the AP Asia-Pacific Desk will be David Thurber. 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. Expanded AP content can be obtained from http://www.apexchange.com. For access to AP Exchange and other technical issues, contact apcustomersupport@ap.org or call (1) 877-836-9477.