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Asian News Digest, AS

Asian News Digest, AS

TOP STORIES:

JAPAN-TSUNAMI SHIP

KESENNUMA, Japan -- A stranded fishing boat that became a symbol of the devastation of Japan's 2011 tsunami has long divided a northeastern coastal city -- between those who wanted to keep it as a monument of survival and those who wanted a painful reminder gone. Last week, the city announced it will be torn down after a heated debate and citywide vote. The soul-searching over the ship highlights how the aftermath of the tsunami disaster continues to torment Japan two years later. By Azusa Uchikura. AP Photos.

CHINA-ROOFTOP VILLA

BEIJING -- A medicine mogul spent six years building his own private mountain peak and luxury villa atop a high-rise apartment block in China's capital, earning the unofficial title of "most outrageous illegal structure." Now, authorities are giving him 15 days to tear it down. The craggy complex of rooms, rocks, trees and bushes looming over the 26-story building looks like something built into a seaside cliff, and has become the latest symbol of disregard for the law among the rich as well as the rampant practice of building illegal additions. By Christopher Bodeen. AP Photos.

CHINA-POLITICAL SCANDAL

BEIJING -- The family of a British businessman who was murdered by the wife of an influential Chinese politician is seeking compensation from his killer, a lawyer says. Beijing attorney Li Xiaolin said lawyers representing Neil Heywood's family had met with lawyers for Gu Kailai, the jailed wife of the former Communist Party leader in the megacity of Chongqing, to ask for compensation. By Gillian Wong.

SRI LANKA-SHOOTING

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka -- Sri Lanka's president said he would either shut or relocate a factory alleged to have polluted drinking water amid intense criticism of his government's handling of a protest against the facility in which the military killed three people.

NEPAL-LANDSLIDE

KATMANDU, Nepal -- A landslide swept away part of a village in northeastern Nepal, killing at least six people. The landslide was triggered by heavy rainfall that struck Khimti village overnight while people were sleeping. At least half a dozen houses were swept away.

INDIA-PAKISTAN

SRINAGAR, India -- India and Pakistan have again accused each other of firing across their disputed Kashmir border, the latest in a series of allegations of cross-border attacks made by both over the past week. By Aijaz Hussain.

AFGHANISTAN-CHOLERA

KABUL, Afghanistan -- A cholera outbreak at a village in northeast Afghanistan has infected 1,492 people, killed a young woman and left another 100 in critical condition, a provincial official says.

CHINA-XINJIANG VIOLENCE

BEIJING -- Two men have been sentenced to death and three others to prison terms over a deadly clash in China's traditionally Muslim region of Xinjiang.

INDONESIA-RUSSIA-MISSING HIKER

YOGYAKARTA, Indonesia -- Rescuers search for a Russian hiker who went missing while climbing Indonesia's most volatile volcano on the main island of Java.

INDIA-BANGLADESH

NEW DELHI -- The trial of an Indian paramilitary soldier accused of killing of a Bangladeshi girl along the border between the countries began Tuesday. A special court in Cooch Behar town of West Bengal state began hearing the case of the border guard accused of killing the 15-year-old girl as she was crossing into Bangladesh in January 2011.

BANGLADESH-OPPOSITION SHUTDOWN

DHAKA, Bangladesh -- Bangladeshi security forces clash with opposition activists who exploded crude bombs, blocked roads and burned vehicles to enforce a 48-hour nationwide general strike, injuring dozens of people. By Farid Hossain.

BUSINESS AND FINANCE:

CHINA-POLLUTION-TOURISM

BEIJING -- China, one of the most visited countries in the world, has seen sharply fewer tourists this year with worsening air pollution partly to blame. Numbers of foreign visitors have declined following January's "Airpocalypse," when already eye-searing levels of smog soared to new highs. Weakness in visitor numbers could hurt government efforts to reduce reliance on trade-driven manufacturing by promoting cleaner service industries such as tourism. Foreign visitors are outnumbered by Chinese tourists but spend more. By Louise Watt. AP Photos.

SKOREA-ASIANA-COMPENSATION

SEOUL, South Korea -- Asiana Airlines Inc. has offered $10,000 to each of the 288 surviving passengers of the flight that crash landed in San Francisco last month. Asiana said the payout is not a settlement and accepting the money does not prevent passengers from suing the airline. By Youkyung Lee.

THAILAND-ONLINE CHATS

BANGKOK -- Thai police asked the operator of the popular "Line" instant messaging app for access to records of online chats, raising concerns about intrusive surveillance despite promising only suspected criminals would be targeted. By Thanyarat Doksone. AP Photos.

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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.

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.