Asian News Digest, AS

Asian News Digest, AS



HONG KONG -- Student-led protests for democratic reforms in Hong Kong shrink but a few hundred demonstrators remain camped out in the streets, vowing to keep up the pressure until the government responds to their demands. Schools reopened and civil servants returned to work after protesters cleared the area outside the city's government headquarters, a focal point of the demonstrations that started the previous weekend. Crowds also thinned markedly at the two other protest sites, and traffic flowed again through many roads that had been blocked. By Sylvia Hui and Louise Watt. SENT: 810 words, photos.


HONG KONG -- The legacy of the 1989 crackdown in Tiananmen Square looms larger in Hong Kong than in mainland China, where the Communist Party has virtually erased all public mention of it. In this former British colony, hundreds of thousands attend candlelight vigils each anniversary to commemorate the grim end to the Beijing movement that was vanquished before many of the pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong's streets were even born. Hong Kong's student-led protesters insist they are not challenging Communist rule, just details of Beijing's plans for political reforms in the city. But many of their elders fear the protesters risk going too far if they stay in the streets in defiance of demands to leave in the biggest challenge to China since it took control of Hong Kong in 1997. By Elaine Kurtenbach and Louise Watt. SENT: 1,080 words, photos.


SRINAGAR, India -- Tens of thousands of villagers flee their homes in Kashmir as Indian and Pakistani troops bombard each other with gunfire and mortar shells over the border separating the Pakistani and Indian-controlled portions of the disputed region. At least nine civilians were killed. Indian officials said the flare-up left five villagers dead, including one child, and 35 injured on the Indian side of the border. The Pakistani army reported four civilians killed on its side, including two children, and three injured. By Aijaz Hussain. SENT: 530 words, photos.


SRINAGAR, India -- Police say anti-India protests erupted in Indian-controlled Kashmir during celebrations marking the Muslim festival of Eid al-Adha that were subdued due to flooding that devastated much of the region. Many in the disputed territory are angry over perceived neglect by India in helping the region recover after floods last month killed at least 281 people and caused about $17 billion in damage. SENT: 500 words, photos.


CIANJUR, Indonesia -- A businessman who proclaims himself leader of the Indonesian chapter of the Islamic State group says he has personally overseen the departure of scores of fighters from Indonesia to Syria and Iraq. Police detained him for a night recently, but were unable to charge him with a crime. Chep Hernawan reflects both the success IS has had in attracting support in the region, and the challenges Indonesia faces in responding. By Niniek Karmini. SENT: 1,080 words, photos.


SYDNEY -- The hunt for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 resumes a desolate stretch of the Indian Ocean more than six months after the jet vanished. The GO Phoenix, the first of three ships that will spend up to a year hunting for the wreckage far off Australia's west coast, is expected to spend 12 days hunting for the jet before heading to shore to refuel. By Kristen Gelineau. SENT: 490 words, photos.

-- MALAYSIA-MISSING PLANE-NEWS GUIDE -- A rundown of the search for missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, which resumed Monday in a remote part of the Indian Ocean. SENT: 480 words, photos.


BANGKOK -- Thailand's 86-year-old king undergoes surgery to have his gallbladder removed, and doctors say the procedure went well and the monarch's overall condition has improved since he was hospitalized three days ago. King Bhumibol Adulyadej, the world's longest reigning monarch, was admitted to a Bangkok hospital with a fever and an increased heart rate, and blood tests showed signs of an infection. SENT: 360 words, photos.


BANGKOK --Thailand's military appoints a 250-member advisory group dominated by people close to the traditional ruling elite to help write a new national constitution. SENT: 340 words.


TOKYO -- A powerful typhoon that washed three American airmen in Okinawa out to sea, killing at least one, slams central Japan, stalling trains and flights and triggering mudslides, before swerving to the Pacific Ocean. Elsewhere in the Pacific, a separate typhoon whipped the Mariana Islands, including Guam, with high winds and heavy rain. By Mari Yamaguchi and Grace Garces Bordallo. SENT: 530 words, photos.


WASHINGTON -- A U.S. military pact with the Philippines and Washington's decision to ease an arms embargo against Vietnam show the Obama administration's commitment to deeper security ties with Asia, but Mideast unrest has undermined efforts to center American foreign policy around the region. An AP News Analysis by Matthew Pennington. SENT: 680 words, photos.



BANGKOK -- The World Bank trims this year's growth forecast for developing East Asian economies and urges governments to improve conditions for investment and exports. Economies in the region that includes China and Southeast Asia should grow by 6.9 percent, the Washington-based bank said. That was down from a forecast of 7.1 percent in April but still gives the region the world's fastest growth. SENT: 300 words, photos.



OMAHA, Neb. -- An American photojournalist who contracted Ebola while working in Liberia is expected to arrive in Nebraska where he will be treated for the virus that has ravaged West Africa. Ashoka Mukpo, 33, will be the second Ebola patient to be treated at the Nebraska Medical Center's specialized isolation unit. Mukpo was working in Liberia as a freelance cameraman for NBC News when he became ill last week. By Josh Funk. SENT: 700 words, photos, video.

-- EBOLA-TRAVEL BAN -- Top government health officials say they are opposed to placing a ban on travelers from Ebola-infected countries. SENT: 500 words, photos, video.


WASHINGTON -- A Supreme Court term that is starting with a lack of headline-grabbing cases may end with a blockbuster that helps define the legacy of the court under Chief Justice John Roberts. While same-sex marriage is not yet on their agenda, the justices appear likely to take on the issue and decide once and for all whether gay and lesbian couples have a constitutional right to marry. By Mark Sherman. SENT: 950 words, photo.


HACIPASA, Turkey -- Sevda, a 22-year-old waitress, recounts how she used to make a small fortune running smuggled diesel from a small village on Turkey's border with Syria. But the days when she could earn 20 times her salary waiting tables came to an abrupt end when police arrested her and slapped her with a massive fine. The smuggled fuel came from oil wells in Iraq or Syria controlled by militants, including the Islamic State group, and was sold to middlemen who smuggled it across the Turkish-Syrian border. Western intelligence officials have alleged that Turkey is turning a blind eye to a flourishing trade that strengthens the Islamic State group. But in more than a dozen interviews with Turkish authorities, smugglers and vendors paint a remarkably similar picture: Oil smuggling was a booming business until about six months ago, when Turkish authorities ramped up a multi-layered crackdown that has significantly disrupted the illicit trade. By Desmond Butler. SENT: 1,500 words, photos.


STOCKHOLM -- U.S.-British scientist John O'Keefe and Norwegian married couple May-Britt Moser and Edvard Moser win the Nobel Prize in medicine for discovering the "inner GPS" that helps the brain navigate through the world. With experiments on rats, they discover two different types of nerve cells that "constitute a positioning system in the brain," the Nobel Assembly says. By Karl Ritter and Malin Rising. SENT: 630 words, photos.

-- NOBEL-MEDICINE-GLANCE -- A look at winners of 2014 Nobel Prize in medicine: John O'Keefe, May-Britt Moser, Edvard Moser. SENT: 200 words.


IGUALA, Mexico -- A clandestine grave on the outskirts of a Mexican city where police clashed with student protesters a week ago contained 28 bodies but the remains are too damaged for immediate identification, state officials said. Guerrero State Prosecutor Inaky Blanco said he could not say whether any of the dead could be some of the 43 college students reported missing after the violent confrontation in Iguala, located about 120 miles (200 kilometers) south of Mexico City. By Mark Stevenson and Jose Antonio Rivera. SENT: 620 words, photos.


BEIRUT -- In his high-rise office in Beirut, Sandro Saade carefully chews a Merlot grape from a vineyard hundreds of miles away in war-ravaged Syria to judge if it's ripe enough to order the start of harvest. It's too dangerous for him to travel to the vineyards of Domaine de Bargylus. But despite war and Islamic extremist threats, he and other vintners are determined to produce world-class wines, and to help preserve a Levantine cosmopolitanism imperiled by decades of war. By Diaa Hadid. SENT: 1,000 words, photos.


HAVANA -- On this island of baseball fanatics, a tiny but passionate group of men is trying to win Cubans over to cricket. The fans, mainly academics and descendants of families from other cricket-crazy Caribbean islands, make leg-guards from coconut fiber, organize neighborhood children into street games and gather on dusty fields where they get strange looks from baseball aficionados. By Anne-Marie Garcia. SENT: 610 words, photos.


Egypt, weary after years of political turmoil, rejoices during Eid al-Adha holiday. By Hassan Ammar. SENT: 210 words, photos.


NEW YORK -- Even as the income gap widens, the wealthiest Americans are giving a smaller share of their income to charity, while poor and middle-income people are donating a larger share, according to an extensive analysis of IRS data conducted by the Chronicle of Philanthropy. By David Crary. SENT: 660 words, photo.


-- CYPRUS-TURKEY-PEACE TALKS -- Cyprus says Turkey's gas search plans off the island's coast could upend reunification talks. SENT: 140 words.

-- IRAN-JOURNALISTS -- The National newspaper says Iran has released its correspondent Yeganeh Salehi on bail, while her husband, Washington Post correspondent Jason Rezaian, remains in detention. SENT: 140 words.

-- PALESTINIANS-GAZA RECONSTRUCTION -- A senior official says the Palestinian unity government will hold its first Cabinet meeting in Gaza this week. SENT: 680 words, photos.

-- POLAND-NATO -- NATO's new secretary general, Jens Stoltenberg, is in Poland on his first foreign trip since starting the job last week. SENT: 140 words, photos.


YOUR QUERIES: The editor in charge at the AP Asia-Pacific Desk in Bangkok is David Thurber. Questions and story requests are welcome. The news desk can be reached at (66) 2632-6911 or by email at

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.

Updated : 2021-04-15 03:10 GMT+08:00