Asian News Digest, AS



KABUL, Afghanistan -- The U.S. and NATO ceremonially end their combat mission in Afghanistan, 13 years after the Sept. 11 terror attacks sparked their invasion of the country to topple the Taliban-led government. NATO's International Security Assistance Force Joint Command, which was in charge of combat operations, lowered its flag, formally ending its deployment. By Lynne O'Donnell. SENT: 440 words, photos.


NAGORO, Japan -- This village deep in the rugged mountains of southern Japan once was home to hundreds of families. Now, only 35 people remain, outnumbered three-to-one by scarecrows that Tsukimi Ayano crafted to help fill the days and replace neighbors who died or moved away. At 65, Ayano is one of the younger residents of Nagoro. She moved back from Osaka to look after her 85-year-old father after decades away. By Elaine Kurtenbach. SENT: 880 words, photos. An expanded version of 1,200 words has also been sent.


SAN JUAN, Philippines -- Typhoon Hagupit weakens into a tropical storm after leaving at least 21 people dead and forcing more than a million people into shelters. It spared most of a central Philippine region still reeling from last year's monster Typhoon Haiyan that left thousands dead, but Manila and nearby provinces braced for high winds as Hagupit made landfall in Batangas province, about 100 (60 miles) south of the Philippine capital. By Teresa Cerojano. SENT: 560 words, photos.


NEW DELHI -- The Indian capital bans taxi-booking service Uber after a woman was allegedly raped by one of its drivers. Transport official Satish Mathur made the announcement as the 32-year-old suspect appeared in a New Delhi court. By Katy Daigle. SENT: 570 words, photos.


BEIJING -- A Chinese court sentences eight people to death on charges of leading terror groups and setting off explosives in two attacks that left 46 people dead in the far western region of Xinjiang, home of the Muslim Uighur minority, state media say. The court also handed out suspended death sentences to five others, China Central Television said. By Didi Tang. SENT: 500 words, photos.


ISLAMABAD -- Demonstrations in one of Pakistan's largest cities turn deadly as one person is killed in clashes between protesters and security forces. The death seems certain to further inflame a mounting confrontation between the government and a former cricket star-turned-politician who has questioned the country's election results. SENT: 340 words.


SRINAGAR, India -- Prime Minister Narendra Modi defends India's decades-long military presence in the disputed Kashmir region, saying troops were there to safeguard the country's democracy against separatist rebels. He deplored a series of rebel attacks on Friday that killed 21 people, including eight Indian soldiers and three police officers. By Aijaz Hussain. SENT: 630 words, photos.


KASER KALAN, India -- Light pours in when the retired postman opens the window to his bedroom. A withered old poster filled with flowers appears out of the shadows. "Love is enough," the poster says. Faizul Hasan Qadri is 79 now. He and his wife, Tajammuli, were married when they were teenagers, and were together for 58 years. Three years ago, she died. Now, he can look out that window and see the monument he is building in Tajammuli's memory. By Bernat Armangue. SENT: 450 words, photos.


COLOMBO, Sri Lanka -- Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa and his former health minister are among 19 people to hand in nominations to contest the island's presidential election next month. Rajapaksa called the election to seek an unprecedented third term, two years before his second term ends. By Bharatha Mallawarachi. SENT: 420 words.


BEIJING -- Five middle school students in eastern China are killed after a wall collapses on them, local authorities and state media say, raising concerns about shoddy school construction in the country. SENT: 200 words.


BEIJING -- A Chinese organization says it has sent a letter to Japan's prime minister calling on his government to apologize to the victims of a wartime massacre almost 80 years ago and pay compensation. SENT: 320 words.


BANGKOK -- Two migrant workers from Myanmar plead innocent to charges that they killed two British tourists on the Thai resort island of Koh Tao, brutal slayings that raised concerns about both tourist safety and police conduct in Thailand. SENT: 230 words.


BALI, Indonesia -- Indonesian police say they have completed their investigation into an American couple accused of battering the woman's mother to death and stuffing the body into a suitcase on the resort island of Bali. SENT: 310 words, photos.



TOKYO -- Sony's online PlayStation store is inaccessible to users for part of a day in the latest possible cyberattack on the electronics and entertainment company. Sony Computer Entertainment in Tokyo said the problem lasted two hours but has been fixed globally. It said the cause is under investigation, but there is no sign of any material being stolen. By Yuri Kageyama. SENT: 270 words, photos.


BEIJING -- Gong Bin, a marketing employee in Shanghai, watched Chinese stock prices gallop upward for months before he finally gave in and put the equivalent of 2? months' salary into the surging market. In two months, Gong made a 10 percent return on his 20,000 yuan ($3,300) investment. By Joe McDonald. SENT: 860 words, photos.


BEIJING -- A Chinese government news portal releases a photo of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg with a copy of Chinese President Xi Jinping's book on governance at his desk while hosting an Internet official from the country. Zuckerberg, who has long sought access to the market in China, where Facebook is blocked, is quoted by the portal as saying he purchased several copies of Xi's book so that he and colleagues could learn about "socialism with Chinese characteristics." SENT: 280 words.


TOKYO -- Godzilla is stomping back. And this time, it's Made in Japan, like the original. The announcement this week from Japanese film studio Toho comes after the success earlier this year of the Hollywood Godzilla, directed by Gareth Edwards, which grossed more than $500 million worldwide. By Yuri Kageyama. SENT: 360 words, photos.



NEW YORK -- Protesters staged a "die in" in one city, blocking traffic with their bodies, while mostly peaceful demonstrations continued across the United States against police killings of unarmed black men. SENT: 440 words, photos, video.


JOHANNESBURG -- The United States did not know about talks on the reportedly imminent release of a South African hostage who died in a U.S. raid on al-Qaida militants in Yemen, the U.S. ambassador in South Africa said Monday. By Christopher Torchia. SENT: 300 words, photo.

-- YEMEN -- Three bombs explode near homes of Shiite rebel leaders in Yemeni capital, Sanaa. SENT: 280 words.


GARDI SUGDUP, Panama -- A native community in a remote chain off Panama's coast, living green with solar panels on their thatched huts and clean-burning gas for their cooking, could be uprooted due to rising sea levels from carbon pollution linked to global warming. U.S. exports to Panama of dirty fuels like diesel and gasoline have nearly quadrupled since 2008. By Dina Cappiello. SENT: 820 words, photos. An expanded version of 2,640 words is also available.


WASHINGTON -- More than a year after federal regulators issued new privacy rules for kids' mobile apps, online stores are flooded with cute and silly software programs that quietly collect vast amounts of data on the youngest consumers, including a person's location or even recordings of their voice, according to privacy researchers and consumer advocates. By Anne Flaherty. SENT: 620 words, photo.


NEW YORK -- While Britain's Prince William meets with President Barack Obama at the Oval Office on Monday and discusses illegal wildlife trafficking at the World Bank, his wife, Kate, will tour a child development center with New York City's first lady, Chirlane McCray. SENT: 210 words, photos, video.


CAIRO -- The Canadian Embassy in Cairo has closed over security concerns, a day after the British Embassy suspended its services over safety worries. SENT: 130 words.


MONTEVIDEO, Uruguay -- Six prisoners held for 12 years at Guantanamo Bay begin their new lives in Uruguay after the United States flew them to the South American country as refugees amid a renewed push by President Barack Obama to close the prison. By Leonardo Haberkorn and Ben Fox. SENT: 820 words, photos.


WASHINGTON -- The Obama administration issues guidelines that ban federal law enforcement from profiling on the basis of religion, national origin and other characteristics, protocols the Justice Department hopes could be a model for local departments as the nation tackles questions about the role race plays in policing. By Eric Tucker. SENT: 730 words, photo.


-- SOUTH AFRICA-HONEYMOON KILLING -- South African judge acquits Briton Shrien Dewani of murdering wife during 2010 honeymoon. SENT: 200 words, photos.

-- BEAR-ROAD DEATHS -- Three dead, nine injured after vehicle hits bear on Florida road, another car crashes into scene. SENT: 130 words.


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