PANGKALAN BUN, Indonesia -- Bloated bodies and debris seen floating in Indonesian waters painfully end the mystery of AirAsia Flight 8501, which crashed into the Java Sea with 162 people aboard and took searchers more than two days to find. The plane vanished halfway through a two-hour flight between Indonesia and Singapore. SENT: 680 words, photos.
NEW YORK -- Every week, a combined total of 28 new planes roll off the assembly lines at Airbus, Boeing, Bombardier and Embraer factories -- the fastest production rate in the history of commercial aviation. Most of those aircraft feed the insatiable demand in Asia. The rapid growth of Asian airlines is helping bolster economies and change lifestyles, but it's also creating a daunting safety challenge as more passengers head into an increasingly crowded airspace. By Scott Mayerowitz and David Koenig. SENT: 1,200 words, photos.
-- INDONESIA-PLANE-NEWS GUIDE -- Latest developments in search for AirAsia plane. SENT: 410 words, photos.
-- INDONESIA-PLANE-JAVA SEA -- Searchers combing the Java Sea have the advantage of working in much shallower waters than those found in the open ocean, but also face challenges that include monsoons, murkiness and trash. By Nick Perry and Robin McDowell. SENT: 510 words, photos.
-- INDONESIA-PLANE-ASIA AVIATION -- Five things to know about aviation in Asia, where growing demand is creating daunting safety challenges. SENT: 330 words.
-- INDONESIA-PLANE-THE OTHER SEARCH -- As hundreds of search crews frantically scour the waters off Indonesia, where AirAsia Flight 8501 went down, a couple of ships a few thousand kilometers (miles) to the south are still quietly combing another patch of ocean for perhaps the most infamous missing plane of all time -- Malaysia Airlines Flight 370. By Kristen Gelineau. SENT: 500 words, photos.
-- PHILIPPINES-PLANE OVERSHOOTS RUNWAY -- AirAsia Zest plane carrying 159 people overshoots a runway when landing in windy weather, forcing passengers to leave by an emergency slide. SENT: 130 words.
MANILA, Philippines -- Flash floods and landslides triggered by Tropical Storm Jangmi leave at least 31 people dead and seven missing in the Philippines, including in areas still recovering from last year's Typhoon Haiyan, officials say. SENT: 280 words.
INDIA-RELIGION AND POLITICS
NEW DELHI -- In small-town northern India, Muslims are offered food and money to convert to Hinduism. If that doesn't suffice, they say they're threatened. Across the country, the Christmas holiday is canceled for hundreds of government servants who spend the day publicly extolling the policies of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Powerful Hindu nationalist leaders -- some with close ties to Modi's government -- say they intend to ensure India becomes a completely Hindu nation. But Modi himself? He has remained silent as nationalist demands have bubbled over into day-to-day politics, and amid growing fears among minority religious groups of creeping efforts to shunt them aside. By Tim Sullivan. SENT: 1,040 words, photos.
NEW DELHI -- A special court drops criminal charges against the leader of India's ruling party, who was accused of ordering extra-judicial killings by police nearly a decade ago. SENT: 310 words.
ISLAMABAD -- Pakistani police rearrest the main suspect in the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks, quashing expectations that he might soon be freed. Zaki-ur-Rahman Lakhvi is one of seven suspects being tried by Pakistan in connection with the attacks, which killed 166 people and seriously damaged relations between longtime rivals Pakistan and India. By Zarar Khan. SENT: 360 words, photos.
YANGON, Myanmar -- Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says it is too early for her party to decide whether it will participate in 2015 elections because it depends on whether the constitution and election laws are amended. SENT: 330 words.
BEIJING --China's president calls for the Communist Party's leadership over the country's universities to be enhanced in a continuing tightening of ideological controls across a wide range of society. SENT: 265 words.
-- CHINA-FILMMAKER JAILED -- A Chinese court gives a one-year jail sentence to a filmmaker who produced a documentary on the country's 100-year quest for constitutional rule. SENT: 290 words.
DHAKA, Bangladesh -- A special tribunal in Bangladesh sentences a senior Islamist party leader to death after convicting him of leading a militia that committed mass killings and rape during the country's 1971 independence war against Pakistan. By Julhas Alam. SENT: 280 words, photos.
COLOMBO, Sri Lanka -- Sri Lanka's main ethnic Tamil political party says it will support the chief opposition candidate in January's presidential election, in the latest blow to Mahinda Rajapaksa's bid for a third term in office. By Krishan Francis. SENT: 480 words, photos.
AUSTRLAIA SHARK ATTACK
SYDNEY -- Australian officials hunt for a shark that killed a teenager off Australia's southwest coast in the nation's second deadly attack in as many weeks. SENT: 200 words.
TOKYO -- When millions of Japanese get their customary New Year's greeting cards Thursday, the sheep that's on the postage stamps will have finished knitting the scarf it began 12 years ago. SENT: 175 words, photo.
BUSINESS AND FINANCE:
SEOUL, South Korea -- Global stock markets are mostly in the red as concern about Greek politics and the shaky Russian ruble dent confidence in the global economy. SENT: 420 words, photos.
U.S. AND INTERNATIONAL:
NEW YORK -- A New York congressman who pleaded guilty to tax evasion just days ago has announced he'll resign from office next week because he would not be able to give the job his full attention anymore. Republican Rep. Michael Grimm issued a statement late Monday saying he will resign effective Jan. 5. By Larry Neumeister and Stephen Ohlemacher. SENT: 500 words, photos.
TIRANA, Albania -- Two Albanian tugboat sailors die during operations to secure a Greek ferry adrift for three days since a fire broke out on a car deck, with 10 people killed in the ensuing chaos. By Llazar Semini and Colleen Barry SENT: 350 words, photos, video.
MOSCOW -- Alexei Navalny, the anti-corruption campaigner who is a leading foe of Russian President Vladimir Putin, is found guilty of fraud and given a suspended sentence of three and a half years. By Nataliya Vasilyeva. SENT: 780 words, photos.
DIGITAL LIFE-REVIEW-BLACKBERRY CLASSIC
NEW YORK -- After four years on the iPhone, I went back to my BlackBerry ways for a week, trying out the company's latest model, the Classic. This is a smartphone made for those heavy corporate users who love the physical keyboard and have been reluctant to give up their old models. It's just not for me. By Scott Mayerowitz. SENT: 780 words, photos.
JERUSALEM -- A far-reaching Israeli corruption investigation that has roped in 30 public figures and politicians linked to a powerful, hard-line party has shaken up the campaign ahead of March elections and appears to have tipped the scales in favor of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. SENT: 740 words, photo.
WASHINGTON -- A low-profile American diplomat born in Honduras to a prominent political family helped handle top-secret negotiations with Cuba for President Barack Obama. Ricardo Zuniga accompanied longtime Obama foreign policy aide Ben Rhodes to a series of meetings in Canada and at the Vatican that led to Obama's move to re-establish diplomatic ties with the Cold War foe. By Nedra Pickler. SENT: 800 words.
LONDON -- Luise Rainer, a star of cinema's golden era who won back-to-back Oscars but then walked away from a glittering Hollywood career, has died. She was 104. By Jill Lawless. SENT: 800 words, photo.
ALSO GETTING ATTENTION
-- OBAMA-WEDDING SNAFU -- Obama's golf game in Hawaii bumps Army couple from wedding spot on 16th hole. SENT: 530 words, photo.
-- BRITAIN-CHEMICAL WEAPONS -- Secret papers: UK considered chemical weapons buildup in 1980s in response to Soviet stockpile. SENT: 380 words, photo.
-- PORN FILM-HIV ALERT -- 'Strong evidence' of HIV transmission on porn set leads California officials to issue alert. SENT: 540 words.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.