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Asian News Digest, AS

Asian News Digest, AS



PUTRAJAYA, Malaysia -- Malaysia's top court upholds opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim's sodomy conviction and sentences him to five years in prison, a verdict he slams -- while standing in the dock -- as the "murder of judicial independence" and the result of a political conspiracy. By Eileen Ng. SENT: 1,040 words, photos, video.


NEW DELHI -- An upstart anti-corruption party wins a smashing victory in elections to install a state government in India's capital, dealing a huge blow to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Hindu nationalist party. By Ashok Sharma. SENT: 700 words, photos.


SYDNEY -- Scientists say Australia's mammals are going extinct at an alarmingly high rate, due in large part to wild cats and foxes. By Kristen Gelineau. SENT: 840 words, photos.


SYLHET, Bangladesh -- Ten infants and young children died in a single night in an overcrowded state-run hospital in northeastern Bangladesh, prompting authorities to investigate whether staff negligence was involved, officials say. SENT: 210 words.


KABUL, Afghanistan -- Taliban suicide attackers assault an Afghan police station, killing one officer as a separate roadside bombing targeted a prominent female politician in the country's east, authorities say. By Rahim Faiez. SENT: 200 words.


BEIJING -- Li Xiaolin, daughter of a former Chinese premier known for his support of the bloody military crackdown on the 1989 democracy movement, held as much as $2.48 million in a secret HSBC account in Switzerland, the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists finds. By Didi Tang. SENT: 580 words, photos.


SRINAGAR, India -- Hundreds of angry protesters clash with Indian authorities at the funeral of a young man killed during a demonstration in disputed Kashmir. By Aijaz Hussain. SENT: 380 words, photos.


TOKYO -- Thailand's junta leader says the military will return to the barracks once a civilian government is chosen, but stops short of ruling out another coup "if something cannot be solved" by the new government. SENT: 180 words.


HONG KONG -- A Hong Kong woman who was accused of torturing her Indonesian maid is convicted of a slew of assault and other charges. By Kelvin Chan. SENT: 340 words, photos.


MANILA, Philippines -- Top Philippine military, defense and police officials say they were not told ahead of time about a Jan. 25 police commando raid that targeted one of Southeast Asia's most-wanted terror suspects and resulted in the deaths of 44 commandos. SENT: 520 words.


MANILA, Philippines -- The Philippines has protested Chinese land reclamation at a disputed reef in the South China Sea, saying it violates Manila's exclusive economic zone. SENT: 210 words.


YUBA CITY, California -- The oldest living crew member of the battleship USS Arizona to have survived the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor dies in Northern California at the age of 100. SENT: 380 words, photos.


MAR WONG VILLAGE, Myanmar -- It's one of Myanmar's smallest ethnic insurgencies, just a few thousand fighters scattered between isolated villages. But as President Thein Sein struggles to reach a nationwide peace agreement by the year's end, the Ta'ang National Liberation Army has turned into one of his biggest obstacles. By Gemunu Amarasinghe. SENT: 630 words, photos.


TOKYO -- A man who slashed two teenage singers in the popular Japanese female pop group AKB48 last year is sentenced to six years in prison, reports say. SENT: 200 words, photos.


TOKYO -- It's a simple glass bottle with a red top that has become a symbol of soy sauce in Japan and much of the world. More than half a century after its creation, the Kikkoman soy sauce bottle is a familiar and comforting shape on restaurant and dining room tables in many countries. SENT: 200 words, photos.



SEOUL, South Korea -- For years cybersecurity was built on the idea that computers and networks could be protected by a kind of digital quarantine. Now, as hackers routinely overwhelm such defenses, more experts say the cybersecurity industry should focus on neutralizing attackers once they're inside a network rather than trying to keep them out. By Youkyung Lee. SENT: 960 words, photos.


BEIJING -- China fines chipmaker Qualcomm 6 billion yuan ($975 million) in the biggest of a wave of anti-monopoly penalties that have rattled foreign companies. By Joe McDonald. SENT: 760 words, photos.


TOKYO -- Japan's outrage over the slaying of two Japanese hostages by the Islamic State group is settling into a heightened awareness of risks associated with the country's pursuit of lucrative energy projects and other economic ties in the Middle East. By Elaine Kurtenbach and Yuri Kageyama. UPCOMING: 800 words by 1400 GMT, photos.


SEOUL, South Korea -- Watch what you say in your living room. Samsung's smart TV could be listening. And sharing. Voice recognition technology in the South Korean company's Internet connected TVs captures and transmits nearby conversations. By Youkyung Lee. SENT: 280 words, photos.


BEIJING -- China said its recent gas discovery in the politically volatile South China Sea could yield 100 billion cubic meters of natural gas, underlining Beijing's determination to extract resources from waters claimed by several nations. SENT: 340 words.


HONG KONG -- Chinese real estate giant Wanda Group says it's buying Swiss sports marketing company Infront Sports & Media for 1.05 billion euros ($1.2 billion). Wanda said the acquisition of Infront, which is the latest addition to its stable of entertainment and leisure businesses, will help support China's efforts in bidding for major sports events. SENT: 260 words.


BEIJING -- China's inflation fell below 1 percent in January as the country headed toward the Lunar New Year holiday. SENT: 140 words.


TOKYO -- Japan and Mongolia sign a free trade agreement expected to open the landlocked frontier market to more Japanese auto exports and strengthen Tokyo's leverage with a key partner in its dealings with North Korea. SENT: 230 words.


TOKYO -- Softbank's quarterly profit plunged by two thirds as it struggled with reshaping its money-losing U.S. acquisition Sprint Corp. By Yuri Kageyama. SENT: 190 words.


TOKYO -- Japanese mobile carrier Softbank says it will incorporate artificial intelligence technology from IBM into its empathetic robot Pepper that goes on sale in Japan this month. By Yuri Kageyama. SENT: 400 words.


TOKYO -- Seeking more assertive diplomatic and national security role internationally, Japan's Cabinet adopts new guidelines for international aid that for the first time clearly state that it will allow provisions for foreign armed forces, although limited to non-military purposes. By Mari Yamaguchi. SENT: 460 words.



WASHINGTON -- President Barack Obama is expected -- as early as Tuesday -- to send Capitol Hill his blueprint for an updated authorization for the use of military force to fight Islamic State militants. He must find a balance between lawmakers who want to give him wide authority and others, including members of his own party, who worry that a new authorization will lead to U.S. entanglement in another protracted war. By Deb Riechmann. SENT: 540 words, photos.


SARTANA, Ukraine -- Government forces and Russia-backed rebels each seek to make military gains in eastern Ukraine ahead of long-anticipated peace talks due to start in Belarus. The push for peace is spearheaded by the leaders of France and Germany, who are resisting the increasing U.S. pressure to supply arms to the Ukrainian government. By Peter Leonard. SENT: 550 words, photos.


BUCHAREST, Romania -- Homeowners across central Europe see their dreams vanish as the cost of mortgages they took out in Swiss francs soars because of the currency's recent jump higher. By Vanessa Gera and Alison Mutler. SENT: 980 words, photos.


NEW YORK -- Whether or not Olympic legend Bruce Jenner becomes its new champion, the transgender-rights movement is making remarkable strides on many fronts -- ranging from legal protections to mass-media visibility. Yet despite the gains, activists say many transgender Americans -- far more so than gays and lesbians -- remain vulnerable to violence, discrimination and lack of understanding. By David Crary and Lisa Leff. SENT: 960 words, photos.


BOSTON -- A relentless storm that dumped more than two feet of snow on some parts of New England was finally expected to wind down on Tuesday but not before bringing the Boston-area public transit system to its knees and forcing some communities to consider dumping piles of snow into the ocean to help relieve clogged streets. By Bob Salsberg and Denise Lavoie. SENT: 570 words, photos, video, audio.


COMPTON, Calif. -- Suge Knight used to be one of the most feared names in the music business, but his successes as the head of Death Row Records are long gone and the his status has firmly shifted from hitmaker to troublemaker. Yet he still commands attention, due in large part to his legacy as one of the architects of the gangster rap culture that changed the music industry in the 1990s. By Entertainment Writer Anthony McCartney. SENT: 870 words, photos.


Lima - Veteran clown Ricardo Farfan, popularly known as "Pitito," celebrates his 91st birthday. Farfan started working at his dad's circus at age 3, which he inherited and ran for many years before closing it to care for his ill wife, who managed the circus. Images show his birthday party, with Farfan in full clown makeup, his daily life at home, as well as historic images of him throughout his career. by Esteban Felix. SENT: 460 words, photos.

-- ISLAMIC STATE -- Assad says his government has been receiving general messages from the American military about airstrikes targeting the Islamic State group inside Syria but that there is no direct coordination. SENT: 250 words, photos.


Sony and Marvel/Disney are finally bringing Spider-Man and the Avengers back together. The studios announced a deal in which the next installment of Sony's $4 billion Spider-Man franchise will be co-produced by Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige along with Sony's Amy Pascal for a July 28, 2017, release. But first, Spidey will appear in an unspecified Marvel film. SENT: 460 words, photo.


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 : 2021-09-18 15:08 GMT+08:00