DHAKA, Bangladesh -- A court issues an arrest warrant for former Prime Minister Khaleda Zia after she failed to appear in court for the fourth time in two corruption cases against her. The defense said Zia needed more time because she was sick and concerned about her security because of political unrest. By Julhas Alam. SENT: 680 words, photos.
-- ASIA-ARRESTS AND POLITICS -- Recent legal cases -- some legitimate, some politically motivated -- that have swept up powerful politicians across Asia. SENT: 970 words, photos.
KABUL, Afghanistan -- More than one in three Afghans detained on conflict-related allegations say they were tortured or mistreated, according to a U.N. report based on interviews with nearly 800 detainees. The detainees reported 16 torture methods, including beatings, suspension from walls or ceilings, electric shocks and near-asphyxiation. SENT: 360 words.
KABUL, Afghanistan -- An Afghan official says dozens of people are feared dead in an avalanche that buried some 60 homes in the northeastern Panjshir Valley. SENT: 100 words.
THAILAND-FISHING-PIRATES AND SLAVES
SAMUT SAKHON, Thailand -- Urine pools under a bed where an emaciated Burmese man lies wearing only a T-shirt and a diaper. As he struggles to sit up and steady himself, he tears at his thick, dark hair in agitation. He cannot walk and doesn't remember his family or even his own name. He speaks mostly gibberish in broken Indonesian -- a language he learned while working in the country as a slave aboard a Thai fishing boat. By Robin McDowell and Margie Mason. SENT: 1,050 words, photos.
TOKYO -- A panel of experts appointed by Japan's prime minister meets for the first time to discuss what he should say in a statement marking the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II, fueling speculation that he may water down previous government apologies for the country's wartime past. By Mari Yamaguchi. SENT: 420 words.
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia -- The family of jailed Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim seeks a royal pardon in a last-ditch effort to free him from a sodomy conviction. SENT: 330 words, photos.
BEIJING -- A famed 81-year-old Chinese dissident writer, Huang Zerong, is given a suspended 2 ?-year prison sentence on charges of running an illegal business, apparently because he published articles critical of the country's propaganda chief. By Christopher Bodeen. SENT: 400 words.
MANILA, Philippines -- Philippine troops backed by artillery and assault helicopters clash with about 300 Abu Sayyaf rebels in fighting that leaves two soldiers and five militants dead. SENT: 310 words.
SOUTH KOREA-SHOOTING DEATH
SEOUL, South Korea -- A gunman kills three people in and around a South Korean convenience store, and is later found dead with a gunshot wound to his head in an apparent suicide. By Kim Tong-hyung. SENT: 390 words, photos.
INDIA-COAST GUARD CLAIMS
NEW DELHI -- A senior coast guard officer is reportedly removed from his post after he contradicted the Indian government and said coast guard personnel had destroyed a Pakistani "terror boat" last year. SENT: 250 words, photos.
CHINA-VARIETY SHOW OUTRAGE
BEIJING -- China's annual Lunar New Year variety show, which mocked unmarried women and suggested female officials provide sexual favors to get promoted, has led to online outrage and some state media to urge more attention to discrimination against women. By Louise Watt. SENT: 340 words.
CHINESE NEW YEAR
NEW YORK -- Cellist Yo-Yo Ma and a bevy of Chinese artists celebrate the Year of the Sheep at the New York Philharmonic's fourth annual Chinese New Year concert. SENT: 130 words.
BUSINESS AND FINANCE:
HONG KONG -- China's manufacturing activity edged up to a four-month high in February although export orders decreased for the first time in nearly a year, in the latest sign of uncertainty for the world's No. 2 economy, according to a private survey. By Kelvin Chan. SENT: 300 words, photos.
HONG KONG -- Hong Kong's finance chief unveils $37 million in measures aimed at giving relief to some business owners and restoring confidence in the Asian financial hub following pro-democracy protests last year that choked traffic for 11 weeks. By Kelvin Chan. SENT: 300 words, photos.
U.S. AND INTERNATIONAL:
WASHINGTON -- Days ahead of a partial agency shutdown, the pressure is on House Republicans after Senate GOP leaders agreed to Democratic demands and announced legislation to fund the Department of Homeland Security without contentious immigration provisions opposed by Democrats and President Barack Obama. By Erica Werner and David Espo. SENT: 680 words, photos.
WASHINGTON -- Secretary of State John Kerry has implored skeptical senators not to criticize nuclear negotiations with Iran before a deal can be crafted, but he's certain to get another round of questions about the sensitive talks from members of the House on Wednesday. By Deb Riechmann and Matthew Lee. SENT: 600 words, photos.
-- IRAN -- Iran's Revolutionary Guard launch large-scale naval and air defense drills near a strategic Gulf waterway in which dozens of speedboats swarmed a replica of a U.S. aircraft carrier. SENT: 370 words.
STEPHENVILLE -- A Texas jury has rejected the insanity defense of a former Marine in the deaths of famed "American Sniper" author Chris Kyle and another man. After a two-week trial in which jurors heard testimony about defendant Eddie Ray Routh's erratic behavior and statements, they convicted him of murder Tuesday night in the deaths at a shooting range. By Jamie Stengle. SENT: 780 words, photos video.
BEIRUT -- Fate of abducted Christians is unclear as fierce fighting continues between Kurdish and Christian militiamen and Islamic State militants in northeastern Syria. SENT: 420 words.
ATHERSTONE, England -- Posters are being printed and slogans are being polished as Britain's politicians battle it out in the most unpredictable national election in decades. One top election analyst has dubbed it "the lottery election." Voters, though, don't seem very excited about who gets the prize. By Jill Lawless. SENT: 950 words, photos.
CHICAGO -- After failing to persuade a majority of Chicago voters to back his re-election bid, Mayor Rahm Emanuel could face an even stiffer challenge in April against a runoff opponent aiming to consolidate the support of residents unhappy with how he has managed the nation's third-largest city. He faces Jesus "Chuy" Garcia, a Cook County commissioner who claims to represent the city's neighborhoods, teachers and others disillusioned with Emanuel. By Sophia Tareen. SENT: 370 words, photos.
LGBT YOUTH-SEX TRADE STUDY
NEW YORK -- A unique federally funded study offers a detailed look at the lives of gay, lesbian and transgender youth in New York City who cope with homelessness and poverty by engaging in what the researchers call "survival sex." Most of the 283 study participants expressed a yearning to get out of the sex business though many said there were positive aspects to their lives. By National Writer David Crary. SENT: 660 words, photos.
WASHINGTON -- Amid appeals for bipartisanship, President Barack Obama in just three days has provoked Republicans on issues as disparate as immigration, Wall Street and the Keystone pipeline -- a combative mix of defense and offense that underscores Washington's political realignment. SENT: 690 words, photos.
SUPREME COURT-RELIGIOUS DISCRIMINATION
WASHINGTON -- The Supreme Court is considering the employment discrimination claim of a Muslim woman who was turned down for a job by clothing retailer Abercrombie & Fitch after she showed up at her job interview wearing a black headscarf that conflicted with the company's dress code. By Mark Sherman. SENT: 470 words, photo.
PUERTO GAITAN, Colombia -- Over the past decade, when oil prices were sky high, the population of this rural backwater tripled, modern hotels opened and a surfeit of royalties paid for a giant concrete arch to nowhere. Now, like much of Latin America, the town is bracing for a major comeuppance as crude prices plunge. By Jacobo Garcia and Joshua Goodman. SENT: 920 words, photos.
-- UKRAINE -- Ukraine's military says rebels are still violating a cease-fire in the country's east. SENT: 140 words, photo.
LONDON -- First there was money laundering. Then foreign-exchange rigging. Now tax evasion. As the chiefs of HSBC, Europe's largest bank, face testimony over revelations it has helped wealthy clients dodge taxes globally, politicians and analysts are asking whether big banks have become too big to manage. By Danica Kirka. SENT: 850 words, photos.
MODERN FAMILY-PHONING IT IN-Q&A
NEW YORK -- "Modern Family" producers put away their expensive professional cameras and captured Wednesday's episode with iPhones and other Apple devices. The Associated Press speaks by phone with executive producer Steve Levitan to discuss some of the thinking and lessons learned. By Anick Jesdanun. SENT: 760 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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