SEOUL, South Korea -- Thousands of anti-government protesters march in cities across South Korea, denouncing the labor policies of the increasingly unpopular President Park Geun-hye. SENT: 370 words, photos.
ISLAMABAD -- Pakistan expresses "shock and sorrow" over the deaths of an American and an Italian hostage held by al-Qaida in a U.S. drone strike in January near the Afghan border. SENT: 130 words, photos.
BEIJING -- The chairman of Taiwan's ruling Nationalist party will meet with Communist Party leaders during a visit to China next month as the former bitter enemies continue their two decade-old rapprochement. By Christopher Bodeen. SENT: 480 words.
JAKARTA, Indonesia -- A Filipino maid facing the death penalty after being convicted of drug trafficking is moved to an island prison in Indonesia where she and nine others are to be executed. SENT: 390 words.
ALMATY, Kazakhstan -- As oil-rich Kazakhstan votes for a president Sunday, the governing elite is pounding home a mantra of stability as fears percolate about the country's massive Russian minority taking inspiration from the Moscow-backed insurgency in Ukraine. By Pavel Mikheyev and Peter Leonard. SENT: 630 words, photos.
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia -- Southeast Asian leaders will seek to speed up plans for a binding code of conduct with China governing behavior in the disputed South China Sea at a summit next week, Malaysia's foreign minister says. SENT: 520 words, photos.
MANILA, Philippines -- A Chinese ship acted aggressively against a Philippine military plane on patrol over waters claimed by Manila in the disputed South China Sea, a military spokesman says. SENT: 400 words.
BEIJING -- A Chinese official denies rumors of an exodus of bureaucrats from the civil service following reports of widespread discontent over poor working conditions and an anti-corruption drive. SENT: 280 words.
BEIJING -- A woman who was sentenced to death for murdering her abusive husband receives a reprieve, part of new guidelines on domestic violence cases. SENT: 260 words.
ULAN BATOR, Mongolia -- A Canadian businessman is found dead in his room at an upscale hotel in Mongolia's capital Ulan Bator. SENT: 110 words.
U.S. AND INTERNATIONAL:
ITALY-TERROR BLITZ -- An Italian prosecutor says Islamic extremists suspected in a bomb attack in a Pakistani market that killed more than 100 people had also planned an attack against the Vatican in 2010 that was never carried out. SENT: 440 words.
OBAMA-HOSTAGES -- With the deaths of two Western hostages in a CIA drone strike, President Barack Obama has received a brutal reminder that every American commander in chief may have to face the loss of civilians as collateral damage in wartime. By Nancy Benac. SENT: 650 words, photos.
ARMENIA-SLAUGHTER-CENTENNIAL -- The presidents of Russia and France join other leaders Friday at ceremonies commemorating the massacre 100 years ago of 1.5 million Armenians by Ottoman Turks, an event which remains a diplomatic sore point for both sides. By Avet Demourian. SENT: 550 words, photos, video.
EUROPE-MIGRANTS -- Fourteen migrants believed to be from Afghanistan and Somalia who were heading north toward the European Union were killed by an express train as they walked along tracks in central Macedonia at night, police said Friday. By Konstantin Testorides. SENT: 450 words.
SCHOOL STAGE COLLAPSE-INDIANA -- More than a dozen people were injured after a stage filled with students collapsed during a musical performance at a central Indiana high school, authorities say. By Lauryn Schroeder. SENT: 130 words, photos.
GAZA RESILIENT RESTAURANT -- When nightfall descends upon Gaza, the glittering lights of the "Level Up" restaurant seem to be the only bright spot in this darkened city. In a city plagued by chronic power outages, poverty and shortages of construction materials, the rooftop restaurant defies all the rules. By Fares Akram. SENT: 940 words, photos, video.
KAZAKHSTAN-PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION -- As oil-rich Kazakhstan votes for a president this weekend, the governing elite is pounding home a mantra of stability as fears percolate about the country's massive Russian minority taking inspiration from the Moscow-backed insurgency in Ukraine. By Pavel Mikheyev and Peter Leonard. SENT: 630 words, photos.
JORDAN SECRET DANCER -- Ever since he was a boy in pre-war Baghdad, Adil Faraj dreamed of becoming a dancer. For over a decade, he pursued his passion despite daunting challenges and harassment by strangers and police. By Sam McNeil. SENT: 920 words, photos, video.
ECUADOR-SNAIL-SNIFFING DOGS -- When Darwin the Labrador retriever crashed out of a service dog program, conservationists found him a very different job: sniffing out snails threatening crops in the Galapagos Islands. By Gonzalo Solano. SENT: 460 words, photo.
CHILE-VOLCANO-ERUPTS -- A handful of people who ignored an evacuation order shovel ash off roofs, but otherwise Ensenada appears a ghost town after almost all of its 1,500 residents fled to safer ground following twin blasts from the Calbuco volcano. By Luis Hidalgo and Luis Andres Henao. SENT: 480 words, photos.
HOW TO REACH US: The editor in charge at the AP Asia-Pacific Desk in Bangkok is David Thurber. Questions and story requests are welcome.
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