JAPAN-NUCLEAR-WHAT LIES AHEAD
TOKYO -- Four years after an earthquake and tsunami destroyed Japan's Fukushima nuclear power plant, the road ahead remains riddled with unknowns. The government approved a revised 30-to-40-year roadmap Friday that delays by three years the start of a key initial step -- the removal of still-radioactive used fuel rods in the three reactors that had meltdowns following the March 2011 disaster in northeast Japan. By Mari Yamaguchi. SENT: 610 words, photos.
SEOUL, South Korea -- Authorities in South Korea temporarily close two hospitals amid persistent fears over the MERS virus outbreak, which killed an 11th person, though health officials said they are seeing fewer new infections. By Hyung-jin Kim and Kim Tong-hyung. SENT: 580 words, photos.
SEOUL, South Korea -- Two South Korean women are in trouble with authorities after being caught lying about MERS to get time off work. By Youkyung Lee. SENT: 280 words.
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia -- Four Westerners who posed naked on Malaysia's highest peak are sentenced to three days in jail and fined for obscene behavior in a public place. A local official has said the foreigners' behavior was disrespectful to the mountain and caused an earthquake last Friday that killed 18 climbers. SENT: 410 words, photos.
JAKARTA, Indonesia -- An Indonesian official criticizes Australia's prime minister as "unethical" for sidestepping allegations the Australian navy paid the crew of a boat carrying 65 migrants to return to Indonesian waters. By Niniek Karmini. SENT: 490 words.
ISLAMABAD -- The Pakistani government shuts down the offices of the international aid group Save the Children in the capital, Islamabad, without giving any reason, officials and the aid group say. By Munir Ahmed. SENT: 350 words.
KABUL, Afghanistan -- They call it the "mini-Pentagon" -- a white marble building in the heart of Afghanistan's capital built with U.S. funds to serve as the headquarters of a modern military more than a decade in the making. But the newly constructed building is a world apart from the front-lines of Afghanistan's unfinished war, where soldiers huddled at exposed checkpoints increasingly rely on police and local militias. By Rahim Faiez and Lynne O'Donnell. SENT: 710 words, photos.
KATHMANDU, Nepal -- Heavy rains hamper rescuers as they search through piles of rocks and debris after a landslide swept through six mountainous Nepalese villages, killing 24 people and leaving dozens more missing. By Binaj Gurubacharya. SENT: 300 words.
CANBERRA, Australia -- A Malaysia Airlines passenger jet makes an emergency landing at Melbourne airport after instruments indicated an engine fire. By Rod McGuirk. SENT: 170 words.
TOKYO -- The tiny Pacific nation of Palau, fighting a rising tide of illegal fishing in its waters, sets fire to four boats of Vietnamese caught poaching sea cucumbers and other marine life in its waters. By Elaine Kurtenbach. SENT: 970 words, photos.
BEIJING -- Several local Chinese officials are fired or suspended following the suicides of four siblings, aged 5 to 13, who were abandoned by their parents and neglected by local government workers in one of China's poorest regions. SENT: 340 words.
NEW DELHI -- Indian artist Nek Chand, who created the Rock Garden, a sprawling display of quirky sculptures crafted out of discarded household items and waste in the northern city of Chandigarh, dies at age 90. SENT: 270 words.
SEOUL, South Korea -- A wealthy man sneaks away for a tryst that he suggests will "reduce friction" with his wife. A woman in Seoul looks for a "side relationship" to a marriage that has lost its spark. Both are using the Ashley Madison cheating website, which is making a lucrative, controversial splash in South Korea in the wake of a landmark ruling earlier this year that decriminalizes adultery. So great is the interest here that company executives expect it to be a top-three market globally for them in five years, after the United States and Canada. By Foster Klug and Youkyung Lee. SENT: 1,120 words, photos.
BUSINESS AND FINANCE:
SEOUL, South Korea -- For a South Korean tour agency, the outbreak of Middle East respiratory syndrome feels like a bigger threat to business than a North Korean attack or nuclear reactor meltdown. By Youkyung Lee. SENT: 640 words, photos.
TOKYO -- The longtime head of Japan's stock exchange says he is "ashamed" over a recent accounting scandal at electronics and industrial conglomerate Toshiba Corp. By Elaine Kurtenbach. SENT: 340 words.
JAKARTA, Indonesia -- Indonesia's energy ministry says the country will rejoin the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries this year to forge a closer relationship with oil suppliers. SENT: 220 words.
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