CHINA-PORT-EXPLOSION -- Huge, fiery blasts at a warehouse for hazardous chemicals kill at least 44 people and turn nearby buildings into skeletal shells in the Chinese port of Tianjin, raising questions about whether the materials had been properly stored. Hundreds of people were injured in the explosions, which sent out massive fireballs that turned the night sky into day and shattered windows several kilometers (miles) away. By Christopher Bodeen. SENT: 960 words, photos, video. With CHINA-PORT EXPLOSION-THE LATEST.
MYANMAR POWER STRUGGLE -- In a power play ahead of general elections, Myanmar's military-backed ruling party announces the ouster of its politically popular chairman hours after security forces seize the party headquarters, preventing some members from leaving. By Aung Shine Oo. SENT: 540 words, photos.
SEAFOOD FROM SLAVES-BOAT SEIZED -- A massive refrigerated cargo ship believed to be loaded with slave-caught fish is seized by Indonesia's navy and brought to shore after The Associated Press informed authorities it had entered the country's waters. By Margie Mason. SENT: 830 words, photos.
JAPAN-WWII STATEMENT-KEY WORDS -- What's in a word? As Japan's leader prepares to issue a statement Friday to mark the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II, attention is focused on the words he will use -- and the ones he won't. By Mari Yamaguchi and Ken Moritsugu. SENT: 690 words, photos.
THAILAND-PROTEST LAW -- Thailand's military-installed prime minister defends a new law that places tight restrictions on public gatherings and warns it will be strictly enforced. SENT: 430 words, photos.
PAKISTAN-INDIA -- A top Pakistani government official says Islamabad has accepted an invitation from India for a meeting between security advisers from the two nuclear-armed rival nations later this month. SENT: 190 words.
KASHMIR-BLAST -- An explosion tears through a mosque complex in the insurgency-wracked Indian portion of Kashmir, wounding nine worshippers. By Aijaz Hussain. SENT: 370 words, photos.
AFGHANISTAN-PAKISTAN-TALIBAN -- The Afghan government sends a high-level delegation to Pakistan to discuss an action plan after Islamabad-hosted peace talks with the Taliban were suspended last month. By Lynne O'Donnell. SENT: 280 words.
AUSTRALIA-SYRIA -- Australia is considering joining airstrikes against Islamic State fighters in Syria, the prime minister says. By Rod McGuirk. SENT: 260 words.
CHINA-STABBING DEATH -- A man slashes a woman to death and injures her French companion in one of Beijing's busiest shopping districts. SENT: 150 words.
MYANMAR-LEGEND IN THE HILLS -- Seventy years after World War II ended, withered and mostly impoverished veterans will gather at the graveside of a British officer who almost no one in England remembers. Maj. Hugh Paul Seagrim -- or "Grandfather Longlegs" -- remains a legend up in the hills of Myanmar, among a beleaguered ethnic minority for whom peace never came. By Denis D. Gray. SENT: 1,230 words, photos.
TAIWAN-OUR TIMES -- It's been dubbed the female version of "You Are the Apple of My Eye," the 2011 Taiwanese blockbuster that took Asia by storm and broke box-office records in Hong Kong and Taiwan. Four years later, "Our Times" is hoping to duplicate that success. SENT: 450 words, photos.
BUSINESS AND FINANCE:
CHINA-CURRENCY -- China tries to ease fears of more big declines for the yuan as companies from global automakers to Chinese clothing exporters face a new era of uncertain exchange rates. By Joe McDonald. SENT: 1,020 words, photos.
UNITED STATES-CHINA-CURRENCY -- U.S. lawmakers have been quick to condemn the sudden drop in the value of Chinese currency as damaging for American businesses and workers, reviving an issue that was once one of the biggest sources of tension between the two world powers. Yet the initial response from the Obama administration officials has been mild, even positive. By Matthew Pennington. SENT: 800 words.
JAPAN-SUSHI'S GENDER GAP -- Some jobs in Japan, a nation known for its poor record on gender equality, have been off limits to women for ages. The sushi counter, for one. By Yuri Kageyama. SENT: 940 words, photos.
SKOREA-TYCOON PARDONED -- South Korea's president pardons a tycoon convicted of embezzlement who heads the country's third-largest business group. By Youkyung Lee. SENT: 210 words.
INDIA-NESTLE NOODLES -- Food and drinks giant Nestle is hopeful of selling Maggi noodles in India again after a court orders fresh testing of the popular snack banned across India for unsafe levels of lead. SENT: 250 words, photos.
NEW ZEALAND-COAL BANKRUPTCY -- New Zealand's largest coal miner is forced into a managed bankruptcy due to a steep fall in coal prices over several years. By Nick Perry. SENT: 420 words.
MALAYSIA-CURRENCY -- Malaysia's central bank says there is no need for "extreme measures" such as pegging the currency or capital controls to halt a slide in the ringgit. The Malaysian currency has slumped by 20 percent since September last year. By Eileen Ng. SENT: 480 words.
U.S. AND INTERNATIONAL:
IRAQ -- A massive truck bomb rips through a popular Baghdad food market in a predominantly Shiite neighborhood early Thursday, killing at least 62 people, police say. The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the blast, saying it targeted a gathering place of Shiites and vowed more attacks. By Vivian Salama. SENT: 670 words, photos, video. With IRAQ-ATTACKS-GLANCE.
JIMMY CARTER-CANCER -- Determining what treatment to pursue for former President Jimmy Carter's cancer will depend on its type, its origin and other factors, doctors say. By Kathleen Foody and Marilynn Marchione. SENT: 720 words, photos.
ELVIS PRESLEY-AUCTION -- More than 170 Elvis artifacts to be sold at auction during Elvis Week at Graceland in Memphis, Tennessee. By Lucas L. Johnson II. SENT: 510 words, photo.
SOUTH AFRICA-PRINCE HARRY -- Britain's Prince Harry is on a private visit to South Africa's flagship wildlife park, where poachers have killed rhinos in record numbers and clashed with rangers. By Christopher Torchia. SENT: 300 words, photo.
CUBA-US CULTURE -- Far beyond the antique Chevys on its streets and the memorials to Ernest Hemingway, Cuba is a country whose language, music, literature and fashion are steeped in American influence that has survived a half-century of official hostility. By Andrea Rodriguez and Michael Weissenstein. SENT: 790 words, photos.
FRANCE-MIGRANTS-PHOTO GALLERY -- A gallery of images recounting the lives of some of the 3,000 migrants who have gathered in the northern French port city of Calais, most feeding on the hope of sneaking across the English Channel to settle in Britain. SENT: 200 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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