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Asian News Digest, AS

Asian News Digest, AS



BANGKOK -- Thai police say that a key suspect has admitted to meeting the alleged Bangkok shrine bomber outside a train station and handing him a heavy backpack containing a bomb just before the blast occurred the night of Aug. 17. By Nattasuda Anusonadisai and Jocelyn Gecker. SENT: 480 words, photos.


HONG KONG -- Japan's Nikkei 225 stock index surges 7.7 percent, its biggest one-day jump since 2008, amid strong advances by other Asian markets. SENT: 130 words. Will be updated.


BEIJING -- China's space program says it plans to attempt the first-ever landing of a lunar probe on the moon's far side. SENT: 130 words.


CANBERRA, Australia -- Australia will launch airstrikes against Islamic State targets in Syria within days and resettle an additional 12,000 refugees from the deepening humanitarian and security crisis in the Middle East, Prime Minister Tony Abbott says. By Rod McGuirk. SENT: 400 words.


BEIJING -- A farmer who pretended to be a princess descended from the Qing dynasty to swindle people out of more than 2 million yuan ($315,000) has been sentenced to 13 - 1/2 years in prison for fraud. SENT: 160 words.


ISLAMABAD -- For years, Pakistan did not put prisoners to death. Then a Taliban attack butchered 150 people, most of them children, unleashing a blood lust that quickly turned the country into one of the world's most avid executioners. But instead of killing militants, the campaign is largely executing common criminals, The Associated Press has found. By Munir Ahmed. SENT: 1,200 words.


KABUL, Afghanistan -- Officials say a roadside bomb has killed two Afghan soldiers and wounded a civilian near the capital, Kabul, as a suspected NATO drone strike has killed militants elsewhere in the country. SENT: 120 words.


HONG KONG -- Netflix says it's planning to enter four more Asian markets next year as the Internet video streaming service steps up its international expansion. SENT: 160 words.


SEOUL, South Korea -- The inaugural president of a Chinese-led Asian regional bank says the door remains open to the United States and Japan becoming members of the institution that Washington objected to. By Youkyung Lee. SENT: 230 words.


TOKYO -- Japan's ambitions for a trouble-free 2020 Tokyo Olympics to showcase the country's economic revival are facing an unexpected obstacle course as planners lurch from one fiasco to the next. By Elaine Kurtenbach. UPCOMING: 900 words by 0700 GMT, photos.


EUROPE-MIGRANTS - Leaders of the United Nations refugee agency warn that Hungary faces a bigger wave of 42,000 asylum seekers in the next 10 days and will need international help to provide shelter on its border, where newcomers already are complaining bitterly about being left to sleep in frigid fields. By Pablo Gorondi and Shawn Pogatchnik. SENT: 1,100 words, photos.

CONGRESS-IRAN NUCLEAR - The White House and Senate Democrats lock up the votes to frustrate attempts by outraged Republicans to pass a legislative rebuke to the Iran nuclear accord. By Erica Werner. SENT: 890 words, photos.

VATICAN-ANNULMENTS -- Pope Francis overhauls 300 years of Catholic Church practice by radically changing the process for annulling marriages, creating a new fast-track approach meant to speed up and simplify a procedure that many complained took too long and cost too much. By Nicole Winfield. SENT: 1,000 words, photos.

With POPE-35000 FEET - Reflections on Francis from 35,000 feet from an AP reporter who has crossed the globe with him. SENT: 1,050 words, photos.

TURKEY-KURDS - Turkey deploys ground forces across the border into northern Iraq for the first time since 2011, stepping up its battle against Kurdish rebels who have stung the Turkish military with a string of attacks in recent weeks. By Suzan Fraser. SENT: 900 words, photos.

BRITAIN-QUEEN'S REIGN - Queen Elizabeth II is set to become the longest reigning monarch in British history, beating the record set by her great-great-grandmother Queen Victoria. By Sylvia Hui. SENT: 850 words, photos.

VENEZUELA-COLOMBIA - Venezuela's president expands an anti-smuggling offensive along his frontier with Colombia and orders the closure of the main border crossing in the country's biggest state. By Fabiola Sanchez. SENT: 770 words, photos.

PRESIDENTIAL RACE-REPUBLICANS-IRAN -- Other Republican presidential candidates may be going after Donald Trump, but Texas Sen. Ted Cruz is getting cozy with the brash billionaire as both chase the same group of frustrated voters. By Bill Barrow. SENT: 820 words, photo.

PRESIDENTIAL RACE-CLINTON-ANALYSIS -- It took three interviews and five days for Hillary Rodham Clinton to say "I'm sorry." After resisting apologizing for using a personal email account run on a private server to conduct government business as secretary of state, Clinton shifted course Tuesday. SENT: 900 words.

GAY MARRIAGE-KENTUCKY - The Kentucky county clerk who was jailed for refusing to issue marriage licenses to gay couples is released after five days behind bars, emerging to a tumultuous reception from thousands of cross-waving supporters. By Adam Beam. SENT: 900 words, photos, video.

ZIMBABWE-LION KILLED - The Minnesota dentist who killed Cecil the lion returns to work after weeks away, walking silently past a swarm of media and a handful of protesters outside his small dental practice calling for him to be sent to Zimbabwe to face trial. SENT: 700 words, photo, video.

UNITED AIRLINES-CEO - The chairman and CEO of United Airlines is stepping down in connection with an investigation into the airline's dealings with the former chairman of the agency that operates New York-area airports. By David Koenig. SENT: 500 words, photos.

EXTREME PREEMIES - Odds have improved that many extremely premature U.S. infants will survive without major problems, although prospects remain poor for the smallest and youngest, born nearly four months too soon, a government-funded study found. SENT: 550 words, photos.

SPACE STATION - The book "The Martian" is earning high praise from space, and the astronaut-reviewer can't wait to see the soon-to-be-released movie. By Marcia Dunn. SENT: 500 words.


HOW TO REACH US: The editor in charge at the AP Asia-Pacific Desk in Bangkok is Scott McDonald. 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. Between 1600 GMT and 0000 GMT, please refer queries to the North America Desk in New York at (1) 212-621-1650.

Expanded AP content can be obtained from For access to AP Exchange and other technical issues, contact or call (1) 877-836-9477.

Updated : 2021-09-22 05:36 GMT+08:00