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Asian News Digest, AS

Asian News Digest, AS



AMBON, Indonesia -- More than 2,000 fishermen have been rescued this year from brutal conditions at sea, their freedom prompted by an Associated Press investigation into seafood brought to the U.S. from a slave island in eastern Indonesia. Dozens of Burmese men in the bustling port town of Ambon were the latest to go home, some more than a decade after being trafficked onto Thai trawlers. Grabbing one another's hands, the men walked together toward buses last week. As they pulled away for the airport, some of those still waiting their turn to go home cheered, throwing their arms in the air. By Esther Htusan and Margie Mason. SENT: 1,400 words, photos.

WITH: FACES OF SLAVERY-MYO AUNG. Slave fisherman's story: 'Like our lives were already over.' SENT: 310 words, photos.


WELLINGTON, New Zealand -- A magnitude-8.3 quake that struck off the coast of Chile Wednesday night was powerful enough that authorities 9,600 kilometers (6,000 miles) away in New Zealand have warned residents that a tsunami could hit parts of the country. SENT: 240 words.


BEIJING -- The illicit timber trade between Myanmar and China is rebounding to near its peak of a decade ago as loggers push deeper into Myanmar to strip its forests, according to a report released Thursday by an environmental group. By Louise Watt.


NEW DELHI -- A Saudi Arabian diplomat accused of repeatedly raping and abusing two women has left India under cover of diplomatic immunity. India's External Affairs Ministry spokesman Vikas Swarup identified the diplomat as Majed Hassan Ashoor, the first secretary at the Saudi Embassy in New Delhi. By Nirmala George.


BANGKOK -- When the Thai military says cadets can't bring phones to training, they mean it. A video clip that has ignited social media in Thailand this week shows what happened to some officers-in-training who broke that rule. By Papitchaya Boonngok.


BEIJING -- China's main anti-corruption agency is investigating the deputy head of the country's securities market regulator following the collapse of a stock price boom. SENT: 260 words.


BEIJING -- Ride-hailing services Didi Kuaidi of China and Lyft of the United States have agreed to link their apps in a move that steps up competitive pressure on rival Uber. SENT: 170 words.


TOKYO -- Japan's trade deficit narrowed in August from the year before as costs for crude oil imports plunged and exports to the U.S. showed steady growth. SENT.


PRESIDENTIAL RACE-REPUBLICAN DEBATE -- Front-running Donald Trump began the second Republican presidential debate with a bang, throwing barbs in all directions, but was quiet for long stretches as 10 fellow candidates for the 2016 presidential nomination bore down on serious issues. SENT: 970 words, photos.

EUROPE-MIGRANTS -- Baton-wielding Hungarian riot police unleashed tear gas and water cannons against hundreds of migrants Wednesday after they broke through a razor-wire fence and tried to surge into the country from Serbia. Crying children fled the acrid smoke and dozens of people were injured in the chaos. SENT: 1,300 words.

UNITED STATES-RUSSIA-SYRIA -- The Obama administration plans to accept an offer from Russia for direct talks on its military buildup in Syria. By AP Diplomatic Writer Matthew Lee. SENT: 670 words, photo.

UNITED STATES-ISLAMIC STATE-MILITARY -- Republicans and Democrats lambaste the Obama administration's strategy to combat the Islamic State group after a top U.S. general admitted that just a handful of U.S.-trained Syrian rebels are still on the battlefield fighting the militants. By Deb Riechmann and Lolita C. Baldor. SENT: 710 words, photos.

CHILE-EARTHQUAKE -- A major earthquake just offshore rattles Chileans, killing five people and shaking the Earth so strongly the tremor is felt in places across South America. By Luis Andres Henao. SENT: 700 words, photos.

FATAL FLASH FLOODS -- The same geology that lures people to the majestic canyons of the desert Southwest also make them deadly during storms -- tragic examples are the deaths of at least 18 people this week during flash floods. By P. Solomon Banda and Brady McCombs. SENT: 800 words, photos.

GENERAL MOTORS CRIMINAL PROBE -- Federal prosecutors reach an agreement with General Motors to resolve a criminal investigation into how the Detroit automaker broke the law by concealing a deadly problem with small-car ignition switches, three people briefed on the case say. By Tom Hays, Eric Tucker and Tom Krisher. SENT: 850 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.

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Updated : 2021-09-28 22:55 GMT+08:00