INDIA-MONSOON FLOODING -- The heaviest rainfall in more than 100 years devastates swathes of the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu, with thousands forced to leave their submerged homes and schools. SENT: 620 words, photos.
MALAYSIA-MISSING PLANE -- The deep sea hunt for missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 is refocused on the southern reaches of an expansive search zone based on new analysis of the Boeing 777's final hours and how it might have plunged into the Indian Ocean with 239 people aboard. By Rod McGuirk and Nick Perry. SENT: 810 words, photos.
MALAYSIA-SECURITY LAW -- Human Rights Watch slams a proposed new security law by Malaysia's government that will give sweeping powers to a council led by the prime minister, warning it is a step toward dictatorship. SENT: 130 words.
CAMBODIA-HIV OUTBREAK -- A Cambodian court sentences an unlicensed medical practitioner to 25 years in prison after finding him responsible for infecting more than 100 villagers with HIV by reusing unsanitized syringes. By Sopheng Cheang. SENT: 340 words.
CHINA-EDUCATION CORRUPTION -- A former admissions officer at a top Chinese university stands trial on charges of taking $3.6 million in bribes. SENT: 270 words.
CHINA-MINE MURDERS -- A court in northern China sentences four people to be executed over the deaths of coal miners who were slain in a plot to collect compensation. SENT: 230 words.
HONG KONG-NO SPACE TO DIE -- In tightly packed Hong Kong, the dead are causing a problem for the living.Limited land to build on and soaring property prices are colliding with a tradition of visiting grave sites on "tomb sweeping" holidays to burn incense and pay respects to venerated dead ancestors. By Kelvin Chan. SENT: 960 words, photos.
PHILIPPINES-CHRISTMAS HOUSE-PHOTO GALLERY -- As a child from a poor family, Alexander Cruz marveled at the big houses adorned with Christmas lights near his Philippine neighborhood, but the gates were always closed. Now a successful businessman with a huge house, Cruz celebrates Christmas with about half a million colorful lights covering every inch of his home. And he and his wife open the gates to everyone. By Aaron Favila. SENT: 430 words, photos.
ASIA PHOTO SHOWCASE -- South Korean students gather for a souvenir photo in heavy snow at the 14th-century Gyeongbok Palace. SENT: 60 words, photo.
BUSINESS AND FINANCE:
ASIA-ECONOMY -- China's economy will grow slightly faster than expected this year at 6.9 percent and its shift to fostering services and private consumption is helping support regional growth, the Asian Development Bank says. An ADB report says Asia's developing economies remain resilient to economic weakness in industrialized countries and are on track to grow 5.8 percent in 2015 and 6 percent in 2016. By Teresa Cerojano. SENT: 450 words.
JAPAN-JX HOLDINGS-TAKEOVER -- JX Holdings Inc., Japan's largest oil refiner and wholesaler, plans to take over smaller rival TonenGeneral Sekiyu, forming a behemoth with combined sales of 14 trillion yen ($113 billion). SENT: 210 words.
BANK OF CHINA-COUNTERFEITS -- The Bank of China is appealing a decision by a New York court to fine it $50,000 a day for withholding information about counterfeiters' bank accounts in China. The appeal is the latest twist in a five-year legal saga that pits one of China's largest state banks against Western luxury brands seeking new, more powerful tools to fight rampant counterfeiting. By Erika Kinetz. SENT: 660 words.
JAPAN-TOYOTA-ROBOTS -- Toyota Motor Corp. is harboring big ambitions to become a significant player in the growing market for robots that help the elderly and other people get around in everyday life. The company believes it can use its manufacturing expertise to become as crucial in a field it calls "partner robots" as it is to auto-making. By Yuri Kageyama. SENT: 590 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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