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Asian News Digest, AS

Asian News Digest, AS

ASIA:

NKOREA-AMERICAN DETAINED -- North Korea announces the arrest of a U.S. university student for what it called a "hostile act" orchestrated by the American government to undermine the authoritarian nation. By Hyung-jin Kim. SENT: 630 words. With NKOREA-AMERICAN DETAINED-THE LATEST.

NKOREA-NUCLEAR -- South Korea's president questions the role of long-dormant North Korean nuclear disarmament talks, saying regional powers should meet without the North in the wake its recent nuclear test. By Hyung-jin Kim. SENT: 470 words, photos.

UNITED NATIONS-NORTH KOREA -- The United Nations special envoy on North Korea says harsh human rights conditions in the country have hardly changed and that criminal responsibility should be pursued against leader Kim Jong Un. SENT: 220 words, photos.

PAKISTAN -- The head of a breakaway Taliban faction behind this week's attack at a northwestern Pakistani university that killed 21 people, most of them students, threatens to carry out more attacks on schools and universities across the country. By Ishtiaq Mahsud. SENT: 530 words, photos.

AFGHANISTAN -- The Afghan Taliban say they will attend a conference organized by an international crisis group on resolving the war in Afghanistan. SENT: 130 words.

AFGHANISTAN-WOMEN SIDELINED -- As efforts gather pace to renew peace talks with the Taliban, Afghan women still haunted by the insurgents' brutal rule say they are being left out of the process, and fear that an accommodation with the militants could lead to the loss of hard-won rights. By Lynne O'Donnell. SENT: 310 words, photos.

MYANMAR-POLITICAL PRISONERS -- Myanmar's military-backed government releases 20 political prisoners, months before it is scheduled to hand over power to an elected pro-democracy party. SENT: 320 words, photos.

VIETNAM-COMMUNIST PARTY -- Vietnam's prime minister retains a slim chance of challenging his rival, the ruling communist party chief, for the top job, according to a new interpretation of complicated rules disclosed at the start of a party congress that will name national leaders next week. By Yves Dam Van. SENT: 990 words, photos.

LAOS -- The ruling communist party of Laos has chosen a new chief, putting Bounnhang Vorachit in charge of the single-party Southeast Asian country as it takes its turn as the chair of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations. SENT: 130 words.

JAPAN-DOLPHIN KILLING -- Japan orders the deportation of Ric O'Barry, the star of the Oscar-winning documentary "The Cove," about a Japanese village that hunts dolphins. But he has refused to leave, insisting he came as a tourist to look at dolphins. By Yuri Kageyama. SENT: 400 words, photos.

JAPAN-NUCLEAR -- Japan has improved its nuclear safety regulation since the 2011 Fukushima disaster, but still needs to strengthen inspections and staff competency, a team of experts from the International Atomic Energy Agency says. SENT: 380 words, photos.

INDIA-FRANCE -- The leaders of France and India are planning ambitious discussions next week in New Delhi that could end with a multibillion-dollar deal for combat airplanes and closer cooperation on counterterrorism and clean energy. By Nirmala George. SENTL: 810 words, photos.

CHINA-RESTAURANTS POPPY SEASONING -- Thirty-five restaurants across China, including a popular Beijing hot pot chain, have been found illegally using opium poppies as seasoning, one of the more unusual practices bedeviling the country's food regulators. SENT: 310 words, photos.

TOKYO 2020-STADIUM -- The International Olympic Committee says the new stadium for Tokyo 2020 will be completed two months earlier than planned to allow organizers time to stage more test events before the games. By Jim Armstrong. SENT: 290 words, photos.

BUSINESS AND FINANCE:

FINANCIAL MARKETS -- Japan leads a rebound in global shares, fueled by the prospect of more stimulus from the European Central Bank and a bounce in battered oil prices. By Kelvin Chan. SENT: 430 words, photos.

THAILAND-EU -- European Union inspectors meet with Thailand's government to discuss what the Southeast Asian nation has done to overhaul its fishing industry and avoid an EU ban on imports of Thai seafood. SENT: 260 words, photos.

INDIA-GOOGLE -- Google Inc. has begun offering free Wi-Fi to Mumbai train passengers in hopes of boosting its role in the Indian market. SENT: 330 words.

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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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Updated : 2021-03-08 07:05 GMT+08:00