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Asian News Digest, AS

Asian News Digest, AS



HANOI, Vietnam -- U.S. President Barack Obama lifts a decades-old arms export embargo for Vietnam during his first visit to the communist country, looking to bolster a government seen as a crucial, though flawed partner even as he pushes for better human rights from the one-party state. Obama announced the full removal of the embargo at a news conference, saying the move was intended to step toward normalizing relations with the former war enemy and to eliminate a "lingering vestige of the Cold War." By Foster Klug. SENT: 680 words, photos.


TALIBAN LEADER DEATH-OBAMA: Obama says death of Taliban leader Mullah Mohammed Akhtar Mansour marks an "important milestone" in the longstanding effort to bring peace to Afghanistan. SENT: 130 words, photos.

JAPAN-US-HIROSHIMA: TOKYO -- Vets' group says an American held by Japan as a prisoner of war during World War II has been invited to accompany President Barack Obama on his historic visit to Hiroshima this week. SENT: 280 words, photos. A version of this story is also available at the @AP Twitter handle and AP Facebook page as a digital-friendly stack of videos:


TOKYO -- Two very different visions of the hell that is war are seared into the minds of U.S. and Japanese World War II survivors, who will be watching closely as President Barack Obama visits the memorial to atomic bomb victims in Hiroshima later this week. By Mari Yamaguchi and Julie Watson. SENT: 1,300 words, photos.


BANGKOK -- A nighttime fire at a boarding school dormitory in northern Thailand kills 18 girls ranging from 5 to 12 years old, police and school officials say. By Gabrielle Paluch and Natnicha Chuwiruch. SENT: 430 words, photos.


KATHMANDU, Nepal -- An Indian climber who had fallen sick and was being helped down Mount Everest has died, becoming the third to die in recent days while attempting to scale the world's tallest peak, an expedition organizer says. SENT: 280 words, photos.


CANBERRA, Australia -- Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull's popularity dipped slightly in a poll published Monday two weeks into what appears to be a tight campaign ahead of July 2 general elections. Some 46 percent said they preferred Turnbull over opposition leader Bill Shorten, down 3 percentage points from the last poll two weeks ago, according to the survey by Sydney-based market researcher Galaxy. By Rod McGuirk.


HANOI, Vietnam -- The Peace Corps is at last coming to Vietnam. President Barack Obama is expected to announce Monday during his visit to Vietnam that the Peace Corps will be invited to establish operations in that country, the volunteer organization said. By Nancy Benac.

AP Photos HAN102-0522161443, VNMK106-0522161443.


DHAKA, Bangladesh -- Tens of thousands of Bangladeshis are returning to wind-battered villages and rain-soaked fields after a strong storm pummeled the coast and killed at least 26 people over the weekend. SENT: 130 words, photos. UPCOMING: 350 words by 0730GMT.



TOKYO -- Japan's economy appears to be weakening as exports fell 10 percent and imports plunged 23 percent in April while a monthly survey of factory managers showed the sharpest deterioration in operating conditions in over three years. By Elaine Kurtenbach. SENT: 370 words, photos.


BEIJING -- Japanese stocks fell and other Asian markets were higher after a global finance meeting failed to yield fresh ideas for spurring global growth, and Tokyo reported weaker exports. By Joe McDonald. SENT; 390 words.



MANILA, Philippines -- Veteran actress Jaclyn Jose has become the first Filipino to win the best actress award at the Cannes Film Festival for her performance in "Ma' Rosa," as a mother who falls prey to corrupt police after she was forced to sell drugs to survive. SENT: 340 words, photos.



The editor in charge at the AP Asia-Pacific Desk in Bangkok is Malcolm Foster. 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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