KOREAS-TENSIONS -- North Korea marks its "Military First" holiday with mass dancing, outdoor concerts and boasts of a successful -- and potentially game-changing -- submarine-launched ballistic missile test it hopes will serve as a warning to Washington and Seoul to stop holding joint military exercises Pyongyang sees as a dress rehearsal for invasion. By Eric Talmadge. SENT: 940 words, photos.
UNITED NATIONS-NORTH KOREA -- The U.N. Security Council agrees at an emergency meeting to consider issuing a statement on the latest North Korean missile launch. By Edith Lederer. SENT: 490 words.
AFGHANISTAN -- A brazen, hours-long militant attack on the American University of Afghanistan ends after at least 12 people were killed and dozens were wounded in the assault on the sprawling campus on Kabul's outskirts. By Lynne O'Donnell. SENT: 830 words, photos.
MYANMAR-EARTHQUAKE -- Using brooms and their hands, soldiers and residents of an ancient Myanmar city famous for its historic Buddhist temples begin cleaning up debris from a powerful earthquake that shook the region and damaged nearly 200 pagodas. At least four people were killed and at least 171 pagodas were damaged in Bagan after a 6.8 magnitude quake struck the area on Wednesday. By Min Kyi Thein and Esther Htusan. SENT: 670 words, photos.
MYANMAR-MYANMAR'S PRIDE -- It was a time of conquest and conversions. Above all, it was a time of construction, on a scale never seen before. Over 250 years, from the 11th century onwards, the rulers of Bagan built more than 10,000 magnificent religious monuments. By Min Kyi Thein and Grant Peck. SENT: 700 words, photos.
AP EXPLAINS-SHALLOW VS DEEP QUAKES -- Italy's earthquake was a lot weaker than the one in Myanmar, but it did far more damage because it happened at a shallower depth. By Alicia Chang. SENT: 310 words, photos.
SKOREA-JAPAN SEX SLAVES -- Surviving South Korean women who were forced into sexual slavery by Japan's military in World War II will be eligible to receive around 100 million won (about $90,000) each from a foundation that will be funded by the Japanese government. SENT: 230 words, photos.
PHILIPPINES-BEHEADED HOSTAGE -- Abu Sayyaf extremists behead a kidnapped Filipino villager after a ransom deadline lapsed in their first such brutal act under President Rodrigo Duterte, who pressed an order for troops to crush the militants. SENT: 230 words.
PHILIPPINES-GIANT PEARL -- A Filipino fisherman in western Palawan island found possibly the world's biggest pearl, but didn't know it. For 10 years, the 34-kilogram (75-pound) pearl was hidden in a bag under a bed as a good-luck charm. By Teresa Cerojano. SENT: 380 words, photos.
THAILAND-BEES VS ELEPHANTS -- To stop wild elephants from rampaging through their produce, farmers in Thailand put up electric fences, set off firecrackers and even switched their crops from pineapples to pumpkins, which the pachyderms don't relish. Nothing worked, so the villagers decided on Plan Bee. In a pilot scheme run by the Thai Department of National Parks, farmers are deploying bees as a new line of defense, exploiting elephants' documented fear of bee stings. By Vicky Ge Huang. SENT: 670 words, photos, video.
NEW ZEALAND-WHALING -- Sea Shepherd Australia says a legal settlement involving the conservation group's U.S. founder will not affect its anti-whaling campaign in the Southern Ocean. By Nick Perry and Lisa Rathke. SENT: 720 words, photos.
NEW ZEALAND-HIKER DEATH -- A tourist from the Czech Republic, whose partner fell to his death, survives a harrowing month in the frozen New Zealand wilderness before being rescued. By Nick Perry. SENT: 530 words.
AUSTRALIA-STABBING-ARABIC PHRASE -- Australian police are investigating whether a French man accused of fatally stabbing a British woman while shouting the Arabic phrase "Allahu akbar" had a romantic obsession with her. By Kristen Gelineau. SENT: 720 words, photos.
INDONESIA-MISSING SHIP -- Indonesia's navy says it has located a fuel tanker that was missing for a week after being taken from port by its disgruntled crew. SENT: 170 words.
BUSINESS AND FINANCE:
FINANCIAL MARKETS -- Global stocks fall in lackluster trading as investors await a speech by Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen on Friday for hints on a possible interest rate increase. By Elaine Kurtenbach. SENT: 440 words, photos.
AUTONOMOUS TAXIS-SINGAPORE -- The world's first self-driving taxis begin picking up passengers in Singapore. By Annabelle Liang and Dee-Ann Durbin. SENT: 880 words, photos.
CAMPAIGN 2016-WHY IT MATTERS-TRADE -- THE ISSUE: In this angry election year, many American voters are deeply skeptical about free trade -- or downright hostile to it. The backlash against trade threatens a pillar of U.S. policy since World War II: Through trade pacts and institutions like the World Trade Organization, the United States has sought to rip down barriers to global commerce, including quotas and taxes on imports. By Paul Wiseman. SENT: 660 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. The news desk can be reached at (66) 2632-6911 or by email at email@example.com. 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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