SEAFOOD FROM SLAVES-PROMISES UNFULFILLED -- Facing international pressure for failing to stop human trafficking in the seafood trade, Thailand promised almost a year ago to compensate victims of slavery and industry leaders vowed to bring all shrimp processing in-house. That hasn't always happened. Instead, some formerly enslaved shrimp peelers have been deported. And some shrimp peeling sheds are being inspected and authorized to keep operating. By Martha Mendoza. SENT: 1,400 words, photos. An abridged version has also moved.
AFGHANISTAN-PEACE DEAL -- Afghanistan's government signs a draft peace deal with a designated "global terrorist" after lengthy negotiations that could pave the way for a similar accord with the Taliban, who have been waging war on Kabul for 15 years. The deal with warlord Gulbuddin Hekmatyar is the country's first peace agreement since the Taliban launched their insurgency in 2001, after being driven from power in the wake of the 9/11 attacks on the United States. By Lynne O'Donnell. SENT: 710 words, photos.
CHINA-LAWYER SENTENCED -- A Chinese lawyer who defended activists and others involved in politically sensitive cases is sentenced to 12 years in prison on fraud charges, in what is believed to be the harshest penalty handed down in years against those few willing to take on the ruling Communist Party. By Christopher Bodeen. SENT: 640 words, photos.
KASHMIR-ACTIVIST ARRESTED -- Authorities in Indian-controlled Kashmir have charged a leading human rights activist under a controversial security law after immediately taking him back into custody when a local court ordered him freed from police detention. Police said Khurram Parvez was formally booked under the Public Safety Act that allows detention for up to six months without a trial. By Aijaz Hussain. SENT: 580 words, photos.
VIETNAM BLOGGER'S TRIAL -- A prominent Vietnamese blogger tells an appeal hearing that his sentencing earlier this year to five years in prison for anti-state writings was not based on any evidence. Nguyen Huu Vinh, better known as Anh Ba Sam, was convicted of abusing democratic freedoms to infringe on the interests of the state. SENT: 370 words, photos.
KOREAS-TENSION -- The U.S. military says at least one of its supersonic bombers that flew over South Korea earlier this week in a display of military power approached the border with North Korea. The flight is likely to anger North Korea, which is extremely sensitive to the deployment of high-tech U.S. weapons systems. SENT: 240 words, photos.
MALAYSIA-MISSING PLANE -- Accident investigators cast doubt on the possibility that blackened debris found on Madagascar is evidence of a catastrophic fire aboard the missing Malaysian airliner that went down more than two years ago. Wreckage hunter Blaine Gibson hand-delivered five pieces of debris last week to officials at the Australian Transport Safety Bureau who are searching for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370. By Rod McGuirk. SENT: 330 words.
UNITED NATIONS-MYANMAR -- Former political prisoner Aung San Suu Kyi makes her first speech at the U.N. General Assembly since forming a democratically elected government and calls for international understanding as Myanmar grapples with sectarian tensions. By Matthew Pennington. SENT: 480 word, photos.
JAPAN-FUKUSHIMA COWS -- In an abandoned Japanese village, cows grazing in lush green plains begin to gather when they hear the familiar rumble of the ranch owner's mini-pickup. This isn't feeding time, though. Instead, the animals are about to be measured for how they're affected by living in radiation -- radioactivity that is 15 times the safe benchmark. For these cows' pasture sits near Fukushima, a name now synonymous with nuclear disaster. By Miki Toda. SENT: 960 words, photos.
CHINA-GREAT WALL -- Chinese officials are being pilloried over the smoothing-over of a crumbling but much-loved 700-year-old section of the Great Wall of China -- a UNESCO World Heritage Site -- in the name of restoration. The widely mocked project involved an 8-kilometer (5-mile) unrestored section of the wall that has become known as the "most beautiful wild Great Wall." By Christopher Bodeen. SENT: 500 words.
TAIWAN-CHINA-UN -- Taiwan protests its exclusion from a United Nations conference on the global fishing industry, allegedly at the behest of chief rival China. SENT: 260 words.
PHILIPPINES-DUTERTE-KILLINGS -- The Philippine president says he will invite the U.N. chief and European Union officials to investigate his bloody anti-drug crackdown, but only if he can grill them afterward to prove that their human rights concerns are without basis. SENT: 130 words.
GHANA-GANDHI STATUE -- Professors at a university in Ghana's capital are campaigning for the removal of a new statue of Indian independence leader Mohandas Gandhi, taking issue with what they call his "racist identity." SENT: 130 words.
AUSTRALIA-DEAD PASTOR -- An Australian Christian pastor died in a South African hospital days after he was attacked in Malawi in east Africa during a preaching tour, a relative says. SENT: 200 words.
AUSTRALIA-MALICIOUS MEMORY STICKS -- Australian police say booby-trapped memory sticks have been left in mailboxes in the suburban town of Pakenham, a criminal twist on a spy agency technique aimed at tricking users into plugging malicious devices into their own machines. SENT: 130 words.
JAPAN-US MILITARY PLANE -- A U.S. Marine Corps AV-8 Harrier fighter jet crashes into the ocean off the coast of southwestern Okinawa in Japan, but the pilot ejects safely from the aircraft and was rescued. By Yuri Kageyama. SENT: 280 words.
BUSINESS AND FINANCE:
FINANCIAL MARKETS -- Global stocks rise after the U.S. and Japanese central banks left interest rates unchanged. By Joe McDonald. SENT: 480 words, photos.
SKOREA-SAMSUNG-BATTERY FIRES -- Samsung Electronics is ordered to carry out more safety checks of its Galaxy Note 7 smartphones before they go back on sale following an unprecedented global recall after defective batteries caused some of the phones to burst into flames. Under a recall plan agreed to by the Korean Agency for Technology and Standards, Samsung's battery supplier will have to X-ray test every single lithium-ion battery intended for the Note 7 before the batteries are shipped, and Samsung Electronics will also carry out a quality test on every battery when it arrives from the supplier. By Youkyung Lee. SENT: 520 words, photos.
SKOREA-HANJIN SHIPPING-BANKRUPTCY -- Hanjin Shipping is to receive as much as $100 million in additional funds to resolve the cargo crisis caused by its slide toward bankruptcy. Hanjin's lead creditor, Korea Development Bank, says it will offer a credit line of 50 billion won ($45 million) to help the shipper unload cargo stranded offshore. By Youkyung Lee. SENT: 390 words.
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