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BC-AS--Asian News Digest, AS

BC-AS--Asian News Digest, AS

ASIA:

SKOREA-POLITICS A lawyer for the jailed woman at the center of the biggest South Korean political scandal in decades said Thursday that prosecutors threatened to "annihilate" her family and used other abusive language during questioning. By Hyung-jin Kim. SENT: 450 words, photos.

PAKISTAN-EXTREMISM — Two ornate minarets pierce the evening sky and frame the emerald green dome of a shrine to Mumtaz Qadri. He was hanged for killing a politician who criticized Pakistan's blasphemy law — a measure that can bring a death sentence for anyone insulting Islam. By Kathy Gannon. SENT: 860 words, photos.

CHINA-NORTH KOREA - China has released a new list of items banned for export to North Korea, following a new round of United Nations sanctions and complaints from President Donald Trump that Beijing wasn't doing enough to pressure its communist neighbor. By Christopher Bodeen. SENT: 500 words.

NEW ZEALAND-HELEN CLARKE — Former New Zealand prime minister Helen Clark told her staff on Thursday that she's stepping down from her senior role at the United Nations when her term expires in April. By Nick Perry. SENT: 300 words, photos.

INDIA-CRACKDOWN ON PROFITS - A nonprofit running schools for children from India's lowest caste may run out of money to pay teachers in just months. A health institute in Bangalore is taking the government to court so it can continue its work, like anti-tobacco campaigns. A lawyers' group wanted to know why it lost its license to receive foreign donations, only to be told the government wasn't obliged to explain why. By Nirmala George. SENT: 775 words, photos.

CHINA-COPING WITH POLLUTION - Beijing residents concerned about breathing the capital's thick gray air are adapting, inventing and even creating businesses to protect the health of their families and others. Some of their efforts could help people around the world. By Louise Watt. UPCOMING: 1,000 words, photos.

BUSINESS AND FINANCE

FINANCIAL MARKETS — Asian shares advanced Thursday as investors cheered the Dow Jones industrial average's first ever close above the 20,000 milestone. By Youkyung Lee. SENT: 320 words, photos.

PHILIPPINES ECONOMY - The Philippine economy expanded at a 6.6 percent annual rate in October-December, the slowest pace of expansion for the year, though full-year annual growth clocked in at a relatively brisk 6.8 percent, officials said Thursday. SENT: 340 words.

CHINA-APPLE-QUALACOMM - — Apple Inc. has filed suit in China challenging chipmaker Qualcomm Inc.'s fees for technology used in smartphones. SENT: 350 words.

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