MALAYSIA-NORTH KOREA — North Korea bars Malaysians from exiting its borders and Malaysia followed suit, turning ordinary citizens into pawns in the diplomatic battle surrounding the investigation into the bizarre death of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's half brother. The tit-for-tat directives come as relations between the two countries disintegrate over the poisoning of Kim Jong Nam in a crowded airport terminal in Kuala Lumpur on Feb. 13. By Eileen Ng. SENT: 780 words, photos. With MALAYSIA-NORTH KOREA-THE LATEST.
MALAYSIA'S DUAL MYSTERIES — Two of the world's most intriguing mysteries — the fatal poisoning of the half brother of North Korea's ruler and the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 — are in the hands of Malaysian investigators. Will they ever find all the answers to either? By Eileen Ng and Kristen Gelineau. SENT: 1,000 words, photos.
KOREAS-TENSION-THAAD — U.S. missile launchers and other equipment needed to set up a controversial missile defense system arrive in South Korea, the U.S. and South Korean militaries say, a day after North Korea test-launched four ballistic missiles into the ocean near Japan. The plans to deploy the Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense system have angered not only North Korea, but also China and Russia, which see the system's powerful radars as a security threat. By Kim Tong-hyung. SENT: 820 words, photos, video.
AP EXPLAINS-KOREAS-TENSION-THAAD — An explanation of what THAAD is designed to do and why it has become a controversial issue for South Korea. By Kim Tong-hyung. SENT: 640 words, photos.
CHINA-POLITICS-MILITARY — China's announcement of a 7 percent rise in military spending for the year came shortly after President Donald Trump called for a 10 percent increase in America's defense budget, prompting renewed scrutiny of how the two countries' capabilities compare. While the U.S. military remains the dominant force in Asia and the world, China has been moving from quantity to quality and is catching up quickly in equipment, organization and capability. By Christopher Bodeen. SENT: 930 words, photos.
CHINA-POLITICS-MILITARY BUDGET — China's finance minister rejects accusations that the country is keeping its defense budget under wraps after the figure was omitted from an annual report released to the media. SENT: 220 words, photos.
CHINA-XINJIANG-MORE POLICE — Authorities in China's western region of Xinjiang are offering high salaries and other benefits to recruit police in the restive area, which has experienced bloody attacks blamed on ethnic separatists. SENT: 280 words, photos.
CHINA-DALAI LAMA — John Oliver won rave reviews for his "Last Week Tonight" interview showing the Dalai Lama in all his candor and wit. Beijing, however, was not amused. By Gerry Shih. SENT: 630 words, photos.
ASIA-CORRUPTION — A survey by the anti-graft group Transparency International shows that bribery and other forms of corruption are hindering poverty alleviation and hurting public health in Asia by channeling resources away from those who need them. By Elaine Kurtenbach. SENT: 400 words, photos.
PAKISTAN-AFGHANISTAN — Thousands of Afghans gather at the Pakistani border to return home as Pakistan temporarily reopens two main crossings that had been closed last month after a wave of militant attacks. By Muhammad Sajjad and Riaz Khan. SENT: 380 words, photos.
NEPAL-PROTEST — A general strike called by ethnic groups a day after police killed at least three protesters shuts down markets, schools and transport in much of southern Nepal. By Binaj Gurubacharya. SENT: 380 words.
PHILIPPINES-DRUG VIOLENCE — Philippine police kill eight crime suspects in separate gunbattles and arrest 21 others in a northern province a day after police were allowed to rejoin the president's deadly anti-drug crackdown while also launching a drive against illegal guns. SENT: 200 words.
PHILIPPINES-DEATH PENALTY — Philippine congressmen approve a bill that aims to restore the death penalty by hanging, injection or firing squad for drug offenses despite opposition from the influential Roman Catholic church. SENT: 130 words.
MALAYSIA-FOILED ATTACK — Police say Malaysia foiled a planned attack on "Arab royalties" visiting Kuala Lumpur last month. SENT: 110 words.
THAILAND-AFRICA-IVORY — Thai authorities seize 422 pieces of elephant tusks and arrest a Gambian man suspected of smuggling the ivory. SENT: 310 words, photos.
AUSTRALIA-BRITISH BACKPACKER ATTACK — A British backpacker was sexually assaulted and held captive for weeks in the Australian Outback before being rescued by police who pulled over the car she was driving, officials say. SENT: 370 words, photos.
INDIA-AIR AMBULANCE — An Indian hospital air ambulance plane with five people on board catches fire and crash lands near Bangkok. The pilot was killed. SENT: 120 words.
AFGHAN FAMILY DETAINED — An Afghan family of five who traveled to the United States on special visas and were detained by immigration officials at the Los Angeles airport are released from custody, according to the U.S. government and the family's attorneys. By Amy Taxin. SENT: 690 words, photos.
WASHINGTON SIKH SHOOTING — A Sikh man who says a man shot him in the arm and told him to go back to his country is recovering from his wound and is encouraged by an outpouring of support, community leaders say. By Phuong Le. SENT: 670 words, photos.
CHINA-PEOPLE-JACKIE CHAN — Jackie Chan says letting more Hollywood movies into the Chinese market would pressure Chinese filmmakers to make better films. By Louise Watt. SENT: 360 words, photos.
PHILIPPINES-MADAM SECRETARY — The Philippine government protests the depiction of a fictional leader of its country who makes a pass at the female U.S. secretary of state in the CBS drama "Madam Secretary." A video teaser of the episode airing Sunday shows the middle-aged Filipino character with a bloodied nose after being punched by the titular character. SENT: 270 words, photos.
BUSINESS AND FINANCE:
FINANCIAL-MARKETS — Shares waver in Europe on disappointing manufacturing data from Germany, but benchmarks in Asia are mostly higher after China's finance minister said he was confident the government could handle the country's rising levels of debt. By Elaine Kurtenbach. SENT: 380 words, photos.
CHINA-TECH AMBITIONS — China is violating its free-trade pledges by pressing foreign makers of electric cars and other goods to share technology under an industry development plan that is likely to shrink access to its markets, a business group says. By Joe McDonald. SENT: 560 words, photos.
CHINA-FOREIGN RESERVES — China's foreign exchange reserves rebounded unexpectedly from a six-year low in February after Beijing imposed controls to stop a flood of capital leaving the world's second-largest economy. By Joe McDonald. SENT: 520 words.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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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