BC-AS--Asian News Digest, AS

ASIA:

PHILIPPINES-FIGHTING — Philippines troops battling militants on a central resort island killed a young Abu Sayyaf commander who was involved in the beheadings of two Canadians and a German and who had sailed far from the extremists' southern jungle hideouts to capture more hostages, the military chief said. By Jim Gomez. Sent 670 words, photos.

UNITED STATES-NORTH KOREA — The Trump administration deploys an aircraft carrier near North Korea — but if the North proceeds with a ballistic missile or nuclear test and the U.S. does nothing in response, America's deterrence will appear diminished. By Matthew Pennington. SENT: 820 words, photo.

CHINA-US-NKOREA — Chinese President Xi Jinping told President Donald Trump that Beijing is willing to work with Washington on ending North Korea's nuclear weapons program but wants a peaceful solution. Sent 400 words.

CHINA-TAIWAN-DETAINED ACTIVIST — Beijing warned outside groups against seeking to intervene in the case of a Taiwanese pro-democracy activist detained in China, saying that would complicate matters and harm already tense relations between Taiwan and the mainland. Sent 420 words, photo.

TAIWAN-ANIMAL WELFARE — Taiwan's legislature has explicitly banned the sale and consumption of dog and cat meat and increased the penalty for animal cruelty, underscoring growing awareness of animal welfare in one of Asia's most prosperous societies. Sent 222 words, photo.

YAHOO-HUMAN RIGHTS LAWSUIT — A lawsuit accused Yahoo of breaking a financial promise it made to Chinese dissidents almost a decade ago as penance for helping the Chinese government find and jail other activists. Sent 430 words, photo.

NEPAL-EVEREST OCTOGENARIAN — A Nepali who was once the oldest climber to scale Mount Everest is attempting to regain that title, at age 85, with hopes that the feat will help him spread a message of peace. By Binaj Gurubacharya. Sent 460 words, photos.

INTERNATIONAL:

UN PEACEKEEPERS-CHILD SEX RING — An Associated Press investigation of U.N. missions found nearly 2,000 allegations of sexual abuse and exploitation by peacekeepers and other personnel— indicating a much larger crisis than previously known. By Paisley Dodds. SENT: 2,760 words, photos.

UNITED-PASSENGER REMOVED — After people were horrified by video of a passenger getting dragged off a full United Express flight by airport police, the head of United's parent company says the airline is reaching out to the man to "resolve this situation." By Don Babwin. SENT: 950 words, photos, videos.

FINANCIAL:

JAPAN-TOYOTA ROBOT — Toyota is introducing a wearable robotic leg brace designed to help partially paralyzed people walk. By Yuri Kageyama. Sent 570 words, photos.

FINANCIAL MARKETS — Most Asia stock markets retreated as rising geopolitical risks kept investors on edge. By Kelvin Chan. Sent 520 words, photos.

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HOW TO REACH US:

The editor in charge at the AP Asia-Pacific Desk in Bangkok is Christie Hampton. Questions and story requests are welcome. The news desk can be reached at (66) 2632-6911 or by email at asia@ap.org. The Asia Photo Desk can be reached at (81-3) 6215-8941. Expanded AP content can be obtained from http://www.apexchange.com. For access to AP Exchange and other technical issues, contact apcustomersupport@ap.org or call (1) 877-836-9477.