KOREAS-TENSION-TAKING A BREAK — South Korea's leader took office vowing to help improve the quality of life for people toiling one of the longest workweeks in the world. He seems to be practicing what he preaches, even if that means starting a vacation days after North Korea launched an ICBM. By Foster Klug. Upcoming 700 words, photos 1900 GMT.
CHINA-NORTH KOREA — A senior Chinese trade official says the issue of China-U.S. trade should be kept separate from that of North Korea's nuclear and missile programs. Sent 250 words.
NKOREA-REBUILDING THE PYRAMID? — While the intercontinental ballistic missile dominated headlines, North Korea quietly unveiled renovations around the capital's biggest landmark: a futuristic, pyramid-shaped 105-story hotel, the world's tallest unoccupied building. After decades of embarrassing delays and rumors that the building may not even be structurally sound, could this be Kim Jong Un's next pet project? By Eric Talmadge. Sent 640 words, photos.
AUSTRALIA-PALACE LETTERS — A battle over secret letters revealing what Queen Elizabeth II knew of her Australian representative's stunning plan to dismiss Australia's government in 1975 opened in court, in a case that could finally solve a mystery behind the country's most dramatic political crisis. By Kristen Gelineau. Sent 670 words, photos.
PHILIPPINES-MILITANT SIEGE — The Philippine military says troops have captured a bridge leading to the main position of militants in Marawi, but troops won't stage a major assault and will instead press efforts to rescue civilian hostages. Sent 250 words.
AUSTRALIA-PLANE PLOT — Security remained heightened in airports around Australia with more intense screening of luggage after law enforcement officials thwarted what a police chief described as a "credible attempt to attack an aircraft." By Rod McGuirk. Sent 680 words, photo.
PHILIPPINE-DRUG VIOLENCE — The Philippine national police chief warns that law enforcers will be targeting more drug lords after clashes following a police search killed 15 people. Sent 130 words, photo; developing.
VIETNAM-ACTIVISTS ARRESTED — A writer, a Protestant pastor and two other activists have been arrested on charges of attempted subversion as Vietnam's communist authorities continue to show no tolerance of dissent.
SOUTH CHINA SEA WATCH — A look at recent developments in the South China Sea. By Christopher Bodeen.
CHINA-EARNS-HSBC — HSBC said it plans to buy back another $2 billion in shares after reporting a strong set of quarterly profits thanks to higher interest rates that helped fatten margins for its lending business. By Kelvin Chan.
JAPAN-ECONOMY — Japan's factory output rose in June, while unemployment fell to 2.8 percent, as a recovery in global demand helped drive growth in the world's third-largest economy. Sent 270 words, photo.
CHINA-MANUFACTURING — Chinese factory activity eased in July as export demand weakened while momentum in service industries also waned, according to official surveys. By Kelvin Chan.
FINANCIAL MARKETS — Shares were mixed in Asia, with Chinese markets shrugging off weaker factory output indicators while Japan's Nikkei index sagged as the yen surged against the dollar.
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