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ASIA AT 0300 GMT, Wednesday, May 6, 2009

ASIA AT 0300 GMT, Wednesday, May 6, 2009

The following news stories from the Asia-Pacific region are being pursued by The Associated Press. Please see the Asian News Digest at 0700 GMT and the Asian News Digest Update at 1200 GMT.
TOP STORIES:
SWINE FLU-ASIA
BEIJING _ A plane sent to retrieve Chinese citizens from Mexico returns following a similar charter flight to collect Mexicans stranded in China, arranged amid a diplomatic row over Beijing's swine flu quarantine of Mexican nationals. The quarantines also has ensnared travelers from the U.S. and Canada. Moved. By Christopher Bodeen. AP Photos. WITH: SWINE FLU; SWINE FLU-WORLD GLANCE
CHINA-MILITARY
BEIJING _ Chinese military officials reject recent critiques by Washington that China's rising military power is focused on countering the United States, saying the speculation shows a Cold War mentality that hurts development of U.S.-China ties. By 0600 GMT. By Tini Tran.
PAKISTAN
MINGORA, Pakistan _ Turbaned Taliban militants seize government buildings, lay mines and fight security forces in the Swat Valley, as fear of a major military operation leads thousands to pack their belongings on their heads and backs, cram aboard buses and flee the northwestern region. Moved. AP Photos. AP Graphic.
AFGHANISTAN
KABUL _ Bombing runs called in by U.S. forces kill dozens of civilians taking shelter from fighting between Taliban militants and Afghan and international troops, Afghan officials says. The United States promises a joint investigation. Moved. By Rahim Faiez and Jason Straziuso. AP Photos. AP Graphic.
NEPAL
KATMANDU, Nepal _ Nepal's former communist rebels vow to continue street protests against the president, whose rejection of the prime minister's decision to fire the army chief led to fall of the communist-led government. By 0400 GMT. By Binaj Gurubacharya.
NKOREA-US
SEOUL, South Korea _ North Korea criticizes the U.S. for seeking to increase military spending and vows to bolster its defense capabilities to cope with what it calls increasing American threats. By 0430 GMT.
AUSTRALIA-WORLD'S BEST JOB
SYDNEY _ Tourism officials announce the winner of what's being billed as the "Best Job in the World" _ a 150,000 Australian dollar ($111,000) contract to serve as the caretaker of a tropical Australian island. Winner to be announced at 0500 GMT. By Kristen Gelineau. AP Photos.
JAPAN-MISSING POET
TOKYO _ Authorities have scaled down their search for an award-winning U.S. poet who disappeared while hiking up a volcano on a remote Japanese island because their efforts have yielded no clues for more than a week. Moved. By Mari Yamaguchi.
MALAYSIA-ACTIVIST ARRESTED
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia _ Malaysian police have detained an anti-government activist for alleged sedition in what a colleague calls an attempt by the new prime minister to crack down on dissent. By 0400 GMT. By Julia Zappei.
BUSINESS & FINANCE:
WORLD MARKETS
SEOUL, South Korea _ Asian stock markets move mostly lower as investors take profits after recent strong gains and amid caution ahead of the release of government stress tests for U.S. banks. By 0430 GMT.
ASIA-IMF-ECONOMY
SINGAPORE _ The International Monetary Fund says most Asian economies face a contraction this year and a weak recovery next year as global demand for the region's exports struggles to rebound. Moved. By Alex Kennedy.
AUSTRALIA-EARNS-WESTPAC
SYDNEY _ Westpac Group, Australia's largest bank by market value, says its half-year net profit fell 1.2 percent, and it slashed its dividend payment to shareholders after costs from bad debts blamed on the global downturn tripled. Moved.
FOR NEWS ON CURRENT AND UPCOMING FEATURES, please see the AP World Features Digest.
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YOUR QUERIES: The Associated Press editor in charge at the AP Asia-Pacific Desk in Bangkok is Ian Mader. Questions and story requests are welcome. The news desk can be reached at (66) 2632-6911 or by e-mail at asia@ap.org.
The Asia Photo Desk can be reached at (81-3) 6215-8941 or by fax at (81-3) 3574-8850.
Between 1900 GMT and 0000 GMT, please refer queries to the North America Desk in New York at (1) 212-621-1650.


Updated : 2021-05-15 07:41 GMT+08:00