Asian News Digest, AS
Associated Press
2014-02-17 02:22 PM



KATMANDU, Nepal -- Rescuers in Nepal find the wreckage of a passenger plane that crashed into the side of a snow-covered mountain and burst into flames, killing all 18 people on board, including a small child, authorities say. By Binaj Gurubacharya. SENT: 275 words, photo.


JAKARTA, Indonesia -- Indonesia's foreign minister says he's baffled by the latest report of a top-secret document about Australia spying on Indonesia and offering to share that information with the U.S. SENT: 130 words. UPCOMING: 300 words by 0700 GMT, photos.


KARACHI, Pakistan -- A bomb placed by an ethnic separatist group has derailed a train in southwest Pakistan, killing eight people, police and the militants say. By Adil Jawad. SENT: 340 words, photos.


BEIJING -- Authorities in western China blame a group of religious extremists for an attack on police last week that left 11 of the suspects dead and wounded four people. SENT: 250 words.


CANBERRA, Australia -- Seven asylum seekers are arrested after a brawl in an immigration detention camp run by Australia on the South Pacific island nation of Papua New Guinea, officials say. SENT: 250 words.



TOKYO -- Japan's economy grew slower-than-forecast in the last quarter of 2013, clouding the outlook for recovery ahead of a sales tax hike in April. Government figures show the world's third-largest economy expanded 1 percent on annualized basis in the October-December quarter. By Elaine Kurtenbach. SENT: 555 words, photos.


BEIJING -- Asian stock markets rise after China's bank lending in January beat forecasts and Europe reported stronger-than-expected economic growth. By Joe Mcdonald. SENT: 420 words.




CAIRO -- An explosion rips through a tourist bus near a border crossing between Egypt and Israel, killing at least three South Koreans and the Egyptian driver in an attack that stokes fears Sinai militants have resumed a bloody campaign against tourists. By Hamza Hendawi. SENT: 800 words. Incorporates EGYPT.

-- OBAMA-UGANDA-GAYS -- Obama: Uganda's anti-homosexuality bill 'will complicate our valued relationship' SENT: 600 words, photos.


JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- A verdict in the city of Jacksonville is again raising the issue of self-defense and race in Florida, just seven months after George Zimmerman was acquitted in the shooting of a black teenager, Trayvon Martin. Michael Dunn, a white 47-year-old software developer, could face 60 years in prison following his conviction Saturday on multiple counts of attempted murder for shooting into a carful of teenagers in 2012. Jordan Davis, a black 17-year-old, was killed in the shooting. By Tamara Lush and Derek Kinner. SENT: 700 words, photos, video.


RAMALLAH, West Bank -- Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas reassures a group of young Israeli activists visiting his West Bank compound that he has no intention of flooding Israel with Palestinian refugees -- his most ambitious attempt yet to directly influence Israeli public opinion over the heads of a largely hard-line Israeli leadership. Abbas makes a series of conciliatory statements on some of the most sensitive issues in peace talks, including alleged Palestinian incitement against Israel and recognition of Jewish suffering in the Holocaust, as he seeks to rally support for U.S.-backed peace efforts. By Daniel Estrin and Mohammed Daraghmeh. SENT: 800 words, photos.


WASHINGTON -- America's greatest civil rights leaders may belong to the ages, but legal fights among family, friends and outsiders over control of their earthly possessions seem never-ending. With each court battle, historians worry about the negative impact such infighting might have on the legacy of the civil rights movement. Martin Luther King Jr.'s daughter accuses her brothers of plotting to sell their father's personal Bible and his Nobel Peace Prize. Malcolm X's daughters are suing to block a book deal, signed by one sister, to publish their father's diary. Rosa Parks' mementos, including her Presidential Medal of Freedom and Congressional Gold Medal of Honor, have sat in a New York warehouse for years because of a battle over her estate. By Jesse J. Holland. SENT: 1,100 words, photos.


SOCHI, Russia -- These are the real hosts of the Sochi Olympics: the Circassians, a Muslim ethnic group native to these lush lands that President Vladimir Putin chose for his hegemonic Olympic project. They were massacred and exiled by czarist troops, persecuted under Stalin and largely ignored in the run-up to the Sochi Games. Members of the Circassian diaspora are protesting, but those who still live in rocky hillside villages sprinkled through the Sochi region are afraid to put up a fuss. By Angela Charlton. SENT: 950 words, photos.


TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- They're hidden in babies' diapers, ramen noodle packages, in footballs, soda cans and rectums -- pretty much any way imaginable to get them into prisons. Not drugs, not weapons, but cellphones. They're becoming a growing problem in prisons across the country and they aren't just used to call home to check on kids, but rather to make threats, plan escapes and continue making money off of illegal activity. By Brendan Farrington. SENT: 900 words, photos.



KRASNAYA POLYANA, Russia -- This medal mattered to Bode Miller. Not so much because, at 36, his tie for the bronze in Sunday's super-G -- behind winner Kjetil Jansrud and surprise runner-up Andrew Weibrecht -- makes Miller the oldest Alpine medalist in Olympic history. Or even because he now owns six medals in all, the second-highest total for a male ski racer and tied for second among U.S. Winter Olympians in any sport. By Howard Fendrich. SENT: 850 words, photos.

-- TWEETING FOR OLYMPIANS -- Between photos and insights about their Olympic experience, some Olympians are turning over their social media accounts to sponsors, agreeing to quotas of postings on Twitter and Facebook and letting other people send commercial messages in their name. SENT: 600 words, photos.

-- SOCHI-RUSSIAN BANYA -- A few miles from the ski slopes of Krasnaya Polyana, an outdoor bathhouse attracts visitors who feel so strongly about their weekend tradition of sweating it out in a steam room and whipping each other with bunches of leafy branches. SENT: 760 words, photos.

-- SOCHI SCENE -- Multiple shareable text-and-photo nuggets about what's happening at the Sochi Olympics, both inside the arenas and out, will appear throughout the day during the duration of the games for online and print use. A curated, collected version of the fixture will be posted once daily online. UPCOMING: Updated frequently, photos.

-- AP PHOTO -- OLYAL189 -- Men's super-G joint bronze medal winner Bode Miller of the United States is consoled by his wife, Morgan, at the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)



WASHINGTON -- House Democrats are determined to cast an election-year spotlight on Republican opposition to raising the minimum wage and overhauling immigration laws. To do that in the GOP-controlled House, Democrats are planning to rely on an infrequently used, rarely successful tactic that requires them to persuade some two dozen Republicans to defy their leadership, join Democrats and force a vote. The odds are daunting for Democrats in what clearly is election-year maneuvering. Some questions and answers on how it works. By Donna Cassata. SENT: 940 words, photos.


POINT PLEASANT, N.J. -- Authorities say more than 80 people have died this year due to an increase in heroin laced with a powerful prescription drug. The drug fentanyl is typically used to ease the pain of end-stage cancer patients or in anesthesia, but can kill quickly when coupled with. Authorities in New Jersey, Maryland, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island say dozens have died in recent weeks. By Katie Zezima. SENT: 720 words, photos.


HONOLULU -- Pastures are green again on the western slopes of Hawaii and Maui islands thanks to two months of regular rains. It's giving cattle ranchers hope they may at last escape from a punishing drought brought on by almost a decade of below-normal rainfall. By Audrey McAvoy. SENT: 500 words, photos.


NEW YORK -- The account information offered by a new customer read like a not-so-clever prank: Joe Bogus, 123 Fake Main Street, Completely Made Up City, N.Y. But at the multibillion-dollar virtual banking operation known as Liberty Reserve, it didn't matter. Mr. Bogus -- in reality, an undercover federal agent -- was free to begin transferring funds, no questions asked. Authorities say the investigation of Liberty Reserve, and more recently that of the underground marketplace Silk Road, demonstrate how the anonymity inherent in virtual currency transactions is attracting legions of flesh-and-blood criminals. By Tom Hays. SENT: 800 words, photo.


ROME -- Matteo Renzi has been summoned to the presidential palace on Monday, where the 39-year-old mayor of Florence is expected to be asked to form a new government as Italy's youngest-ever premier. By Frances D'Emilio. SENT: 430 words, photos.

-- BRITAIN-FILM AWARDS -- '12 Years a Slave' named best picture at British Academy Film Awards; 'Gravity' wins 6 prizes. SENT: 800 words, photos.

-- SNAKE-HANDLING PASTOR'S DEATH -- Snake-handling Ky. pastor who appeared on reality TV show dies from snake bite at church. SENT: 130 words.



UNDATED -- Now that the NFL knows the scope of the racially charged Miami Dolphins bullying scandal, the league has been left to grapple with what its next steps should be. League executives have vowed to take action. But it may be difficult to determine when something a player considers to be harmless locker room nonsense crosses the line. By Pro Football Writer Arnie Stapleton. SENT: 900 words, photos.


-- UKRAINE -- Ukrainian protesters leave Kiev City Hall after nearly 3-month occupation. SENT: 330 words, photos.

-- SOUTH AFRICA-TRAPPED MINERS -- South Africa rescue workers clear blocked mine entrance, but some miners refuse to come out. SENT: 475 words, photos.

-- BOX OFFICE -- 'Lego Movie' blocks 'RoboCop,' 'About Last Night' at weekend box office. SENT: 540 words, photos.


YOUR QUERIES: The editor in charge at the AP Asia-Pacific Desk in Bangkok is Hrvoje Hranjski. Questions and story requests are welcome. The news desk can be reached at (66) 2632-6911 or by email at

The Asia Photo Desk can be reached at (81-3) 6215-8941 or by fax at (81-3) 3574-8850.

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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