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Asian News Digest, AS
Associated Press
2014-07-11 02:42 PM



KABUL, Afghanistan -- The U.S. and its allies are growing increasingly concerned as Afghanistan shows signs of unraveling in its first democratic transfer of power from President Hamid Karzai. With Iraq wracked by insurgency, Afghanistan's dispute over election results poses a new challenge to President Barack Obama's effort to leave behind two secure states while ending America's long wars. By Bradley Klapper. SENT: 990 words, photos.

--AFGHANISTAN-AID SLIDE -- Civilian assistance to Afghanistan was always slated to shrink with American's military footprint, but U.S. aid officials were caught off-guard when Congress, upset by testy relations with Karzai, slashed civilian aid by 50 percent this year. SENT: 500 words


BEIJING -- Eight kindergarteners and three adults died in central China after the minivan they were in crashed into a pond, state media reported Friday. SENT: 220 words. photos.


BEIJING -- Courts in a region of western China sentenced 32 people to prison, three of them for life, for downloading and spreading violent Internet content that authorities have blamed for inspiring a recent string of deadly attacks, state media said Friday. SENT: 250 words.


BEIJING -- Chinese regulators have banned its journalists from sharing information they have obtained on the job with overseas media or publishing it in any venue outside the media they are employed, in a move that critics say would further stifle press freedom. SENT: 340 words.


MANILA, Philippines -- A Philippine court entered a not-guilty plea Friday for a senator and dictatorship-era martial law enforcer who has been detained on charges of economic plunder with two other colleagues, bringing the case a step closer to what would be the country's largest corruption trial in more than a decade. SENT: 420 words.


TOKYO -- Japanese musician Ryuichi Sakamoto has been diagnosed with throat cancer and has canceled his upcoming performances to focus on his health. SENT: 380 words.


SEOUL, South Korea -- Once their espionage cases are resolved, some former North Korean spies find that life in the South can be pretty good. They write books, land TV gigs and work for think tanks. Won Jeong-hwa is not one of those spies. A year after finishing a five-year espionage sentence for using sex to obtain military secrets and plotting to assassinate intelligence officers, Won is a 40-year-old single mother eking out a living on an $800 monthly government subsidy. Her espionage work is not taken seriously enough in South Korea for her to cash in on her past, yet she's too notorious to find an ordinary job. By Hyung-jin Kim. SENT: 1,100 words. photos.


MIRAN SHAH, Pakistan -- The streets of the one-time militant haven of Miran Shah are all but deserted, with only a few donkeys wandering around and soldiers standing guard in the alleys and roads. The destroyed buildings are testament to the ferocity of a government operation to clear this area in northwestern Pakistan of extremists. A look at the former Taliban stronghold a month into the crackdown. By Rebecca Santana. SENT: 770 words, photos.



MUMBAI, India --Asian stock markets were muted Friday, following the lead of Wall Street traders spooked by worries about the soundness of a bank in Portugal that raised the specter of more financial turmoil in Europe. By Kay Johnson. SENT: 360 words, photos.



WASHINGTON -- Outlines of a possible compromise that would more quickly deport minors arriving from Central America emerges as part of President Barack Obama's $3.7 billion emergency request to address the immigration crisis on the nation's southern border. Democrats indicate they could accept such changes as the price for approval of the border money. By Erica Werner and Alicia Caldwell. SENT: 850 words, photos, video.


KHAN YOUNIS, Gaza Strip -- The al-Haj family never heard it coming: An Israeli missile smashed into their home, killing eight relatives in a matter of seconds. As Israel intensifies its bombardment in the Gaza Strip, it says it is doing everything to avoid civilian casualties in Gaza's crowded urban landscape. By Khaled Kazziha. SENT: 1,200 words, photos, video.

-- ISRAEL-IRON DOME -- Anti-rocket defense system is proving a game changer. SENT: 750 words, photos.


WASHINGTON -- The testimony of nine military officers severely undermines contentions by Republicans that a "stand-down order" held back military assets that could have saved the U.S. ambassador and three other Americans killed in Benghazi, Libya. By Bradley Klapper and Donna Cassata. SENT: 1,000 words, photos, video.

-- BENGHAZI-TIMELINE -- A compendium of the attacks and the military response reflecting the new testimony. SENT: 1,300 words, photo.


DONETSK, Ukraine -- Ukraine's insurgency shows signs of collapsing as dozens of militiamen turn in their weapons in disgust at Russian inaction and sniping breaks out between rebel factions. Pushed back into the industrial city of Donetsk, pro-Russia militia forces now appear to be focusing fighting efforts on hit-and-run operations, bombing transportation links and bracing for more Ukrainian government incursions. By Yuras Karmanau. SENT: 800 words, photos.


RIO DE JANEIRO -- Once the World Cup and its traveling circus leaves town, four gleaming stadiums that cost $1.6 billion and hosted massive crowds will echo softly as their owners struggle to find a use for them or even partially fill them. In the western Brazilian city of Cuiaba, Chilean and Colombian fans produced sellouts at the Arena Pantanal of 40,000 at the World Cup. The next big game at the $260 million stadium is July 20 -- Paysandu vs. Cuiaba for the championship of Brazil's Serie C, or the third division. Officials are hoping for 4,000 fans. By Stephen Wade. SENT: 1,200 words, photos.


WASHINGTON -- Five California men who say they came under police scrutiny for innocent behavior sue the Obama administration over an information-sharing program designed by the federal government to help flag potential terrorist activity in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. By Eric Tucker. SENT: 790 words, photos.


BERLIN -- Germany orders the expulsion of Washington's top spy in Berlin, a dramatic response from a key U.S. ally to a spying dispute that flared anew this week and includes charges of eavesdropping on Chancellor Angela Merkel's cellphone calls. By Frank Jordans. SENT: 570 words, photos. SENT: 650 words, photos.


BOULDER, Colo. -- Gay couples can keep getting marriage licenses in Colorado, even though the state's gay marriage ban is still in effect. A judge added to the national confusion over same-sex marriage when he ruled that a county clerk doesn't have to stop issuing the licenses, despite what the state's attorney general calls "legal chaos" as the issue makes its way to the U.S. Supreme Court. SENT: 340 words, photos. SENT: 860 words, photos.


SPRING, Texas -- A man charged with killing four children and their parents was dressed as a delivery man when he forced his way into the family's suburban Houston home. A day after the slayings, investigators were slowly building a picture of Ronald Lee Haskell, who was estranged from a woman related to the couple. Authorities say he kicked down a door, gathered the children and waited for their parents to come home before fatally shooting all six. The lone survivor was a teenage girl, who was hospitalized in critical condition. By Ramit Plushnick-Masti and Michael Graczyk. SENT: 730 words, photos, video.


TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- Republican Gov. Rick Scott is a multimillionaire and flies in a private jet, yet his campaign decided earlier this year to criticize Democratic challenger Charlie Crist a being an elitist for wearing a Rolex watch. Polls show that the two candidates are roughly tied ahead of November's general election. By Brendan Farrington and Gary Fineout. SENT: 920 words, photos.


BATON ROUGE, La. -- Catholic groups are decrying a recent Louisiana Supreme Court decision that reaches into the most sanctified of places, the confessional booth. The ruling could have a priest asked to testify in a sex abuse case about what was said by the teen victim in a private confession. The Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights says the ruling leaves the priest choosing between prison and excommunication. By Melinda Deslatte. SENT: 600 words.



RIO DE JANEIRO -- The best player in the world goes up against the ultimate team machine, on the world's biggest stage. When Lionel Messi's Argentina takes on Germany in Sunday's World Cup final, it looks at first glance like a meeting between brilliant individual scoring talent and the tight discipline of a collective unit. By Mattias Karen. SENT: 500 words, photos.



LAS VEGAS -- The wait continues for the next decision. At stake for LeBron James: Where he plays for the next few seasons, and which fan base -- the already-scorned one in Cleveland or the panicked one in Miami -- will undoubtedly feel alienated by whatever choice his latest foray into free agency leads him to make. By Basketball Writer Tim Reynolds. SENT: 850 words, photos.



LOS ANGELES -- Emmy voters may need a tough stomach to sort through this year's array of top nominees: a bloodthirsty medieval tale, a meth kingpin and his violent downfall, a twisted mystery about exposing a serial killer and a heartbreaking saga of the AIDS epidemic's roots. TV's new Golden Age has grit, and its challenges. By Television Writer Lynn Elber. SENT: 860 words, photos, video.

-- EMMY NOMINATIONS-FACTS AND FIGURES -- From breaking records to barriers, a look at this year's Emmys nominations facts and figures. SENT: 450 words, photos.


-- VOTING RIGHTS-DEVELOPMENTALLY DISABLED -- An advocacy group says thousands of people with autism spectrum disorder and other developmental disabilities have been banned from the voting booth by Los Angeles County courts, in violation of federal law. SENT: 710 words, photos.

-- RANGE SHOWDOWN-EXTREMISTS REPORT -- The victory a Nevada rancher claimed in a government standoff with armed militiamen has served to embolden right-wing extremists and conspiracy theorists across the country, an organization that tracks hate groups says Thursday. SENT: 630 words, photo.

-- WWI HERO-MEDAL QUEST -- Quest for Medal of Honor for black WWI hero from New York clears key hurdle. SENT: 500 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 asia@ap.org.

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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