BC-AS--Asian News Digest, AS

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DHAKA, Bangladesh — A woman buried in the wreckage of a collapsed garment factory building for 17 days was rescued Friday, a miraculous moment set against a scene of unimaginable horror where the death toll is more than 1,000 and still rising. The woman survived in a Muslim prayer room in the the eight-story Rana Plaza building, where crews have been focused on recovering bodies, not rescuing survivors, for days. Trapped in wreckage finally exposed by heavy equipment, she waved a pipe to attract attention. Moved. By Julhas Alam. AP Photos.



SEOUL, South Korea — For 20 years, fears about North Korea's headlong pursuit of nuclear bombs have been watered down with smirking admonishments not to overestimate an impoverished dictatorship prone to bragging and tantrums. Few are laughing now. Moved. By Foster Klug. AP Photos.


SEOUL, South Korea — Ahead of a nuclear-powered U.S. carrier's visit to South Korea, North Korea on Friday called this week's summit between the U.S. and South Korean presidents a prelude to war against Pyongyang. Yet it also said it was waiting "with patience" to see if Seoul changes its policies. Moved. AP Photos.


MARCOS, Philippines — Twenty-seven years after her dictator husband was ousted by a public revolt, Imelda Marcos has emerged as the Philippines' ultimate political survivor: She was back on the campaign trail this week, dazzling voters with her bouffant hairstyle, oversized jewelry and big talk in a bid to keep her seat in Congress. Moved. By Jim Gomez. AP Photos.


SYDNEY — The cruise ship from which an Australian couple fell into the ocean had higher railings than required to prevent accidental falls, the cruise company said Friday as authorities called off the intense search for the pair missing for two days. Moved. By Kristen Gelineau.


KABUL, Afghanistan — A provincial Afghan governor says he narrowly escaped an assassination attempt by a bomber who set off explosives when police approached his vehicle. The blast killed a woman and child. Moved.


KABUL, Afghanistan — Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel made a surprise visit Friday to northern Afghanistan to visit her troops less than two weeks after insurgents killed a German special forces soldier and wounded a second, a military spokesman said. Germany is the only NATO nation that has so far committed troops to Afghanistan after the coalition completes its scheduled pullout of combat forces next year. Moved. By Kathy Gannon. AP Photos.


SYDNEY — The moon glided between the Earth and sun, blocking everything but a dazzling ring of light, for the few skygazers lucky enough to see Friday's "ring of fire" eclipse in northern Australia and the South Pacific. Moved. By Kristen Gelineau. AP Photos.


SEOUL, South Korea — President Park Geun-hye's office said Friday that she has fired her chief spokesman after a "disgraceful incident" during Park's trip to the United States. Moved.


BANGKOK — Thailand's celebrity baby panda Lin Ping is almost 4 years old now. It's time to move to China, find a mate and have cubs. The move won't be permanent, however, thanks to a deal hammered out between the two countries that will cost Thailand $1 million a year, the Thai foreign minister said Friday. Moved. AP Photos.


SRINAGAR, India — A police officer has been shot to death while guarding a shopping district in Indian-held Kashmir, and police suspect rebels were behind the attack. Moved. By Aijaz Hussain.


TAIPEI, Taiwan — The shooting death of a Taiwanese fisherman by the Philippine coast guard has become the latest incident to roil tensions over territorial disputes in and around the South China Sea, with Taipei calling Friday for Manila to apologize for the shooting. Moved. By Peter Enav.


JAKARTA, Indonesia — Police say they have arrested four suspected militants on Indonesia's Sumatra island who are accused of robbing a bank to fund terrorist activities. Moved.


MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine foreign secretary says he is recommending to President Benigno Aquino III to pull out all Filipino U.N. peacekeepers from the Golan Heights following the abduction of four by Syrian rebels. Moved.


BEIJING — The foreign ministers of China and India have glossed over a recent standoff along their countries' disputed border in an apparent sign that the incident will not harm future high-level contacts. Moved. By Christopher Bodeen.


MAJURO, Marshall Islands — About 6,000 people who live on the remote northern atolls of the Marshall Islands are facing an acute shortage of fresh water as a severe drought worsens. Moved.



CAMBRIDGE, Massachusetts — South Korean rapper PSY was welcomed to Harvard University on Thursday night by hundreds of screaming and shouting students and fans. Moved. AP Photos.



TOKYO — International Monetary Fund officials say they are watching carefully for signs that massive flows of cash unleashed in world markets by unprecedented monetary easing might lead to asset bubbles, or to overheating in some emerging markets. "There is a risk of overheating of domestic economies, so we have to pay close attention to this risk," said IMF Deputy Managing Director Naoyuki Shinohara. "There are some warning signals, but it is not up to the level to ring alarm bells," he said. Moved. By Elaine Kurtenbach.


TOKYO — Japanese consumer electronics giant Panasonic Corp. on Friday reported a near-record net loss of 754 billion yen ($7.5 billion) for the fiscal year through March due to restructuring costs and slumping sales, but predicted a return to the black this year as it prunes unprofitable businesses. Moved. By Malcolm Foster. AP Photos.


MUMBAI, India — India says its industrial production for March grew at a faster pace after a slowdown the previous month. Moved.


TOKYO — Nissan's fiscal fourth quarter profit jumped 46 percent on stronger sales and a favorable exchange rate that offset declines in China over a bitter territorial dispute. Moved. By Yuri Kageyama. AP Photos.


WELLINGTON, New Zealand — Shares in a state-owned New Zealand power company rise 9 percent in their stock market debut Friday, giving a boost to the government's asset sale plans. Moved. AP Photos.


TOKYO — The dollar soared above 100 yen for the first time in more than four years Friday, driven by improved U.S. economic figures and Tokyo's aggressive credit-easing that aims to revive Japan's sluggish economy. Moved. By Malcolm Foster and Elaine Kurtenbach. AP Photos.


NEW DELHI — State-run Air India says it has started test flights of its Dreamliner fleet with new battery packs and is likely to put them back into service by the end of this month. Moved.


YOUR QUERIES: 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(at)

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

Between 1700 GMT and 0000 GMT, please refer queries to the North America Desk in New York at (1) 212-621-1650.

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