The following news stories about 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.
BEIJING — China's Communist Party is bringing its pivotal conclave to a close in largely choreographed steps a day before unveiling its leaders for the coming decade. President Hu Jintao is expected to step down as party chief in favor of the anointed successor, Vice President Xi Jinping, in what would be only the second orderly transfer of power in 63 years of communist rule. The new leaders of the world's second-largest economy will face slowing growth, rising unrest among increasing assertive citizens and delicate relations with neighboring countries. Moved. By Gillian Wong. AP Photos.
KABUL, Afghanistan — At the international military headquarters in Kabul, it's jokingly being called the curse of the commander's job. The last four U.S. generals to run the Afghan war were either forced to resign or saw their careers tainted by allegations of wrongdoing. Moved. By Deb Riechmann. AP Photos.
WITH: AFGHAN-COMMANDERS CURSE-GLANCE
SYDNEY — From boats bobbing on the Great Barrier Reef, to hot air balloons hovering over the rainforest, and the hilltops and beaches in between, tens of thousands of scientists, tourists and amateur astronomers watch as the sun, moon and Earth align and plunge northern Australia into darkness during a total solar eclipse. Moved. By Kristen Gelineau. AP Photos.
BUSINESS AND FINANCE:
BANGKOK — Asian stock markets edge higher as the threat of an imminent meltdown in debt-swamped Greece appears to recede. By 0330 GMT. By Pamela Sampson.
WITH: OIL PRICES
YOUR QUERIES: The Associated Press editor in charge at the AP Asia-Pacific Desk in Bangkok is Chris Blake. Questions and story requests are welcome. The news desk can be reached at (66) 2632-6911 or by email at asia(at)ap.org.
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.