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TMCNet:  Top Asian News at 10:00 a.m. GMT

[July 11, 2014]

Top Asian News at 10:00 a.m. GMT

(Associated Press Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) In South Korea, ex-spy remains stuck in the coldGUNPO, South Korea (AP) — 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, work for think tanks and in general benefit from their new home's fascination with their old homeland. Won Jeong-hwa is not one of those spies.


China's west jails 32 people for terror contentBEIJING (AP) — Courts in the western Chinese region of Xinjiang sentenced 32 people to prison, three of them for life, for terror charges stemming from downloading and spreading violent Internet content that authorities have blamed for inspiring a recent string of deadly attacks, state media said Friday. The other 29 people were handed sentences ranging from four to 15 years' imprisonment by seven courts in the region on Thursday, according to state broadcaster CCTV and the region's official newspaper, the Xinjiang Daily.

China tells reporters to work within state mediaBEIJING (AP) — Chinese regulators have banned the country's journalists from sharing information they have obtained on the job with overseas media or publishing it in any venue, such as blogging sites, outside the media they are employed, in a move that critics say will further stifle press freedom and curb the influence of social media. The regulations, which were detailed in a June 30 document but released this week, come at a time when Chinese journalists have been accused of using their positions to blackmail. But the rules will also impact journalists who, frustrated with tight news controls over what they can publish in their own companies, sometimes release information they have obtained to outlets outside mainland China or in social media, such as their personal blogs.

Japan seeks talks with China at November summitTOKYO (AP) — Japan's top government spokesman said Friday that an Asian regional summit in Beijing this November would be a good opportunity for the leaders of Japan and China to hold their first talks ever amid sour relations. Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation meeting would provide a "natural" environment for Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Chinese President Xi Jinping to meet on the sidelines. Beijing will be hosting this year's annual meeting for the 21-member group.

Manila court enters not-guilty plea for senatorMANILA, Philippines (AP) — 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. The Sandiganbayan court made the move after ailing Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile refused to enter a plea to the large-scale corruption charge. The 90-year-old legislator, who has high blood pressure, was brought to the court in an ambulance from a police hospital, where he has been detained since surrendering last week.

Afghan aid is dropping, but how fast is too fast?WASHINGTON (AP) — Civilian assistance to Afghanistan was always slated to shrink with America's military footprint, but U.S. aid officials were caught off-guard when Congress, upset by testy relations with Afghan President Hamid Karzai, slashed civilian aid by 50 percent this year. War-weary lawmakers, content with the level of Afghan aid already in the pipeline, backed the cut, but officials with the U.S. Agency for International Development warn that reducing aid too quickly is risky.

Sobbing Japanese politician tenders resignationTOKYO (AP) — A Japanese politician who was seen sobbing over dubious spending in a video that went viral resigned Friday. The local legislative assembly accepted the resignation of Ryutaro Nonomura, but also decided to pursue criminal charges against him.

India asks UN group to vacate rent-free officeNEW DELHI (AP) — India's new Hindu nationalist government has asked a U.N. body overseeing military activity in divided Kashmir to vacate a government bungalow in the heart of the nation's capital that it has used rent-free for 40 years. India and Pakistan both claim Kashmir in its entirety, and India discourages any intervention or criticism in the dispute. The two countries fought two of their three wars since independence in 1947 over Kashmir.

Van falls into pond, killing 8 children in ChinaBEIJING (AP) — Eight kindergarteners and three adults died in central China after the minivan they were in crashed into a pond, state media reported Friday. The bus was returning the children home from school Thursday in a mountainous village near the capital city of Hunan province when it fell into a pond, the Xinhua News Agency said.

Japan musician Ryuichi Sakamoto has throat cancerTOKYO (AP) — Japanese musician Ryuichi Sakamoto, who shared an Oscar for Bernardo Bertolucci's "The Last Emperor" score, has been diagnosed with throat cancer and has canceled his upcoming performances to focus on his health. "I promise to return after a full recovery," Sakamoto, 62, said Thursday on his official website.

Indonesia deadlock: court may decide new presidentJAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — A day after Indonesia's presidential elections failed to produce a clear winner, Jakarta's police chief promised to prevent violence by cracking down on anyone celebrating prematurely. With both candidates continuing to claim victory, the next leader of the world's third-largest democracy could be decided in court. Wednesday's third direct presidential vote went smoothly, but fears of unrest surfaced after Jakarta Gov. Joko Widodo and ex-army general Prabowo Subianto both declared a win after the quick count results were released.

Hoping to project power, China finds itself aloneBEIJING (AP) — Nearly three decades after Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping famously instructed his diplomats to "be good at maintaining a low profile and never claim leadership," a new generation of rulers has made it clear that they're ready to shed the humility and show off their country's rising military and political power. From Southeast Asian waters that may hold billions of barrels of oil to uninhabited islands in the East China Sea, China has stepped into territorial disputes with neighbors including Japan, South Korea and the Philippines — and in some cases, some would say, provoked them. At the same time, Beijing has pledged to build what it says will be a new security framework for Asia, replacing U.S.-dominated alliances that have defined the post-World War II period.

Thai police: suspected insurgents kill 3 officersBANGKOK (AP) — Suspected insurgents in Thailand shot dead three police officers in an ambush in the country's south, police said Friday. A group of attackers opened fire late Thursday on a pickup truck carrying three police officers in Yala province's Krong Penang district, said police Col. Pairot Meunklaharn.

What now for Indonesia after poll dispute?JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — Jakarta Governor Joko "Jokowi" Widodo and former army general Prabowo Subianto are both claiming victory in Indonesia's presidential election based on unofficial "quick counts," raising the specter of prolonged political instability in Southeast Asia's largest economy. Here is a look at which candidate has the stronger case for claiming victory, and what might happen in the coming days and weeks.

Republican intel chief: Get tougher on ChinaWASHINGTON (AP) — The chief of the U.S. House Intelligence Committee on Thursday accused China of "gluttonous, naked aggression" in its drive to control territory and resources in the South China Sea. Republican Rep. Mike Rogers said it was time to be less "deferential" to Chinese officials and be more direct and aggressive in American diplomacy.

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