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AFP Asia news agenda

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Duty Editor: Alex Millson News Desk: +852 2829 6211

ASIA NEWS HIGHLIGHTS ON WEDNESDAY

+ US, China ask UN to tighten N.Korea sanctions

+ Filipino militants 'survive' Malaysia offensive

+ Economy in spotlight at China congress meeting

NORTH KOREA

-- Monitoring for reaction after China and the US call on the UN Security Council to tighten sanctions against North Korean diplomats and halt the flow of cash into the country in response to last month's nuclear test, as the North threatens to scrap an armistice that halted the 1950-53 Korean War (NKOREA-UN-NUCLEAR)

MALAYSIA

-- Reporting in state of Sabah after Malaysia launched a ground and air offensive against followers of a self-proclaimed Filipino sultan who invaded to press a territorial claim. The sultan's supporters say they have escaped, while battle-hardened Filipino guerillas are sailing to Malaysia to reinforce their countrymen (MALAYSIA-PHILIPPINES-CRIME-SECURITY-ISLAM)

CHINA

-- China's National Development and Reform Commission, the country's top economic planning body, holds a press conference on the second day of the annual National People's Congress, the country's parliament. Under way. (CHINA-POLITICS-CONGRESS-NPC-ECONOMY)

--- OTHER AGENDA ITEMS ---

AUSTRALIA

-- Australia's mining powered economy grew 0.6 percent in the three months to December and 3.1 percent from a year earlier as the resources sector and consumer spending rallied (AUSTRALIA-ECONOMY-GROWTH)

-- A T-shirt company issues an apology for advertising tops with slogans such as "Keep Calm and Rape A Lot" and "Keep Calm and Kill Her", with its founder saying the firm may go under (AUSTRALIA-BRITAIN-US-CLOTHING-RAPE)

-- A private collector pays a world record Aus$495,000 (US$508,000) for one of Australia's first coins, known as the "Holey Dollar" (AUSTRALIA-COINS-MONEY-AUCTION)

BANGLADESH

-- Reporting on weeks of unrest sparked by the prosecution of local Islamist leaders on war crime charges which have killed more than 80 people (BANGLADESH-POLITICS-WARCRIMES-UNREST)

CHINA

Moving a FEATURE on the Chinese fishermen who sail in the contested waters of the South China Sea and shrug off the dangers of navigating between multiple competing claimants (CHINA-POLITICS-MILITARY-FISHERIES)

INDIA

Moving a FOCUS on the millions of people in western India who are facing their worst drought in more than four decades (INDIA-ENVIRONMENT-HEALTH-DROUGHT)

JAPAN

-- Shares in struggling Sharp rocket on reports that South Korean rival Samsung is looking to buy a stake, further highlighting the demise of once-invincible Japanese electronics giants (SKOREA-JAPAN-IT-SAMSUNG-SHARP)

-- Japan and the United States have made a behind-the-scenes deal on exemptions for the auto industry in a huge free trade pact, as Tokyo readies to announce is entry into talks, reports say (JAPAN-US-DIPLOMACY-TRADE-TPP)

-- The Bank of Japan begins a two-day meeting of its decision-making policy board, the last one for governor Masaaki Shirakawa (JAPAN-ECONOMY-BANK-POLITICS)

-- Norio Kanno, mayor of Iitate village in Fukushima, where land remains uninhabitable two years after a major tsunami sparked a nuclear crisis, speaks at the Foreign Correspondents' Club of Japan. At 0300 GMT (JAPAN-NUCLEAR-ACCIDENT-EVACUATION)

-- The third day of a four-day visit by a team from the International Olympic Committee, inspecting Tokyo's bid to host the 2020 Games (JPN-OLY-2020-IOC)

-- Baseball: World Baseball Classic, first round Pool A. Japan vs Cuba in Fukuoka. At 1000 GMT (BASEBALL-WORLD-ASIA-JPN-CUB)

MALAYSIA

-- Field hockey. Sultan Azlan Shah Cup in Ipoh (FHOCKEY-MAS)

MALDIVES

-- Opposition leader Mohamed Nasheed appears in court a day after being arrested on charges of abuse of power. Hearing scheduled for 1030 GMT (MALDIVES-POLITICS-NASHEED)

MYANMAR

-- Final day of conference hosted by Myanmar on development of its oil and gas industry. From about 0230 GMT (MYANMAR-ECONOMY-OIL-GAS)

NEW ZEALAND

-- Cricket. New Zealand v England first Test, in Dunedin (CRICKET-NZL-ENG)

SOUTH KOREA:

-- Monitoring South Korean reaction to North Korea's threat to nullify Korean War armistice. (NKOREA-SKOREA-US-MILITARY-ARMISTICE)

-- Samsung expected to make statement about reported tie-up with struggling Japanese electronics maker Sharp. (SKOREA-JAPAN-IT-SAMSUNG-SHARP)

THAILAND

-- Member countries of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species continue talks on tackling rampant poaching of wildlife including rhinos, elephants and sharks. From 0200 GMT (ENVIRONMENT-WILDLIFE-CITES)

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130305/afp-asia-news-agenda