AFP Asia news agenda

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

ASIA NEWS HIGHLIGHTS ON FRIDAY

+ N. Korea puts rockets on standby to strike US

+ KRouge court rules on Nuon Chea trial fitness

+ Filipino devotees undergo bloody crucifixions

SOUTH KOREA

-- North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un orders preparations for strategic rocket strikes on the US mainland and military bases after US stealth bombers flew training runs over South Korea (NKOREA-SKOREA-MILITARY)

CAMBODIA

-- The UN-backed war crimes court will rule on whether Khmer Rouge "Brother Number Two" Nuon Chea remains fit for trial. Starting 0200 GMT (CAMBODIA-UN-TRIAL)

PHILIPPINES

-- Religious fanatics in the mainly Catholic nation are to be nailed to crosses from around 0300 GMT in gory Good Friday re-enactments of Jesus Christ's crucifixion that are frowned upon by the Church (EASTER-PHILIPPINES-RELIGION-CRUCIFIXION)

--- OTHER AGENDA ITEMS ---

AUSTRALIA

-- Football. A-League (FBL-ASIA-AUS)

-- Rugby League. National Rugby League (RUGBYL-AUS)

CHINA

-- Chinese authorities order consumer watchdogs to "strengthen supervision" of firms including Apple, as the Californian company faces a barrage of negative publicity in state media (CHINA-US-TECHNOLOGY-APPLE)

-- Beijing Fashion week continues (CHINA-FASHION)

INDIA

-- Moving a FEATURE on how the producers of Sesame Street in India and Afghanistan are attempting to make the show about Big Bird and his puppet pals palatable to local viewers (ENTERTAINMENT-INDIA-AFGHANISTAN-US-SESAME)

INDONESIA

-- Moving a FOCUS on the elite Indonesian police unit on the front line of the fight against terrorism, which is facing fresh allegations of torture and unlawful killings (INDONESIA-ATTACKS-POLICE-ISLAM-RIGHTS)

JAPAN

-- Factory output slows in Japan, underlining the scale of the task for a government that says it is going to right the listing economy (JAPAN-ECONOMY)

-- The competition to find the world's best sommelier ends in Tokyo (JAPAN-CULTURE-WINE)

-- China's increasingly self-confident stance is pushing its neighbours to forge unlikely partnerships, a Japanese government-funded study says (EASIA-JAPAN-CHINA-RUSSIA-US-NKOREA-MILITARY-DIPLOMACY)

-- Rugby Union. Previewing Japan Sevens (RUGBYU-SEVENS-JPN)

MALAYSIA

-- Squash. KL Open (SQUASH-MAS)

MYANMAR

-- Monitoring Buddhist-Muslim violence in Myanmar that has left 40 people dead in little more than a week, after President Thein Sein vows a tough response to religious extremists (MYANMAR-UNREST-RELIGION)

NEW ZEALAND

-- Cricket. Monitoring the medical condition of New Zealand cricketer Jesse Ryder who is in a critical condition in hospital following a bar brawl (CRICKET-NZL-IND-IPL-RYDER)

-- Rugby Union. Super 15. Otago Highlanders (NZL) v Queensland Reds (AUS) in Dunedin at 0635 GMT (RUGBYU-SUPER15-OTA-QLD)

PAKISTAN

-- Former military ruler Pervez Musharraf, who recently returned to Pakistan after four years of self-imposed exile, is due to appear in court as he seeks a bail extension. From 0600 GMT (PAKISTAN-UNREST-VOTE-POLITICS-COURT)

PHILIPPINES

-- Monitoring for possible Maoist guerrilla attacks to mark the 44th anniversary of the founding of the group, amid an impasse in peace talks to end one of Asia's longest running insurgencies (EASTER-PHILIPPINES-UNREST-COMMUNIST)

SOUTH KOREA

-- South Korea's industrial output shrinks for the second straight month in February, fuelling concerns of a slower-than-expected recovery for Asia's fourth-largest economy (SKOREA-ECONOMY-INDUSTRY-OUTPUT)

TAIWAN

-- Taiwan's HTC begins rolling out its much-anticipated new flagship smartphone, the HTC One (TAIWAN-TELECOM-HTC)

THAILAND

-- Moving a FEATURE on the latest extreme sports craze attracting overweight tourists to Thailand's tropical shores -- Muay Thai boxing training camps (THAILAND-LIFESTYLE-TOURISM-HEALTH-SPORTS)

-- Golf. Asian Tour. Chiangmai Golf Classic (GOLF-ASIA-THA)

afp