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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 THURSDAY

+ 152 dead after Bangladesh garment factory collapse

+ South Korea issues North ultimatum on Kaesong zone

+ Southeast Asian leaders end China-dominated summit

BANGLADESH

-- Rescuers hunt for survivors after the death toll following a Bangladesh garment factory collapse climbs to 152, with more than 1,000 injured (BANGLADESH-DISASTER-BUILDING-CLOTHING)

SOUTH KOREA

-- South Korea issues the North with an ultimatum over the suspended Kaesong industrial zone, telling the North to attend formal talks on its reopening or face unspecified "grave action" (NKOREA-SKOREA-USMILITARY-ECONOMY)

BRUNEI

-- Southeast Asian leaders wrap up a two-day ASEAN summit dominated by efforts to defuse tensions over South China Sea territorial claims and deepen economic links throughout the region. Brunei's Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah, host of the talks, is scheduled to hold a press conference at 0700 GMT (ASEAN-SUMMIT)

--- OTHER AGENDA ITEMS ---

AFGHANISTAN

-- Monitoring after thirteen people were killed, dozens injured and scores of mud-brick homes flattened when a powerful earthquake struck eastern Afghanistan (AFGHANISTAN-PAKISTAN-QUAKE)

-- Following attempts to free 11 foreigners held by the Afghan Taliban after their helicopter was forced into an emergency landing (AFGHANISTAN-TURKEY-UNREST)

AUSTRALIA

-- Tens of thousands of Australians and New Zealanders turn out to honour their war dead, with moving tributes to fallen mates and calls not to forget those injured in conflict (AUSTRALIA-NZEALAND-HISTORY-MILITARY-ANZAC)

-- Cricket. Skipper Michael Clarke says Australia will prove their critics wrong and bring the urn home from England despite his team being panned as the 'worst Ashes squad" (CRICKET-ASHES-AUS_ENG-CLARKE)

-- Rugby Union. Filing a preview of the weekend Super 15 action (RUGBYU-SUPER15)

-- Swimming. Filing a preview of the Australian world championship trials starting Friday (SWIM-AUS-WORLD)

CAMBODIA

-- The World Health Organization will launch a framework for an offensive against the worrying drug-resistant malaria in the Mekong region. At 0730 GMT (CAMBODIA-HEALTH-MALARIA)

CHINA

--- French President Francois Hollande, accompanied by a high-powered business delegation, begins a two-day visit to China. He will be the first Western leader to be received in Beijing by new Chinese President Xi Jinping (CHINA-FRANCE)

-- EU high representative for foreign affairs and European Commission VP Catherine Ashton begins four-day visit to Beijing (CHINA-EU)

-- US deputy secretary of state William Burns visits China (CHINA-US)

-- Monitoring developments in the spread of the deadly H7N9 bird flu virus after international experts said it was "one of the most lethal influenza viruses" seen and Taiwan reports first case (CHINA-HEALTH-FLU)

-- Monitoring developments after 21 people die in clashes in Xinjiang (CHINA-UNREST-XINJIANG)

HONG KONG

-- Japanese clothing brand Uniqlo chairman Tadashi Yanai talks about his company's latest plans. At 0700 GMT (HONGKONG-JAPAN-COMPANY-UNIQLO)

INDIA

-- Indian Foreign Minister Salman Khurshid addresses a business group amid tension with China over an alleged border incursion. From 0330 GMT. (INDIA-DIPLOMACY)

-- Badminton. India Open (BADMINTON-IND)

INDONESIA

-- Frenchman on trial in Bali accused of trying to smuggle 69 grammes (2.4 ounces) of hashish into the resort island of Bali, an offence punishable by death. Hearing begins at 0500 GMT (INDONESIA-FRANCE-DRUGS-CRIME-COURT)

JAPAN

-- General Martin Dempsey, chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, visits Yokota airbase in Tokyo. From 0430 GMT (JAPAN-US-MILITARY)

-- Moving a FOCUS on the divisive Yasukuni shrine, a brutal reminder of Japan's imperialist past for the country's neighbours, whereas for ordinary Japanese it is seen as a place to worship ancestors who died in conflict (JAPAN-POLITICS-DIPLOMACY-WWII-CHINA-SKOREA)

MALAYSIA

-- Following the campaign for the May 5 general election which has been marred by violent acts (MALAYSIA-POLITICS-VOTE)

-- Moving a FOCUS on the online battle to win the vote of Malaysia's youth ahead of May elections that are expected to be the country's closest yet (MALAYSIA-POLITICS-VOTE-YOUTH-INTERNET)

MYANMAR

-- Moving a FEATURE on a plan by Myanmar's reformist regime to rebuild a stretch of the notorious "Death Railway" built by Japan during World War II, potentially connecting it to the Thai border to develop tourism (MYANMAR-THAILAND-JAPAN-WWII-HISTORY-RAIL-TOURISM)

PAKISTAN

-- The Supreme Court continues hearing petitions seeking that arrested former military ruler Pervez Musharraf be charged with treason for imposing emergency law in November 2007 (PAKISTAN-UNREST-VOTE-POLITICS-MUSHARRAF)

PHILIPPINES

-- ASEAN working group news conference at 0100 GMT on proposed regional action plan on human trafficking (ASEAN-ASIA-LABOUR-RIGHTS-TRAFFICKING)

-- Central bank monetary board expected to make an announcement around 0800 GMT on interest rate policy (PHILIPPINES-ECONOMY-BANK-RATE-INFLATION)

SOUTH KOREA:

-- North Korea marks the anniversary of the founding of its army amid high military tensions on the Korean peninsula (NKOREA-SKOREA-US-MILITARY)

-- Covering Hyundai Motor's first quarter corporate earnings (SKOREA-AUTO-COMPANY-EARNINGS)

-- Popular software mogul and former South Korean presidential candidate Ahn Cheol-Soo wins parliamentary by-election. (SKOREA-VOTE-POLITICS-AHN)

-- Samsung shows off the latest version of its Galaxy S smartphone at a press launch ahead of its sales release on Friday. (SKOREA-IT-TELECOM-SAMSUNG-SMARTPHONE)

-- Golf. European/Asian Tour. Ballantine's Open in Icheon (GOLF0EPGA-ASIA-KOR)

TAIWAN

-- Following after Taiwan reported the first case of H7N9 bird flu influenza outside of mainland China (TAIWAN-CHINA-HEALTH-FLU)

-- Taiwan's leading airline China Airlines signs a code-sharing agreement with Russia's Transaero Airlines, in the first such pact between the island and Moscow. From 0300 GMT (TAIWAN-RUSSIA-AVIATION-CAL-TRANSAERO)

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130424/afp-asia-news-agenda