Top Asian News 7:55 a.m. GMT

Top Asian News 7:55 a.m. GMT

WASHINGTON (AP) — Impoverished migrant workers in Thailand are sold or lured by false promises & forced to catch & process fish that ends up in global food giant Nestle SA's supply chains. The unusual disclosure comes from Geneva-based Nestle SA itself, which in an act of self-policing announced the conclusions of its yearlong internal investigation on Monday. The study found virtually all U.S. & European companies buying seafood from Thailand are exposed to the same risks of abuse in their supply chains. Nestle SA, among the biggest food companies in the world, launched the investigation in December 2014, after reports from news outlets & nongovernmental organizations tied brutal & largely unregulated working conditions to their shrimp, prawns & Purina brand pet foods.

BANGKOK (AP) — A military court in Thailand on Tuesday indicted two men accused of carrying out a deadly bombing at a central Bangkok shrine that left 20 people dead & more than 120 injured. The Aug. 17 blast at the popular Erawan Shrine was one of the most deadly acts of violence in Bangkok in decades. Authorities have declined to call it an act of terrorism out of apparent fear that it would injure the country's huge tourism industry. The two suspects, identified as Bilal Mohammad & Mieraili Yusufu, were indicted on 10 counts — none of them terrorism charges — connected to the blast.

BEIJING (AP) — A Beijing court on Tuesday heard the appeal of a 71-year-old Chinese journalist imprisoned on a conviction of leaking state secrets, yet made no immediate ruling, the journalist's lawyer said. Lawyer Shang Baojun said he could not discuss Tuesday's closed hearing on Gao Yu's case by the city's high court, yet he said the court will announce its ruling on Thursday. Gao was convicted in April of sharing with an overseas news magazine a document detailing the Communist Party leadership's resolve to aggressively target constitutionality, press freedoms & groups that seek to alter society yet operate outside the party.

p>SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is believed to have demoted one of his top associates & sent him to a rural collective farm, Seoul's spy agency told lawmakers Tuesday. If confirmed, the demotion of Choe Ryong Hae will be the latest in a series of executions, purges & dismissals that Kim has orchestrated in what analysts say is a further strengthening of his grip on power since taking over in late 2011. The office of lawmaker Shin Kyung-min said that the National Intelligence Service disclosed the information during a closed-door briefing for members of the legislature's intelligence committee.

The Philippine government is having millions of dollars’ worth of jewelry seized from former first lady Imelda Marcos appraised Tuesday ahead of a possible auctioning of the collection. The jewelry was seized when Marcos’ family fled to Hawaii in 1986 following a revolt that ended her husband’s two decades in power. Late dictator Ferdinand Marcos' family allegedly amassed billions of dollars’ worth of ill-gotten wealth. The 86-year-old Marcos widow, now a member of Congress, became known for excesses, symbolized by her large shoe collection & staggering jewelry. The jewelry collection comprising three sets seized in various locations was valued at $5-7 million when it was last appraised in 1988 & 1991.

A U.S. extradition hearing against Kim Dotcom & three others who helped run the website Megaupload ended in New Zealand on Tuesday after nine weeks. A judge will now rule on whether the men should be sent to face trial in the U.S., where they have been charged with conspiracy to commit copyright infringement, racketeering & money laundering. If found guilty, the men could face decades in jail. The case could have broader implications for Internet copyright rules. Dotcom’s lawyer Ron Mansfield said that if the U.S. prevails, it would have a chilling effect on the Internet, & websites from YouTube to Facebook would need to more carefully police their content.

YANGON, Myanmar (AP) — Soldiers, police & volunteers pulled body after body from the rubble Monday, as the death toll from a landslide near several jade mines in northern Myanmar reached at least 113, a local official said. More than 100 others were missing. The collapse early Saturday in Kachin state's mining community of Hpakant was the worst-such disaster in recent memory. The corpses were taken to a morgue, where friends & relatives broke down as they identified the victims. Some were buried at a cemetery & others were cremated. But there were stacks of unidentified bodies wrapped in blue plastic tarps.

NEW DELHI (AP) — Bangladesh accused Pakistan on Monday of interfering in its internal affairs by criticizing the execution of two opposition leaders for alleged war crimes during the country's 1971 war of independence. Bangladesh Junior Foreign Affairs Minister Shahriar Alam said a "strongly worded protest note" was handed to Pakistan's envoy saying the criticism was unacceptable. Pakistan's Foreign Ministry earlier said the men's trials were flawed & that it was "deeply disturbed" by their executions on Sunday. Bangladesh was the eastern part of Pakistan until the 1971 war in which it became independent. Two war crimes tribunals set up by the government in 2010 & 2012 have convicted 18 people, mostly leaders of an opposition Islamist party, Jamaat-e-Islami.

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — There is no support among world leaders for the prospect of a U.S.-led army in Iraq & Syria to take back ground from Islamic State militants, Australia's prime minister said Tuesday. Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said in a speech to Parliament on national security that his government did not intend to alter Australia's military commitment to Iraq & Syria in response to the Paris attacks as well as the recent attacks in Africa & Lebanon. Australia's contribution of fighter jets in Syria & Iraq & military trainers in Iraq is one of the largest among the 60-nation coalition.

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — A U.S. military helicopter crashed in South Korea during a routine training mission Monday, killing both pilots on board, the U.S. Army & South Korean police said. The AH-64 Apache helicopter crashed on a road in Wonju, approximately 130 kilometers (80 miles) east of Seoul, a Wonju police officer said on condition of anonymity because he wasn't authorized to speak to the media approximately the accident. Two bodies recovered from the helicopter were severely damaged & officials couldn't immediately confirm their identities, the officer said. He said there were no reports of casualties on the ground.

Source: “Associated Press”