Top Asian News at 8:30 a.m. GMT

Associated Press

HONG KONG (AP) — Hong Kong pro-democracy lawmakers disrupted a Beijing official's speech Monday as he sought to explain a decision announced over the weekend to tightly limit voting reforms for the southern Chinese financial hub. The legislators chanted slogans and held up placards accusing China's central government of "breaking its promise" to let Hong Kong directly elect its leader. Some stood on chairs and pumped their fists, waving signs that said "Shameful" and "Loss of faith."

ISLAMABAD (AP) — Pakistani anti-government protesters stormed the state TV building on Monday, forcing the channel briefly off air as they clashed anew with police and pushed further into a sprawling government complex in the capital, Islamabad, in an effort to reach the prime minister's residence. The violence is the latest in the turmoil roiling Pakistan, where anti-government cleric Tahir-ul-Qadri and cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan have been leading twin protests since mid-August calling on Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to resign. Over the weekend, three people died and hundreds were injured in what amounted to running street battles between the police and the demonstrators.

In an oddball attempt at sports diplomacy with North Korea, a group of about 20 mixed martial artists from around the world, including former NFL player Bob "The Beast" Sapp, traveled to Pyongyang last week to engage in arm-wrestling and tug-of-war competitions with local children. The trip, organized by pro-wrestler-turned-politician Kanji "Antonio" Inoki, was the first big sports event in North Korea featuring well-known foreigners since Dennis Rodman and a team of other former NBA players held a basketball game in January for leader Kim Jung Un's birthday.

TOKYO (AP) — Japanese government and business leaders pledged support Monday for visiting Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's effort to modernize his country's economy. Modi is visiting Japan with a delegation of more than a dozen Indian tycoons, seeking to take still relatively low-key ties between the countries to a "new level."

BEIRUT (AP) — Under cover of darkness, 40 Filipino peacekeepers escaped their besieged outpost in the Golan Heights after a seven-hour gunbattle with Syrian rebels, Philippine officials said Sunday. Al-Qaida-linked insurgents still hold captive 45 Fijian troops. The getaway, combined with the departure of another entrapped group of Filipino troops, marked a major step forward in a crisis that erupted on Thursday when Syrian rebels began targeting the peacekeeping forces. The United Nations Security Council has condemned the assaults on the international troops monitoring the Syrian-Israeli frontier, and has demanded the unconditional release of those still in captivity.

TOKYO (AP) — A message Japan began delivering Monday is a bit unusual, but true enough: Don't wait until it's too late to think about toilet paper. The government and paper companies kicked off a "Let's stockpile toilet paper!" campaign to mark Disaster Prevention Day, warning of a possible crisis because nearly half of the supply comes from one of Japan's most earthquake-prone areas.

BEIJING (AP) — Officials say a 40-year-old man stabbed students and teachers with a knife at a school in central China, killing two people and injuring four before jumping to his death. Chengguan township official Deng Yunshan says the attack took place Monday morning at the Dongfang primary school in Chengguan, a town in Hubei province.

TOKYO (AP) — Hello Kitty, whom many learned last week is a girl and not a cat, may be the queen of Japan's cute characters, but she's hardly the only one. There are thousands, and they are ubiquitous: Long-time favorite Doraemon (who really is a cat) has a daily quiz in a national newspaper. Little monster Pikachu hosted a theme cafe in Tokyo this summer. Stress-relieving Rilakkuma ("relaxed bear") dangles from teenage girls' school bags.

TOKYO (AP) — Japan is urging local authorities to be on the lookout for further outbreaks of dengue fever, after confirming another 19 cases that were contracted at a popular local park in downtown Tokyo. The cases announced Monday raise to 22 the number of dengue infections thought to have been contracted locally. The health ministry earlier reported three local cases, the first in nearly 70 years.

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — A man suspected of killing two unemployment-office workers and critically injuring a third was taken into custody Monday following a manhunt that lasted seven hours and kept a town on edge. Police spokeswoman Lisa-Marie Brooks said a police dog unit apprehended 48-year-old John Tully near a lake shortly after 5 p.m. following an extensive manhunt in the South Island town of Ashburton.

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — North Korea fired another short-range projectile into the sea Monday, a Seoul official said, in the country's latest weapons test made three days after it cancelled a plan to send cheerleaders to the upcoming Asian Games in the South. The projectile flew about 220 kilometers (135 miles) before landing in waters off the North's east coast, a South Korean Defense Ministry official said speaking on condition of anonymity, citing department rules.

BANGKOK (AP) — The general who transitioned from Thailand's junta leader to prime minister has awarded key Cabinet posts to his trusted allies from the armed forces, the latest in a series of moves that critics say will prolong the military's grip on power. Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha's government lineup, announced Sunday after being approved by the king, includes 11 active or retired senior military officials with no political experience who will serve as the ministers of justice, education, defense, transport, commerce and foreign affairs, among other posts.

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — An Australian military aircraft will soon fly guns and ammunition to the northern Iraqi city of Irbil to help Kurds fight Islamic State militants as part of a U.S.-led multination mission, Australia's prime minister said on Sunday. Prime Minister Tony Abbott said his government would join the United States, Britain, Canada, France and Italy in delivering rocket-propelled grenades, mortars and assault rifle ammunition at the request of the U.S. and Iraqi governments.

PESHAWAR, Pakistan (AP) — A magnitude-6 earthquake struck northern Pakistan on Sunday, authorities said, though there were no immediate reports of injuries or damage. Pakistan Meteorological Department official Mohammad Shahid said people felt the quake in Peshawar and Islamabad. He said its epicenter was in the Hindu Kush mountains on the country's border with Afghanistan and Tajikistan.

PYONGYANG, North Korea (AP) — It's pretty hard to find a novel way to do the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge by now, but two-time Grammy-winning rapper Pras Michel, a founding member of the Fugees, has done it — getting his dousing in the center of North Korea's capital on Sunday. Pras had two buckets of ice water dumped on his head along Pyongyang's Taedong River, much to the surprise and bewilderment — and laughter — of North Koreans out for a stroll or some fishing on their day off.

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