Top Asian News at 5:30 a.m. GMT

HONG KONG (AP) — Hong Kong police trimmed a protest zone that has paralyzed traffic on key roads in the financial district for more than two weeks, removing some barricades used by pro-democracy protesters to allow some traffic through the area on Monday. Police stressed that the dawn operation was not meant to clear the protesters, and said it was only to relieve traffic congestion as commuters returned to work. It was not immediately clear if police will take further action, but the move appeared to be a test of how the protesters would react.

HYDERABAD, India (AP) — A powerful cyclone that slammed into India’s eastern seaboard weakened as it moved inland Monday, leaving at least eight dead in its wake. Rescue workers readied helicopters, aircraft and ships to carry out relief operations once daylight made clear the extent of damage. In another storm lashing Asia, Typhoon Vongfong was downgraded to tropical storm as it hit the Japanese island of Kyushu after battering the southern island of Okinawa. At least 37 people were injured, and authorities advised 150,000 people to evacuate. Train service and flights were disrupted in Kyushu and the neighboring island of Shikoku.

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — North Korea says the remains of thousands of American soldiers killed during the Korean War are being moved due to construction projects and flood damage. The United States suspended efforts to recover war remains in North Korea over the country’s plans to launch a long-range rocket in 2012. About 8,000 U.S. service members are listed as missing from the 1950-53 war.

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — An Afghan official says a suicide bomber targeting a NATO convoy in Kabul has killed one civilian and wounded three others. Afghan Deputy Interior Minister Gen. Ayub Salangi says the suicide car bomber targeted the convoy in the attack Monday morning. NATO in Afghanistan confirmed that one of its vehicles was attacked in Kabul, adding that there were no immediate reports of any casualties among members of the military coalition, known as ISAF.

HONG KONG (AP) — By road, the little apartments are nearly an hour from central Hong Kong and the protests that have swept through it. Twice that long if you take the subway, which is how most people commute from places like Tuen Mun, a cluster of high-rise apartments built in a once-rural corner of Hong Kong’s sprawling New Territories. But the apartments are also affordable, at least in the way that any real estate can be affordable in one of the world’s most expensive cities. The cheapest sell for 2.9 million Hong Kong dollars, or about $375,000. They are slightly larger than the average American kitchen. Young couples are desperate to buy them.

BEIJING (AP) — Chinese police on Sunday stormed into a conference room outside Beijing where rights lawyers were meeting to discuss wrongful cases and broke up the gathering, one of the attorneys said, in the latest move by authorities to obstruct their work. Rights lawyers have grown into a force in China and have earned a reputation for their grittiness in demanding that the letter of the law be strictly followed in the courts, which remain under the tight control of the ruling Communist Party.

BEIJING (AP) — A Chinese scholar and rights advocate who founded an influential non-governmental think tank has been detained on the criminal charge of provoking troubles, his lawyer said Sunday. Guo Yushan is the latest of dozens of people who have been detained at a time when Hong Kong protesters are demanding universal suffrage in elections for the top official of the semiautonomous territory.

PATNA, India (AP) — When the Nobel Committee announced that Indian children’s rights activist Kailash Satyarthi had won the Peace Prize, a skinny 13-year-old boy was running around serving cups of milky tea to customers at a tiny tea stall in eastern India. By law, Raja Manjhi should not be working at all. But, like millions of other children across India, he has been forced out of school and into a job to help his impoverished family.

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) — The “Queen of Jaffna,” a once-popular train linking the ethnic Tamil’s northern heartland to the rest of Sri Lanka before a bloody civil war cut the link 24 years ago, chugs back into service this coming week, reinforcing the government’s authority in a region once controlled by Tamil rebels. For the old, it is a nostalgic piece of the Indian Ocean island nation’s past. For the young, the train represents something novel and opens opportunities to explore the north. For the central government, the resumption of the “Yarl Devi,” as it is known in Tamil, marks a step toward restoring national unity five years after the Tamil separatists were defeated to end the long war.

NEW DELHI (AP) — One is Muslim, the other Hindu. One a Pakistani, the other Indian. One a school girl just starting out in life, the other a man with decades of experience. Despite their many differences, 17-year-old Malala Yousafzai and 60-year-old Kailash Satyarthi will be forever linked — co-winners of the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize, honored for risking their lives for the rights of children to education and to lives free of abuse. Their selection was widely acclaimed, their heroism undeniable.

BIRMINGHAM, England (AP) — Malala Yousafzai celebrated her Nobel Peace Prize where she always wished to be: in school. The Pakistani girl once shot by the Taliban for daring to want an education just like the boys celebrated being the joint winner of the peace prize Friday with her classmates at Edgbaston High School for girls in Birmingham, the city in central England that she now calls home.

HONG KONG (AP) — Students leading pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong issued an open letter Saturday to Chinese President Xi Jinping, urging him to consider political reforms in the city and blaming the city’s unpopular leader for the demonstrations. The letter, issued by two student groups leading the protests, said Hong Kong Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying was responsible for a civil disobedience campaign that has seen tens of thousands of people throng the semiautonomous city’s key thoroughfares over the past two weeks.

BEIJING (AP) — A landslide in northwestern China buried a dormitory for highway construction workers as they slept inside, killing 19 and injuring two others, officials said Saturday. The landslide crushed eight temporary dormitory rooms in Ganquan county, which is part of the city of Yan’an in Shaanxi province, according to the local government.

BEIJING (AP) — Chinese authorities are urging officials who have fled abroad to avoid corruption charges to turn themselves in before Dec. 1 in exchange for leniency or face stiffer punishment. Corruption is rampant in China, and a large number of government officials and executives of state-owned companies have absconded overseas for safer havens of their ill-gained wealth because China lacks extradition treaties.

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Top Asian News at 5:30 a.m. GMT
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