The Manila Times

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ANKARA: Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Wednesday (Thursday in Manila) said that he would consider holding a referendum on plans to redevelop an Istanbul park that have sparked nationwide protests, in his first major concession in nearly two weeks of anti-government unrest. The gesture came as thousands gathered…

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WASHINGTON, D.C.: The US spy chief in charge of a leaked program to gather and analyze Internet and phone data defended the intelligence tactic on Wednesday (Thursday in Manila), insisting it had helped thwart dozens of terror attacks. Facing skeptical questions from lawmakers after a rogue technician revealed the secret…

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TEHRAN: Iran’s six presidential hopefuls staged last-minute election campaigning on Wednesday (Thursday in Manila), hoping to woo millions of voters undecided between a slew of conservatives and a moderate cleric backed by reformists. Momentum has built for cleric Hassan Rowhani, a former top nuclear negotiator, after the withdrawal of reformist…

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SEOUL: North Korea on Thursday accused South Korea of deliberately sabotaging planned high-level talks with “arrogant obstructions” and warned that prospects for any future dialogue had been severely damaged. The two Koreas had initially agreed to hold their first high-level talks in six years in Seoul on Wednesday and Thursday…

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WASHINGTON, D.C.: President Barack Obama and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe spoke by phone Wednesday (Thursday in Manila), days after the US leader met over the weekend with the president of China, the White House said in a statement. The two leaders “discussed the president’s recent meetings with President Xi…

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JOHANNESBURG: Nelson Mandela is responding better to treatment after the “difficult last few days,” South African President Jacob Zuma said on Wednesday (Thursday in Manila) on the frail anti-apartheid hero’s fifth day in hospital. Mandela’s family said they were “deeply touched” by the outpouring of support since the 94-year-old was…

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KUALA LUMPUR: Thailand on Thursday expressed impatience at continuing insurgent violence in its Muslim-majority south as delegates began a third round of peace talks in the Malaysian capital with the rebels. Thai National Security Council chief Paradorn Pattanatabut told reporters that he needed “concrete outcomes” to violence that has killed…

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PHNOMPENH: Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen on Thursday denied his ruling party orchestrated mass rallies against an opposition leader who allegedly described a notorious Khmer Rouge prison as a Vietnamese invention. “The Cambodian People’s Party [CPP] is not playing dirty tricks,” strongman Hun Sen said in a speech on national…

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HAVANA: Australian endurance star Chloe McCardel abruptly scrapped her bid to swim non-stop from Cuba to the US state of Florida after a “debilitating” jellyfish sting. “McCardel’s attempt to be the first person to complete a non-stop swim from Cuba to the US without a shark cage has ended prematurely…

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BEIJING: A Tibetan nun who set fire to herself in protest at Chinese rule appeared to have survived the self-immolation attempt. The woman set herself ablaze near Nyitso monastery in Daofu County, an area with many ethnic Tibetans in China’s southwestern Sichuan province, Radio Free Asia said.