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President Rodrigo Duterte met with his Vietnamese counterpart Tran Dai Quang on Thursday and discussed the dispute over the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea). In a press conference in Hanoi, Foreign Affairs Secretary Perfecto Yasay said Duterte explained why he believes it is necessary for the Philippines to hold…

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Environment Secretary Gina Lopez has ordered the investigation of alleged “midnight deals” involving some officials of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and mining companies granted extension or expansion of their operations during the last days of the Aquino administration. Acting on a complaint from the Alyansa Tigil-Mina…

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Malacañang on Thursday said President Rodrigo Duterte will no waver in his decision not to include the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) in the ongoing peace talks. Presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella said members of the ASG will never be granted amnesty under the Duterte Administration. “Regarding the desire of Mr. Misuari…

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JAKARTA: Thousands of workers rallied Thursday in the Indonesian capital Jakarta against a controversial government scheme to raise revenues that, critics claim, has allowed wealthy tycoons to avoid paying tax. The tax amnesty program began in July, offering low rates to people who came forward to declare their untaxed wealth…

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SYDNEY, Australia: South Australia braced for a second night of severe weather Thursday, with tens of thousands of homes still without power after “catastrophic” storms knocked out supply to the entire population. The total blackout caused chaos and widespread damage was reported, as authorities warned of more wild conditions to…

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WASHINGTON: The US Congress passed a spending bill late Wednesday and staved off a government shutdown, after reaching agreement on funding for a tainted water crisis in Flint, Michigan that had bedeviled earlier proposals. The fiscal year ends on September 30. Had Congress failed to pass a bill approving federal…

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BERLIN: A German woman who was kidnapped in Syria last year while she was pregnant has been freed along with her baby, the German foreign ministry has said. The pair were released on Wednesday and had safely crossed the border into Turkey, a ministry spokeswoman said, declining to name the…

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LONDON: Britain must not expect to end up with more rights than other countries outside the EU following Brexit negotiations, Italy’s Prime Minister Matteo Renzi warned in an interview Thursday. Renzi also told the BBC that he blamed Britain’s former premier David Cameron for June’s vote to leave the European…

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BEIJING: China on Thursday warned Japan against “playing with fire” in the contested waters of the South China Sea, after Tokyo announced it may patrol alongside the US in the region. China also sent fighter planes for the first time over a strait near Japan on Monday as part of…

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CARACAS: In Venezuela, if the hunger, armed robbers and medicine shortages don’t kill you, then the demons of depression and anxiety just might. Suffering long queues for rations and one of the world’s highest murder rates, citizens are losing their tempers—and their hope, psychologists warn. Plunged into depression after the…

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