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WELLINGTON: Emergency crews launched a major clean-up on Monday following a 6.5-magnitude earthquake in Wellington, as aftershocks continued to rattle the New Zealand capital. The powerful tremor sent masonry and glass crashing into downtown streets on Sunday evening, with panicked locals running for cover amid fears the quake-prone city was…

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PANAMA CITY, Panama: Panamanian authorities have found two Soviet-era MiG-21 fighter jets aboard a North Korea-flagged ship seized this month as it tried to pass through the Panama Canal after departing from Cuba. The supersonic jets were found alongside missile and other weapons parts concealed in a shipment of sugar,…

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REYKJAVIK: A shipment of 130 tons of fin whale meat has been sent back to Iceland, as jubilant animal rights activists on Sunday highlighted the “pointlessness” of the trade. Television pictures showed the boat returning to its original port of Reykjavik laden with the meat, followed by a boat chartered…

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TOKYO: Japanese voters went to the polls on Sunday in an election expected to strengthen Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s hand, potentially giving him power to push much-needed economic reforms. Half of the 242 seats in the upper legislative chamber are up for grabs, in what is expected to be the…

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PATNA: Oil used to cook a school lunch that killed 23 pupils in eastern India contained a “highly toxic,” concentrated form of insecticide, a forensic report and police said on Saturday. The children died after eating lentils, potatoes and rice cooked at the school on July 16 with oil containing…

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SYDNEY: Australia said on Sunday that it would pay rewards of up to Aus$200,000 ($180,000) for information leading to the conviction of people-smugglers, as it defended its tougher approach on asylum-seekers. Prime Minister Kevin Rudd on Friday announced that refugees arriving on unauthorized boats would have no chance of being…

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JERUSALEM: Renewing negotiations with the Palestinians is “vital” for Israel, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Saturday (Sunday in Manila), after both sides agreed to lay the groundwork to resume talks frozen for three years. “The resumption of the peace process is a vital strategic interest of the state of…

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BRUSSELS: Belgium turns a page of history on Sunday (Monday in Manila), ushering in its seventh king, Philippe, on a day of celebrations against a backdrop of continuing concern over the future of a divided nation. At noon, Philippe, 53, dressed in full military uniform, will take his oath of…

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RIO DE JANEIRO: Pope Francis is due in Brazil on Monday on his first foreign trip as pontiff to attend an international youth festival in the world’s biggest Catholic country. The 76-year-old Argentine, Latin America’s first pope, will visit a nation still shaken by last month’s social unrest that saw…

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NEW YORK CITY: Superstar couple Jay Z and Beyonce joined protesters across the United States (US) on Saturday (Sunday in Manila) amid simmering anger over a not-guilty verdict in the shooting death of black teenager Trayvon Martin. A call for nationwide vigils designed to press for federal action in the…