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BEIJING: A top official and confidante of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un on Wednesday met a senior Chinese official in Beijing, at a time of strained relations and ahead of a China-US summit. Choe Ryong-hae, director of the Korean People’s Army politburo, flew to Beijing with a handful of senior…

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SEOUL: The defense chiefs of South Korea, Japan and the United States will hold their first trilateral meeting for four years at the end of this month, with North Korea likely to top the agenda. The three top officials will meet on the sidelines of the annual Asia Security Summit…

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KUCHING: About 300 Borneo tribes people staged a protest at a world hydroelectric industry meeting in Malaysia on Wednesday to denounce dams they say are destroying forests and native ways. Officials in the Malaysian state of Sarawak have for years been accused of ramming through controversial dams, and opponents have…

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BEIJING: Chinese state media on Wednesday welcomed news of the first summit between President Xi Jinping and his US counterpart, Barack Obama, saying the meeting will help “reduce suspicions” in the relationship. The talks, the first since Xi was installed as Chinese leader and Obama began his second term, will…

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WASHINGTON, D.C.: A key US senator on Tuesday backed an end to US sanctions on Myanmar after a landmark visit by the country’s reformist leader, signaling a new normalization in relations despite rights concerns. President Thein Sein, a general-turned-civilian who ended Myanmar’s long isolation from the West, met lawmakers at…

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SINGAPORE: Two US pathologists on Wednesday supported Singapore police findings that an American scientist found hanged last year in the city-state committed suicide and was not murdered as his family claims. Medical examiners David Fowler of Maryland and Valerie Rao of Florida testified as independent experts a day after the…

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TOKYO: Japan’s parliament on Wednesday approved an international treaty on child abductions after decades of pressure from the United States and other Western nations. Japan is the only member of the Group of Eight major industrialized nations that has not ratified the 1980 Hague Convention, which requires nations to return…

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JAPAN MULLS RESUMING TALKS WITH N. KOREA TOKYO: Japan is considering direct talks with North Korea, the government said on Wednesday, adding momentum to the cause after a top level aide to the prime minister made a surprise trip to Pyongyang. Bilateral talks are on the table as Tokyo seeks…

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WASHINGTON: United States President Barack Obama on Monday threw his support behind Myanmar President Thein Sein in his drive to reform a former pariah state but warned that a wave of violence against Muslims must stop. As his guest became the first leader of his country in almost 50 years…

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BAGHDAD: Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki announced an overhaul of Iraq’s security strategy on Monday as a fresh surge of violence killed dozens of civilians and police officers, bringing the month’s toll to 366. “We are about to make changes in the high and middle positions of those responsible for security,…