• WORLD IN BRIEF

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    CHINA PROBES TOP STATE PLANNER AMID GRAFT CLAIMS
    BEIJING: China is investigating a top state planner for alleged “serious disciplinary violations” the official Xinhua news agency said on Sunday, in phrasing which typically refers to corruption cases. Liu Tienan, deputy director of the National Development and Reform Commission, was under investigation by the Communist Party agency tasked with probing corruption and other malpractice by party members, the report said. Allegations against 58-year-old Liu, formerly party chief of China’s National Energy Administration, surfaced in December when a journalist at an influential business magazine accused him of improper business dealings.

    MIGRANT DEATH SPARKS ‘ANTI-SUICIDE’ PROTEST IN CHINA
    BEIJING: The death of a young Chinese migrant worker in Beijing has sparked an online protest by those sceptical of official claims that she committed suicide. Highlighting suspicion of the government by Chinese society, hundreds of people have made online “anti-suicide” pledges to mock the police ruling that the woman killed herself. The government keeps a tight grip on the Internet, censoring content it deems politically sensitive or pornographic, but experts say the number and speed of microblog postings makes them more difficult to control.

    ‘NY TIMES’ BUREAU CHIEF EXPELLED FROM PAKISTAN
    ISLAMABAD: The New York Times bureau chief in Pakistan was expelled from the country on Sunday after being ordered to leave for unspecified “undesirable activities.” Declan Walsh, who was hired by the newspaper last year after covering Pakistan for British newspaper The Guardian since 2004, was handed an expulsion order at his home at 12:30 a.m., according to the Times. “ Here I go. Hard to believe this is happening,” the 39-year-old tweeted on early Sunday after filing his last report on the country’s landmark general elections.

    NIGERIA OPPOSITION FORMS MEGA PARTY AHEAD OF 2015 VOTE
    LAGOS: Nigeria’s leading opposition parties agreed Saturday to merge into an electoral behemoth they vowed would defeat President Goodluck Jonathan in 2015 polls. Two parties—the Congress for Progressive Change and the All Nigeria People’s Party—approved the move in separate conventions aired live on television. A third, the Action Congress of Nigeria, okayed the mega party project last month. The result of the merger between Nigeria’s top three opposition movements will be called the All Progressive Congress if its registration is approved by the electoral body. AFP

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