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India flood death toll jumps to 164

KOCHI, India: The death toll from major floods in India’s tourist hotspot Kerala has jumped to 164, state chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan said Friday, issuing a fresh heavy rainfall warning for the battered region. Kerala’s government has described the crisis — one of the worst in decades — as “extremely …

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Pope ‘on the side of victims of abuse’

VATICAN CITY: Pope Francis is on the side of victims of more than 300 “predator” priests in the United States who are accused of abusing over 1,000 children across seven decades, the Vatican said Thursday (Friday in Manila). “Victims should know that the pope is on their side,” the Vatican …

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US creates ‘Iran Action Group’ to up pressure

WASHINGTON, D.C.: US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced a new high-level team to focus US and international efforts to increase diplomatic and economic pressure on Iran. The Iran Action Group will drive Washington’s “maximum pressure” strategy to change Tehran’s behavior, including potentially sanctioning other countries which trade with the …

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Chinese aircraft skids off runway

Thousands of passengers stranded at NAIA A Chinese passenger jet slid off the runway as it landed on Manila airport in torrential rain, forcing a partial closure until 5 a.m. today and stranding or delaying thousands of passengers. All 165 people on board were safely evacuated, the Manila International Airport …

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7 decades of Korean separation remembered

SEOUL: When Kim Kwang-ho fled advancing North Korean forces he expected to return home within days, so did not bother with a proper goodbye to his mother and brother. On Monday he meets his sibling for the first time in 68 years. Now 81, Kim is one of a handful …

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Taiwan extends visa exemption for Filipinos

TAIWAN has extended its visa-exemption program for Filipinos by another year, according to the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office (TECO). “The trial period will continue until July 31, 2019, and will be reviewed for further extension,” TECO said in a statement. Taiwan’s representative to the Philippines, Micheal Peiyung Hsu, urged …

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NKorea lambasts US ‘brigandish’ sanctions

SEOUL: North Korean leader Kim Jong Un attacked “hostile forces” over “brigandish” sanctions, state media reported Friday, as Washington seeks to maintain pressure on Pyongyang over its nuclear program. Kim and US President Donald Trump held a groundbreaking summit in Singapore in June, which the US leader touted as a …

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Chinese activists remember ‘comfort women’

BEIJING: Only 15 of Chinese ‘comfort women’ are still alive out of the 200,000 who were forced into sex slavery by Japanese troops during World War II. Known by the term “comfort women,” Great Cold explores these women’s difficult experiences, both during the war and after. Their great pain and …

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Google workers nix China search engine

WASHINGTON, D.C.: Hundreds of Google employees have signed a protest letter over the company’s reported work on a censor-friendly search engine to get back into China, The New York Times said Thursday (Friday in Manila). The employees are demanding more transparency so they can understand the moral implications of their …

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Chinese bombers after US targets

WASHINGTON, D.C.: Chinese bombers are likely training for strikes against US and allied targets in the Pacific, according to a new Pentagon report that also details how Beijing is transforming its ground forces to “fight and win.” The annual report to Congress, released Thursday (Friday in Manila), highlights China’s growing …

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