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President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo has contradicted Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott's claim that the president gave him an indication that he might soften his stance on the planned executions of 11 prisoners, including two Australian drug smugglers.
 

India's finance minister announced the government's new budget on Saturday, promising a slew of measures that attempt to balance welfare spending with high economic growth and infrastructure development, while vowing to keep a tight control on fiscal deficit.
India budget aims to boost growth, infrastructure

 

The Japanese government on Friday proposed that the Self-Defense Forces be allowed to rescue Japanese nationals embroiled in terrorist attacks overseas if a rescue by local police authorities cannot be expected.
 

Somali pirates have released four Thai sailors who were held hostage for nearly five years, the longest period of captivity of hostages held by Somali pirates, a U.N. official said Friday.
 

A bill aimed at restricting North Korea's access to hard currency passed a legislative hurdle Friday as pressure grows in the U.S. Congress for tougher action over Pyongyang's nuclear program and alleged involvement in a hacking attack on Sony Pictures.
US sanctions bill on N. Korea passes hurdle

 

The UK's Prince William, on his second day of a four-day trip to Japan, had tea Friday with Crown Prince Naruhito. Both princes may be equally charming, but it is no contest which one is seen as more approachable.
Prince William strikes friendly contrast to Japan prince

 

French President Francois Hollande on Friday took his warning about the need for funds for a landmark climate deal to a central Philippine town that was devastated by a killer typhoon in 2013.
France's Hollande tours typhoon-hit Philippines ahead of deal on climate

 

A prominent Bangladeshi-American blogger known for speaking out against religious fundamentalism was hacked to death in the streets of Bangladesh's capital as he walked with his wife, police said Friday.
Bangladeshi-American blogger hacked to death by unidentified attackers in Dhaka

 

A man fatally shot three people Friday and was found dead with a suicide note in the second deadly shooting in three days, prompting South Korean police to announce plans to tighten regulations on gun ownership.
 

A parliamentary committee on Friday recommended a major rewrite of draft laws that would force Australian telcos and Internet providers to store customers' personal data for the convenience of law enforcement agencies. A key recommendation is that the law specifies exactly what personal data is to be retained.
 

The South Korean nuclear regulator said Friday it renewed the operating license of the country's second-oldest nuclear power plant until 2022, overriding the objections of residents and anti-nuclear groups.
 

A government report says India's economy will grow more than 8 percent in the upcoming financial year and appears to have shaken off its persistent problems of high inflation, rising budget deficits and poor domestic demand.
India sees growth over 8%, set for 'big bang' reforms

 

Britain's Prince William is having afternoon tea on his first visit to Japan on Thursday, but it's green and served by a master in the Japanese ceremonial art in a traditional tea house.
Prince William starts Japan visit with trip to tea house

 

Almost every Pakistani citizen has a cellphone, but from now on, Big Brother is checking to make sure their name, number and fingerprints are on record.
Pakistan tightens cellphone control after Taliban kill over 150 at school

 
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