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Myanmar
 

Malaysian authorities have suspended publication of a business daily whose aggressive reporting on a financial scandal has rocked the government, a move the newspaper and media groups decried Friday as a grave breach of press freedom.
 

Thailand on Friday said it would indict 72 people including a senior army officer over human trafficking after the grim trade in migrants from Myanmar and Bangladesh rocked the Southeast Asian region.
 

Beijing on Thursday hit out at long jail sentences handed to more than 150 Chinese mainland nationals for illegal logging in Myanmar, in the latest tremor to shake relations between the neighbors.
 

Australian political leaders Thursday backed the establishment of the country's seventh state -- the Northern Territory -- by mid-2018, with Prime Minister Tony Abbott conceding the national flag could be changed.
Australia backs Northern Territory becoming 7th state

 

New Zealand cut interest rates for the second consecutive month on Thursday, warning more easing was likely amid "softening" growth and low inflation in the farm-reliant economy.
 

A landmark deal on Iran's nuclear program has breathed new life into plans for a gas pipeline through Pakistan -- and sparked a geopolitical tussle, with Russia looking to expand its influence, observers say.
 

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's bold promise of a squeaky clean government is under threat just over 12 months after his landslide election victory, with a string of scandals erupting across the country.
India scandals threaten 'scam-free' gov't pledge

 

The parents of a 21-year-old who died during a drinking binge with his college tennis club in Japan are suing fellow student members over his death.
 

Trudging halfway up a jagged goat trail, guide Mohammad Ibrahim extolled the panoramic view -- a vast, ancient landscape of russet-hued cliffs that is on the frontline of Afghan efforts to jumpstart warzone tourism.
Afghan region an oasis of tranquility in war-torn nation

 

French actress Brigitte Bardot has condemned an Australian plan to cull two million feral cats, blamed for wreaking havoc on native animals, to stop them further harming vanishing populations.
Bardot slams Oz plan to kill 2 mil. feral cats

 

Japanese space scientists are on the hunt for a new name for an asteroid that may contain the secret of life, with a public competition beginning Wednesday.
 

Japan is on the hook to pay as much as US$50 million for its scrapped Olympic stadium even though not a single brick has been laid, officials and media said Wednesday.
 

China has put 16 drilling rigs close to its de facto maritime border with Japan, Tokyo said Wednesday, in the latest twist in a row over gas fields in waters disputed by the two countries.
China has drilling rigs close to disputed waters: Japan

 

An outside director of Mitsubishi Materials said Wednesday that the company hopes to apologize to former British, Dutch and Australian World War II POWs, and also reach an amicable agreement with Chinese forced laborers, following a landmark apology to American POWs earlier this week.
 
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