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Australia has ordered a ban on dumping dredge waste on most of the Great Barrier Reef, the environment minister said Saturday, as part of a push to stop the U.N. declaring the site in danger.
 

Singapore's Prime Minister was left fumbling for answers Saturday after agreeing to a live Facebook chat with increasingly strident citizens turning to the Internet to voice dissent in the tightly controlled city-state.
 

Police released a deputy head of Indonesia's top anti-corruption body early Saturday following his arrest and interrogation that posed a serious challenge for President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo's efforts to battle graft.
 

Japan's government is investigating a new message purported to be from the Islamic State group holding two Japanese hostages.
Japan condemns new video, not yet verifying authenticity

 

The families of two Australian drug convicts facing execution in Indonesia pleaded for their lives in an emotional interview Saturday, and said they would not give up on them.
 

Indian police have rearrested a human rights campaigner staging a 14-year hunger strike just hours after she was released on court orders, drawing condemnation from fellow activists.
 

Myanmar's military freed more than 400 child soldiers last year, the United Nations has confirmed, a record number since the “tatmadaw” army signed a 2012 pact with the U.N. on the issue.
 

Japan promised Saturday not to give up “until the very end” on efforts to free two Japanese hostages threatened with beheading by Islamic militants demanding a US$200 million ransom, after a deadline passed with no word from the captors.
 

U.S. President Barack Obama said “the stars are aligned” to enable the United States and India to forge a global partnership in an interview published Friday ahead of his visit to New Delhi.
'Stars aligning' for India-US relations: Obama

 

The case of an Australian father who is facing prison for allegedly giving his cancer-stricken 2-year-old daughter cannabis to relieve her pain has triggered a groundswell of momentum for a campaign to legalize marijuana for medical purposes in the country.
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Businesses and shops closed Friday in Indian-held Kashmir in a strike called by separatists and religious parties protesting the publication of a caricature of Prophet Muhammad in the latest issue of French satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo.
 

Following a stinging rebuke by the United Nations' human rights chief, Myanmar's ultranationalist Buddhist monk fired back Thursday, saying he didn't regret calling a U.N. special envoy a “whore” and a “bitch” after she criticized a bill opposing interfaith marriage and religious conversions.
 

South Korean President Park Geun-hye on Friday appointed a new prime minister in an apparent bid to bolster her sagging approval ratings, hit by a scandal involving her aides.
 

North Korea on Friday said South Korea should lift five-year old sanctions on Pyongyang if it wants to discuss reunions for families on the divided peninsula, as Seoul pushed again for a high-level dialogue.
 
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