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January, 23, 2017

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Kidnapped sailors released in Philippines
A South Korean captain and a Filipino crewman abducted by suspected Islamist militants off the southern Philippines were released on Saturday, authorities said, ending a three-month ordeal where they endured beatings and hunger.
 
Japan's Abe pushes tenuous TPP trade deal in Australia
Japan and Australia will work together to ensure the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) free trade deal comes into force, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Saturday, making no mention of strong U.S. opposition.
 
Ichthyological attraction
A boy catches a trout while ice fishing on a frozen river during a fishing contest in Hwacheon, South Korea on Saturday, Jan. 14. The contest is part of an annual ice festival which draws over 1,000,000 visitors every year.
 
Bangladeshi police Saturday said they have arrested an Islamist extremist accused of being one of the "masterminds" of last year's deadly siege at a Dhaka cafe where 22 hostages were killed.
 
A shallow 6.1-magnitude earthquake struck off the coast of Fiji on Saturday, the U.S. Geological Survey said, but there were no immediate reports of damage.
 
Fishing ship captain returns after being detained in Indonesia
The captain and chief engineer of a Taiwanese fishing ship returned to Taiwan on Saturday after being detained in Indonesia for three months for allegedly fishing illegally in the country's waters.
 
Full moon festivities
Sri Lankan Buddhist devotees gather around an illuminated temple during Poya, a full moon religion festival, at the Kelaniya Temple in Kelaniya on Thursday, Jan. 12. The predominantly Buddhist island nation marks every full moon as a key religious holiday.
 
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was on his way to Australia on Friday after a visit to the Philippines where he pledged US$8.7 billion worth of business opportunities and private investments along with equipment to fight terrorism.
 
Australia's heath minister resigned on Friday over a scandal surrounding her travel expenses, a move that could lead to the first reshuffle of Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull's Cabinet since his government was re-elected six months ago.
 
A religious ceremony in Japan where carp are plied with alcohol before being returned to a river has left animal rights activists feeling green around the gills.
 
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