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February, 21, 2017

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Filipino inferno
Flames rise from a huge fire at the House Technology Industries (HTI) factory inside the Export Processing Zone Authority for more than twenty hours, Thursday, Feb. 2, in General Trias township, Cavite province south of Manila, Philippines.
 
MOFA has not asked Japan to deny passports with 'Taiwan' stickers
Taiwan has not asked officials at Japan's Kansai International Airport to invalidate passports carried by Taiwanese nationals with "Republic of Taiwan" stickers on the cover, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said on Thursday.
 
In N. Korea, auto sector stuck in neutral
Salespeople at Pyongyang's premier car dealership wait patiently beside racks of glossy brochures in a showroom filled with that unmistakable new car smell from a couple dozen Whistle sedans and Cuckoo SUVs -- all bearing the distinctive, double-pigeon logo of Pyonghwa Motors, North Korea's only passenger car company.
 
As Japan loses its ties to temples, 'rent-a-monk' businesses thrive
In a quiet room thick with the smell of incense, Buddhist monk Kaichi Watanabe chants sutras to commemorate the one-year anniversary of a woman's death.
 
Family of slain Myanmar lawyer say he was a 'hero'
The family of an assassinated adviser to Myanmar's government had worried about his activities and warned him to be careful, but he pursued his work for the sake of the country's people, regardless of who they were or what religion they believed, his daughter said Tuesday.
 
Amnesty International denounces Phillipines 'extrajudicial killings'
A majority of the thousands of killings of poor suspects under Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte's anti-drug crackdown appear to be "extrajudicial executions," Amnesty International said Wednesday, and may constitute crimes against humanity.
 
New Pentagon chief seeks to reassure nervous Asian allies
By visiting Japan and South Korea on his first official overseas trip, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis is seeking to reinforce key alliances after President Donald Trump's campaign-trail complaints that defense treaties disadvantaged the United States.
 
Sri Lanka arrest astrologer who predicted president's death
An astrologer who made several predictions that Sri Lanka's President Maithripala Sirisena would die has been arrested and released on bail, police said Wednesday.
 
Former UN chief Ban won't run for South Korea presidency
Former U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said Wednesday that he won't run for South Korea's presidency, a surprise announcement that removes a key figure in the scramble to replace impeached President Park Geun-hye and further stirs the country's already tumultuous politics.
 
Indonesia to seek higher pay for its domestic workers in Taiwan
Indonesian labor authorities are planning to raise the issue of higher monthly wages for their country's migrant domestic workers in Taiwan with effect from next year to bring them closer to the minimum wage.
 
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