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The removal of tariff and non-tariff barriers and better connectivity will boost intra-regional trade in South Asia more than 3.5 times over the next five years, according to a World Bank (WB) study.

Beijing expressed "serious concern" Thursday about a reported U.S. plan to challenge China's South China Sea territorial claims by sailing a Navy ship near one of its newly built artificial islands.

Mainland China has arrested two Japanese citizens on spying allegations, officials said Wednesday.
China holding 2 Japanese citizens for espionage


More than 2,000 fishermen have been rescued this year from brutal conditions at sea, liberated as a result of an Associated Press investigation into seafood brought to the U.S. from a slave island in eastern Indonesia.
2,000 fishermen slaves rescued in 6 months


Beijing will never give up its claims to South China Sea islands, its foreign minister insisted Wednesday ahead of a state visit to the U.S. by Chinese leader Xi Jinping, after a Washington think-tank said it may be building its third airstrip in the area.

Drawn by its Communist past and a visa-free regime, mainland Chinese tourists are flocking to Russia in droves as it develops new routes touting "red tourism."

A U.N. agency is mounting a worldwide campaign for equal pay for women, who get 24 percent less than men on global average and around 30 percent less for those in Asia.

Beijing must offer more than hollow promises if it wishes to secure peace in the disputed South China Sea and beyond, a spokesman for the Philippine defense department said Sunday.

Japan and Iran will start talks next week to negotiate a bilateral investment treaty, as Washington moves to ease sanctions against Tehran and Tokyo looks to step up its interests in the resource rich nation.

French investigators have formally identified a washed-up piece of airplane debris found in July on a remote island in the Indian Ocean as part of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, a Boeing 777 that disappeared more than a year ago with 239 people aboard.

New Zealand on Wednesday suspended foreign aid to Nauru over concerns about civil rights abuses in a move slammed by the small Pacific island nation as seeking to "undermine our national sovereignty."

Savagely beaten and accused of spying for Moscow, Xu Weiyi -- one of China's few citizens of Russian descent -- stared over the river separating his border village from the Soviet Union, longing for escape.
Border fear, betrayal beneath Sino-Russian warmth


The world has never been the same after Sept. 11, 2001 -- the day when a series of synchronized terrorist attacks aimed at America's famous landmarks claimed the lives of 2,966 people.

Dozens of firefighters from Australia and New Zealand departed for the United States Sunday to help crews battle deadly blazes that have scorched the country's drought-ravaged west.
Australia, N. Zealand firefighters head to US to battle blazes

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