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Japan lawmakers visit controversial war shrine

A group of Japanese lawmakers have paid a visit to a controversial war shrine in the capital Tokyo, in a move viewed by critics as the glorification of Japan’s past militarism and colonial record. Some 90 lawmakers from various parties visited Yasukuni Shrine during an annual spring festival on Friday ...

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More than 100 people die in India heat wave

Indian officials say more than 100 people have lost their lives as a result of boiling early-summer temperatures that have forced the closure of schools and cessation of outdoor work. Authorities said on Thursday that 45 people died in the southern state of Telangana due to heatstroke and another 17 lost ...

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China eyes deeper military ties with Afghanistan

BEIJING: China wants to have deeper military ties with Afghanistan, a senior Chinese officer told a visiting Afghan envoy. Fang Fenghui, a member of the powerful Central Military Commission which controls China’s armed forces, told Mohammad Hanif Atmar, the Afghan president’s national security advisor that their two armed forces had ...

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Iran-Saudi hajj talks halted because of visa hurdle

Tehran (AFP) – Talks between regional rivals Iran and Saudi Arabia on this year’s hajj pilgrimage have stalled because of a disagreement on how visas can be processed when no formal diplomatic relations exist. An Iranian delegation last week travelled to Saudi Arabia, which cut ties in January, for discussions ...

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UNSC deplores N Korea’s latest unsuccessful missile test

The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) has denounced North Korea’s reported unsuccessful test-firing of a missile, warning that it could take further punitive measures against Pyongyang. In a statement issued on Friday, the 15-member council “strongly condemned” the launch, adding that the move “constituted a clear violation” of UN resolutions ...

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US calls on Myanmar to stop abusing Rohingya Muslims

A US government agency has urged Myanmar’s new regime to reverse its “abusive policies” against the country’s minority Rohingya Muslims. The US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) in a statement released on Thursday called on the new Myanmar government to safeguard freedom of religion in the Southeast Asian nation. “One such step is Burma’s ...

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