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Modi eyes breakthrough nuclear pact with Japan

India is hoping to win Japanese backing for a nuclear energy pact and lure investment into its $85 billion market during an upcoming visit by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, while addressing Japan’s concern about nuclear proliferation. India has been pushing for an agreement withFULL STORY

Philippine Muslim rebels oppose Islamic State ‘virus’

The Philippines’ largest Muslim rebel group has condemned extremist jihadists in Iraq and Syria, and vowed to stop the spread of their “virus” into the Southeast Asian nation. After decades of armed rebellion that claimed tens of thousands of lives, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF)FULL STORY

FEATURE: Uighur confronts prejudice in China

Ambitious and apolitical, self-described “good Uighur” entrepreneur Abdulhabir Muhammad initially conceals his proud ethnic identity from his Chinese clients. “After I solve everything I will tell them, ‘Hey, I’m a Uighur, I’m from Xinjiang,’” he says, reveling in their astonishment even while aware of the prejudiceFULL STORY

Erdogan sworn in as president

Turkey’s outgoing prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan was yesterday sworn in as president, as opponents who accuse him of authoritarianism after more than a decade in power walked out of the ceremony. Erdogan, 60, took the oath in Ankara to begin a five-year mandate in whichFULL STORY

Ebola could infect 20,000: WHO

The current Ebola outbreak in West Africa could infect more than 20,000 people, the WHO said yesterday in a bleak assessment of the deadly disease. The UN health agency issued a strategic plan to combat the oubreak in four West African nations where it said theFULL STORY

Islamic State executes dozens of Syrian troops

Islamic State (IS) fighters have executed dozens of members of the Syrian army they took hostage after capturing an air base in the northeast of the country, a group monitoring the violence said yesterday. The militant group, formerly known as the Islamic State of Iraq andFULL STORY

Mugabe in China love-in to build on trade cooperation

It is a mutual admiration society to which the West is definitely not invited. The leaders of China and Zimbabwe whispered sweet nothings about shared history, common foes and future cooperation during a ceremony at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing this week. Chinese PresidentFULL STORY

Court drops murder charge against ex-Thai PM Abhisit

A Thai court yesterday dismissed murder charges against former Thai prime minister Abhisit Vejjajiva and his ex-deputy over a bloody 2010 protest crackdown, months after a military coup tipped the balance of power in the politically divided nation. Relatives of the victims criticized the surprise decisionFULL STORY

Nine-year-old renews US gun debate

The accidental shooting death of a firing-range instructor by a nine-year-old girl with an Uzi has intensified a debate over youngsters and guns, with many Americans wondering what sort of parents would let a child handle a submachine gun. Instructor Charles Vacca, 39, was standing nextFULL STORY

ANALYSIS: Arab leaders unlikely to heed Obama’s call

No one is falling over themselves to respond to US President Barack Obama’s quest for a new “coalition of the willing” to attack the jihadis of the Islamic State (IS) in Iraq and Syria — least of all, it seems, the Arab governments that areFULL STORY

Florida mother pleads with IS leader for son’s life

The mother of a US hostage being held by the Islamic State (IS) group released an emotional video appeal to his captors on Wednesday. Shirley Sotloff, the mother of 31-year-old freelance journalist Steven Sotloff, addressed her plea directly to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader ofFULL STORY

Sexagenarians defy age and cold in Patagonia

At 67, grandmother Margot Anderson could be enjoying the quiet retired life at home in England. Instead, she works a string of part-time jobs so she can afford to be standing at the foot of a pale blue glacier in Patagonia, about to jump into near-freezingFULL STORY

IMF boss Lagarde faces preliminary charges in France

IMF managing director Christine Lagarde was put under official investigation for negligence in a French corruption probe that dates back to her days as France’s finance minister. After a fourth round of questioning before magistrates on Wednesday, Lagarde said she was returning to her work inFULL STORY

World News Quick Take

IRAN Engineers altering reactor Atomic power engineers have started redesigning a partly constructed reactor in the northwest city of Arak to limit the amount of plutonium it produces, the nation’s top nuclear official said on Wednesday, expressing hope that the change would help alleviate Western objections thatFULL STORY

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