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No disrespect meant with Jiang sign removal: CCP

The removal of a stone plinth sign written by former Chinese president Jiang Zemin (江澤民) at the entrance of a Chinese Communist Party (CCP) training center is not a sign of disrespect, a senior official said yesterday, after rumors of destabilizing party infighting. Jiang stepped downFULL STORY

Police seek new suspects in bomb probe

Thai police yesterday said they were seeking two new suspects — a Thai woman and a foreign man of unknown nationality — in the widening investigation into Bangkok’s deadly bombing two weeks ago. In a televised statement, police released a photograph of the woman’s Thai identificationFULL STORY

Japan complains to UN over Ban’s visit to Beijing

Tokyo yesterday said it has complained to the UN over Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s plan to attend a military parade in Beijing to mark the 70th anniversary of Japan’s defeat in World War II. Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga called on the UN to be “neutral,”FULL STORY

Philippine ex-president Estrada to attend ceremony

Former Philippine president Joseph Estrada is to attend China’s huge military parade this week marking Japan’s defeat in World War II despite the territorial tensions between Manila and Beijing, his spokesman said yesterday. However, the disgraced ex-leader is to attend in his capacity as mayor ofFULL STORY

Japan eyes defence budget hike to fortify island chain

Japan’s Ministry of Defense is seeking a fourth straight annual military budget hike to help fortify the nation’s far-flung island chain in the East China Sea, close to ocean territory claimed by Beijing. In a document submitted to the government yesterday, the ministry asked for aFULL STORY

Japan bids adieu to landmark that hosted presidents

The Hotel Okura, a favored Tokyo lodging for US presidents, movie stars and other celebrities, yesterday closed the doors of its landmark half-century-old main building to make way for a pair of glass towers ahead of the 2020 Olympics. The redo raised an outcry fromFULL STORY

Indonesia favoring China over Japan in railway bid: sources

Indonesia is leaning toward China over Japan in an aggressive bidding battle to build the Southeast Asian nation’s first high-speed railway, two government sources involved in making the decision said. The two Asian giants have both sent envoys to lobby Indonesian officials over the past twoFULL STORY

IS said to destroy part of Temple of Bel

The Islamic State (IS) group has blown up parts of the Temple of Bel in Syria’s ancient city of Palmyra, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights and activists said. The Britain-based Observatory late on Sunday said the jihadist group had placed explosives inside the famed temple,FULL STORY

Climate key to Kerry, Obama visit to Alaska

Scientists are “overwhelmingly unified” in concluding that humans are contributing to global climate change, US Secretary of State John Kerry said on Sunday night, and the public is slowly getting the full picture. Skeptics who stand in the way of action to respond to climate changeFULL STORY

Charity warns key Yemeni hospital facing closure

A major hospital in Yemen’s rebel-held capital is on the verge of shutting down due to a supply shortage caused by a pro-government coalition blockade, Save the Children said late on Sunday. “Critical fuel shortages and a lack of medical supplies could force the al-SabeenFULL STORY

Noted neurologist, author Oliver Sacks dies

There was the blind man who had the disastrous experience of regaining his sight. The surgeon who developed a sudden passion for music after being struck by lightning. And most famously, the man who mistook his wife for a hat. Those stories and many more, takingFULL STORY

Ex-cop arrested in journalist’s murder case in Mexico

Mexican authorities on Sunday arrested a former police officer in connection with the brutal slaying of a prominent photojournalist and four others in a case that sparked international outrage. Police arrested a man “identified as Abraham Torres Tranquilino” for alleged involvement in the killing of RubenFULL STORY

Taylor Swift big winner at VMA show

Taylor Swift may have won the most Moonmans on Sunday, but it was her reunion with rapper Kanye West on the MTV Video Music Awards (VMA) stage that stole the show, as West declared he will run for the US presidency in 2020. West, who famouslyFULL STORY

World News Quick Takes

UNITED STATES Director Wes Craven dies Wes Craven, a master of cinematic horror whose legendary directorial credits include A Nightmare on Elm Street and Scream, died on Sunday aged 76, his family said. Craven had been suffering from brain cancer and passed away at his home inFULL STORY

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