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Manila official downplays Xi’s ‘threat’

The Philippines’ top diplomat yesterday sought to downplay Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s announcement that Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) told him China would go to war with Manila if it insists on drilling for oil in the disputed South China Sea, saying they were notFULL STORY

Ballistic missile test a success: N Korea

North Korea yesterday said it has successfully tested an intermediate-range ballistic missile to confirm the reliability of the late-stage guidance of a nuclear warhead, indicating further advances in the ability to hit US targets. The North’s Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said North Korean leader KimFULL STORY

Jakarta governor appeals jailing for blaspheming Islam

Jakarta’s jailed Christian governor yesterday appealed his conviction for blaspheming Islam, his legal team said, as the UN stepped up pressure on Indonesia to overturn the controversial sentence. Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, known by his nickname Ahok, was jailed on May 9 for two years for insultingFULL STORY

Three climbers die on Everest

Three climbers died on Everest over the weekend and another is missing, officials confirmed yesterday, in one of the deadliest episodes on the peak since an avalanche swept through base camp killing 18 people two years ago. More than a dozen climbers have also been rescuedFULL STORY

Mass arrests in Indonesia over ‘gay’ sauna party

Indonesian police have detained 141 men who were allegedly holding a gay party at a sauna, an official said yesterday, the latest sign of a backlash against homosexuals in the Muslim-majority country. Officers late on Sunday raided a building in the capital, Jakarta, called Atlantis thatFULL STORY

Japan protests against UN queries on contentious bill

Japan yesterday protested against a letter to Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe from a UN independent expert raising concerns that planned legislation targeting conspiracies to commit terrorism and other crimes could allow police to trample civil liberties. The lower house of Japan’s parliament is expected toFULL STORY

China’s gift to Germany: a giant statue of Marx

From China, with love, or something more insidious? For weeks, Chinese have been debating the meaning of a superhero-sized statue of Karl Marx headed to Trier, the German town where the political philosopher was born. Is it an attempt to spread communist revolution back to democratic Germany?FULL STORY

Australian minister praises magnate’s US$298m donation

Australian mining magnate Andrew Forrest yesterday made the nation’s biggest philanthropic gift by a living individual, donating A$400 million (US$298 million) to causes covering health, education and fighting modern slavery. Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull sang the praises of the one-third owner of the world’s fourth-biggestFULL STORY

Maduro slams protesters for setting a man alight

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro on Sunday excoriated opposition protesters for setting a man on fire during a demonstration, accusing them of targeting him for being pro-government. “A person was set on fire, beaten up, stabbed... They nearly lynched him, just because he shouted out that heFULL STORY

Over 31m people displaced in 2016

More than 31 million people were displaced in their own countries by conflict, violence and disasters last year, with China and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DR Congo) among the worst affected, a new report by a monitoring center said yesterday. DR Congo hadFULL STORY

Cash-strapped WHO spends big on travel

The WHO routinely spends about US$200 million a year on travel — far more than what it doles out to fight some of the biggest problems in public health, including AIDS, tuberculosis or malaria, according to internal documents obtained by The Associated Press. As theFULL STORY

Feminist who fought for equal rights dies at 90

Roxcy Bolton, a pioneering and tempestuous Florida feminist who was credited with founding the nation’s first rape treatment center and who helped persuade national weather forecasters not to name tropical storms after women only, died on Wednesday in Coral Gables, Florida. She was 90. Her death,FULL STORY

World News Quick Take

UNITED STATES Pence triggers walkout Dozens of graduates and family members on Sunday silently stood and walked out as Vice President Mike Pence began his address at the University of Notre Dame’s commencement ceremony. However, Pence also met with respectful applause when he mentioned how President DonaldFULL STORY

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