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Ailing North Korea leader sends message to China SEOUL: North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un, who has not been seen for nearly a month due to apparent health problems, sent a congratulatory message to China on its national day Wednesday, state media said.Kim was last seen in public on September 3. A rare admission from North Korea that he was suffering "discomfort" has triggered frenzied speculation about his health and close scrutiny of any mention of the young leader in state media.The three-paragraph message sent to Chinese President Xi Jinping marked the 65th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China, the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) reported.Kim voiced his hopes for China's future prosperity and the happiness of the Chinese people, KCNA said.Kim took over the reins of power in North Korea following the death of his father Kim Jong-Il in December 2011.He sent similar national day messages to the Chinese head of state in 2012 ...

Foreigners face tougher sentences in US courts WASHINGTON: Foreigners in federal courts in the United States face harsher penalties and are more likely to be convicted than US citizens, a study released Wednesday found.According to the study in the American Sociological Review, 96 percent of convicted non-US citizens received a prison sentence in 2008, compared to 85 percent of US citizens."This is a major issue given that the number of non-US citizens sentenced in US federal courts increased nearly five-fold over the ...

Japan business confidence up in second quarter TOKYO: Japanese business confidence improved in the three months to September after it sagged following a sales tax hike in April, a quarterly study from the Bank of Japan showed Wednesday.The Tankan survey showed confidence among large manufacturers stood at plus 13, up by one point from the previous quarter, against the market forecast of plus 10.The business sentiment index marks the difference between the percentage of firms that are upbeat and those that see ...

South Korea inflation slows to 1.1pc in September SEOUL: South Korean inflation grew at its slowest rate for seven months in September, helped by stable prices of food and healthcare services, state data showed Wednesday. The consumer price index rose 1.1 percent from a year ago, following a 1.4-percent increase in August, the state-run Statistics Korea said. It was the slowest pace since February when it rose 1.0 percent. The core consumer index, which excludes volatile energy and food prices, rose 1.9 percent ...

Top skiers Auclair, Fransson killed in Chile SANTIAGO: The bodies of two of the world's top skiers, Andreas Fransson of Sweden and Canada's JP Auclair, were found Tuesday after they were reported missing in an avalanche in the Andes, authorities said.Extreme skiers Fransson, 31, and Auclair, 37, were swept away by the avalanche Monday while climbing Monte San Lorenzo, a peak on the border of Chile and Argentina, local Chilean Emergency Office (ONEMI) officials said.The skiers were working on a documentary in ...

Hong Kong protesters gear up for biggest protest yet HONG KONG: Hong Kong pro-democracy protesters chanted and booed outside a ceremony to mark the 65th anniversary of Communist China Wednesday, with crowds expected to reach their biggest yet as the city starts a two-day public holiday.Politicians from Hong Kong and the mainland clinked champagne glasses to mark China's National Day while protesters campaigning for free elections gathered in the surrounding streets, after a third night of demonstrations.Hong Kong leader Leung Chun-ying has faced mounting ...

China manufacturing growth stalls in September: govt BEIJING: Chinese manufacturing growth stalled in September, data showed Wednesday, as a sluggish property market complicates leaders' attempts to address a slowdown in the world's second-largest economy.The official purchasing managers index (PMI) came in at 51.1 in September, unchanged from the previous month, the National Bureau of Statistics said in a statement.While it was above the 50-point mark that separates growth and contraction, it comes a day after HSBC's own PMI missed forecasts, and analysts ...


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