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Indonesia, Australia sign deal to end spying row NUSA DUA: Indonesia and Australia on Thursday signed an agreement aimed at drawing a line under a damaging espionage row and paving the way for the resumption of full cooperation on issues such as defence.Ties between the neighbours sank to their lowest point in years in November after reports that Australian spies tried to tap the phones of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and his inner circle.Jakarta recalled its ambassador from Canberra and suspended cooperation in several areas over the incident, including efforts to stop people-smuggling boats reaching Australia.Yudhoyono called for a code of conduct to govern behaviour and, after months of talks on the issue, Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop and her Indonesian counterpart Marty Natalegawa on Thursday signed an agreement.With Yudhoyono looking on, the pair inked the deal, named the "Joint Understanding on a Code of Conduct between the Republic of Indonesia and Australia", at a ceremony on the ...

MH370 may have turned south 'earlier' than thought CANBERRA: The hunt for missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 will focus on the southern part of the existing search zone after a new clue to the plane's possible location emerged, Australia said on Thursday.Fresh information suggested the jet "may have turned south" earlier than thought, Deputy Prime Minister Warren Truss said.The detail came to light following "further refinement" of satellite data and as investigators attempted to map the plane's position during a failed attempt to ...
Japan seeks to double budget for disputed islands patrol TOKYO: Japan's coastguard is to ask for a doubling of its budget to boost patrols around islands that are the focus of a dispute with China, officials said Thursday.The agency will submit a request to the government for 50.4 billion yen ($485 million) for the financial year starting in April 2015, they said.The move will come after two years of relentless tensions with Beijing over the Tokyo-controlled Senkaku Islands, which Japan nationalised in September 2012.That ...
Japan, India to ink rare earths deal: report TOKYO: Tokyo and New Delhi will next week sign an agreement that will see around 2,000 tons of rare earths imported from India, a report said Thursday, as Japan looks to diversify supply away from China.Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi are expected to agree on the deal at their summit in Tokyo on Monday, the Nikkei newspaper reported.Some 2,000 to 2,300 tons of rare earths -- roughly 15 percent ...
Indonesia new president discusses budget with predecessor NUSA DUA: Indonesia's president-elect Joko Widodo discussed the national budget with the outgoing leader in Bali late on Wednesday, indicating the two administrations will cooperate in tackling massive fuel subsidies before the handover of power in October. The former OPEC member is struggling to contain ballooning fuel subsidy costs, which have widened the current account deficit and left little room in the budget for Widodo's much needed reforms.Raising fuel prices is a sensitive issue that ...
Japan lab unable to replicate 'stem cell' findings: report TOKYO: Researchers in Japan have been unable to replicate experiments that were hailed earlier this year as a "game-changer" in the quest to grow transplant tissue, amid claims evidence was faked, a report said Wednesday.In a scandal that rocked Japan's scientific establishment, Riken -- a research institute that sponsored the study -- launched an independent experiment in April to verify research published by scientist Haruko Obokata and her colleagues earlier this year.But the struggle to ...
Japan PM sends support message to war criminals service TOKYO: Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has sent a message to a memorial service dedicated to World War II war criminals, organisers said Wednesday, in a move that could prompt anger from Asian neighbours.In the ceremony organised by former Japanese military officers, some 220 people prayed before a cenotaph on which the names of around 1,180 suspected and convicted World War II war criminals are inscribed, organisers said.They include 14 "Class A" war criminals, who ...

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Annual2013/14
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