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Australia confident of Antarctic marine reserve in 2015 SYDNEY: Australia said Saturday it was confident its plans for a marine reserve to protect biodiversity in East Antarctica would succeed next year, after international talks in Hobart failed to agree on the measure.The Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) meeting closed late Friday with the 25 members unable to reach consensus on two Marine Protected Areas (MPAs).Australia's joint proposal with France and the European Union for reserves in East Antarctic waters was blocked by China and Russia, as was another put forward by New Zealand and the United States for the Ross Sea, environmental campaigners said. "While Australia is disappointed consensus was not achieved, we are pleased about the constructive nature of the discussions we have had over the last two weeks," Australian delegation leader Tony Fleming said.Fleming said while some members had supported the changes to the East Antarctic bid, which had been reduced ...

Australia, N.Z. mark 100 years since first troops left for WWI SYDNEY: Australia and New Zealand on Saturday marked 100 years since their first convoy of troops left for the battlefields of World War I, with thousands attending events to commemorate the "heavy day in history".The convoy left the Western Australian town of Albany on November 1, 1914, carrying 20,000 Australian and 8,500 New Zealand soldiers bound for Gallipoli in modern day Turkey and later the battlefields of Europe. "It was a heavy day in our ...
China new house price declines slow in October: survey BEIJING: Declines in China's new home prices slowed in October, a survey showed Friday, though figures still fell for a sixth straight month as property woes weigh on growth in the world's second-largest economy.The average price of a new home in 100 major cities was 10,629 yuan ($1,738) per square metre in October, down 0.4 percent from September, the China Index Academy (CIA) said in a statement.The decline was smaller than the 0.92 percent fall ...
India pays low-key Gandhi tribute 30 years after assassination NEW DELHI: India's president Pranab Mukherjee, members of Nehru-Gandhi family and Congress leaders paid a low-key tribute Friday to Indira Gandhi on the 30th anniversary of the ex- premier's assassination.No ministers of India's new government attended the event honouring Gandhi, gunned down by Sikh bodyguards on October 31, 1984, in retaliation for ordering an attack on a revered Sikh shrine to clear out militants holed up in the complex."I join my fellow countrymen and women ...
Myanmar moots changing constitution barring Suu Kyi from presidency NAYPYIDAW: Myanmar's parliament will consider amending the country's constitution, which currently bars opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi from becoming president, ahead of elections next year, an official said Friday."They agreed to discuss the issue of amending the constitution in parliament, according to the law," presidential spokesman Ye Htut told reporters after President Thein Sein held unprecedented talks with army top brass and political rivals including Suu Kyi.Copyright AFP (Agence France-Presse), 2014 ...
For Hong Kong youngsters, protests bring taste of freedom HONG KONG: A month on the streets has given young Hong Kong democracy protesters a taste of life outside the city's cramped shoebox apartments -- and away from the prying eyes of overprotective parents.In this city of high tower blocks and even higher property prices, many Hong Kongers reach their 30s before they get married and move out of crowded family homes. Space, tranquility and privacy are all in short supply in one of the ...
South Korea activists launch anti-North leaflets SEOUL: South Korean activists said they launched more than one million anti-North Korean leaflets across the border Friday, a move likely to infuriate Pyongyang, which has demanded Seoul ban such exercises.The leaflets were in bundles attached to 24 gas-filled balloons that a North Korean defector group floated over the heavily militarised frontier shortly after midnight, around 60 kilometres (35 miles) north of Seoul.As well as messages condemning the North's ruling Kim dynasty, the packages contained ...

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