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Australia PM uses tsunami aid to pressure Indonesia over executions SYDNEY: Prime Minister Tony Abbott urged Indonesia Wednesday to remember Canberra's significant help in dealing with the devastating 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami as he ramped up pressure to spare two Australians on death row.Indonesian authorities have confirmed that Andrew Chan, 31, and Myuran Sukumaran, 33, ringleaders of the so-called Bali Nine heroin trafficking group, will be among the next set of prisoners to face the firing squad.But they have been tight-lipped about when the executions will take place and which other foreign convicts will join them.Abbott said he continued to make "the strongest possible personal representations" to Indonesian President Joko Widodo and warned he would feel "grievously let down" if his pleas for clemency were ignored."Australia sent a billion dollars worth of assistance," he said, referring to the aftermath of the tsunami that left 220,000 people dead across 14 countries, almost 170,000 from Indonesia."We sent a significant contingent of our ...

China man gets $189,000 for six years on death row BEIJING: A Chinese man who was freed after six years on death row following a wrongful murder conviction was paid $189,000 in compensation, state media said Tuesday, amid anger at the flawed legal system.Nian Bin, a former food-stall owner who was convicted of poisoning two children and condemned to death in 2008, was finally freed after a court quashed his conviction last August.A court awarded him 1.14 million yuan ($189,000) for loss of personal freedom ...
Minor tsunami hits Japan after undersea quake TOKYO: A minor tsunami hit northern Japan Tuesday after a strong undersea earthquake struck off the coast, in the same area that was devastated by a killer tsunami in 2011.A wave of 20 centimetres (eight inches) was recorded in Kuji, eastern Iwate, at 9:07 am (0007 GMT), way below the possible one metre (3.3 feet) tsunami that the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) warned could hit.The agency warned waters were still rising slightly in Kuji, although ...
Philippine military seeks to quell coup rumours MANILA: The Philippine military insisted Monday it remained loyal to President Benigno Aquino, responding coup rumours that have swirled since a bungled security operation left 44 police commandos dead.Aquino is facing the biggest crisis of his nearly five years in office over last month's assault in which the special forces killed a top militant but also unexpectedly came under heavy fire from rebels."If there are officials who are trying to persuade us into joining coup ...
South Korea finally gets a new prime minister SEOUL: South Korean President Park Geun-Hye finally got a new prime minister on her third attempt Monday, despite claims by opposition lawmakers that her nominee was morally unfit for the office.Lee Wan-Koo, a senior legislator from Park's ruling Saenuri party, was approved in parliament by 148 votes to 128 after a tortuous nomination process.A largely symbolic post in South Korea where power is concentrated in the executive, the prime minister is the only cabinet member ...
China expels senior official from ruling party BEIJING: China's Communist Party dismissed a top political advisory official and expelled him from the ranks of the ruling party, its anti-corruption watchdog said Monday, as the country mounts a sweeping crackdown on graft.Su Rong, 66, a vice chairman of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), was investigated for "serious discipline violations", according to a statement on the commission's website.The CPPCC is a discussion body that is part of the Communist Party-controlled governmental structure.The ...
Australian FM uses angry face to describe Putin in emoji interview SYDNEY: Australia's Foreign Minister Julie Bishop has conducted what is reportedly the world's first political emoji interview, using an angry red face to describe Russia's Vladimir Putin and a running man to depict her boss Tony Abbott.Buzzfeed, which on Thursday released a video with US President Barack Obama doing "things everyone does but doesn't talk about" such as posing in front of a mirror, interviewed Bishop by sending her text messages.Bishop responded using only emojis, ...

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