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Japan retains status as top creditor nation

Japan kept its position as the world’s largest creditor nation for the 22nd straight year in 2012, government data showed Tuesday, as the dollar’s gains helped inflate the value of overseas assets. Japan kept its position as the world’s largest creditor nation for the 22nd straight year in 2012, government data showed Tuesday, as the ... Read More »

Youths vie for top US spelling honor

The 86th annual National Spelling Bee kicks off Tuesday with 281 youngsters from eight nations putting their ability to spell some of the most obscure words in the English language to the test. Snigdha Nandipati, winner of the 2012 Scripps National Spelling Bee, is pictured with the trophy on May 31, 2012. The 86th annual National Spelling Bee kicks off ... Read More »

France to hold first gay marriage

The first gay marriage in France was to take place Wednesday in the southern city of Montpellier, amid fears of protest after months of opposition that saw tens of thousands take to the streets Officially a secular republic, France is overwhelmingly Catholic, and the issue of gay adoption and marriage — a key campaign pledge of Socialist President Francois Hollande ... Read More »

Mental health strategy backs Aussie veterans

A new Veteran Mental Health Strategy to support contemporary Australian veterans and their families was released Monday by Minister for Veterans’ Affairs Warren Snowdon. The strategy sets out a ten-year framework for providing mental health care to veterans, underpinning the 26.4 million Australian dollars (25.89 million U.S. dollars) veteran mental health package announced in the 2013 federal budget. Initiatives include ... Read More »

Serbia keen on expanding cooperation with ASEAN

Serbia desires to expand cooperation with ASEAN, said Serbian Ambassador to ASEAN Jovan Jovanovi when presenting his credentials to ASEAN Secretary General Le Luong Minh in Jakarta, Indonesia last week. Ambassador Jovanovi affirmed ASEAN plays an increasing role in the region and the world, reiterating Serbia’s aspirations to join the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia (TAC). His ... Read More »

Thailand seeks new markets for rice in stock

The Thai Ministry of Commerce is considering a quick approach to selling rice in the government’s stock after the baht continues to rise. According to the ministry’s Permanent Secretary Watcharee Vimooktayon, as the currency surge shows no sign of abating, the ministry will be looking for new buyers overseas in an effort to relieve the amount of rice in the ... Read More »

Thai culture to be promoted in China

The Culture Ministry of Thailand is on course to introduce a new project to help promote Thai culture in China. Permanent Secretary for Culture Prisna Pongtadsirikul said last week that a proposal is being planned for the Thai Cabinet to approve and allocate a budget for the construction of a Thai Cultural Centre in China. The plan followed Culture Minister ... Read More »

Blast injures seven in Bangkok shopping area

Seven people were injured after a bomb hidden near rubbish bins exploded in a busy suburban Bangkok shopping area on May 26. Thai police said on May 27 that the explosion occurred at 9pm (local time) in Ramkhamhaeng, a university area in the Thai capital. Police are investigating to see what caused the explosion and who were involved. Preliminary investigation ... Read More »

Shangri-La Dialogue 2013 to take place soon

Defence ministers, senior military officials and top defence analysts from 27 countries in the Asia-Pacific, North America and Europe will gather in Singapore on May 31 for the 12th IISS Asia Security Summit (or the Shangri-La Dialogue). Convened by the London-based International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS), the Shangri-La Dialogue is the key forum for the discussion and analysis of ... Read More »

ANA resumes Boeing 787’s commercial operation

Japanese airline All Nippon Airways Co. (ANA) on Sunday resumed Boeing 787’s commercial operation since a series of battery troubles made the dreamliners grounded worldwide in January, local media reported. A Boeing 787 ran by ANA with 218 passengers left New Chitose Airport in north Japan after 5 p.m. and landed at Tokyo’s Haneda Airport at 6:30 p.m., said Japan’s ... Read More »