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Thai junta chief 'sorry' for bikini remarks after UK tourist murders

18 September 2014

BANGKOK (AFP) - Thailand's junta chief apologised Thursday for suggesting tourists in bikinis could be more vulnerable to attack, comments which caused an international outcry following the brutal murder of two British holidaymakers.

Australia foils Islamic State 'demonstration killings' plot

18 September 2014

SYDNEY (AFP) - Australia's largest ever counter-terrorism raids on Thursday detained 15 people and foiled an alleged plot by Islamic State jihadists to conduct "demonstration killings", including beheading a random member of the public.

Fiji coup leader heads for historic poll victory

18 September 2014

SUVA (Fiji) (AFP) - Coup leader Voreqe Bainimarama was Thursday on the verge of sweeping a historic vote to become Fiji's first elected leader in eight years, as international observers gave the ballot a stamp of approval.

South Korean activists march with a cigarette-shaped outfit during a campaign marking the World No Tobacco Day in Seoul.(File pic)- AFP

Asia's rising tobacco epidemic

18 September 2014

SEOUL: Smoke-filled bars and packed cancer wards reflect decades of neglect of no-smoking policies in Asia, where both high- and low-income countries are belatedly waking up to a growing tobacco-related health epidemic.

Court cancels preacher’s death penalty

18 September 2014

DHAKA: Bangladesh’s highest court commuted the death sentence on a top Islamist preacher, triggering clashes between police and secular protesters who slammed the decision as too lenient.

Sea Shepherd to switch campaign to toothfish

18 September 2014

SYDNEY: Conservation group Sea Shepherd Australia said it will switch its Southern Ocean campaign from whales to toothfish if Japan cancels this year’s hunt in Antarctica.

Xi makes maiden India visit

18 September 2014

AHMEDABAD: India’s new prime minister rolled out the red carpet for Xi Jinping in his home town, as the Chinese president began a maiden visit with both sides seeking to reset the relationship between Asia’s rival superpowers.

Murdered: Witheridge (left) and Miller were found naked and beaten to death near a beachside bungalow on the island, a diving hot-spot near Koh Phangan. - AFP

Thai PM: Are tourists in bikinis safe after murders?

18 September 2014

BANGKOK: Thailand’s military ruler questioned whether tourists in bikinis are safe in the kingdom, in comments following the murder of two Britons whose battered bodies were found on a Thai island.

Taiwan shows force in biggest naval exercise in 25 years

18 September 2014

HUALIEN: Taiwan’s navy fired anti-submarine rockets and guns simulating their response if China launched an invasion, as part of the island’s biggest naval drill in 25 years.

Report: Asia’s billionaires seeing fastest wealth growth

18 September 2014

SINGAPORE: Asia’s billionaires led by Chinese tycoons enjoyed the fastest increase in their wealth this year compared to their peers in the rest of the world, a report said.

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