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U.S. to give $6.6 million to U.N., Syrian rescue group

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States will release $6.6 million (£5 million) to a Syrian group that rescues civilians caught up in fighting and a United Nations group that monitors human rights abuses, the State Department said.


Russia, on quest for budget savings, to raise retirement age

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia's government wants to raise the retirement age for both men and women and to increase value-added tax, unpopular measures it hopes will ease pressure on state finances, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said on Thursday.


Taiwan charges pro-China party spokesman and others with breaching national security

TAIPEI (Reuters) - Taiwan prosecutors indicted the spokesman for a pro-China political party and two other members for allegedly seeking to recruit Taiwan military officers on behalf of China and violating the National Security Act, a court statement said.


Understaffing, 'shouting matches' mar Afghan poll preparations

KABUL (Reuters) - Infighting, a lack of expertise and unfilled vacancies within Afghanistan's election body raise doubts about whether polls planned this year can be held on time, according to Afghan and international agency officials, with one likening planning meetings to "a fish market".

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US sanctions Cambodian PM’s top bodyguard over rights abuses

PHNOM PENH: The United States has imposed sanctions on the commander of Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen’s bodyguards, accusing him of using force to menace opponents for decades, the first member of the leader’s inner circle to be blacklisted by Washington.


Matrix chips in RM2mil more to hope fund

SEREMBAN: From special needs children who are learning to provide for themselves to reputable developers, more Malaysians are coming forward to do their bit for Tabung Harapan.


Jho Low ready to meet MACC

PETALING JAYA: Low Taek Jho, the central figure wanted in investigations over 1Malaysia Develop­ment Bhd (1MDB), has expressed interest in cooperating with the authorities in return for witness protection.


Kenya's top prosecutor says anti-graft body's evidence too weak to prosecute

NAIROBI (Reuters) - Kenya's public prosecutor said on Wednesday several recent investigations by the national anti-graft agency into alleged corruption by officials had gaps and lacked strong evidence, forcing him to return the cases to the agency for further work.


Jho Low trail now in Dubai

PETALING JAYA: The hunt for Low Taek Jho has now shifted to Dubai as the fugitive financier had expressed his keenest, through his lawyers, to meet up with 1MDB investigators.


Spain's new government agrees to raise pensions in line with inflation

MADRID (Reuters) - Spain's government has reached a preliminary deal to raise retirement pensions in line with inflation, suggesting its new Socialist leaders may take a less restrictive approach to spending after years of austerity under their predecessors.