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South Koreans hold huge anti-US protest rally

In the latest of a series of rallies, over 20,000 South Koreans holding candles gathered in downtown Seoul on New Year#8217;s Eve to protest the deaths of two teenage girls hit by a US armoured military vehicle.

N. Korea wants talks with US

North Korea said yesterday it was willing to discuss its nuclear programme with the United States and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), but insisted a non-aggression pact was the only way to defuse the crisis.

January happenings

Compiled by VERONICA SHUNMUGAM

Finnish defence firm to set up base

Finland#8217;s largest defence company, Patria Oy, plans to set up its base in Malaysia this year, said its local agent.

Italian connection

To enhance bilateral ties, the Italian Government is promoting its language and culture among Malaysians.

Philippines assistance office closes

A Philippines assistance office, opened in Sabah six weeks ago, has suspended operations.

Laos celebrates founding of kingdom

Laos will celebrate today, for the first time since the ruling Communist regime overthrew the country's monarchy in 1975, the founding of the kingdom of Lane Xang, forerunner of the modern state, an official said.

China takes Japan to task over island lease

China has summoned an official from the Japanese embassy here to express #8220;strong dissatisfaction#8221; over Japan#8217;s reported leasing of three disputed isles in the East China Sea, state media said yesterday.

No 'of' with 'comprise'

EVERY day, the Leisure Page of I>Nanyang Siang Pau/Ipublishes both the Chinese and English versions of I>The Book of Three Words/I(I>San Zi Jing/I>), a literary work much used during the pre-war years at traditional Chinese learning centres (I>sishu/I>), where choral reading of texts was implemented.

Sabah puzzled by closure of Philippines office

The Sabah government is puzzled over the closure of the Philippines assistance office here and a state minister said the move would hamper the repatriation of the country#8217;s nationals.