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Former warlord Hekmatyar calls for peace with Afghan Taliban

KABUL (Reuters) - Former Afghan warlord Gulbuddin Hekmatyar returned to Kabul on Thursday after two decades in hiding, calling for peace with Taliban insurgents and criticizing the Western-backed government, which he said was not working.
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ASEAN gives Beijing a pass on South China Sea dispute, cites 'improving cooperation'

MANILA (Reuters) - Southeast Asian countries took a softer stance on South China Sea disputes during a weekend summit, according to a statement issued on Sunday, which went easy on China by avoiding tacit references to its building and arming of its manmade islands....
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Taliban announce start of spring offensive

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — The Taliban have announced they will launch their spring offensive on Sunday, signaling plans to step up attacks as the weather warms across Afghanistan, making both travel and fighting easier....
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China experts: North Korea not on war footing, fighting unlikely

PYONGYANG, North Korea (AP) — Chinese experts see little immediate possibility of hostilities breaking out between the US and North Korea, but say Beijing will respond harshly to any further North Korean nuclear tests....
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China warns of deterioration in Syria with Xi in US

Beijing (AFP) - China on Friday warned against "further deterioration" of the situation in Syria, just hours after a US air strike on a Syrian airbase in response to a suspected chemical attack....
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Duterte orders Philippine troops to South China Sea reefs

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said Thursday he has ordered troops to deploy on unoccupied South China Sea islands, boosting the military presence on remote reefs claimed by Manila in a move that could provoke rival claimants including Beijing....
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Carrie Lam is Hong Kong's first female chief executive

China-backed Carrie Lam has been chosen as Hong Kong's first female chief executive by the all-powerful Election Committee on Sunday (26 March). The 59-year-old former chief secretary won the first round of voting with a comfortable majority clinching 777 votes out of 1,194....
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Sex in Thai city frustrates junta

PATTAYA, Thailand (Reuters) - With mascots dressed as smiling fish and a police rock band, Thai authorities launched a "Happy Zone" at the weekend to improve the image of a city notorious for sex tourism....
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The real reason China won’t exert economic pressure on North Korea

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson thinks that if only he can enlist Beijing’s support, sanctions will compel Kim Jong-un to give up his nuclear arsenal – here’s why he’s wrong...
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Myanmar hard-line Buddhists protest citizenship for Rohingya

SITTWE, Myanmar (AP) — Hundreds of hard-line Buddhists in a Myanmar state wracked by religious violence protested Sunday against the government's plan to give citizenship to some members of the persecuted Rohingya Muslim minority community....
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