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Bridging The Gap
Japan's PM Shinzo Abe calls snap election Japan's PM Shinzo Abe calls snap election
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has called an election a year early and will dissolve parliament on Thursday. Mr Abe said he was seeking a fresh mandate to overcome "a national crisis" amid rising threats from North Korea. His decision comes amid rebounding approval ratings after a record low over the summer and with the opposition largely in disarray. Mr Abe did not set a date for the...
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Australia’s Same-Sex Marriage Vote May Proceed, Court Rules Australia’s Same-Sex Marriage Vote May Proceed, Court Rules
MELBOURNE, Australia — The Australian government’s highly contentious proposal to put the question of same-sex marriage to a nationwide postal vote is legal and may proceed, the country’s High Court ruled unanimously on Thursday, eliminating the last hurdle before ballots are to be mailed out next week. The survey — which is voluntary, unlike in-person elections in Australia — was challenged in...
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China's first operational aircraft carrier Liaoning arrives in Hong Kong China's first operational aircraft carrier Liaoning arrives in Hong Kong
China's first operational aircraft carrier, the Liaoning, has arrived in Hong Kong. Its first trip outside mainland China is part of the events marking the 20th anniversary of Hong Kong's handover from Britain to China. It follows Xi Jinping's visit last week, his first as Chinese president. During his trip, which was marred by protests, he warned that any challenge to the Beijing central gover...
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Singapore LGBT activists hold rally with no foreigners Singapore LGBT activists hold rally with no foreigners
Thousands have attended an annual Singaporean gay rights rally, which foreigners are now banned from attending under new laws. Only citizens and permanent residents are allowed at the event, which has come under growing restrictions. Estimates suggested the number of those attending had dropped slightly - but organisers said the event was still over capacity. Gay sex is illegal in socially cons...
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'Grave concern' over Chinese teachers reportedly killed by ISIS in Pakistan 'Grave concern' over Chinese teachers reportedly killed by ISIS in Pakistan
China has expressed "grave concern" over reports that ISIS has killed two Chinese teachers kidnapped in Pakistan. The man and woman, said by Chinese media to be a couple, were kidnapped by armed men on May 24 from the city of Quetta, the capital of Pakistan's Balochistan province, on May 24 on their way to teach a Chinese language class, a senior security officer told. Amaq, a news agency affi...
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LÉ Aisling: Irish Navy in 'terrible' ship deal LÉ Aisling: Irish Navy in 'terrible' ship deal
A former Irish Naval Service vessel sold for 110,000 euros (£93,500) two months ago, is being offered for sale in Holland for 685,000 euros. LÉ Aisling is being sold as a fisheries protection vessel in the Netherlands. The sale of the vessel appears to have been "a terrible deal", the Permanent Defence Forces' Representative Association said. The Irish Department of Defence has said no reserve ...
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Corruption and North Korea ignite S Korea poll Corruption and North Korea ignite S Korea poll
South Koreans will elect a new president on Tuesday, months ahead of schedule, after a corruption scandal that felled conservative President Park Geun-hye. The poll comes amid major tensions with North Korea, rising youth unemployment and bubbling anger among the electorate over corruption. Liberal Moon Jae-in, a human rights lawyer, has dominated opinion polls and is the clear front-runner. His...
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Willesden shooting: Police foil 'active terror plot' Willesden shooting: Police foil 'active terror plot'
Police say they have foiled an active terror plot after a woman was shot during a raid on a house in Willesden, north-west London. The 21-year-old woman was one of the subjects of the investigation and is in a serious but stable condition. A raid also took place in Kent, with six people arrested in total. Officers say the operation was not connected to an arrest near Parliament on Thursday, whe...
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China says Interpol seeks arrest of tycoon Guo Wengui China says Interpol seeks arrest of tycoon Guo Wengui
China says Interpol has issued a notice for the arrest of a billionaire who has criticised the government in Beijing. Property tycoon Guo Wengui is currently thought to be in the US. Authorities did not give a reason for the notice, but state media outlets have claimed that Mr Guo bribed a vice-minister, which he has denied. Mr Guo has recently made allegations regarding top Chinese officials a...
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Australia to introduce stricter rules on working visas Australia to introduce stricter rules on working visas
Australia will introduce stricter visa requirements for skilled workers from overseas, the government said. The 457 visa programme is used mainly to hire foreign workers in the restaurant, IT and medical industries - the majority came from India, the UK and China. But PM Malcolm Turnbull said it will be abolished to prioritise the recruitment of Australian nationals. Critics of 457 said Austral...
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