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Japan demands China halt oil exploration in part of East China Sea

Chinese dredging vessels are purportedly seen in the waters around Mischief Reef in the disputed Spratly Islands in the South China Sea in this still image from video taken by a P-8A Poseidon surveillance aircraft provided by the United States Navy May 21, 2015. REUTERS/U.S. Navy/Handout via Reuters

Japan called on China on Tuesday to halt construction of oil-and-gas exploration platforms in the East China Sea close to waters claimed by both nations, concerned that Chinese drills could tap reservoirs that extend into Japanese territory. 00 read more

Taliban leader Mullah Omar backs Afghanistan peace talks

Mullah Omar, pictured here in 2001, has maintained a very low profile

The leader of the Afghan Taliban, Mullah Mohammed Omar, has backed peace talks with the Afghan government, in a statement released to the media. 00 read more

Japan pledges $6 billion to Mekong nations as China prepares new bank

Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (C) delivers an opening speech as Vietnam's Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung (L) and other leaders of Mekong delta nations listen during the Mekong-Japan Summit Meeting at the state guest house in Tokyo, July 4, 2015.  REUTERS/Toru Hanai

(Reuters) –  Japan said on Saturday it would extend around $6 billion in development aid to Mekong region countries, as China prepares to launch a new institutional lender seen as encroaching on the regional clout of Tokyo and ally Washington. … read more

South Korea Reports 2 Deaths From MERS

Police with mask stands guard outside Lady MacLehose Holiday Village in Sai Kung, where people who came into close contact with the South Korean MERS patient will spend two weeks in quarantine, in Hong Kong

South Korea on Tuesday confirmed the country’s first two deaths from Middle East Respiratory Syndrome as it fights to contain the spread of the virus that has killed hundreds of people in the Middle East. 0-20 read more

South Korea fights to contain MERS outbreak, considers tough measures

Police with mask stands guard outside Lady MacLehose Holiday Village in Sai Kung, where people who came into close contact with the South Korean MERS patient will spend two weeks in quarantine, in Hong Kong

(Reuters) – South Korea struggled to contain an outbreak of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) on Monday as health authorities announced three more cases, bringing the number of infections to 18 in just over 10 days. 0-3 read more

Indonesia dismisses graft claim as executions loom

Indonesian special forces soldiers patrol near the prison island of Nusa Kambangan in Cilacap, Central Java [Reuters]

Indonesia appears likely to press ahead with the executions of nine drug criminals on Tuesday, despite last-ditch appeals by Australia’s foreign minister for a stay of execution so claims of corruption during the trials of the two Australian prisoners could … read more

China jails journalist for seven years for ‘leaking state secrets’

(Reuters) – A Chinese court jailed a journalist accused of leaking an internal Communist Party document to a foreign website for seven years on Friday, her lawyer said, a ruling that reflects the sensitivity surrounding the party’s inner workings. +38-20 read more