Mon, 11 Dec 2023

JAKARTA -- The Indonesian authorities have formed an independent fact-finding team to investigate Saturday's deadly stampede that occurred after a football match in East Java province, Coordinating Minister of Political, Legal and Security Affairs Mahfud MD said Monday.

The minister, who leads the fact-finding team, told a virtual press conference that the team was assigned directly by President Joko Widodo to find out the causes of the stampede, which had killed 125 people and injured at least 320 others, and who would be responsible for the incident. (Indonesia-Stampede-Investigation)

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MACAO -- China's Macao Special Administrative Region (SAR) started to select candidates on Monday to be trained as a payload specialist to join, for the first time, the country's manned space program.

The specialist will undertake science research and experiments in space and operate the space laboratory equipment, according to the Civil Aviation Authority of the Macao SAR. (Macao-Payload Specialist)

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TOKYO -- Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida in a policy speech marking the start of an extraordinary parliamentary session on Monday vowed to reboot the nation's hard-hit tourism industry by targeting increased spending by visitors.

Kishida said a new target of increasing foreign visitors' total spending to more than 5 trillion yen (about 35 billion U.S. dollars) annually would be set, with the government taking advantage of the Japanese yen's sudden depreciation, which inflates the purchasing power of foreign guests. (Japan-PM-Policy Speech)

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MANILA -- Over 3,000 Philippine and U.S. troops on Monday kicked off a series of joint military drills to sharpen their "interoperability in conducting combined tactical readiness."

Acting Philippine Navy chief Rear Admiral Bernard Valencia said 630 Philippine troops, mainly from the marines, and 2,550 U.S. marine soldiers are participating in the 12-day annual exercises, dubbed KAMANDAG 6. Japanese and South Korean troops are taking part as observers, he added. (Philippines-U.S.-Military Drills)

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