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Mourners flock to funeral of Myanmar pro-democracy hero

Thousands of mourners Wednesday attended the funeral of Win Tin, a giant of Myanmar's pro-democracy movement, in an outpouring of grief for one of the country's best loved champions of freedom. Activists, political figures and ordinary citizens crowded a cemetery on the outskirts of Yangon, filing past the coffin for a last glimpse of the co-founder of Myanmar's opposition party.

S. Korea's Park urges China to avert N. Korea nuclear test

South Korean President Park Geun-Hye on Wednesday urged Chinese leader Xi Jinping to make "further efforts" to dissuade North Korea from conducting a fresh nuclear test, warning of serious repercussions for regional stability. Her comments, made during a phone call between the two presidents and reported by her office, came a day after South Korea said heightened activity at the North's main nuclear test site might indicate an imminent test.

Hong Kong, Philippines end emotional hostage row

Hong Kong and the Philippines announced Wednesday they had resolved an enduring and deeply emotional row over a deadly hostage crisis, allowing soured diplomatic relations to return to normal. The breakthrough came after a deal was struck on the most sensitive issues of compensation to the victims of the tragedy, which saw eight tourists from Hong Kong killed following a bus hijacking in Manila in 2010, as well as an apology.

Hong Kong shares end 0.97% lower

Hong Kong shares sank 0.97 percent on Wednesday despite another rally on Wall Street and a survey showing a slight improvement in China's manufacturing activity in April. The benchmark Hang Seng Index ended down 221.04 points at 22,509.64 on turnover of HK$57.10 billion (US$7.37 billion). In China the benchmark Shanghai Composite Index fell 0.26 percent, or 5.45 points, to 2,067.38 on turnover of 66.2 billion yuan ($10.6 billion).

UN aid chiefs appeal for Syria access

The heads of five UN agencies on Wednesday made an impassioned call to both sides in Syria's conflict to allow aid deliveries countrywide, end siege warfare and halt indiscriminate attacks on civilians. "The war escalates in many areas. The humanitarian situation deteriorates day after day," the leaders of the UN humanitarian aid office and its children's, refugee, food and health divisions said in a joint statement.

China yuan touches 16-month low against dollar

China's yuan currency extended its downtrend against the dollar Wednesday to touch a 16-month low, despite the country's central bank fixing its trading point for the unit at a higher level. The unit fell to as low as 6.2466 to the dollar, its weakest level since December 2012, according to Dow Jones Newswires. But it closed at 6.2373, only slightly weaker than Tuesday's close of 6.2370, according to the China Foreign Exchange Trade System.

Syrian opposition asks for more Saudi aid

The head of Syria's main opposition group has asked Saudi Arabia to increase its support for the rebel Free Syrian Army, his advisor said Wednesday. Saudi Arabia is one of the main backers of the uprising against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in a civil war increasingly seen as a proxy battle between it and regional rival Iran, a close ally of the regime. Ahmed Jarba, head of the opposition National Coalition, met with Saudi Crown Prince Salman bin Abdulaziz and Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal on Tuesday.

Hong Kong, Philippines end emotional hostage row

Hong Kong and the Philippines announced Wednesday they had resolved an enduring and deeply emotional row over a deadly hostage crisis, allowing soured diplomatic relations to return to normal. The breakthrough came after a deal was struck on the most sensitive issues of compensation to the victims of the tragedy, which saw eight tourists from Hong Kong killed following a bus hijacking in Manila in 2010, as well as an apology.

Saudi announces 11 new MERS infections

Saudi Arabia on Wednesday announced 11 new cases of MERS, including a 13-year-old child, as its acting health minister vowed to keep the public better informed on the coronavirus. The new cases bring to 272 the total number of MERS infections, including 81 deaths, registered across the kingdom -- worst hit by the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome which was first detected in eastern Saudi Arabia in September 2012.

Saudi announces 11 new MERS infections

Saudi Arabia on Wednesday announced 11 new cases of MERS, including a 13-year-old child, as its acting health minister vowed to keep the public better informed on the coronavirus. The new cases bring to 272 the total number of MERS infections, including 81 deaths, registered across the kingdom -- worst hit by the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome which was first detected in eastern Saudi Arabia in September 2012.
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