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Journalists face jail in Thailand for people-smuggler report

Two journalists face jail if found guilty of defamation after citing a Pulitzer-prize winning report alleging Thai military links to people-smuggling, one of them said Wednesday, raising fears for media freedom in the kingdom. Australian editor Alan Morison and his Thai colleague Chutima Sidasathian are due Thursday to hear the criminal charges brought by the Thai navy at a court in the southern island of Phuket. They could face up to two years' imprisonment for defamation and five years for breaching the Computer Crimes Act, as well as a $3,100 fine.

Female Afghan MP shot in Kabul

A female member of Afghanistan's parliament was recovering in hospital Wednesday after being shot the previous night, officials and her sister said. The interior ministry said Mariam Koofi, a member of parliament from the northeastern province of Takhar, was shot in Kabul by a member of the security forces following an argument. It said police have detained a suspect and are investigating the motive behind the attack.

Iran foreign minister to visit Russia next week

Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif will travel to Russia next week for a meeting of the countries that border the Caspian Sea, the official IRNA news agency reported. "Mr Zarif will arrive in Russia on Tuesday,' for the gathering of the Caspian Sea littoral states, Iran's ambassador to Russia, Mehdi Sanaei, wrote on his Facebook page. Since the formal dissolution of the Soviet Union, the nations that border the Caspian (Iran, Russia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan) have failed to agree on the sea's legal status.

Syria says vehicles hit by Jordanian Air Force are not Syrian Army

BEIRUT (Reuters) - Syria said that several vehicles destroyed by Jordanian warplanes on Wednesday do not belong to the Syrian Army. "No vehicles belonging to the Syrian Army moved towards the Jordanian border and what was targeted by the Jordanian Air Force does not belong to the Syrian Army," Syrian state news agency SANA said, quoting an unnamed military source. A Jordanian security source said earlier that the targets were Syrian rebels in civilian cars mounted with machine guns.

S. Korea, Japan hold first talks on sex slavery

SEOUL, April 16 (Yonhap) -- High-level officials from South Korea and Japan sat down Wednesday for talks on resolving their decades-old differences over the Japanese imperial army's sexual enslavement of Korean women during World War II. The director-level meeting marks the first of its kind on settling the issue of Japan's wartime sexual atrocities. Historians say up to 200,000 women, mainly from Korea and China, were coerced into working at front-line brothels for Japanese soldiers during the war.

Air Incheon to start cargo flights to China, Japan, Russia

SEOUL, April 16 (Yonhap) -- Air Incheon, South Korea's only dedicated air cargo carrier, said Wednesday that it plans to provide regular flights to China, Japan and Russia in the coming weeks as part of its business expansion efforts. The airline company founded in 2012 currently offers irregular air cargo services from Incheon International Airport (IIA) and Russia's Sakhalin Island, using the two B737-400F cargo planes in its fleet.

Lebanon parliament to meet April 23 for presidential vote

Lebanon's parliament is to convene on April 23 to elect a new president to succeed Michel Sleiman, whose term ends on May 25, the National News Agency reported Wednesday. "Parliamentary speaker Nabih Berri has called for a session on Wednesday April 23 to elect a new president of the republic," the official news agency said. Lebanon's president, who must come from the country's Maronite Christian community, is elected by a vote in the parliament. Michel Moussa, a member of Berri's parliamentary bloc, said he hoped there would be a quorum for the session.

Lebanon parliament to meet April 23 for presidential vote

Lebanon's parliament is to convene on April 23 to elect a new president to succeed Michel Sleiman, whose term ends on May 25, the National News Agency reported Wednesday. "Parliamentary speaker Nabih Berri has called for a session on Wednesday April 23 to elect a new president of the republic," the official news agency said. Lebanon's president, who must come from the country's Maronite Christian community, is elected by a vote in the parliament. Michel Moussa, a member of Berri's parliamentary bloc, said he hoped there would be a quorum for the session.

Vehicles hit by Jordan air strikes not Syria army's

Vehicles hit by Jordanian air strikes on the border on Wednesday did not belong to the Syrian army, Syrian state media said, citing a military source. "No military or armoured vehicles belonging to the Syrian army moved towards the Jordanian border, and so what was targeted by the Jordanian air force does not belong to the Syrian army," state television said in a breaking news alert. kam-sah/dv

Vehicles hit by Jordan air strikes not Syria army's

Vehicles hit by Jordanian air strikes on the border on Wednesday did not belong to the Syrian army, Syrian state media said, citing a military source. "No military or armoured vehicles belonging to the Syrian army moved towards the Jordanian border, and so what was targeted by the Jordanian air force does not belong to the Syrian army," state television said in a breaking news alert. kam-sah/dv
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