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Philippines decorates JICA's Ogata for helping Mindanao peace talks

Sadako Ogata, who formerly headed the Japan International Cooperation Agency and the U.N. refugee agency, received an award from the Philippines on Saturday for her contribution to peace talks between the government and rebel leaders in Mindanao. Philippine President Benigno Aquino conferred the Order of Sikatuna on Ogata, 86, who now serves as a special adviser to the government-linked aid agency, at a Tokyo hotel.

Former PM Thaksin unlikely to return to Thailand: expert

Former PM Thaksin unlikely to return to Thailand: expert BANGKOK, Dec. 6 (Xinhua) -- Self-exiled former Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra is unlikely to return to Thailand, Thitinan Pongsudhirak, associate professor of Bangkok-based Chulalongkorn University has told Xinhua. "Thaksin now is farther away from Thailand than ever. It would be very difficult for him to return to Thailand," said Thitinan, who is also director of the university's Institute of Security and International Studies.

Thaksin's homecoming hopes dashed as Thai crisis reignites

By Martin Petty BANGKOK (Reuters) - Thailand's political future is cloudier than ever, but one thing is for certain - self-exiled former premier Thaksin Shinawatra won't be coming home soon.

AFP 0500 GMT News Advisory

Duty editor: Jitendra Joshi Tel: + 852 2829 6211 + Thai police allow opposition protesters through barricades + Ukraine protesters defiant, PM condemns 'signs of coup' + Biden, on Tokyo visit, 'deeply concerned' at China air zone + Moscow court to deliver verdict in Bolshoi acid attack + French artist Laure Prouvost wins Britain's Turner prize -- TOP STORIES -- Thailand-politics-protest,WRAP BANGKOK

Malaysia family believes UK 'slave' is long-lost relative

A Malaysian family believes a long-lost relative is one of three women allegedly held as slaves in London for 30 years and is travelling to Britain to try to identify her, it said Wednesday. Siti Aishah Abdul Wahab, who would now be 69, left for Britain around 1968 with her Malaysian fiance but the relationship soon deteriorated and her family lost track of her, said her brother-in-law Mohamad Noh Mohamad Dom, 67. His wife, Kamar Mahtum boarded a flight to London early Wednesday hoping to confirm whether the woman was her sister, said Mohamad Noh.

Justice done in Marcos confidante's conviction

The Philippines said Tuesday that justice was done in the conviction of a confidante of former first lady Imelda Marcos in New York for plotting to sell valuable looted artworks. The special anti-corruption agency tasked with tracing the wealth stolen by the Marcos family said it would now seek to recover the money and artworks confiscated from Vilma Bautista, a former New York-based social secretary of Imelda Marcos.

Imelda Marcos' former secretary convicted in art scheme

By Bernard Vaughan NEW YORK (Reuters) - Imelda Marcos' former secretary was convicted on Monday of conspiring to sell art that the former Philippine first lady acquired during her husband's presidency, including a famous Claude Money water-lily painting. After deliberating 2-1/2 hours, a jury in New York state court found Vilma Bautista, 75, guilty of conspiracy and other charges, Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance said in a statement.

Expat Filipinos in HK rally for typhoon victims, slam slow response

By Alexandra Hoegberg HONG KONG (Reuters) - As the Philippines faces a mounting humanitarian crisis after typhoon Haiyan, Hong Kong's large expatriate Filipino community on Sunday mounted a major fund-raising and relief drive, while criticizing the slow distribution of aid to victims. Thousands of the city's estimated 160,000 Filipinos, many employed as domestic helpers, thronged into churches, downtown parks, sidewalks and malls on their day off in a major show of solidarity with devastated communities back home.

Captain without a ship - Marcos clan mayor at eye of Philippine storm

By Andrew R.C. Marshall and Stuart Grudgings TACLOBAN, Philippines (Reuters) - Minutes before a tsunami-like storm surge slammed into the Philippine coastal city of Tacloban, a tall man in a motorcycle helmet strode along the shore through ferocious typhoon winds.

Captain without a ship - Marcos clan mayor at eye of Philippine storm

By Andrew R.C. Marshall and Stuart Grudgings TACLOBAN, Philippines (Reuters) - Minutes before a tsunami-like storm surge slammed into the Philippine coastal city of Tacloban, a tall man in a motorcycle helmet strode along the shore through ferocious typhoon winds.
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