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China denounces Japan's 'disturbing' move to ease arms export ban

BEIJING, Feb. 25 (Yonhap) -- China pressed Japan Tuesday not to lift its decades-old ban on arms exports, denouncing the reported move under Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's new defense strategy as "disturbing." In a move certain to worsen ties with South Korea and China, the Abe government has drafted a new proposal to reverse the self-imposed weapons export ban, according to Japanese media reports.

Danish PM to visit S. Korea next week

SEOUL, Feb. 24 (Yonhap) -- Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt will visit South Korea next week for summit talks with President Park Geun-hye about increasing cooperation in green growth, trade and investment and other areas, the presidential office said Monday. Thorning-Schmidt will arrive in South Korea on March 5 for a four-day official visit. Accompanying her will be a 68-member economic delegation, which will be Denmark's largest-ever and seek business cooperation with South Korean firms.

Portugal nears end of painful 3-year bailout program, but more austerity and reforms likely

LISBON, Portugal - The Portuguese are less than three months away from their big day — May 17 — when they expect to get financial sovereignty back after three years of being told what to do by foreign bailout creditors. In return for the 78 billion-euro ($107 billion) rescue that has since 2011 prevented national bankruptcy, Portugal consented to an economic crash diet: deep cuts in pay and pensions and welfare rights, steep tax increases, and an end to long-standing labour entitlements.

Japan hopes Obama visit will show firmer ties to Asian neighbors

Japan aims to enhance its relations with the United States when President Barack Obama visits the country in April, the top government spokesman said Thursday, apparently with an eye on tensions within Northeast Asia. Tokyo wants to "further strengthen Japan-U.S. relations by widely exchanging opinions on global issues as well as topics specific to the Asia-Pacific region," Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told a press conference, referring to a possible agenda for a summit between Obama and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

Norway rules out referendum on immigration

Norwegian Justice Minister Anders Anundsen on Wednesday ruled out holding a referendum on immigration, rejecting a request by a fellow member of his populist party to follow in the footsteps of Switzerland. "For many years, the (populist) Progress Party has claimed that more influence should be granted to the citizens. This proposition shouldn't shock anybody," Anundsen, a Progress Party minister was quoted by Norwegian news agency NTB during parliamentary question time.

S. Korean, Mongolian FMs agree on greater cooperation on N. Korean issues

SEOUL, Feb. 12 (Yonhap) -- The top diplomats of South Korea and Mongolia agreed Wednesday to broaden their cooperation in inducing change in North Korea, Seoul's foreign ministry said. Mongolian Foreign Minister Luvsanvandan Bold also expressed his country's support for Seoul's push to build trustworthy ties with North Korea and to unify the two Koreas in his bilateral meeting with his counterpart Yun Byung-se in Seoul, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said. Their cooperation on North Korea will include sharing intelligence on the communist country, it also said.

S. Korean, Mongolian FMs agree on greater cooperation on N. Korean issues

SEOUL, Feb. 12 (Yonhap) -- The top diplomats of South Korea and Mongolia agreed Wednesday to broaden their cooperation in inducing change in North Korea, Seoul's foreign ministry said. Mongolian Foreign Minister Luvsanvandan Bold also expressed his country's support for Seoul's push to build trustworthy ties with North Korea and to unify the two Koreas in his bilateral meeting with his counterpart Yun Byung-se in Seoul, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said. Their cooperation on North Korea will include sharing intelligence on the communist country, it also said.

Norway's populists demand immigration referendum

Days after the Swiss narrowly voted to curb immigration from the EU, Norway's populist right-wing party on Tuesday demanded a similar referendum in the prosperous Nordic country. "I won't take a stance on a quota system like the one the Swiss people have voted for," said Mazyar Keshvari, immigration spokesman for the Progress Party, a member of the ruling coalition which wants a more restrictive immigration policy.

US warns against certain Caribbean flights from Guyana

The United States has warned its nationals, in a rare, highly detailed public alert, not to travel on US-bound Caribbean Airlines flights originating in Guyana Monday through Wednesday. In an unusually specific warning, the US embassy in the capital Georgetown issued the appeal because it had "received unconfirmed threat information" on Caribbean Airlines flights departing Monday.

US warns against certain Caribbean flights from Guyana

The United States has warned its nationals, in a rare, highly detailed public alert, not to travel on US-bound Caribbean Airlines flights originating in Guyana Monday through Wednesday. In an unusually specific warning, the US embassy in the capital Georgetown issued the appeal because it had "received unconfirmed threat information" on Caribbean Airlines flights departing Monday.
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