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Climate change imperatives shaping future paths for Asia as driver of world growth

YOKOHAMA, Japan - Challenges such as extreme weather, rising seas and worsening scarcity of drinking water are forcing many Asian governments to confront the changes being wrought by a warming planet even as some point to rich Western nations as major culprits. Millions of people in the region have already been displaced by floods and droughts thought related to global warming, a United Nations scientific panel said in a report meant to guide policymakers and form the foundation for a new climate treaty due next year.

ADB urges developing Asia to use public spending to narrow inequality

The Asian Development Bank urged developing Asia on Tuesday to use public spending to narrow the income gap, saying widening income gaps are undermining efforts to stamp out poverty in the region. The Asian Development Outlook 2014 stresses the need for developing Asia's governments to "proactively use fiscal policy to close gaps and promote more inclusive growth." "Fiscal policy can and should play a bigger role in promoting inclusive growth in Asia," said ADB Deputy Chief Economist Juzhong Zhuang.

Cricket: Sri Lanka beat Pakistan to win Asia Cup

Sri Lanka thumped Pakistan by five wickets in the final to lift the Asia Cup at Shere Bangla stadium in Dhaka on Saturday. Sri Lanka chased down a challenging 261-run target in 46.2 overs with opener Lahiru Thirimanne notching a brilliant 101. Defending champions Pakistan had posted a tough 260-5 with Fawad Alam hitting a maiden hundred with 114 not out. This is Sri Lanka's fifth Asia Cup title, equalling India's number of triumphs in the event initiated in 1984. str-sh/erf

Cricket: Sri Lanka's Asia Cup, World Twenty20 squads

Sri Lanka on Monday named their squads for the Asia Cup and World Twenty20 tournaments to be played in Bangladesh: World Twenty20 (March 21-April 6): Dinesh Chandimal (capt), Tillakaratne Dilshan, Kusal Perera, Kumar Sangakkara, Mahela Jayawardene, Lahiru Thirimanne, Angelo Mathews, Thisara Perera, Nuwan Kulasekara, Suranga Lakmal, Rangana Herath, Sachithra Senanayake, Ajantha Mendis, Seekkuge Prasanna, Lasith Malinga. Asia Cup (February 25-March 8)

Google opens first data centres in Asia

US search engine giant Google Wednesday opened its first data centres in Asia to cater for soaring demand, and said it would double its planned investment in the Taiwan facility to $600 million. Google inaugurated one of the new centres at an industrial park at Changhua in central Taiwan, and said a similar facility in Singapore was also up and running as of Wednesday. The company last year announced plans to set up three data centres in Asia -- in Taiwan, Hong Kong and Singapore. But it later scrapped its plan for Hong Kong, citing land acquisition problems.

Disaster strikes are actually helping drive Asia's insurance industry

Asia's vulnerability to natural disasters is helping drive the insurance industry in the region, an international conference in Singapore heard Wednesday. Rising affluence resulting from strong economic growth and the region's expanding ranks of the elderly are the two other major factors expected to boost the industry, Singapore's central bank chief told the conference.

Analysis: Asia's great investor rotation flows to North from South

By Vidya Ranganathan and Vikram Subhedar SINGAPORE/HONG KONG (Reuters) - Alongside the great rotation from bonds to equities and from emerging to developed markets that has been 2013's overriding investment theme, Asia is seeing its own migration in portfolio flows: from the South to North. Foreign investment flows have lifted stock markets in China, South Korea and Taiwan since July, the first and tentative signs that investors still see pockets of value at a time the outlook for emerging markets is glum.

Catholic numbers on rise in Africa and Asia

The number of Catholic priests and believers in the world is on the rise, a Vatican report showed on Monday, with gains in Africa and Asia offsetting a slump in Europe and the Americas. The world's Catholics rose from 1.196 billion to 1.214 billion between 2010 and 2011, an increase of 1.5 percent, according to the Church's annual statistics report. The gain outstripped the increase in the global population, which rose by 1.23 percent over the same period, the report said.

Times Higher Education publishes Asia university rankings

The Times Higher Education magazine published its first Asia University Rankings here on Wednesday.Japan's Tokyo University topped the list of 100 universities ranked based on the trusted performance indicators used to create the prestigious Times Higher Education World University Rankings.Among all, Japan took 22 spots in the top 100 list, whereas China's Taiwan and the Chinese mainland took 17 and 15 respectively, with the Peking University ranking fourth, closely followed by Tsinghua in the sixth slot.

Developing Asia to rebound but recovery fragile: ADB

The Asian Development Bank said today the region’s emerging economies would pick up this year but warned that the recovery remained fragile due to the eurozone crisis and tensions in Asia, reports AFP.The Manila-based lender said in its latest forecast that the uptick in China’s economy and “robust growth” in Southeast Asia would lead expansion, which would be also boosted by strong domestic consumption.The ADB estimated that gross domestic product (GDP) for developing Asia, which covers 45 nations, was set to grow 6.6 percent this year before edging up to 6.7 percent in 2014
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