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Xinhua Asia-Pacific news summary at 1600 GMT, Dec. 3

Xinhua Asia-Pacific news summary at 1600 GMT, Dec. 3 TOKYO -- Japan's monetary base rose 52.5 percent in November from a year earlier to a record 189.72 trillion yen (about 1.84 trillion U.S. dollars) due to the central bank's ultra loose monetary policy aimed at beating Japan's prolonged deflation, according to local media Tuesday.

New Zealand passes law allowing domestic spying

New Zealand passed legislation Wednesday allowing its main intelligence agency to spy on residents and citizens, despite opposition from rights groups, international technology giants and the legal fraternity. The bill to expand the power of the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) passed by 61 votes to 59 after impassioned debate, with Prime Minister John Key acknowledging the move had left some people "agitated and alarmed". "This is not, and never will be, about wholesale spying on New Zealanders," Key told parliament.

Al Qaeda trainees in New Zealand

New Zealand knows of al Qaeda-trained activists within the country who need to be monitored, Prime Minister John Key said Thursday amid debate on the need for stronger spy laws. Key took to the airways to defend legislation that allows the country's intelligence agency to spy on local residents, saying opponents refused to acknowledge security threats were genuine and needed to be addressed. "In the real world, in New Zealand, there are people who have been trained in al Qaeda camps," he told commercial radio.

Kim Dotcom and New Zealand PM to face off over spy laws

Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom and New Zealand Prime Minister John Key are set to come face to face for the first time Wednesday as lawmakers examine a controversial proposal allowing intelligence agencies to spy on local residents. Dotcom will appear in parliament to argue against the move at a select committee hearing chaired by Key, whose government signed off on Dotcom's arrest last year for alleged online piracy.
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