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12th East Asia Summit kicks-off in Manila

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Manila, Nov 14: The 12th East Asia Summit began here on Tuesday during which key issues including security and trade will be discussed among world leaders.

The leaders who will participate in the summit are US President Donald Trump, Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, reports Efe news.

From Southeast Asia, leaders to take part in the summit are Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte, Myanmar’s de facto leader and State counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi and Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.

However, it was still unknown whether the meeting will tackle the ongoing Rohingya Muslim minority crisis in Myanmar, a controversial issue for Suu Kyi, the Nobel Peace Prize Laureate who has been accused of not doing enough to solve the crisis.

On Monday, Suu Kyi said at the summit with her Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) counterparts that she was willing to receive international aid for the Rohingya and is prepared to begin the process of repatriation of the over 614,000 members of the minority group who have fled to Bangladesh after violence erupted late August in Rakhine state.

The Asean member countries and other invited nations, as well as the UN, on Monday began the bilateral meetings in the economy, security and the environment were addressed.

Throughout Tuesday, the Asean Plus Three meeting with China, Japan and South Korea will take place, as well as the bloc’s bilateral meetings with Canada, India and the European Union.

Founded in 1967, Asean is made up of Myanmar, Brunei, Cambodia, the Philippines, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

The bloc has 620 million inhabitants and a combined GDP of $2.55 trillion.

 

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Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen passes away

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Image Credit: Mat Hayward/Getty Images

Seattle, Oct 16: Paul Allen, who along with Bill Gates founded Microsoft 43 years ago has passed away, his family announced. He was 65.

In a statement, Allen’s relatives said that the businessman died on Monday afternoon in Seattle, where Microsoft has its headquarters, from non-Hodgkins lymphoma.

“My brother was a remarkable individual on every level,” his sister Jody said in a statement.

“While most knew Paul Allen as a technologist and philanthropist, for us he was a much loved brother and uncle, and an exceptional friend.”

Despite always staying in the shadow of Gates, his partner and friend since they were teenagers, Allen was a passionate lover of computers and a key figure in the creation of Microsoft in 1975.

“Paul Allen’s contributions to our company, our industry and to our community are indispensable. As co-founder of Microsoft, in his own quiet and persistent way, he created magical products, experiences and institutions, and in doing so, he changed the world,” CEO Satya Nadella said in a statement.

“I have learned so much from him – his inquisitiveness, curiosity and push for high standards are something that will continue to inspire me and all of us at Microsoft,” he added.

According to Forbes magazine, Allen — born in Seattle in 1953 and whose fortune amounted to some $21.7 billion — was the world’s 44th-richest person.

With the money he made from the software company, Allen — together with his sister Jody — founded the Seattle-based Vulcan Inc. conglomerate, which managed his private investments and his philanthropic activities.

“I have the honour to work at Microsoft because of the early work of Paul Allen. Paul has had immeasurable impact on the tech industry and the Seattle community. He will be deeply missed,” tweeted company President Brad Smith.

The Microsoft co-founder was also the owner of a professional football team, the Seattle Seahawks; a pro basketball team, the Portland Trail Blazers; and was the part-owner of a soccer team, the Seattle Sounders.

His philanthropic work includes creating organisations devoted to research such as the Allen Institute for Brain Science, along with the Institute for Artificial Intelligence and the Institute for Cell Science, both of which also bear his name.

IANS

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China, Pakistan vow to build closer ties, jointly construct CPEC

The pledges were made during Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan’s meeting with Song Tao, head of the International Department of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, Xinhua reported.

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CPEC

Islamabad, Oct 16 : China and Pakistan agreed on Monday to build closer ties and facilitate the construction of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

The pledges were made during Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan’s meeting with Song Tao, head of the International Department of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, Xinhua reported.

Khan said the new Pakistani government sees the relations with China as the priority and corner stone of its diplomacy, and is willing to enhance bilateral ties with China and jointly push forward the construction of CPEC.

He said his government is willing to further strengthen relations between the two countries’ ruling parties, learn from CPC’s experience in party and country governance, and bring benefits to peoples of the two countries.

For his part, Song said China and Pakistan are “iron friends” and China treasures the bilateral friendship with Pakistan.

He said China is ready to join hands with Pakistan to facilitate the construction of CPEC under the Belt and Road Initiative and to build closer bilateral ties.

Song said the CPC is willing to enhance communication and cooperation with Khan’s ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party, and play a political guiding role in China-Pakistan ties and CPEC construction.

During his visit to Pakistan, Song also held meetings with Chairman of the Senate Sadiq Sanjrani, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee Zubair Mahmood Hayat, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi and leaders of main political parties.

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Bangladeshi Hindus celebrate annual Durga festival

Security arrangements across Bangladesh have been beefed up for peaceful celebrations of the festival of minority Hindus, which will end with the immersion of the idols on October 19.

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Durga Puja

Dhaka, Oct 16 : Durga Puja, the biggest annual Hindu festival, began on Monday in Bangladesh capital Dhaka and elsewhere in the country with due religious fervour.

During the five-day Durga Puja festival, the Goddess Durga is worshipped in her different forms. People organise different programs including dancing, traditional drummer perform to celebrate festival.

Nirmal Kumar Chatterjee, general secretary of Bangladesh Puja Udjapan Parishad (BPUP), the largest organization of Hindus in Bangladesh, told Xinhua that this year the Durga Puja is being celebrated at over 31,000 pavilions in Bangladesh including 200 in Dhaka.

Security arrangements across Bangladesh have been beefed up for peaceful celebrations of the festival of minority Hindus, which will end with the immersion of the idols on October 19.

On the occasion of the largest Hindu festival, Bangladeshi President Md Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina felicitated the country’s Hindu community on Monday.

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