Thu, 08 Dec 2022

BANGKOK -- Leaders of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) economies issued a declaration and endorsed an outcome document on Bio-Circular-Green Economy on Saturday.

The declaration, adopted after the two-day 29th APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting, affirmed APEC leaders' long-standing commitment to promoting strong, balanced, secure, sustainable and inclusive growth, as well as their commitment to realizing the APEC Putrajaya Vision of an open, dynamic, resilient and peaceful Asia-Pacific community by 2040.

The Bangkok Goals, covering climate change mitigation, sustainable trade and investment, environmental conservation and waste management, is a comprehensive framework to further APEC's sustainability objectives, according to an APEC statement. (Thailand-APEC-Declaration-Bangkok Goals)

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KUALA LUMPUR -- Malaysia kicked off its national polls on Saturday, with voters streaming to voting centers to elect representatives who will form the next government.

The 15th General Election is notable for a large number of new voters as the voting age has been lowered to 18 years old. Automatic voter registration has also been implemented, allowing anyone over the age of 18 to vote without registering with the country's election commission.

There will be 363,515 election workers who will operate 8,958 voting centers across the country to serve a total of 21,173,638 registered voters, the commission said previously. (Malaysia-General Election)

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KABUL -- The municipality of the Afghan capital Kabul has decided to subsidize coal for residents as the winter cold sets in, a local official said Saturday.

According to Nematullah Barakzai, head of Kabul municipality publications, in cooperation with the Ministry of Mines and Petroleum, the municipality has undertaken the program of subsidizing and distributing coal to Kabul citizens to keep warm as part of efforts to support financially disadvantaged families. (Afghanistan-Coal-Subsidy)

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SYDNEY -- The Australian state of New South Wales (NSW) has changed its COVID-19 risk rating from green to amber, requiring masks to be worn in all hospital areas and visitor numbers monitored to protect staff and patients.

In a statement released on Friday, NSW Health Deputy Secretary Deb Willcox pointed out that the requirements in all public hospitals and health facilities are due to increasing COVID-19 case numbers in the community.

The state's latest figures showed there were a total of 27,869 new infections recorded for the seven days up to Thursday, up from 19,800 the week before. (Australia-COVID-19)

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JAKARTA -- A 6.8-magnitude earthquake hit Indonesia's western province of Bengkulu on Friday evening, but did not trigger a tsunami, the meteorology, climatology and geophysics agency said.

According to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), the earthquake jolted 212 km SW of Bengkulu at 13:37:06 GMT on Friday.

The epicenter, with a depth of 10.0 km, was initially determined to be at 4.9559 degrees south latitude and 100.7384 degrees east longitude, said the USGS. (Indonesia-Earthquake)

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