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Moscow slams US-led action in Syria

AFP, Moscow

 Russian military officials on Tuesday slammed US-led coalition action against Islamic State jihadists in Syria as having had "less than zero" impact, and claimed that a US air strike killed 20 Syrian civilians this month.
Russia's involvement in the war-torn country since September 2015 had "changed the course of fighting terrorism in Syria," said chief of general staff Valery Gerasimov.

60 businessmen held for Gulen ties

AP, Istanbul

Turkey's state-run news agency says that 60 businessmen have been arrested for suspected ties to the movement allegedly responsible for the failed coup in July.
Anadolu says that 110 businessmen were brought before an Istanbul court Wednesday to be formally arrested on charges of "membership in a terrorist organization." Fifty of them were given conditional release, though the prosecutor will appeal.
The suspects are accused of belonging to the movement of U.S.-based cleric Fethullah Gulen, which Turkey accuses of orchestrating the coup attempt. Gulen denies any involvement.

Japan plans to have new emperor in 2019

AFP, Tokyo, Japan

Japan is planning for Emperor Akihito to retire and be replaced by his eldest son on January 1, 2019, reports said Wednesday, as the country works on a legal framework for its first abdication in 200 years.
Akihito, 83, expressed a desire in August to abdicate after nearly three decades on the Chrysanthemum Throne, citing his advancing age and weakening health. Major national newspapers-the Yomiuri, Asahi, Mainichi and Nikkei-cited unnamed sources as saying Crown Prince Naruhito, 56, would succeed his father on New Year's Day 2019.

US charges Moon's
relatives in bribery case

AP, New York

US prosecutors on Tuesday accused two relatives of former United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon of engaging in a scheme to bribe a Middle Eastern official in connection with the attempted $800 million sale of a building complex in Vietnam.
Joo Hyun Bahn, a real estate broker who is Ban Ki-Moon's nephew, and his father Ban Ki-sang, Ban Ki-moon's brother who was an executive at South Korean construction firm Keangnam Enterprises Co Ltd, were charged in an indictment filed in Manhattan federal court.

8 fishermen killed in Philippines

AP, Manila

Eight Filipino fishermen were fatally shot by at least five suspected pirates who boarded their boat in the southern Philippines, officials said Tuesday.
Seven other crewmembers survived the attack Monday night in waters near Zamboanga City by jumping off the boat and swimming away when the attackers began tying up their colleagues, said Commodore Joel Garcia, head of the Philippine Coast Guard.

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