Fri, 02 Jun 2023

COLOMBO -- Sri Lanka's former Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa was airlifted to Trincomalee naval base for security reasons, Defense Secretary Kamal Gunaratne told the media on Wednesday.

He said that the former prime minister will be moved to a location he wishes, once the situation in the country returns to normalcy. (Sri Lanka-Former Prime Minister)

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PUL-E-KHUMRI, Afghanistan -- Security forces in Afghanistan's northern Baghlan province arrested three drug traffickers with illicit drugs, a provincial source confirmed on Wednesday.

"The Baghlan police arrested three men in Khinjan district, Baghlan province. The suspects tried to transport 12 kg of hashish to Kabul province and the drug was confiscated," Mustafa Hashimi, head of the provincial information and culture department, told Xinhua, and a further investigation is underway. (Afghanistan-Drug Trafficking)

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WELLINGTON -- New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced a major package of reforms on Wednesday, including an early opening of the international border and a simplification of immigration settings to address the immediate skill shortages and speed up the economic recovery from COVID-19.

"New Zealand is in demand and now fully open for business," Ardern said in a speech, adding the country's border will reopen to all tourists and visa holders on July 31, two months earlier than planned. (New Zealand-Border Reopening)

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MANILA -- The spokesperson of Ferdinand Romualdez Marcos claimed Wednesday afternoon that the former senator has won Monday's presidential election in the Philippines

"With 98 percent of the votes counted and an unassailable lead of over 16 million votes, the Filipino people have spoken decisively," Marcos' chief of staff and spokesperson Victor Rodriguez said. (Philippines-Presidential Elections-Marcos)

- - - - TOKYO --Japan's top government spokesman said Wednesday that the wearing of facial masks or coverings worn in a bid to limit the transmission of the COVID-19 virus would no longer be necessary as long as people maintain proper social distancing measures.

According to Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno, as the mercury and humidity rise in Japan, masks will not be required to be worn outside as the risk of heatstroke and heat-related illnesses could be increased. (Japan-COVID 19-Health Protocols,ROUNDUP)

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