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In Brief: Drought threatens hydropower in Vietnam | IRIN Asia

BANGKOK, 9 March 2011 IRIN – Low water levels in reservoirs opened in January to irrigate rice fields in Vietnam are threatening to undermine hydropower-fuelled electricity, warn experts. Approximately 2.7 billion cubic metres of water, equivalent to 500 million kilowatts of electricity, were discharged to irrigate more than 635,000 hectares of crops, according to Nguyen Tri Ngoc, head of the ...

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Philippines Prepares for Next Phase of Peace Talks | Voice of America

The Philippines government lead negotiator says the core of the problem with Muslim separatists is not religion – it is identity. Marvic Leonen, head of the peace panel negotiating with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, (MILF) says his team looks forward to hashing out several aspects of the “comprehensive compact”. Read more here: Philippines Prepares for Next Phase of Peace ...

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Chinese Move to Prevent Reporting on Protests | NYTimes.com

BEIJING — In the days since plainclothes security agents harassed and assaulted several foreign journalists on Sunday, the Chinese police have moved to prevent reporters and photographers from covering any potential public protests by establishing “no reporting” zones in Shanghai and Beijing. Read more here: Chinese Move to Prevent Reporting on Protests – NYTimes.com.

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Japan responds to urgent needs in Afghanistan | ReliefWeb

The Government of Japan provided UNOPS with USD 19 million to protect lives and livelihoods in Afghanistan this week. Despite a decade of development aid, communities are still suffering from poverty, a lack of preparation for natural disasters and limited access to basic social services. UNOPS has signed an agreement with Japan to implement three eight-month projects designed to tackle ...

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VIETNAM: Struggling to cope with rising prices | IRIN Asia

HO CHI MINH CITY, 1 March 2011 (IRIN) – Vietnam’s inflation rate is among Southeast Asia’s highest and its population is struggling to keep up with sharp increases in food, fuel and electricity prices. On 1 March the government increased electricity prices by a record 15 percent to an average 1,242 dong (US 6 cents) per kilowatt per hour. The ...

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Russia: Bloggers Deconstruct Isolationist Propaganda | Global Voices

As Russia is approaching another parliament (2011) and presidential ( 2012) election cycle, the voices of state propagandists get louder. The upcoming election process, tamed and controlled by the Russian President’s office and the ruling party “United Russia,” will be happening in the context of the Arabian “Spring of Nations 2.0.” This fact inspires pro-Democracy activists, as well as regime ...

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Peace talks bring hope for Philippines | Xinhua

MANILA, Feb. 23 (Xinhua) — The Government of the Philippines ( GPH) and the National Democratic Front (NDF) successfully concluded their first round of formal talks in six years on Tuesday, paving the way for cracking one of the hardest nuts in the Philippines. In a joint statement released Tuesday in Oslo, Norway, both sides agreed to complete the peace ...

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CIA Spy Captured in Pakistan; No Drone Attacks Since | The Guardian, Institute for Public Accuracy

CIA American who sparked diplomatic crisis over Lahore shooting was CIA spy Raymond Davis employed by CIA ‘beyond shadow of doubt’ Former soldier charged with murder over deaths of two men Davis accused of shooting one man twice in the back as he fled The American who shot dead two men in Lahore, triggering a diplomatic crisis between Pakistan and ...

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Avoiding Water Wars: Water Scarcity and Central Asia’s Growing Importance for Stability in Afghanistan and Pakistan | ReliefWeb

Water scarcity is often overlooked, underfunded, and undervalued within foreign policy. Yet a government’s ability to provide and manage access to water is critical for ensuring political, economic, and social stability. In Central and South Asia, particularly in Afghanistan and Pakistan, the impacts of water scarcity are fueling dangerous tensions that will have repercussions for regional stability and U.S. foreign ...

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