Asia

Laos hosts 17th Asia Pacific Parliamentary Forum

Bangkok - Parliamentarians from 22 Asian countries gathered in Vientiane, Laos, on Monday to attend the 17th annual Asia Pacific Parliamentary Forum (APPF), a get-together founded by former Japanese prime minister Yasuhiro Nakasone, media reports said.

"The Asia-Pacific region has more than half the world's population and is rich in natural resources," said Thongsing Thammavong, chairman of the Lao National Assembly and the chair of the forum.

"This rich region can help overcome the world's economic problems," said Thongsing in his opening remarks, as reported by Radio Laos in a broadcast monitored in Bangkok.

Laos to host 17th Asia Pacific Parliamentary Forum

Laos to host 17th Asia Pacific Parliamentary Forum Bangkok - Laos will play host to the 17th annual Asia Pacific Parliamentary Forum in Vientiane on January 11 to 15, officials confirmed Thursday.

"We are expecting over 300 delegates from 17 countries," said Lao Foreign Ministry spokesman Yong Chanthalangsy, in a telephone interview with Deutsche Presse-Agentur dpa.

Laos, a communist country since 1975, is under a one-party system. The next general election will be in 2010, in conjunction with the 9th Party Congress of the Lao Communist Party.

BNP Paribas sees Asian economic recovery in 2010

BNP Paribas sees Asian economic recovery in 2010Singapore - French bank BNP Paribas has predicted a faster Asian economic recovery next year, citing aggressive government spending and region-wide interest rate cuts, according to a news report Thursday.

The scale of the global policy response, monetary and fiscal, should ensure the recovery is more V-shaped, indicating a steep rise after a decline, than a slower, U-shaped recovery, said BNP Paribas economist Richard Iley.

IRRI leads new initiative to boost food security in Asia

IRRI leads new initiative to boost food security in AsiaManila - A new multilateral initiative was launched Tuesday to boost food security in South Asia by substantially increasing crop yields and income of millions of farmers in the region, the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) said.

According to the Philippines-based IRRI, the Cereal Systems Initiative for South Asia (CSISA) aims to produce an additional 5 million tons of grain annually and increase the income of about 6 million farmers by at least 350 dollars.

Asian Americans less attached to their racial identify than black Americans

Washington, December 20 : A team of political scientists have found that Asian Americans are less attached to their racial identity than black Americans, confirming that minority politics in the U. S. is more complex than generally thought.

The research team-comprising Jane Junn from Rutgers University and Natalie Masuoka from Tufts University-say that understanding the increasingly multicultural nature of the U. S. requires perspectives that incorporate, but go beyond, the black historical experience.

Zardari cancels trip to Afghanistan because of bad weather

Zardari cancels trip to Afghanistan because of bad weatherKabul - Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari, who was scheduled Friday to visit Kabul for the first time for talks with his Afghan counterpart, Hamid Karzai, has canceled his trip because of bad weather, the Afghan presidential palace said.

"Due to bad weather in Kabul and low visibility at the airport, President Zardari cancelled his trip to Kabul today," Simak Herawi, a presidential palace spokesman said.

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