Wed, 01 Feb 2023

HONG KONG -- A total of 42 residents in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) were confirmed as qualified candidates for deputies to the 14th National People's Congress (NPC), China's top legislature, according to a presidium meeting of the Conference for Electing Deputies of the HKSAR to the 14th NPC on Thursday.

The presidium held its second meeting earlier in the day, confirming that all the 42 applicants who had submitted candidate registration forms during the nomination period on Nov. 23-30 met the qualifications of being Hong Kong residents with Chinese citizenship aged 18 or above, who had obtained at least 15 nominations from electoral conference members. (Hong Kong-NPC Deputies-Election)

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TOKYO -- Japan logged a current account deficit of 64.1 billion yen (469.25 million U.S. dollars) in October, marking the first time in nine months the balance tuned negative, as soaring costs for oil imports were further inflated by the yen's weakness, the Finance Ministry said in a report on Thursday.

Japan's current account surplus stood at 1.73 trillion yen (12.66 billion U.S. dollars) in the same month a year earlier, with the latest reading marking the sharpest decline since record keeping began, the ministry said. (Japan-Current Account-Deficit)

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COLOMBO -- The Sri Lankan parliament on Thursday passed the 2023 budget with a majority of 43 votes.

According to the 2023 budget, the total government expenditure for the year will be 5,819 billion rupees (16 billion U.S. dollars) and the total revenue and grants will be 3,415 billion rupees. (Sri Lanka-Budget)

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TOKYO -- Japan's industry ministry Thursday drew up guidelines to enable the greater use of nuclear power plants through reconstruction and operating life extensions.

The guidelines, aimed at supporting efforts to ensure the sustainable use of nuclear energy and realize carbon neutrality, note that the Japanese government will promote developing and constructing innovative next-generation reactors to replace decommissioned ones. (Japan-Nuclear Power-Guidelines)

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BANGKOK -- Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has ordered beefing up of security for tourists as the number of foreign visitors into the Southeast Asian country continued to rise.

Prayut urged relevant departments, police and tourism business operators to enhance security measures in all places and ensure public health safety, Traisuree Taisaranakul, deputy government spokesperson, said on Thursday. (Thailand-Economy-Tourism)

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