QWorld: Asian Stocks Up, Suicide Bombing in Kabul and More

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Asia stocks up. (Photo: iStockPhoto)

1. Asia Stocks up, But Sentiment Stays Fragile

Asian shares and the US dollar have made solid gains against a backdrop of caution, as recently battered crude oil prices bounced back from their lows, but investors remain on edge following another shakeout on Wall Street.

2. Suicide Bomb in Kabul Targets Journalists, 7 Dead

A Taliban suicide car bomber targeted a minibus carrying journalists working for a private Afghan television channel, killing seven employees, during the evening rush hour, close to the national parliament in Kabul, officials have said.

3. Syria Peace Talks May Be Delayed: UN Envoy

Internationally-brokered talks between Syria’s government and opposition groups, due to start January 25, may be delayed, but the major powers must keep up pressure to bring participants to table, UN envoy Staffan de Mistura has said.

4. Vietnam: Reform Worry as PM Left off Leadership Nominations

As Vietnam’s Communist Party opens its Congress, the country’s progressive prime minister, Nguyen Tan Dung, heads for political wilderness – an unexpected development that clouds the outlook for reform in the fast-growing economy.

Dung has been omitted from nominations for key leadership posts to be agreed at the week-long meeting, several party sources told Reuters.

5. Cuba Tries Price Controls to Tame Food Inflation

Cuba has backtracked on some key agricultural reforms and is experimenting with restoring price controls, in the face of public demands that the government tames rising food costs.

6. France Acts to Secure Road Above Calais Refugee “Jungle”

French bulldozers have begun to clear a 100-metre (110-yard) strip next to a road that passes above a migrant camp in Calais, as local authorities attempt to secure a busy traffic route between France and Britain.

7. Uganda: Ex-Rebel Commander to Appear Before ICC

A former senior rebel commander from the Lord’s Resistance Army in Uganda will appear before the International Criminal Court for a hearing to decide whether his war crimes trial should go ahead.

8. Haiti: Presidential Runoff May be Delayed

Haiti could postpone a presidential runoff election if the opposition commits to taking part at a later date, Prime Minister Evans Paul has said. The January 24 vote will go ahead if there is no deal to end a political stalemate.

9. Birth Defects Linked to Zika Virus Rising in Brazil

The cases of babies born with unusually small heads continue to rise in Brazil, where researchers say they have found new evidence linking the increase in numbers to the Zika virus spreading through the Americas.

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