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A former trade unionist and Australian political figure was Sunday questioned on his return from the Middle East where he is believed to have helped those fighting against the Islamic State group, reports said.

Around 24,000 coastal residents of the Philippines were being evacuated as a precaution from approaching Tropical Storm Maysak on Saturday, officials said, even as experts downgraded the threat from what was at one point a super typhoon.

Protesters waving Australian flags and carrying signs such as "Yes Australia. No Sharia" rallied around the country on Saturday in events organizers said were against Islamic extremism.
Hundreds protest Islamic law in Australia


Indian police arrested four people Friday following a federal government minister's complaint that a niche boutique in the southwestern resort of Goa had a closed-circuit TV looking into a changing room where she was trying out clothes.

The World Health Organization's top official in Thailand on Saturday denied beating his Ethiopian domestic helper and treating her like a modern day slave.

Endangered Bryan's shearwater seabirds have been seen breeding on one of the Ogasawara Islands in Tokyo, the Forestry and Forest Products Research Institute (FFPRI) has announced.

The writer, a thin young man who fears the growing interweaving of religion and politics in Bangladesh, knows his turn could come next. What happened earlier this week, when the second secularist blogger in less than a month was hacked to death in the streets of the capital, made it clear he wasn't safe.
Bangladesh secular writers fearful after 2nd blogger slain in less than a month


A helicopter crashed south of Kuala Lumpur on Saturday with all six people on board, including a key political ally of Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, believed to be dead, reports said.

North Korea fired short-range projectiles into the sea for a second consecutive day Friday in an apparent protest against ongoing U.S.-South Korean military drills, South Korean officials said.

North Korea has decided to support a proposed walk across the demilitarized zone between the two Koreas by prominent women including Gloria Steinem, and organizers say they hope South Korea will give its approval as well.

An Indonesian court has sentenced a Canadian teacher and an Indonesian teaching assistant to 10 years in jail on charges of sexually abusing three young children at a prestigious international school in Jakarta.

Devotees in the fervently Catholic Philippines marked Good Friday by being nailed to crosses and whipping their backs bloody, in extreme acts of devotion that attracted thousands of spectators.
Philippines carries out bloody Good Friday rituals


Thailand's junta chief Friday vowed to shut down critical media outlets as he faced a growing international backlash against his decision to replace martial law with new powers retaining his absolute authority.
Thai junta chief threatens to shut media


A seriously ill Antarctic worker returned to Australia on an icebreaker on Friday, which battled freezing temperatures and a seven-meter swell to bring him home.
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