Thu, 02 Feb 2023

MANILA -- The Philippine Senate and House of Representatives on Monday ratified the proposed 5.268 trillion pesos (about 94 billion U.S. dollars) national budget for 2023, 4.9 percent higher than the 2022 budget.

The senators and members of the House of Representatives ratified the bill hours after the bicameral conference committee approved it. (Philippines-Budget-Ratify)

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CANBERRA -- Construction on the world's largest radio telescope has begun in the Australian outback.

After three decades of development, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO) on Monday launched construction of the Square Kilometer Array (SKA) in Western Australia (WA). (Australia-Telescope-Construction)

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KABUL -- Afghanistan received 40 million U.S. dollars in cash as part of humanitarian aid on Monday, the Da Afghanistan Bank (DAB), the country's central bank, said.

The newly received cash has been deposited in a commercial bank, DAB said in a statement released.

This is the second batch of 40 million dollars sent to Afghanistan over the past week. (Afghanistan-Cash-Aid)

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VIENTIANE -- Inflation in Laos increased to 38.46 percent year-on-year in November from 36.75 percent in October, according to a report issued by the Lao Statistics Bureau on Monday.

The higher prices of fuel and consumer goods and the continuing depreciation of the Lao currency kip are among the main factors driving the inflation. (Laos-High Inflation)

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PHNOM PENH -- The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) launched a regional plan of action on women's peace and security on Monday in partnership with UN Women, said a joint statement.

The ASEAN Regional Plan of Action on Women, Peace and Security (ASEAN RPA on WPS) was adopted by the ASEAN leaders during the 40th and 41st ASEAN summits in Phnom Penh last month as a key deliverable during the ASEAN chairmanship of Cambodia, the statement said. (ASEAN-Plan-Women)

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