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Hi all, we're switching our newsletter clients after today so we may be offline for a few days while we work out the bugs in the system. Apologies for the delay and we look forward to coming back stronger and better than ever!
 
 
   
Cod Satrusayang
ANN Managing Editor
 
 
  Japan emperor Akihito to step down today  
 
     
 
  Japanese Emperor Akihito will end his three-decade reign on Tuesday (April 30), voluntarily stepping down due to health concerns to make way for his son in the country's first abdication of the Chrysanthemum Throne since 1817.

His 31-year imperial era known as Heisei, which can be translated as "achieving peace", will come to an end with a ceremony attended by about 300 political leaders and dignitaries starting at about 5pm local time at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo. The next morning, his son, Crown Prince Naruhito, 59, will ascend the throne in ceremonies also at the palace.

Emperor Akihito, 85, helped modernise the world's oldest hereditary monarchy. He was the first Japanese emperor to marry a commoner - Empress Michiko - and the first to reign entirely under the US-drafted postwar, pacifist constitution that made the role strictly symbolic.

 
 
 
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The Korean wave continues in ASEAN countries
 
   
 
The Korean Wave, or Hallyu, refers to the global popularity of South Korea’s cultural economy exporting pop culture, enter-tainment, music, TV dramas and movies. It was the topic du jour at a recent ASEAN - Korean forum held in Seoul.
 
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ISIS releases first videotape of Baghdadi in five years
 
   
 
The United States vowed Monday (April 29) that it would track down and defeat surviving leaders of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) movement after its elusive supremo Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi appeared to speak in a newly released videotape.
 
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Najib donor allegedly a prince
 
   
 
A sum of RM1.9bil was credited into one of former Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak’s private bank accounts between 2011 and 2013, the High Court heard. Part of the money was purportedly a donation from one “Prince Faisal al Turki” and the Finance Ministry of Saudi Arabia.
 
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A newsroom conversation about the Sri Lanka attacks
 
   
 
Immediately in the aftermath, speculation arose as to whether Sri Lanka was headed back to a dark period of civil instability. In our newsroom, we thought right away that the pattern of attack didn’t fit in with anything that came before in Sri Lanka. Here is our reasoning why.
 
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  The Asia News Network (ANN) is one of the world’s biggest media alliances.
Founded in 1999 with seven members, ANN now comprises 22 leading media, mostly leading national English-language daily, from South, Southeast and Northeast Asia. ANN’s main activities are daily exchanges of news, photos and a host of other collaborations.
 
 
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