Mon, 02 Oct 2023

MANILA -- The Philippines hopes to attract up to 2 million Chinese tourists this year amid the Southeast Asian country's efforts to remove the cap for issuing e-visa for Chinese nationals, Philippine Tourism Secretary Christina Gracia Frasco has said.

The Department of Tourism (DOT) is "continuously coordinating" with other government agencies to lift the cap on issuing e-visa for Chinese nationals to meet the ambitious target, Frasco said in a statement on Friday. (Philippines-China-Tourists)

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NEW DELHI -- The death toll from the collision of two passenger trains in the eastern Indian state of Odisha has risen to 288 with 803 others reportedly injured on Saturday, officials said.

The Times of India quoted railway officials as saying that there are 288 victims recorded in the horrific collision, the country's deadliest rail accident in more than 20 years. Injured passengers have been taken to hospitals in Gopalpur, Khantapara, Balasore, Bhadrak and Soro. (India-Train Collision-Death Toll)

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TALUQAN, Afghanistan -- Afghan security forces have rescued a child from kidnappers in Taluqan, capital of the northern Takhar province, and arrested three kidnappers, provincial police spokesman Abdul Mobin Safi said on Saturday.

The child, who was kidnapped in Kabul, capital of Afghanistan, was rescued in Taluqan city on Friday night and the kidnappers demanded 2 million Afghanis in ransom from the victim's family for his release, Safi said. (Afghanistan-Kidnapped Child-Rescue)

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COLOMBO -- Sri Lanka's estimated tourism revenue in May saw a remarkable growth of over 200 percent year-on-year, reaching 131.5 million U.S. dollars, according to the latest data from the country's central bank.

This impressive increase occurred despite the fact that May is considered an off-peak month for tourist arrivals, Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA) Chairman Priantha Fernando told the media on Saturday. (Sri Lanka-Tourism Revenue)

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ISLAMABAD -- In efforts to boost trade and manage a balance of payments crisis, Pakistan has implemented Business-to-Business Barter Trade Mechanism to allow barter trade with Russia, Iran and Afghanistan, according to Pakistan's Ministry of Commerce.

"The initiative is an important step toward stabilizing the economy, and it would not only help increase foreign exchange reserves but would also help promote trade," the ministry said in a statement on Friday. (Pakistan-Barter Trade)

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TOKYO -- Torrential rains pounded a wide swath of Japan's Pacific coast on Friday, leaving a man dead and two people missing, local media reported on Saturday.

In Toyohashi of the central prefecture of Aichi, where the country's highest-level evacuation alert was issued, a man approximately in his 60s was confirmed dead early Saturday after being found inside a submerged car in a flooded agricultural field on Friday night, Kyodo News cited local police as saying.

At least two people have been missing in the western prefecture of Wakayama. One was swept away on a flooded road and the other was caught in a swollen river, said the report. (Japan-Heavy Rain)

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