Explainer: Why Japan is divided over Shinzo Abe’s state funeral

A lavish, taxpayer-funded funeral for Japanese former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has triggered a public backlash against the ruling party he led for years. Some opposition lawmakers are boycotting Tuesday’s state funeral and a man set himself alight in an apparent protest against the $12 million event, to be attended by foreign dignitaries including US …

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Blast near Kabul mosque after Friday prayers kills at least seven people

At least seven people were killed and more than 40 injured on Friday by a blast near a mosque in the Afghan capital which struck as worshippers were streaming out of afternoon prayers, police said. The explosion was the latest in a deadly series targeting Friday prayers at mosques in recent months, some of them …

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‘Just doing my job,’ says record-setting Nepali climber

Summiting the world’s 8,000-metre mountains is the ultimate bucket list dream for ambitious climbers, a feat managed by fewer than 50 people, and Sanu Sherpa is the first to do it twice. The Nepali climber’s summit of Pakistan’s Gasherbrum II (8,035 metres, 26,362 feet) last month completed his unprecedented double ascent of the eight-thousanders — …

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UN condemns ‘shameful’ year-long ban on Afghan girls’ education

The United Nations urged the Taliban on Sunday to reopen high schools for girls across Afghanistan, condemning the ban that began exactly a year ago as “tragic and shameful”. Weeks after the Taliban seized power in August last year, the hardline Islamists reopened high schools for boys on September 18, 2021, but banned secondary schoolgirls …

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