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ASIA

World leaders meet to discuss regional topics

BALI, INDONESIA | Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and top diplomats from Europe and Asia will gather over the weekend to discuss issues that threaten to undermine regional security in Asia.

Some of the key topics:

• The South China Sea. There are conflicting territorial claims over the South China Sea, which is of tremendous strategic importance to everyone, including Washington, because one-third of the world’s shipping transits through its waters. It’s also rich with fish and is believed to hold huge oil and gas reserves.

• North Korea. Talks aimed at ending North Korea’s nuclear-weapons program have been stalled now for more than two years.

• Myanmar. It held elections late last year, officially handing power to a civilian administration after a half-century of military rule and releasing pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi from house arrest. But critics say the changes are cosmetic and the army will continue to hold sway.

INDIA

India succeeds in testing quick-reaction missile

NEW DELHI | India successfully tested a new quick-reaction tactical missile Thursday and will use it in battlefield support for the army, the Defense Ministry said.

The surface-to-surface “Prahaar” missile - which means “attack” in Hindi - can carry a variety of warheads weighing up to 440 pounds and hit targets 93 miles away.

India’s missiles are mostly intended for any confrontation with neighboring Pakistan, but both countries routinely test theirs, so India’s latest was unlikely to aggravate tensions.

The Defense Ministry said the missile was tested successfully off the coast of India’s eastern Orissa state. Within 205 seconds, the missile “achieved terminal accuracy of less than 10 meters,” or 33 feet.

Equipped with high-tech navigation and guidance equipment, the missile is meant to provide the Indian army with a “cost-effective, quick-reaction, all-weather, all-terrain, high-accurate battlefield support tactical system,” the ministry said in a statement.

AUSTRALIA

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