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DWEIR SHEIKH SAAD, Syria (AP) — The posters announcing the deaths of Syrian soldiers are plastered on walls throughout the coastal province of Tartous, forming impromptu murals of death that illustrate the price supporters of President Bashar Assad are paying to defend his rule.
By Anne Marie Roantree and Lisa Jucca HONG KONG (Reuters) - Thousands have signed an online petition denouncing reported comments by an HSBC Holdings board member in which she likened Hong Kong protesters' demands for democracy to the emancipation of slaves. Laura Cha, who is also a member of Hong Kong's policy-making Executive Council, chairwoman of the city's Financial Services Development Council and a member of China's parliament, was quoted as making the comments at an event in Paris. "American slaves were liberated in 1861 but did not get voting rights until 107 years later. ...
Japan's public pension fund -- the world's biggest -- said Friday it will double the amount of equities in its investment portfolio, as it seeks higher returns to cope with a rapidly ageing population. The unprecedented shift by the $1.26 trillion Government Pension Investment Fund (GPIF) will see stocks account for a combined 50 percent of its portfolio, up from about 24 percent now, pumping billions of dollars into domestic and overseas share markets. "The new portfolio is designed to make the fund operate more effectively as the economy emerges from deflation," the fund's president Takahiro Mitani told a press conference in Tokyo. "We're trying to generate long-term returns necessary for the fund's operation -- but with the least risk -- by diversifying its investment mix."