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03:21 GMT - Aid Helped Ties - Former Australian prime minister John Howard has told the Australian newspaper that Canberra's unprecedented aid to Indonesia after the devastating 2004 tsunami "brought our two countries closer together". "We allocated Aus$1 billion (US$810 million) for the aid package for Indonesia. 03:16 GMT - A day after the tsunami in 2004, residents in Banda Aceh carry the body of a dead relative across the rubble of their village. The vast majority, some 170,000 of the 220,000, deaths resulting from the earthquake and tsunami were in Indonesia.
KANEOHE BAY, Hawaii (AP) — President Barack Obama marked the end of more than a decade of combat in Afghanistan by paying tribute to America's military, telling troops on Christmas Day that their sacrifices have allowed for a more peaceful, prosperous world to emerge out of the ashes of 9/11.
By Leika Kihara and Tetsushi Kajimoto TOKYO (Reuters) - Japanese annual core consumer inflation slowed for a fourth straight month in November due largely to sliding oil prices, highlighting the challenges the central bank faces in achieving its 2 percent inflation target. Factory output unexpectedly fell and real wages marked the steepest drop in five years, underscoring the fragility of the recovery and dealing a blow to premier Shinzo Abe's stimulus policies aimed at pulling the economy out of stagnation. ...