Tourists walk with masks at the Gyeongbokgung Palace in Seoul, South Korea, June 8, 2015. South Korea on Monday identified 23 new contagions with the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), increasing the total number to 87 while deaths from the viral disease rose to six as one more death was reported. (Xinhua/Yao Qilin) (dzl)
Tourists walk with masks at the Gyeongbokgung Palace in Seoul, South Korea, June 8, 2015. South Korea on Monday identified 23 new contagions with the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), increasing the total number to 87 while deaths from the viral disease rose to six as one more death was reported. (Xinhua/Yao Qilin) (dzl)

SEOUL — South Korean President Park Geun-hye’s approval rate declined to the lowest since her inauguration in early 2013 due to the outbreak of the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), a survey showed Friday.

Tourists walk with masks at the Gyeongbokgung Palace in Seoul, South Korea, June 8, 2015. South Korea on Monday identified 23 new contagions with the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), increasing the total number to 87 while deaths from the viral disease rose to six as one more death was reported. (Xinhua/Yao Qilin) (dzl)
Tourists walk with masks at the Gyeongbokgung Palace in Seoul, South Korea, June 8, 2015. South Korea on Monday identified 23 new contagions with the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), increasing the total number to 87 while deaths from the viral disease rose to six as one more death was reported. (Xinhua/Yao Qilin) (dzl)

Park’s support rate was 29 percent this week, the lowest since she took office in February 2013, according to the survey of 1,000 adults by a pollster Gallup Korea. It was down 4 percentage points from the prior week. (S.Korea-Approve Rate-MERS)
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KUALA LUMPUR — Malaysia has recaptured a hijacked oil tanker and all crew onboard were safe after the pirates fled, Navy officials said Friday.
All eight hijackers fled in rescue boats Thursday evening, but the captain of the hijacked tanker only informed the authorities after mid-night, some five hours later as he was threatened by the pirates not to reveal their escape plan, according to Malaysian Navy chief Abdul Aziz Jaafar.(Malaysia-Tanker-Recapture)
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TOKYO — The bank of Japan (BOJ) on Friday decided to keep its current monetary policy and assessment of the economy, saying the domestic economy is recovering modestly despite consumer prices remain low, local media reported.
Following the central bank’s two-day policy meeting, the nine- member Policy Board kept intact its current monetary policy of increasing base money at an annual pace of around 80 trillion yen (about 649.84 billion U.S. dollars) with an 8 to 1 vote, though the country’s core consumer prices remain at around zero percent, far below the target of 2 percent.(Japan-BOJ-Montary Policy)
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HONG KONG — Hong Kong Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying said Friday that the government will propose 11 initiatives to improve people’s livelihood and propel economic growth to the meeting of the Finance Committee of Legislative Council next Friday.
The initiatives include the relief measures in the Budget this year, enhancement of remuneration package for District Council members, construction of rehab centers and a residential care home, adjustment of pay for civil servants according to the 2013 Pay Level Survey and for 2015-16, establishment of a 1-billion-HK- dollar recycling fund and a 1.5-billion-HK-dollar increase in commitment for small and medium-sized enterprises funds, said Leung at media session.(HK-Proposals-Livelihood) Enditem

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