Xinhua Asia-Pacific news summary at 1600 GMT, Dec. 1

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NEW DELHI -- Indian Defense Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Saturday granted approval for the acquisition of defense equipment worth 30 billion Indian Rupees (around 451 million U.S. dollars), including indigenous BrahMos missiles for two Indian Navy ships to be built in Russia, said defense sources.

The indigenously designed BrahMos missile is a tested and proven supersonic cruise missile and will form the primary weapon on board these ships. (India-Defence Equipment)

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MAHMUD-E-RAQI, Afghanistan -- At least 10 militants have been confirmed dead and a Taliban judiciary center completely destroyed as military aircraft launched an attack in Nijrab district of eastern Afghanistan's Kapisa province on Saturday, said an army spokesman for Pamir 20 Corps Abdul Hadi.

"Acting on tip-off, security forces fighting aircraft targeted a Taliban center in Nijrab district of Kapisa province Saturday morning, destroying the group's judiciary department and killing 10 militants on the spot," Hadi told Xinhua. (Afghanistan-Militants)

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PHNOM PENH -- Cambodian authorities had arrested 14,488 illicit drug suspects in 7,229 cases during the first eleven months of 2018, said an Interior Ministry's anti-drug department report on Saturday.

Some 8,222 suspects were involved in drug trafficking and 6,266 were related to drug use, the report said, adding that 242 of them are foreigners in 18 nationalities. (Cambodia-Drugs)

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SYDNEY -- Severe drought across the east coast and southern parts of Australia has hit Christmas tree farmers, with many growers finding it hard to keep their crops alive for this festive season and fearing that the younger trees will take years to recover.

The affected farmers are scrambling to keep the trees alive as summer in the Southern Hemisphere heats up, with some suppliers accepting only walk-in customers and stopping deliveries of what is an essential Christmas decoration for many families, local media reported on Saturday. (Australia-Drought)

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JAKARTA -- Police in Indonesia's Aceh province had recaptured 36 prisoners out of the 113 who fled from the prison in Banda Aceh on Thursday evening, Aceh police spokesman Ery Apriyono said on Saturday.

The police is hunting for the remaining 77 inmates who are still on the run, the spokesman said. (Indonesia-Prisoners)

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HONG KONG -- Hong Kong launched a campaign in support of World AIDS Day on Saturday, to deepen public understanding on Human Immunodeficiency Virus/Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (HIV/AIDS) and prevention, as well as appeal to them to help support people living with HIV.

The Power of Love: World AIDS Campaign 2018 Kick-off Ceremony was held by the Department of Health (DH) of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region government. (HK-World AIDS Day) Enditem

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