Xinhua Asia-Pacific news summary at 1600 GMT, Dec. 2

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AYBAK, Afghanistan -- Anti-government militants abducted 40 truck drivers in the northern Samangan province on Sunday, provincial police spokesman Mohammad Munir Rahimi said.

"The armed Taliban rebels stopped 40 to 45 trucks carrying coal in Khashak Dara village of Dara-e-Suf Payen district today... and took their drivers, possibly 40 drivers or more to unknown locations," Rahimi told Xinhua over phone from provincial capital Aybak city. (Afghanistan-Abduction)

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GHAZNI, Afghanistan -- A total of 35 insurgents were confirmed dead and 17 others injured as fighting aircraft pounded Taliban hideouts in parts of Afghanistan's eastern Ghazni province, a statement from the army said on Sunday.

The aircraft, according to the statement, have stricken Taliban hideouts in Andar, Gero, Deyak, Qarabagh districts and outside provincial capital the Ghazni city, killing 35 militants and injuring 17 others, some in critical conditions. (Afghanistan-Airstrike)

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DHAKA -- Bangladeshi ex-Prime Minister Khaleda Zia's nomination papers for contesting in the general elections slated for Dec. 30 were cancelled Sunday.

Election Commission appointed Returning officers (ROs) Sunday cancelled her nomination papers for contesting in three constituencies on the ground of her conviction in two corruption cases. (Bangladesh-Election-Ex-PM)

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SYDNEY -- An ancient ray-like fish species, found only in the harbor waters of Australia's island state Tasmania, is fighting for its survival amid deteriorating environmental conditions, according to the latest research.

Scientists are deploying unprecedented monitoring technology as part of urgent measures to help the animals. (Australia-Fish)

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YANGON -- Intravenous injections have caused widespread HIV infection in Myanmar's Sagaing region, local media quoted regional government Minister of Social Welfare Dr. Zaw Win as saying Sunday.

About 20.77 percent of HIV-infected patients got the infection due to drug injection, Zaw Win told a ceremony marking the World AIDS Day in Monywa, Sagaing region on Saturday, the official Global New Light of Myanmar reported on Sunday. (Myanmar-HIV) Enditem

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