Xinhua Asia-Pacific news summary at 0600 GMT, April 3

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KABUL -- More than 42,000 Afghans have been displaced following flooding in the country within the past one month and most needs supplies, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reported on Wednesday.

"Heavy rains caused flash flooding on 27, 28 and 29 March in six provinces of Faryab, Balkh, Jawzjan, and Sari Pul province in the Northern Region, and Herat and Badghis in the Western Region. While assessments are ongoing, an estimated 17,000 people have been affected with Balkh and Herat suffering the worst impacts," the office said in a statement. (Afghanistan-Flood)

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HONG KONG -- The economy of China's Hong Kong Special Administrative Region will grow 2.5 percent this year, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) forecast on Wednesday.

The forecast is lower than the growth at 3 percent in 2018, mainly because of the global cycle, ADB Chief Economist Yasuyuki Sawada said while delivering the bank's annual publication Asian Development Outlook. (Hong Kong-Economy)

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SEOUL -- South Korea's unification ministry said Wednesday that renovation works began for venues here for the video reunions of Korean families separated by the 1950-1953 Korean War to prepare for future reunions through video equipment with the long-lost relatives in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK).

Among the total of 13 local video reunion centers, renovation works were launched for two of them in the Korean Red Cross headquarters in central Seoul earlier in the day. (S.Korea-DPRK-Separated families)

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KUALA LUMPUR -- A Malaysian court is set to start hearings Wednesday on the corruption charges on former Prime Minister Najib Razak following previous delays.

Wednesday's hearing at the high court is on the seven charges including criminal breach of trust, money laundering and abuse of power involving 42 million ringgit (10.3 million U.S. dollars) deposited into Najib's personal bank account from SRC International, a former unit of state investment fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB). (Malaysia-Najib-Hearings)

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CANBERRA -- Australian Treasurer Josh Frydenberg has delivered his first Federal Budget, announcing tax cuts worth 158 billion Australian dollars (111.5 billion U.S. dollars) for working and middle-class Australians.

Frydenberg on Tuesday night announced Australia's budget for 2019-2020 at Parliament House, forecasting a surplus of 7.1 billion Australian dollars (5.01 billion U.S. dollars) by the end of financial year 2019-2020, rising to 17.8 billion Australian dollars (12.5 billion U.S. dollars) by the end of 2021-2022. (Australia-Budget-Tax cut) Enditem

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