Xinhua Asia-Pacific news summary at 1000 GMT, April 23

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SINGAPORE -- Singapore's Prime Minister's Office (PMO) made an announcement Tuesday over a cabinet reshuffle to promote Heng Swee Keat as the city-state's deputy prime minister starting from May 1.

Heng will retain his current post as the Minister for Finance, and continue to chair the country's Future Economy Council and National Research Foundation. He will also become the Acting Prime Minister in Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong's absence.(Singapore-Cabinet reshuffle)

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MANILA -- The death toll from Monday's 6.1-magnitude earthquake that struck the Zambales province in the Philippine main Luzon Island has risen to 16, the government said on Tuesday.

Ricardo Jalad, the executive director of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC), said 81 people were also injured and 14 others remain missing in central Luzon provinces of Pampanga and Zambales.(Philippines-Quake-Toll)

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NEW DELHI -- Indian government on Tuesday said that it was fully prepared to meet the country's demand for petrol, diesel and other petroleum products following the announcement by the U.S. to discontinue the "Significant Reduction Exemption" to all purchasers of crude oil from Iran.

"The government has noted the announcement by the U.S. to discontinue the Significant Reduction Exemption to all purchasers of crude oil from Iran. We are adequately prepared to deal with the impact of this decision," said an official statement issued by the ministry of external affairs.(India-Iran-Oil)

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COLOMBO -- Sri Lanka's Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe on Tuesday informed the Parliament that local extremist group "National Towheed Jamaat" was linked to a global terror network.

He said search operations were ongoing to arrest more suspects linked to this group, following Sunday's terror attacks. (Sri Lanka-Extremist group)

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TOKYO -- A cross-party group of about 70 Japanese lawmakers visited the notorious Yasukuni Shrine in Tokyo on Tuesday during its annual spring festival.

The lawmakers included Masahisa Sato, a senior vice foreign minister, and Seiichi Eto, a special advisor to Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.(Japan-Lawmakers-Shrine) Enditem

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