Xinhua Asia-Pacific news summary at 1600 GMT, Feb. 15

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HONG KONG -- The number of novel coronavirus pneumonia (COVID-19) cases in Hong Kong remained at 56 as of 8:00 p.m. local time on Saturday with no new case confirmed, Hong Kong's Center for Health Protection (CHP) said.

"It's hard to say the outbreak has reached its peak as the incubation period lasts for 14 days or above. We still need time to monitor the outbreak," head of the CHP's Communicable Disease Branch Chuang Shuk-kwan told the daily press briefing. (Hong Kong-Novel Coronavirus)

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NEW DELHI -- Two children were killed and two hospitalized after their parents took them to occultists in the eastern Indian state of West Bengal, police said on Saturday.

The incident took place at Kadamtali village in Malda district, about 351 km north of Kolkata, the capital city of West Bengal. (India-Occultists)

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DHAKA -- The Asian Development Bank (ADB) approved a second tranche loan of 170 million U.S. dollars to conclude the Third Capital Market Development Program in Bangladesh.

ADB approved the program totaling 250 million U.S. dollars in November 2015, with a first tranche of 80 million U.S. dollars loan to support vital capital market reforms accompanied by a technical assistance grant of 700,000 U.S. dollars. Among it, 300,000 U.S. dollars was financed by South Korea's e-Asia and Knowledge Partnership Fund to assist in the implementation of the reform actions, said the bank in a statement on Saturday. (Bangladesh-ADB-Loan)

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BANGKOK -- The gunman who went on a pre-dawn shooting spree and was arrested by the police in downtown Bangkok on Friday, was released under bail on Saturday.

The 47-year-old suspect was released by the Criminal Court in exchange for 350,000 baht (about 11,214 U.S. dollars) in bail after he has been charged by the police with attempted murders and the possession and use of illegal drugs. (Thailand-Gunman)

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NEW DELHI -- The annual Board Examinations began on Saturday across India, with over 3.1 million students studying in Grade-10th (around 16 years old) and in Grade-12th (around 18 years old) sitting the exams.

The Board Examinations will continue till March 30. (India-Annual exams)

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ISLAMABAD -- Pakistan and Turkey signed here on Friday a Strategic Economic Framework (SEF), promoting trade and economic relations for the further FTA dialogue.

"The Strategic Economic Framework is the roadmap of what we should do in order to deepen our economic cooperation," Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said at a joint press conference with Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan after their talks. (Pakistan-Turkey-Agreement) Enditem

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