Xinhua Asia-Pacific news summary at 0600 GMT, Feb. 24

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SINGAPORE -- Singapore's consumer price index for all items (CPI-All Items) came in at 0.8 percent year on year in January, unchanged from the previous month, according to a joint release issued by two government authorities on Monday.

The Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) and Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) said in the joint release that the MAS core inflation, which excludes the costs of accommodation and private road transport, was 0.3 percent in January, lower than the 0.6 percent recorded last December. (Singapore-CPI)

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ISLAMABAD -- A tanker carrying liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) exploded late on Sunday night in Pakistan's southwest provincial capital of Quetta, leaving six people killed and three others seriously wounded, local media reported.

According to the reports, the incident took place when a group of smugglers was trying to hide packs of gutka (a banned drug made of tobacco, betel nut and others) in special portions made in the tanker at a warehouse near Haji Camp area on the outskirts of Quetta in the country's Balochistan province. (Pakistan-LPG tanker)

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PHNOM PENH -- Cambodian Prime Minister Samdech Techo Hun Sen said on Monday that all Westerdam cruise ship passengers had left Cambodia for their home countries after none of them tested positive for COVID-19.

"Now, all have left Cambodia, but some crew have not gone back yet because they asked to spend more time in Cambodia," he said in a special speech live televised on the National Television of Cambodia (TVK). (Cambodia-Westerdam)

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SEOUL -- South Korea confirmed 161 more cases of the COVID-19 on Monday, raising the total number of infections to 763, while the death toll rose to seven.

As of 9:00 a.m. local time (0000 GMT), the number of infected patients totaled 763, up 161 from the prior day. The Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) has updated the data twice a day at 10:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. local time. (S.Korea-COVID-19)

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SYDNEY -- Australian law enforcement has halted a shipment of more than 150 kg of methamphetamine, worth an estimated 16.9 million Australian dollars (11.1 million U.S. dollars), as it arrived in the city of Melbourne from Mexico, authorities said Monday.

According to the Australian Federal Police (AFP), a 26-year-old Canadian-French dual national and a 34-year-old Sydney man had both been charged with crimes relating to the 154 kg shipment -- the maximum penalty of which is life in prison. (Australia-Drugs) Enditem

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