Xinhua Asia Pacific news summary at 1000 GMT, Aug. 13

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NEW DELHI -- Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday announced a slew of income tax reforms in a bid to ensure transparency and accountability in tax collection system.

He launched the platform for "Transparent Taxation -- Honoring the Honest," focusing on reduction in tax rates and simplification of direct tax laws. (India-Tax System-Reform)

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CANBERRA -- Australian Tourism Minister Simon Birmingham has warned of repercussions for states and territories that keep their borders closed for longer than necessary.

Birmingham warned the state and territory governments on Thursday that their tourism industries will not receive federal assistance if they are affected by unnecessary border closures.

"State border restrictions need to be proportionate to the health risk and shouldn't remain in place for one more day than they need to," he told Nine Entertainment newspapers. (Australia-Border Closure-Warning)

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SUVA -- The Fijian government launched on Thursday the "FIJI50" logo in celebration of 50 years of the island nation's independence.

According to a government statement on Thursday, the "FIJI50" logo will be made available completely free to businesses and organisations who wish to co-brand the logo on their products, services and channels.

Fijian President Jioji Konrote said on Thursday that this year, Fiji celebrates more than a half-century of its independence and the resilience of its people to overcome challenges of any scale as its 50th anniversary of independence has arrived alongside the global COVID-19 pandemic. (Fiji-50th Anniversary-Independence)

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ISLAMABAD -- Pakistan on Thursday suggested dialogue with neighboring Afghanistan to discuss border matters.

Pakistan and Afghanistan have a nearly 2,600-km border, mostly porous. Pakistan is fencing the border with Afghanistan to block the movement of militants.

Zahid Hafeez Chaudhri, spokesperson of the Foreign Ministry of Pakistan, said that the fencing along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border was being done to "address Pakistan's serious security concerns and was fully in accordance with the established norms of international law, without encroaching into Afghan territory," according to a statement released by the foreign ministry. (Pakistan-Afghanistan-Dialogue)

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NEW DELHI -- India's former president Pranab Mukherjee continues to be on ventilator support and his condition remains unchanged as he is deeply comatose, health officials said Thursday.

"The condition of Pranab Mukherjee remains unchanged this morning, He is deeply comatose with stable vital parameters and he continues to be on ventilatory support," a statement from Indian army's research and referral hospital published Thursday in local media said. (Indian Former President-COVID-19) Enditem

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