Xinhua Asia-Pacific news summary at 1600 GMT, Dec. 21

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ZARANJ, Afghanistan -- Provincial authorities distributed another batch of China-donated aid among 450 needy families in Afghanistan's western Nimroz province Wednesday, Mawlawi Mohammad Qasim Mohammad, head of provincial Natural Disaster Management and Humanitarian Affairs, said Wednesday.

"We thank China for sending humanitarian assistance to our people, and today we distribute the assistance which includes rice and wheat to 450 needy families including orphaned and people with disability here," Mohammad told Xinhua. (Afghanistan-China-Aid)

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KATHMANDU -- Huawei has been making efforts to advance digital development across a wide range of industries in Nepal.

The Chinese tech giant shared what it is doing during Huawei Connect 2022 held on Tuesday in Kathmandu, its annual flagship event for the global information and communications technology (ICT) industry that drew together over 400 sector leaders, experts and partners. (Nepal-Huawei-Digital Transformation)

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TOKYO -- Japan's health ministry and local governments said that 206,943 people had been newly infected with the COVID-19 virus nationwide, according to the latest figures released Wednesday, as the country grapples with an eighth wave of infections.

This is an increase of 16,100 new cases from the same day a week earlier and marks the first time the national tally has topped the 200,000-mark since Aug. 25, the data showed. (Japan-COVID-19)

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SEOUL -- South Korea on Wednesday revised down its 2023 economic growth outlook amid rising worries about a global economic downturn.

Real gross domestic product, adjusted for inflation, was forecast to expand by 1.6 percent in 2023, according to the Ministry of Economy and Finance.

It was down 0.9 percentage points compared to the estimate unveiled six months earlier and lower than outlooks of 1.8 percent from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development and 1.7 percent from the Bank of Korea. (South Korea-Economic Outlook)

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LASHKAR GAH, Afghanistan -- One child has been confirmed dead and six others injured as an explosive device went off in the Hawza-e-Sayedan area of Gereshk district of Afghanistan's southern Helmand province on Tuesday, provincial director of information and culture Hafiz Rashid said Wednesday.

The official told reporters that the blast took place after the ill-fated children found a toy-like device and began playing with it but suddenly it exploded, killing one on the spot and injuring six others, some in critical condition. (Afghanistan-Blast)

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JAKARTA -- Indonesia plans to ban bauxite ore exports starting from June 2023, said Indonesian President Joko Widodo on Wednesday.

This policy is "to create more jobs in the country, increase our foreign exchange and more equitable economic growth," said Widodo in a press conference. (Indonesia-Bauxite Ore Export) Enditem

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