Xinhua Asia-Pacific news summary at 1600 GMT, Oct. 24

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JAKARTA -- PT Neta Auto Indonesia (NAI) on Tuesday officially launched the Chinese-made Neta V electric car and announced its plan to build an assembly plant in the country next year in cooperation with local company PT Handal Indonesia Motor.

Neta Indonesia's Director of External Affairs and Product, Fajrul Ilhami, said that Neta V would be sold in the Indonesian market with five different color types. The price on the road is at 379 million rupiahs (23,930 U.S. dollars), including for all documentation and taxes. The price also comes with a five-year vehicle warranty, an eight-year battery warranty and free periodic maintenance for four years.

"We have received almost 170 vehicle booking letters and the company will start shipping the Neta V to the dealers next month. The dealers will deliver the cars to the buyers," Ilhami said after the launching ceremony in Jakarta. (Indonesia-China-Eelectric Car)

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TOKYO -- The 36th Tokyo International Film Festival (TIFF) has kicked off in Tokyo with more than 200 filmmakers and actors from Japan, and other countries and regions appearing on the red carpet.

Chairman Hiroyasu Ando declared the opening of the festival on Monday, saying, "Now that the coronavirus pandemic has settled, we would like to make a further leap forward."

At the opening ceremony, the Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Chinese director Zhang Yimou. Zhang recalled in a speech that he won Award for Best Actor at the 2nd TIFF in 1987, served as the chairman of the jury 18 years later at the 18th TIFF in 2005, and now again after 18 years won the Lifetime Achievement Award. "This is like a cycle, and this cycle is often not the end, but a new beginning," he said. (Japan-Tokyo Film Festival)

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DHAKA -- Bangladesh has begun evacuating millions of people as dangerous Cyclone Hamoon is closing on the coast of the South Asian country on Tuesday.

Bangladesh Meteorological Department (BMD), which Tuesday issued a special weather bulletin, said under the cyclone's influence, squally weather may affect north bay, adjoining coastal area of Bangladesh and the maritime ports.

"It is likely to move north-northeastwards and may cross Barishal-Chattogram coast near Bhola (island) by tomorrow (Wednesday) morning as a cyclonic storm," it said. (Bangladesh-Cyclone)

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JAKARTA -- At least four teenagers have been killed after the bus they were on hit a cliff in the Indonesian regency of Cianjur in West Java province early Tuesday, local police said.

According to a preliminary report, the crash occurred at around 2:30 a.m. local time on a highway toward the resort and tourism area of Puncak.

Cianjur Traffic Police Chief Adhi Prasidya told local media that the bus was carrying 24 people, mostly teenagers, from the town of Bogor to Cianjur. (Indonesia-Traffic Accident-Death)

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SYDNEY -- Scientists from the University of New South Wales (UNSW Sydney) have created a new material that can mimic human tissue in the lab and facilitate medical research.

According to their study published Monday in the Nature Communications journal, the new material is a hydrogel based on tryptophan zipper (trpzip). It behaves like natural tissue and displays a number of qualities beneficial for medical, food, and manufacturing technology.

Kris Kilian, co-author of the study and associate professor at UNSW Sydney, explained that the hydrogel material is made from very simple and short peptides, which are the building blocks of proteins. (Australia-Biomaterial-Hydrogel)

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BANGKOK -- Thailand's auto production fell in September due to the decline in manufacturing for both domestic and foreign markets amid a plunge in local sales, data showed on Tuesday.

Thai auto manufacturers produced 164,093 vehicles last month, down 8.45 percent from a year earlier, as pickup truck production dropped further owing to slowing local sales, according to the Federation of Thai Industries (FTI).

The federation downgraded its manufacturing target for the local market this year by 5.88 percent to 800,000 units as imported cars affected domestic production while sluggish economy, high household debt and interest rate hike weighed on purchasing power, the FTI said in a statement. (Thailand-Auto Production-September) Enditem

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