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Russia moves to decriminalise domestic violence

MOSCOW (AsiaNews): The lower house of the Russian Duma approved a bill on January 27 that if passed in the upper house will decriminalise domestic violence, limiting the means for recourse available to victims, as well as softening the penalties for those who abuse them.

The State Duma voted 380 to three in favour of the bill, which now needs the approval of the upper house and the president, Vladimir Putin, to become law. Observers regard this as a formality.

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Australia joins China in thumbing nose at international law

DILI (UCAN): Australia is showing that China is not the only bully in the region that is prepared to thumb its nose at international law and use its financial clout to kick its weaker neighbours around.

It is currently digging its heels in and refusing to renegotiate on the delicate issue of maritime boundaries between its huge land mass and its tiny neighbour, Timor-Leste, in a dispute in which billions of dollars’ worth of oil and gas reserves are at stake.

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