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The management of a temple in South India went ahead with a fireworks display to ring in the local new year, despite permission being denied by the authorities. But the celebration ended in tragedy when the fireworks exploded, killing at least 106 people.
TOP OF THE NEWS
US Secretary of State John Kerry is likely to raise the issue of China's territorial ambitions in the South China Sea at a meeting of Group of Seven foreign ministers in Hiroshima, which could provoke an angry response from Beijing.
Mr Kerry is the first US Secretary of State to visit Hiroshima, which was devastated by a US atomic bomb at the end of World War II.
Taiwan is taking decisive steps to recruit and retain foreign talent to offset a brain drain that has stymied much-needed restructuring of its economy.
Opposition by labour groups had delayed the process, but new laws are expected to be passed after President-elect Tsai Ing-wen takes office next month.
An event by Parkway Hospitals Singapore in Jakarta was raided last Saturday after the local health authorities accused the organisers of having illegal patient consultations. Parkway Hospitals has denied the allegations.
The Panama Papers is less a triumph of investigative journalism than the success of a "fishing expedition" that trawled for information, says Europe correspondent Jonathan Eyal. The era of mega data leaks is here, but it is society at large - not just the rich and famous - that will pay for the loss of privacy.
Some Filipino maids are being trained to spot signs of mental stress in their peers and to offer them help, in an initiative by the National University of Singapore and welfare group Humanitarian Organisation for Migration Economics.
Residents of Bedok and Punggol will soon be able to go on self-guided walks in their estates and find out more about the areas' history, with an app being planned by the Housing Board. HDB says the app might be extended to other towns if the response is good.
The Singdollar corporate bond market showed signs of improved vitality in the first quarter, with 37 issuances worth $5.65 billion, up 16.9 per cent from the same period last year.
This may pave the way for a livelier year after a tepid 2015, but expectations may be tempered by persistent market volatility and bond default concerns.
Manny Pacquiao is undecided whether to leave the boxing ring for good, after the Filipino great whipped long-time US rival Tim Bradley in what for now is his final fight. His own trainer, Freddie Roach, hopes he will not retire to focus full-time on politics as he is still in great condition.
Taiwanese TV hostess Mini Chao has been teased for years about her little moustache. But the ebullient star feels the attention has boosted her career. She has snagged her first big acting role in Fighting Meiling, which premieres next month on Jia Le channel (Singtel TV channel 502).
Superhero stories are more popular than ever because powerful special effects immerse the audience fully in the show, says actor Grant Gustin, 26, the lead in the popular TV show The Flash.
New technology also makes it far easier for actors to play superheroes now, he says.