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Xinhua Asia-Pacific news summary at 1600 GMT, Oct. 14

TOKYO -- Two top-tier national universities in Japan said on Friday that they will merge into a new national university by the end of fiscal 2024 in order to enhance their global competitiveness in the field of science.

The Tokyo Institute of Technology and the Tokyo Medical and Dental University said they intend to apply for the status of internationally competitive universities, which will enable the new entity to receive funding from the government's new 10-trillion-yen (68-billion-U.S. dollar) program for helping universities generate global competitiveness. (Japan-Universities-Merger)

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PHNOM PENH -- Ten students were confirmed dead and one was missing after a motorized boat accident on the Mekong River in southern Cambodia's Kandal province, a senior police official said on Friday.

The accident occurred Thursday evening at around 7:00 p.m. local time when the boat, with 15 people aboard, including two boat crew members and 13 students, sank about 50 meters off the shore in Leuk Daek district, said Kandal provincial police chief Chhoeun Sochet. (Cambodia-Boat Accident)

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NEW DELHI -- The Indian government has dispatched a high-level team to the northern Uttar Pradesh state to collaborate with local health authorities for assessing the dengue fever situation, an official statement said on Friday.

The team will assist the state authorities in managing dengue control in the state's three districts of Firozabad, Agra and Etawah, which have witnessed a rise in dengue cases over the past few weeks. (India-Dengue-Team)

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KATHMANDU -- A double-shield tunnel boring machine (TBM) was put into operation on Friday, marking a new phase for the construction of a 13.3-km-long tunnel under Nepal's Sunkoshi Marin Diversion Multipurpose Project.

Pampha Bhusal, Nepal's minister for energy, water resources and irrigation, inaugurated the TBM operation together with the project manager.

The project is being undertaken jointly by China Overseas Engineering Group Co. Ltd and China Railway No. 2 Engineering Group Co. Ltd, which had completed Nepal's Bheri Babai tunnel construction project with TBM. (Nepal-Tunnel-Construction)