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CNBC Asia-Pacific Highlights

Marc Faber

Marc Faber told CNBC on Tuesday that he owns gold as an "insurance policy" despite a possible correction.

Samsung Reveals Chinese Labor Breaches

Shares of the world’s largest smartphone maker Samsung Electronics are expected to surge 50 percent in 2013, on the back of a stellar performance last year.

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Looking for a McDonald's in Australia this month? You may bump into a "Macca's" instead. The international fast food giant will temporarily change signs to "Macca's," the affectionate Australian nickname for the chain, in celebration of Australia Day.

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Even though Brad Pitt has been supposedly banned from entering China, his first post to Weibo, the Twitter-like microblogging platform popular in the People's Republic, suggests otherwise. The Global Post reports.

A government-backed investment fund is one of several waiting in the wings for a chance to support – and profit from – China's fast-growing performing arts and film companies. Caixin Online reports.

Samsung Galaxy 10.1 Note Phablet

Call it phablet, phonelet, tweener or super smartphone, but the clunky mobile phone - closer in size to a tablet than the smartphone of a couple of years back - is here to stay.

China's lowest temperatures in nearly three decades are wreaking havoc on shipping, air, and road transportation.

South Korean pop star Rain performing at a concert.

South Korean singer-actor Rain has been given a dressing down for going out with South Korea's sweetheart, Kim Tae-hee, while on compulsory military service - but without his army hat.

Kim Jong Un

Speculation is swirling in South Korea that the wife of Kim Jong Un has given birth to the newest member of the ruling Kim dynasty. The Global Post reports.

In America, teenagers think that braces are awkward, dorky and annoying. But in Asia, braces are cool. They're so cool in fact, that teens in Thailand, Indonesia and China are even wearing fake braces to make a fashion statement.

A poster at a protest against the gang rape of a 23-year-old in New Delhi, India

The gang rape of a 23-year old student has invoked a new political voice from middle class Indians who consider gender rights as important as poverty alleviation.

Shanghai

Following a year tainted by heightened economic uncertainty, the world's second largest economy is setting itself up for a positive 2013, say analysts, pointing to China's latest economic data and stellar equity market performance.

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The Chinese government passed a law that requires adult children to visit their aging parents more often. The Global Post reports.

Opera House in Sydney, Australia.

Forget Australia's mining boom. The nation's strong economy, high currency and wages have made it a magnet for sex, drugs and rock and roll.

Hollywood, California

China's 2012 box office was dominated by foreign films for the first time in four years as a deal cemented earlier this year saw more Hollywood film screened on the mainland, squeezing out domestic competition.

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Yale University plans to open in Singapore, but critics feel it is impossible to build an elite college dedicated to free inquiry in a nation with heavy restrictions on public speech and assembly.

Bangkok, Thailand

Americans think of Bangkok as embodying the rich-poor divide of the developing world, but some US areas are beginning to rival it. The GlobalPost reports.

Dragon lantern

The Year of the Dragon was supposed to be particularly lucky and momentous, charged with auspicious signs of change. While the Chinese government may dispute that this year has been full of good luck, for China watchers, 2012 has certainly delivered. The GlobalPost reports.

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Philippines has ambitions to join Macau and Singapore among the ranks of Asia's top gaming destinations. Buoyed by stellar economic growth, the casino rush is starting.

The Air Bagan passenger plane after it crashed near Heho airport in Myanmar's eastern Shan state on December 25, 2012.

Want to travel across Myanmar, the poor, isolated nation that's becoming a tourism hot spot practically overnight? You're probably going to end up boarding an aging airplane regulated by a government with dubious credibility.

The Worst Fees Charged by Big Banks

Already struggling at home with weak revenues and tough new capital and leverage requirements, investment banks are now also facing a slump in their once most promising business - emerging markets.

As television shows evolve in India, soap operas dominate prime time with marriage as a key theme as family structures and tensions on soap operas mirror those of the audience. The New York Times reports.

A trader talks on the phone on the trading floor of the Philippine Stock Exchange.

The Philippine stock market, Asia's most expensive, should be out of gas but there are signs it could have more room to run as brokers eye the 6,500 mark in the benchmark index ahead of the country's first investment grade credit rating, possibly in the next six months.

Rich Chinese are buying bicycles that cost more than the average citizen makes in three years, motivated by nostalgia for the days when two wheels were the primary means of transport.

Peter Schiff

Peter Schiff of Euro Pacific Capital warns investors against heading for the exits as gold stumbles, saying markets should be patient as central banks embark on massive easing.

As cellphone demand across the developing world rises, some rural areas still lack network signals, leading operators to tap solar power to connect "the unsignalled".

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Only three chief executives from mainland China make the top 100 in the latest ranking of corporate leaders' long-term performance – indicating that Chinese companies still have work to do to catch up with global competitors.

Here's a Christmas dinner that may be too rich.

As America mourns children and teachers killed by a gunman at Connecticut's Sandy Hook Elementary, India is confronting brazen and horrific acts of violence, too — though the problems here are not as directly tied to guns or mental illness.

Chongqing, China

Authorities in the eastern city of Qingdao have sold a land parcel for 872.4 million yuan ($140 million) in an auction that set the highest premium of the year, the latest in a series of deals to signal a mild recovery in China's property market.