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China has spearheaded a move to launch a multilateral bank - Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) - amidst much US-led Western opposition. The President of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) legitimately concerned that AIIB may compromise the relevance of the institution he heads stated that the AIIB would duplicate ADB's work given that ADB's major investment is in the infrastructure sector. The critical question is if duplication of ADB's work is the only concern of the ADB President?

Short, snappy and focused on two priorities - reviving sagging investment in Europe and standing firm towards Russia, the first European Union summit under new leadership was a demonstrative break with the past. Donald Tusk, the former Polish prime minister who took over the chairmanship of the 28-nation European Council this month, put his briskly opinionated stamp on the meeting of EU leaders, sending them home a day early after a show of unity and purpose.
A decade after towering waves wrenched her newborn baby from her arms, Mi Htay remains haunted by memories of the children she lost in the tsunami whose bodies, like hundreds of other Myanmar migrants in Thailand, were never identified. No one knows exactly how many foreign labourers died when the tsunami cut into south-western Thailand as most lacked official work permits and their relatives did not come forward in the days and weeks after the December 26, 2004, disaster fearing arrest or deportation.
The OPG report initiative, launched in 2011 has enrolled thus far eight out of 64 countries in the world. It is hoped other countries would follow soon. The vision document enshrines the founding principles, aims, constitution, mechanism and rules and regulations.
Defending the rouble has cost Russia around $80 billion this year, and depending on who's doing the calculations, its usable hard currency reserves are now either starting to run low, or at a healthy $400 billion-plus.
The devastating cyberattack on Sony Pictures could see the Hollywood studio lose hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue and incur massive recovery costs, experts say.
Since ancient times the "gold rivers" of a rural corner of eastern Serbia have drawn prospectors hoping to strike it rich by teasing the precious metal from the area's waterways. The mountainous, heavily forested region today is poor and depopulated, but a tiny community of panners still eke out a living by coaxing gold flakes - and the occasional nugget - from the brisk waters flowing to the Danube River.


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ICT 2014

Foreign Debt $61.805bn
Per Cap Income $1,386
GDP Growth 4.14%
Average CPI 8.6%
Trade Balance $-2.309 bln
Exports $1.957 bln
Imports $4.266 bln
WeeklyDecember 18, 2014
Reserves $14.04 bln