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The Islamic State group launched a major attack on the Iraqi city of Ramadi Friday, attempting to seize one of the last urban pockets under government control in troubled Anbar province. Parts of Ramadi, the provincial capital, and all of Fallujah to its east, fell to anti-government forces in January.

A Tunisian woman called for a free Palestine as she won a pageant exclusively for Muslims in Indonesia Friday, seen as a riposte to Western beauty contests. Eighteen finalists, who include a doctor and a computer scientist, paraded in glittering dresses against the backdrop of world-renowned ancient temples for the contest in the world's most populous Muslim-majority country.
A Japanese real estate company on Friday took over ownership of a Tokyo property that has served as North Korea's de facto embassy for decades, after a forced auction to repay outstanding debts, reports said. The sprawling downtown site - a 2,390-square-metre (25,725-square-feet) plot and 10-storey building - was officially transferred to Marunaka Holdings, after the company paid 2.21 billion yen ($18.77 million) for the site, public broadcaster NHK and other Japanese media reported.
US Secretary of State John Kerry and other foreign ministers engaged Friday in a frenzied day of Iran nuclear talks in Vienna three days before a deadline to strike a mammoth agreement. Confusion reigned over Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif's plans, with an Iranian source telling AFP he might return to Tehran for consultations - prompting speculation of some progress - only to say later he would stay in Vienna.
A junior French minister resigned on Friday as a scandal implicating him in the awarding of lucrative public contracts to members of his family hit President Francois Hollande's Socialist government with another bruising. Kader Arif, a junior minister for veteran affairs, became the latest member of Hollande's government to step down under a cloud of suspicion in what has been a year of political and personal calamities for the most unpopular French president in modern history.
Chinese President Xi Jinping arrived in Fiji Friday on a whirlwind visit aimed at strengthening economic and strategic ties with Pacific island nations. Xi's visit comes after Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, head of the world's largest democracy, stopped over in Fiji to also court regional leaders who form one of the largest voting blocs at the United Nations. Both leaders have targeted the Pacific as a vital stop on their way home from the recent Group of 20 summit in Australia.
US President Barack Obama will travel to India in January for its Republic Day celebrations, and talks with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the White House said Friday. His trip follows up on Modi's debut visit to Washington as India's leader in September. The charismatic Hindu nationalist prime minister has been courted by the United States as a key partner in its attempt to rebalance US diplomatic weight toward Asia.
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Banking Review 2013

Foreign Debt $61.805bn
Per Cap Income $1,386
GDP Growth 4.14%
Average CPI 8.6%
Trade Balance $-2.380 bln
Exports $2.181 bln
Imports $4.561 bln
WeeklyNovember 13, 2014
Reserves $13.268 bln