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Hong Kong activists mull taking protest to Beijing HONG KONG: Hong Kong's democracy protesters are considering travelling to Beijing to directly petition Communist authorities as the Chinese capital hosts US President Barack Obama and other world leaders at an upcoming summit.The protesters have held continuous street rallies for a month, demanding free leadership elections for the semi-autonomous city in 2017.Beijing has refused to back down on its insistence made on August 31 that candidates in the vote must be vetted by a loyalist committee, a decision critics say is designed to ensure the election of a pro-Beijing stooge.Alex Chow, head of Hong Kong's main student union which has been at the vanguard of the protests, said demonstrators were considering upping the ante by attempting to travel to Beijing and press authorities for direct talks. "We should tell the world and the government... that the decision made on August 31 must be rescinded," Chow told demonstrators at the main ...

Myanmar president opens unprecedented talks with Suu Kyi, army NAYPYIDAW: Myanmar President Thein Sein opened unprecedented talks with army top brass and political rivals including Aung San Suu Kyi Friday, as US President Barack Obama called for "inclusive and credible" elections in the country next year.Thein Sein and Suu Kyi walked into the meeting together to begin talks that are the first of their kind in the nation as it moves to emerge from decades of outright military rule.The meeting in the capital Naypyidaw ...

Sniffer dogs join search for Sri Lanka mudslide victims KOSLANDA: Sniffer dogs were brought in Friday to join the search for bodies at a tea plantation in Sri Lanka, two days after a major mudslide buried alive scores of people.After the operation was suspended on Thursday afternoon because of fresh rains, searching resumed at daybreak with a team of sniffer dogs joining hundreds of troops already at the site of the tragedy in the picturesque Koslanda region, around 200 kilometres (125 miles) east of ...

Imran Khan should announce resignations on Assembly floor: Saad ISLAMABAD: Minister for Railways Khawaja Saad Rafique Thursday said that Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan should announce his resignation on floor of National Assembly where he had congratulated the Speaker.Talking to a private TV channel, the minister said that PTI was fearing from its few Parliamentarians who were not willing to resign as a member of National Assembly that was why the party leadership was not allowing the MNAs to met Speaker individually.The government ...

Smartphone sales lifted by emerging markets WASHINGTON: Global smartphone sales grew at a healthy pace in the third quarter, boosted by low-cost handsets in emerging markets, industry research showed Thursday.The research firm IDC said global smartphone shipments jumped 25.2 percent from a year earlier to 327.6 million in the quarter, and were up 8.7 percent over the second quarter."Despite rumors of a slowing market, smartphone shipments continue to see record-setting volumes," said IDC's Ryan Reith."We've finally reached a point where most ...

Barclays bank takes huge charge for forex probes, profit drops LONDON: Scandal-hit British bank Barclays revealed a huge charge for probes into allegations it rigged foreign-exchange market prices, cutting into quarterly profits reported on Thursday.The bank has set aside £500 million, equivalent to $800 million or 634 million euros, and this hit profits hard."A £500-million provision has been recognised relating to ongoing investigations into foreign exchange with certain regulatory authorities," the London-listed bank said.The announcement from Barclays -- which was also at the heart of ...


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Foreign Debt $61.805bn
Per Cap Income $1,386
GDP Growth 4.14%
Average CPI 8.6%
Trade Balance $-19.98 bln
Exports $25.13 bln
Imports $45.11 bln
WeeklyOctober 27, 2014
Reserves $13.464 bln