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Xi warns Hong Kong and Macau in 'one China' message MACAU: Chinese President Xi Jinping warned Hong Kong and Macau on Saturday to remember they are part of "one China", as pro-democracy campaigners in both semi-autonomous territories call for free leadership elections.Security has been tight during Xi's two-day visit to Macau to mark the 15th anniversary of the gambling hub's handover from Portugal, just days after police cleared the last remaining protest sites in neighbouring Hong Kong.Reporters on the airport tarmac waiting for Xi's arrival in Macau on Friday were not allowed to hold umbrellas -- the symbol of Hong Kong's pro-democracy movement -- and were handed raincoats instead.A small group of protesters had also attempted to walk to where Xi was staying while holding yellow umbrellas. Police stopped them, saying the area was "restricted".Xi warned both territories on Saturday against a "misguided approach"."We must both adhere to the 'one China' principle and respect the difference of the two systems," ...

US drone strike kills five in North Waziristan PESHAWAR: A US drone strike killed at least five militants in North Waziristan near the Afghan border on Saturday, security officials said, warning that the death toll was expected to rise.The strike occurred in North Waziristan, one of the seven semi-autonomous tribal districts bordering Afghanistan, which is seen as a hub for al Qaeda and Taliban militants."A US drone fired two missiles at a compound in Mada Khail neighbourhood of Datta Khail area in North ...

Obama warns North Korea over Sony hack: 'We will respond' WASHINGTON: US President Barack Obama warned North Korea it would face retaliation for a crippling cyber attack on Sony Pictures over an irreverent film comedy that infuriated Pyongyang.Obama said the movie giant had "made a mistake" in canceling the Christmas Day release of "The Interview," a madcap romp about a CIA plot to kill North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un.Sony defended its decision, made after anonymous hackers invoked the 9/11 attacks in threatening cinemas screening the ...

S&P lower Ukraine rating to CCC- on increased default risk PARIS: Standard & Poors lowered its credit rating for Ukraine on Friday to CCC- with a negative outlook, warning that dangerously low foreign currency reserves could prompt a default within months."The negative outlook reflects our view of the increasing risk that, without additional financial support, Ukraine may default on its obligations," the credit rating agency said.Copyright AFP (Agence France-Presse), 2014

EU launches new trade dispute with US over Boeing subsidies: WTO GENEVA: The EU on Friday launched a fresh trade dispute with the United States, accusing it of providing unfair tax incentives to help Boeing build its new 777X jet, the World Trade Organization said."The European Union has notified the WTO Secretariat on December 19, 2014, of a dispute with the United States concerning conditional tax incentives established by the state of Washington in relation to the development, manufacture, and sale of large civil aircraft," the ...

North Korea behind Sony hack: FBI WASHINGTON: North Korea was responsible for a "destructive" cyber attack on Sony Pictures, the US Federal Bureau of Investigation said Friday, warning it would hunt down the perpetrators and make them pay."Such acts of intimidation fall outside the bounds of acceptable state behavior," the FBI said in a statement, adding it would "identify, pursue, and impose costs and consequences on individuals, groups, or nation states who use cyber means to threaten the United States or ...


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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