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UN chief 'deeply saddened' by China's earthquake toll UNITED NATIONS: Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has expressed deep sadness over the loss of life, injuries and destruction caused by the earthquake in China's Sichuan province Saturday, affirming that the UN stands ready to provide any assistance needed.According to media reports, the seismic event, measuring from 6.6 to 7 on the Richter scale, killed nearly 200 people, sent over 8,000 to hospitals and caused a severe shortage of drinking water. "The Secretary-General extends his sincere condolences to the Chinese Government and people", the secretary-general's spokesperson said in a statement."He expresses his deepest sympathies in particular to those who have lost loved ones or been otherwise affected by this disaster", he added.Copyright APP (Associated Press of Pakistan), 2013

Bangladesh elects parliament speaker as new president DHAKA: The speaker of Bangladesh's parliament Abdul Hamid was as elected unopposed as president Monday, a potentially crucial role as the restive country heads for elections next year, officials said.Hamid is a 69-year-old stalwart of the ruling Awami League party who has been serving as acting president of the Muslim-majority nation after the death of his predecessor Zillur Rahman on March 20. "Abdul Hamid has won the election uncontested. The chief election commissioner declared him ...

Brazil's richest woman dead at 100 SAO PAULO: Dirce Navarro de Camargo, Brazil's richest woman and the widow of the founder of the private conglomerate Camargo Correa, has died at the age of 100, press reports said Sunday.The daily Folha de Sao Paulo said Camargo died at her home Saturday.According to Forbes magazine, she was the fourth richest person in Brazil and the country's wealthiest woman with a net worth estimated at $11.5 billion.Camargo controlled Camargo Correa, the group founded by ...

Southeast Asian leaders aim to patch maritime rifts BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN: Southeast Asian leaders will focus on rebuilding unity when they meet in Brunei this week after unprecedented rifts over how to handle territorial disputes with an assertive China.The summit of the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) convenes against the backdrop of China's increasingly aggressive stance in claiming sovereignty over nearly all of the resource-rich South China Sea.ASEAN members Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines and Vietnam, as well as Taiwan, also claim ...

Afghan Taliban hold nine after helicopter lands: officials KABUL: Taliban insurgents have seized nine people from a civilian helicopter which made an emergency landing in eastern Afghanistan, officials said on Monday.The Turkish civilian helicopter made an emergency landing on Sunday evening, said Rais Khan Sadeq, deputy police chief of Logar province south of Kabul."Security forces found the helicopter but the nine people were not in it. They are taken by the Taliban. They are Turkish nationals and are nine people including the crew," ...

IMF steps up calls for Britain to ease austerity drive LONDON: A senior member of the International Monetary Fund added to calls on Saturday for Britain to slow the pace of its austerity programme, a day after the country was stripped of its triple-A rating.David Lipton, the IMF's first deputy managing director, said the "pace of consolidation" should be reconsidered in light of the weaker than expected British economy.Earlier this week the IMF cut Britain's growth forecast growth for this year from 1 percent to ...

Whether Scotland could keep pound as currency after independence: Osborne LONDON: British finance minister George Osborne cast doubt on Sunday on whether Scotland could keep the pound as its currency if voters opt for independence in a referendum next year.The Chancellor of the Exchequer said a currency union could only work as part of a political and economic union, as he made his case against a separate Scotland ahead of a key report on the issue this week.A referendum is set for September 18, 2014, ...


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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 $-999 mln
Exports $2.064 bln
Imports $3.063 bln
WeeklyMarch 13, 2015
Reserves $16.273 bln