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Japan plans 1.0 trillion yen stimulus  TOKYO: Japan's prime minister will instruct his ministers to plan for an economic stimulus of up to 1.0 trillion yen ($12.7 billion) on Wednesday, reports said, as an election hovers into view.   Yoshihiko Noda will call an extraordinary cabinet meeting where he will order the stimulus, the daily newspaper Yomiuri Shimbun reported.   The cash is likely to be used for measures to boost energy and environment-related industries as well as agriculture, forestry and fisheries, and for rebuilding regions hit by last year's massive tsunami disaster, it said.   As the stimulus will be financed with discretionary reserves from the current fiscal year budget, it will not need parliamentary approval, the paper said.   The Asahi Shimbun reported a similar story on its website, noting the usual route of stimulus through legislation would be difficult in a deeply divided parliament where Noda's majority is small.   The reports come months after Noda was bounced into promising an early general ...

Japan TOKYO: Opposition leader Shinzo Abe, a man well-placed to become Japan's next prime minister, will visit a Tokyo war shrine Wednesday, in a move that risks causing further friction with neighbouring countries.   Abe, a former prime minister who was elected as president of the main opposition Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) last month, will visit Yasukuni Shrine "in the evening", according to an aide.   "He went there on August 15, the anniversary of the end of World War ...

Latvia says met euro inflation goal, aims for 2014 entry RIGA: Latvia has met the inflation goal for euro entry and should qualify to adopt the currency in 2014 when European Union officials examine its economic performance early next year, the Finance Ministry said on Tuesday.   Targets for euro adoption include budget deficit and debt ratios as well as an inflation rate no more than 1.5 percentage points above the average of the three lowest EU rates.   EU data released on Tuesday put that target at 2.94 ...

Syria ready to explore truce DAMASCUS: Syria said on Tuesday it was interested in exploring a proposal by the international peace envoy for a truce, even as it unleashed multiple air strikes on rebel positions on a key highway.   The exiled opposition said it would welcome any ceasefire but that the ball was in the government's court to halt its daily bombardments.   Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the pre-dawn air raids around Maaret al-Numan were the "most violent" since insurgents captured ...

Shareholder unrest voiced at News Corp LOS ANGELES: Media tycoon Rupert Murdoch faced calls to give up some of his control at the News Corp. conglomerate at a shareholder meeting Tuesday that was unlikely to change the balance of power.   Dissident shareholders introduced resolutions for a split in the role of chairman and chief executive both held by Murdoch or to change the dual classes of stock which give Murdoch and his family effective control of the firm.   It marked the second year ...

Gaza rocket hits Israel after tense quiet JERUSALEM: Militants from the Gaza Strip fired a rocket at southern Israel on Tuesday night that exploded near a home, causing damage and hysteria, police said, two days after the latest cross-border violence abated.   Police spokeswoman Luba Samri said "a rocket fired at the Lakhish region exploded in the yard of a home, causing minor damages to the building. Two people were treated for hysteria."   The rocket was the first since Sunday, when five projectiles from the ...

Heads of BBC Savile probes named LONDON: A former high court judge and ex-Sky executive will lead the BBC's independent inquiry into claims of sexual abuse against the late Jimmy Savile, one of Britain's biggest TV stars in the 1970s and 1980s.   The national broadcaster last week announced separate inquiries into the unfolding scandal.   Ex-judge Janet Smith will lead the probe into the "culture and practices of the BBC" during the years Savile worked there.   Former Sky News man Nick Pollard will examine whether ...


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Foreign Debt $61.805bn
Per Cap Income $1,386
GDP Growth 4.14%
Average CPI 8.6%
Trade Balance $-2.807 bln
Exports $1.911 bln
Imports $4.718 bln
WeeklyOctober 20, 2014
Reserves $13.436 bln