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South Korea police block anti-North leaflet launch SEOUL: South Korean police on Monday blocked activists from launching anti-Pyongyang leaflets across the heavily fortified border, after fresh North Korean warnings about dire consequences if such events went ahead.Dozens of activists had planned to launch helium-filled balloons carrying about 30,000 leaflets criticising the North's ruling Kim family.But hundreds of police blocked the launch site near the border, forcing organisers to cancel the operation."They kept saying it was dangerous... we didn't buy the argument but didn't want to physically clash with them," main organiser Choi Woo-Won told AFP. Choi said the activists would try again later in the week at an undisclosed location.Conservative activists, including many North Korean defectors in Seoul, have for years carried out similar leafleting exercises across the frontier.Pyongyang has long condemned the launches and threatened retaliation. Last year North Korean frontier guards attempted to shoot down a set of balloons, triggering a brief exchange of fire ...


Britain's Osborne pushes EU reform in Paris PARIS: Britain's finance minister was Monday to push the case for European Union reform as he kicked off a European roadshow with a trip to Paris amid reports London could hold its referendum on EU membership next year.George Osborne will meet counterpart Michel Sapin, but also Prime Minister Manuel Valls and Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius as Britain tries to drum up support for a reformed European bloc still reeling from the Greece crisis.Britain wants to ...

At least 15 dead after blast at market in northern Nigeria DAMATURU: A blast set off by a female suicide bomber tore through a crowded market in the northeastern Nigerian city of Damaturu on Sunday, killing at least 15 people, a police spokesman said.No one has claimed responsibility for the explosion, which witnesses said occurred at around 9.30 a.m. (0830 GMT)."Fifteen people have been confirmed dead so far and more dead bodies are being brought to the hospital," said police spokesman Toyin Gbadegasin. Witnesses said around ...

Iran launches charm offensive among wary Gulf Arabs DUBAI: Iran's foreign minister began a charm offensive in the Gulf on Sunday to defend a nuclear deal seen by some Arab states as heralding greater Iranian support for armed groups and governments opposed to the hereditary monarchies.Most Gulf Arab states are worried that Iran's July 14 accord with world powers will hasten detente between Tehran and Washington, emboldening Tehran to increase backing for Middle Eastern allies at odds with Gulf Arab countries.The minister, Mohammad ...

Iraq forces retake university on edge of Ramadi BAGHDAD: Iraqi government forces recaptured a university campus Sunday on the outskirts of Ramadi from the Islamic State group, seizing a key position for any offensive to retake the city, officials said.Iraqi forces had recaptured parts of Anbar University in May, shortly after losing the provincial capital to the jihadists, but later pulled back.The university was retaken by elite forces from Iraq's Counter Terrorism Service (CTS), known as the "Golden Brigade"."The Golden Brigade managed to ...

Obama urges young Kenyans to shape their future       NAIROBI: Billing himself as America's first Kenyan-American president, Barack Obama implored Kenya's youthful populous to cast aside "bad traditions" and forge a more just and inclusive future Sunday. Seeking to leverage his status as a "son of the soil" and his vast local popularity, Obama said his ancestral homeland was at a crossroads replete with peril and opportunity."The future of Africa is up to Africans," he told a raucous crowd in an indoor arena at ...

Syria's Assad says army consolidating in most important areas BEIRUT: Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said on Sunday the army had been forced to give up areas in order to hold onto more important ones in its fight with insurgents, and the scale of the war meant the military faced a man power shortage.He also said groups fighting to topple him had received increased backing from their state sponsors in a reference to countries including Turkey and Saudi Arabia."Sometimes, in some circumstances, we are forced ...


 



 
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Banking Review 2014


Annual2013/14
Foreign Debt $61.805bn
Per Cap Income $1,386
GDP Growth 4.14%
Average CPI 8.6%
MonthlyJune
Trade Balance $-2.378 bln
Exports $2.016 bln
Imports $4.394 bln
WeeklyJuly 23, 2015
Reserves $18.677 bln