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China coastguard raises Japan island row temperature TOKYO: The Chinese coastguard entered waters disputed with Japan for the first time Friday, straining an already tense situation as Tokyo mulled plans to establish a US Marines-style force to protect its islands.Four vessels spent three hours in the territorial waters of a Tokyo-controlled archipelago, where they traded warnings with their Japanese counterparts.The move by vessels whose crews were likely to be armed, according to academics marks an upping of the ante in the blistering row over ownership of the Senkakus, which Beijing claims and calls the Diaoyus.It came the day Japan's defence ministry recommended establishing amphibious units and acquiring surveillance drones to protect outlying islands."To deploy units quickly in response to a situation, it is important to have an amphibious function that is similar to (the) US Marines," capable of conducting landing operations on remote islands, it said.The recommendation was part of an interim report approved by a high-level ...

Italy two-year debt costs fall to lowest since May MILAN: Italy's two-year borrowing costs fell on Friday to their lowest since May as hefty debt redemptions next week supported demand.The treasury placed the top planned amount in the sale and drew healthy demand for its two-year bonds. It did not offer the usual inflation-linked BTPei bonds, saying it had ample cash."Next week almost 35 billion euros of Italian debt will come due," said a Milan trader.The treasury sold 3 billion euros ($4 billion) of ...

China vice president urges North Korea's Kim to enter talks BEIJING: China's vice president told North Korean leader Kim Jong-un that Beijing will push for talks on ridding the Korean peninsula of nuclear weapons, as he led a delegation to Pyongyang to mark the 60th anniversary of the end of the Korean War.Li Yuanchao is a member of China's 25-member Politburo and the talks are the highest-level contact between China and North Korea since Kim assumed power in December 2011 upon the death of his ...

Syrian Kurdish group head in Turkey for talks ANKARA: The head of a Syrian Kurdish group with links to militants in Turkey was in Istanbul on Friday for talks with government officials after an upsurge in fighting near the border, Kurdish political sources said.Saleh Muslim, head of the Democratic Union Party (PYD), whose militias have seized control of districts in northern Syria over the past year, arrived in Turkey late on Thursday, the sources told Reuters.Turkey is keen to extract assurances from the ...

Cambodian poll campaign nears end PHNOM PENH: Cambodia's political parties hit the streets on Friday in a final push for votes in Sunday's general election, but a rights group said the campaign had been biased in favour of Prime Minister Hun Sen's party, widely expected to retain power.Hun Sen has been premier for 28 years, bringing stability after years of war and the genocidal late-1970s regime of the Khmer Rouge but, his critics say, he has shown disdain for democracy ...

S&P cuts Iceland outlook to negative from stable STOCKHOLM: Standard & Poor's cut its outlook on Iceland's credit rating to negative from stable on Friday and warned it could lower the rating if government plans to forgive household debt significantly weaken public finances.Icelandic households remain heavily indebted following a 2008 financial crisis which saw the country's banks collapse, sending the nation into its deepest-ever economic downturn.A new government swept to power in April on a promise to offer households fed up with several ...

Police raid railway offices in Canada crash probe OTTAWA: Police on Thursday raided the Canadian regional office of the Montreal, Maine & Atlantic (MMA) railway, looking for evidence in a criminal investigation of a train derailment that killed 47 people.More than a dozen Quebec provincial police officers and representatives of other agencies were involved in the search of the offices in Farnham, southwest of Montreal.Police inspector Michel Forget told a press conference they were "looking for evidence to support criminal charges."He said the ...


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Foreign Debt $60.9bn
Per Cap Income $1,368
GDP Growth 3.6%
Average CPI 7.5%
Trade Balance $-1.558 bln
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WeeklyJuly 10, 2014
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