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South Korea foots 70pc of North's Asian Games bill SEOUL: South Korea said Thursday it would pay more than 70 percent of the $700,000 costs incurred by rival North Korea when it took part in the recent Asian Games in Incheon.The issue of subsidising the North's presence at the September 19-October 4 Games became problematic ahead of the event, when Seoul proposed breaking with its custom of supporting visiting sports teams from the North.Pyongyang accused the South of arrogance and retracted its decision to send a cheerleading team to accompany its athletes in Incheon, west of Seoul.In the end, an understanding was reached that the South would foot part of the bill, though not all of it as in the past."Although we apply international norms to an event like the Asian Games, we took into account that the South and North have special relations," said Park Soo-Jin, spokeswoman for the South's Unification Ministry.Because the 1950-53 Korean conflict ended with ...

China's Xi echoes Mao on the arts BEIJING: China's President Xi Jinping has told artists to serve the people and create works promoting "socialist values", with state media on Thursday comparing his remarks to a speech by Mao Zedong.Beijing imposes tight controls over art and culture, which critics say hampers China's efforts to upgrade its economy from lower-end manufacturing into more profitable creative sectors.In a high-minded broadside against market forces, Xi told a group of artists on Wednesday that they should not ...

Swiss government cuts growth forecasts for this year and next ZURICH: The Swiss government cut its economic growth forecasts for this year and next on Thursday, citing a gloomy outlook for the neighbouring euro zone. "In light of the dampened short-term economic outlook for the Euro region, including Germany, the conditions deteriorated compared to the last forecasts in June," economists at the State Secretariat for Economics (SECO) said in a statement. The SECO cut its growth forecast to 1.8 percent for 2014 from a previous ...

China overseas investment almost doubles in September: govt BEIJING: China's overseas investment almost doubled year-on-year to $9.79 billion in September, the government said Thursday, again exceeding incoming funds even though they recovered from multi-year lows.Foreign direct investment (FDI) -- which excludes financial sectors -- into China came in at $9.01 billion for the month, the commerce ministry said, up only 1.9 percent year-on-year but a significant improvement on August's $7.20 billion, the lowest since July 2010.China has been actively acquiring foreign assets, particularly ...

Top US lawmakers urge W.Africa travel ban WASHINGTON: Senior US lawmakers overseeing homeland security on Wednesday joined calls for authorities to impose a temporary ban on travel from West Africa, in order to prevent an Ebola outbreak.Two American health-care workers at a Dallas, Texas hospital have been diagnosed with Ebola after caring for a Liberian man who died of the disease last week, and President Barack Obama's administration has shifted into overdrive in efforts to contain the disease's spread."A temporary ban on ...

Mozambique polls close with opposition crying foul  MAPUTO: Mozambicans voted Wednesday in a closely-fought test for the ruling Frelimo party, which has run the southern African country since independence from Portugal in 1975, with opposition parties crying foul.Frelimo is facing growing discontent over a wealth gap that persists despite huge mineral resources, with fast economic growth sidestepping the bulk of a population that is among the world's poorest.But members of the two opposition parties later claimed they had discovered attempts to stuff ...

World vows Ebola action as second US case stirs fears WASHINGTON: World leaders declared the Ebola outbreak the worst global health emergency in years, as President Barack Obama vowed a "much more aggressive" response to the spreading virus, which has killed nearly 4,500 people.US President Barack Obama on Wednesday called on the world to do more, while insisting his own country would be "much more aggressive" in its response, after a second Texas hospital worker tested positive.The fact that the newly infected Dallas caregiver took ...


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Foreign Debt $61.805bn
Per Cap Income $1,386
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WeeklyOctober 20, 2014
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