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Australia gift to Britain's new princess to help pygmy possums SYDNEY: Australia will send a fine woollen blanket embroidered with yellow flowers to Britain's new princess, but the royal baby will also be honoured with a more unusual gift -- support for a rare possum.Fervent royalist Prime Minister Tony Abbott said the cot blanket made from Tasmanian merino wool and stitched with the nation's floral emblem, the wattle, would be sent to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge after their new baby arrived on Saturday.In honour of the princess's birth, the government will also donate Aus$10,000 (US$7,826) to a Victorian state wildlife sanctuary to support research into the Mountain Pygmy-possum (Burramys parvus), an unusual creature thought extinct until 1966."The Mountain Pygmy-possum is Australia's only hibernating marsupial. There are fewer than 2,000 left in the wild," Abbott said of the endangered animal which can fit into the palm of a human hand and weighs only 45 grams."I hope one day the ...

Italy PM says riots will not ruin Milan Expo    MILAN: Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi warned Saturday that stone-throwing protesters who clashed with police in Milan during the Expo 2015 opening would not ruin the world fair."They tried to ruin the fair, but four spoilt brats won't ruin the Expo," Renzi told Italian public television, while praising security forces.Hours after the Expo 2015 opened Friday, dozens of protesters opposed to Milan's hosting of the fair took to the streets wearing balaclavas and gas masks. ...
UK Conservatives tied with Labour ahead of May 7 election LONDON: British Prime Minister David Cameron's Conservative Party is tied with the opposition Labour Party, according to a Populus poll one week before Britons vote in the tightest election for decades. The poll had the Conservatives unchanged on 33 percent, while Labour's support had dropped three percentage points to the same figure. The anti-European Union UK Independence Party was up one point on 15 percent with Cameron's coalition partners the Liberal Democrats on 9 percent. ...
Cameron wins last TV contest of election campaign LONDON: Prime Minister David Cameron won the last major TV contest of Britain's election campaign, a snap Guardian/ICM poll showed on Thursday, with 44 percent of viewers saying he had performed best on the night.Conservative Party leader Cameron, up for re-election on Thursday next week, was subjected to 30 minutes of questions from a BBC TV audience. Labour leader Ed Miliband and Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg were then - in turn - questioned by ...
Hungary PM has no plans to introduce death penalty BUDAPEST: Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban on Thursday informed leading European politicians that the country was not planning to reintroduce the death penalty, only talk about the issue, Chief of Staff Janos Lazar told a press conference. Orban said on Tuesday that the death penalty should be "kept on the agenda" as previous criminal law measures were not adequate deterrents, even though the European Union forbids the use of capital punishment. "The Prime Minister does ...
Search of Ukraine MH17 crash site over: Dutch team THE HAGUE: Dutch and international investigators have finished recovering human remains and wreckage from the MH17 plane crash site in eastern Ukraine, the mission's head said on Thursday.All 298 passengers and crew on board the Malaysia Airlines jetliner -- the majority of them Dutch -- died when it was shot down over rebel-held eastern Ukraine last year."We have done everything humanly possible," in the recovery process, mission head Pieter-Jaap Aalbersberg said at a press conference ...
Greek parliament votes to re-open public television ATHENS: Greece's parliament voted on Tuesday to re-open the country's public broadcaster ERT, which was shut down two years ago by the previous government to reduce debts.The reinstatement of the channel -- which was replaced by a scaled down version named Nerit -- was one of the election promises of the new government under the radical leftists Syriza, who have been in power for three months.The previous conservative-led government in July 2013 shut down the ...


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Banking Review 2014

Foreign Debt $61.805bn
Per Cap Income $1,386
GDP Growth 4.14%
Average CPI 8.6%
Trade Balance $-1.586 bln
Exports $1.932 bln
Imports $3.518 bln
WeeklyMay 21, 2015
Reserves $17.75 bln