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Indians muck in for cleaner communities GHAZIABAD: Armed with rakes, shovels and carts, a group of residents in a suburb of the northern Indian city of Ghaziabad head purposefully for an unsightly corner of their neighbourhood.With loud music blaring to spur them on, the two-dozen-strong team tackles the neglected patch with zeal, transforming it over the course of the morning from an overgrown eyesore, strewn with litter, to a clear open space."In this sector there has been a complete social revolution," says Gireesh Sharma, one of the founders of the group known as the "Cleaning Express", which has been organising weekly tidying sessions in their local area for the past 15 months."People now hate dirt. They stop each other from throwing litter."Capturing this spirit, and triggering a mass movement for cleanliness in a densely populated country of 1.2 billion people, is the aim of the government's "Clean India" campaign.It was launched with fanfare last month by ...

Sri Lanka minister defects to challenge president COLOMBO: A senior member of Sri Lanka's government announced Friday he was quitting the ruling party to stand as the main opposition's candidate against President Mahinda Rajapakse in upcoming elections."I thank the UNP (United National Party) for choosing me as the common opposition candidate," Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena, who also held the post of general secretary in Rajapakse's party, told a press conference in Colombo.Copyright AFP (Agence France-Presse), 2014 ...
Iran lawmakers reject Rouhani's science minister pick TEHRAN: The Iranian parliament overwhelmingly rejected President Hassan Rouhani's pick for science minister on Tuesday -- the third time they have done so in little more than a year. The rebuff underscores the pressure that Rouhani, a moderate elected in June 2013, faces from a parliament dominated by conservatives at odds with his desire to open up the country to the West.The post of Minister of Science, Research and Technology is sensitive because it involves ...
Modi talks 'shirtfronting' and cricket Down Under SYDNEY: Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi injected some humour into his address to Australia's parliament on Tuesday, using the term "shirtfront" to make fun of his host while also talking cricket.Modi's official visit, the first by an Indian leader in 28 years, follows on from Prime Minister Tony Abbott's hosting of G20 world leaders in Brisbane on the weekend."(As) the third head of the government you are listening to this week, I do not know ...
Sri Lanka president accuses Oslo peace envoy of funding rebels COLOMBO: Sri Lanka's president has accused a top Norwegian envoy of covertly financing the island's separatist Tamil Tigers during peace talks ahead of a military campaign that crushed the rebels in 2009.President Mahinda Rajapakse told a public rally on Saturday that he wanted Oslo to probe the role of Erik Solheim, a former Norwegian international development minister and a peace envoy to Sri Lanka.Solheim failed to secure a peace deal despite arranging a truce which ...
Female Afghan MP survives suicide attack, 3 dead KABUL: A suicide bomber on Sunday attacked a vehicle convoy carrying Afghan lawmakers including a prominent female MP, killing three civilians and injuring 22 others, officials said.The blast, in which the attacker detonated an explosives-packed car, left the MPs' vehicles badly damaged on a main road in the west of Kabul, close to the parliament."(Shukria) Barakzai -- she is fine and suffers small injuries," interior ministry spokesman Sediq Sediqqi said of the politician via Twitter."Three ...
India, US breakthrough breathes 'new life' into trade talks: WTO chief BRISBANE: World Trade Organization Secretary-General Roberto Azevedo on Friday said recent developments including the resolution by India and the United States of a row over food subsidies had revived the organisation."I commend the leadership that has been shown on all fronts in recent days, it certainly has breathed new life into the WTO," he told reporters at the G20 in Brisbane.Copyright AFP (Agence France-Presse), 2014 ...


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Banking Review 2013

Foreign Debt $61.805bn
Per Cap Income $1,386
GDP Growth 4.14%
Average CPI 8.6%
Trade Balance $-2.380 bln
Exports $2.181 bln
Imports $4.561 bln
WeeklyNovember 13, 2014
Reserves $13.268 bln