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India's ex-premier says new regime undermining democracy NEW DELHI: India's former prime minister on Wednesday accused his successor Narendra Modi of suppressing dissent and undermining democratic institutions, in an unusually outspoken attack a year after losing office.Manmohan Singh said Modi's government had "rewritten" history to suit its Hindu nationalist mindset since storming to power in general elections last May."Institutions of democracy are under threat. The entire edifice of the welfare state is now being dismantled," said the 82-year-old Congress leader in a speech to young party members in New Delhi."The past is continually being rewritten to promote a highly biased and communal view of history. Dissent is being suppressed," said Singh, who was prime minister from 2004 until last year.Members of Modi's right-wing government have faced criticism over a series of sensational claims for Hinduism -- including suggestions that ancient Hindu sages were the pioneers of aviation and algebra.Modi has also faced criticism over a clampdown on ...

More than 430 dead in India heatwave HYDERABAD: More than 430 people have died in two Indian states from a days-long heatwave that has seen temperatures nudging 50 degrees Celsius (122 degrees Fahrenheit), officials said Monday.Officials warned the toll was almost certain to rise, with figures still being collected in some parts of the hard-hit Telangana state in the south of the country, and with no end in sight to the searing conditions.Large parts of India, including national capital New Delhi, have ...
China's Xi says Japan friendship 'worth cherishing'   BEIJING: China's President Xi Jinping struck a friendly tone on relations with Japan Saturday, but touched on disputes over history which still add to tensions between the East Asian giants.Ties between Beijing and Tokyo have warmed over the past year, but strains over territorial disputes and attitudes towards wartime history persist.Xi told a forum in Beijing that "peace and friendly cooperation between China and Japan is the common will of the people, and the general ...
India Tamil leader returns as state chief after graft case NEW DELHI: One of India's most powerful politicians returned Saturday as chief minister of southern Tamil Nadu state, less than a fortnight after a court acquitted her of corruption.Former film star Jayalalithaa Jayaram was forced to stand down as chief minister of prosperous Tamil Nadu after being found guilty last September of amassing illegal wealth while in office.The 67-year-old was sentenced to four years in jail and fined one billion rupees ($16 million) in a ...
Iran says can't afford Ahmadinejad cash handouts TEHRAN: Iran can no longer sustain the billions of dollars needed to pay cash handouts enacted by former president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, a top official said Tuesday, signalling plans to halt them.Since coming to power in 2013, Hassan Rouhani, Ahmadinejad's successor, has sought to put Iran's economy back in order after it plunged into recession and was hit hard by inflation.Tackling the handouts -- a partial replacement after subsidies on staples such as electricity, gas, water ...
Car bomb kills at least 3 in Afghan capital: witness KABUL: A car bomb rammed a convoy of foreign troops near the main airport in Afghanistan's capital on Sunday, killing at least three civilians in the latest attack in the city, police and a witness said.The NATO force in Afghanistan said it could not confirm if any of its vehicles had been hit.There was no immediate claim of responsibility, though Taliban insurgents have launched a wave of attacks around the country since the drawdown of ...
Kerry tells China to reduce tension in disputed South China Sea BEIJING: US Secretary of State John Kerry urged China to take action to reduce tension in the South China Sea and expressed concern about the pace and scope of Beijing's land reclamation in the disputed area.Kerry, speaking at a joint news conference with China's foreign minister, Wang Yi, said China and the United States were committed to finalising a deal that would block paths for Iran to obtain fissile material.Kerry spoke at the start of ...


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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 $-1.795 bln
Exports $1.995 bln
Imports $3.790 bln
WeeklyMay 26, 2015
Reserves $17.749 bln