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UN nuclear chief urges immediate access to Iran site  VIENNA: The UN nuclear watchdog chief pressed Iran on Monday to grant his inspectors immediate access to the Parchin military site, where they believe Tehran may have conducted explosives tests relevant to the development of nuclear weapons.   Yukiya Amano, director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, also said the IAEA and Iran had made no concrete progress in talks that began in January aimed at allaying concern about suspected atom bomb research in the Islamic state.   Western powers may seize on his statement to a closed-door session of the IAEA's 35-nation governing board to strengthen their case for further increasing international pressure on Tehran, one of the world's largest oil producers.   Amano made his comments one day after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that Israel and the United States were in discussion on setting a "red line" for Iran's nuclear programme.   Israel, believed to be the only nuclear-armed state in the Middle ...

Caged tigers found on Thai apartment block roof  BANGKOK: Thai police said they had discovered six underfed tigers in specially-built cages on the roof of an apartment building on Monday, arresting a man who claimed he had been planning to open a zoo. Four adult cats and two cubs were found at the property on an industrial estate in Pathumthani province, north of Bangkok, in the raid by police from Thailand's Natural Resources and Environmental Crime Suppression Division. A 28-year-old man, who lives in the ...
Canada is TEHRAN: Iran on Monday said Canada had a "neo-conservative extremist government" as it kept up a furious response to Ottawa's decision last week to cut diplomatic ties.   Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi used that description in an interview with the Iranian parliament's website in which he also said the Canadian government of Prime Minister Stephen Harper was "boundlessly defending international Zionism."   Canada last Friday made the surprise announcement that it had shut its Tehran embassy and was ...
UN envoy talks with Iran about Syria, plans visit: official  TEHRAN: The new UN-Arab League envoy for Syria, Lakhdar Brahimi, has spoken by telephone with Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi and is contemplating a trip to Tehran, an Iranian official told the Mehr news agency on Sunday.   Brahimi, who is embarking on his first Middle East tour since taking over the position last week from Kofi Annan, spoke with Salehi late Saturday, one of Iran's deputy foreign ministers, Abbas Araqchi, was quoted as saying.   "It is ...
Sri Lanka ruling party sweeps local polls COLOMBO: Sri Lanka's ruling party secured victory in three provincial council elections including one area ravaged by the island's ethnic war that ended in 2009, according to results released on Sunday. President Mahinda Rajapakse's United People's Freedom Alliance (UPFA) swept the council polls in the north-central and central regions with near two thirds majorities in Saturday's vote. In the eastern province, where Sri Lanka's two main minorities Tamils and Muslims live in almost equal number, the UPFA ...
Reforms lift veil on Myanmar power struggles NAYPYIDAW: For the near half century that they lived under a military junta, the people of Myanmar knew nothing of the power struggles going on within the regime. But as the country slowly gets used to its new democratic institutions following a wave of political reforms over the past year, these battles are now being played out very much in public. Gone is the junta, with power apparently concentrated in the hands of one man. Gone too ...
Rescuers hunt for survivors as China quake toll hits 80  YILIANG: Rescuers searching for survivors from twin earthquakes that struck southwestern China battled blocked roads and downed communications Saturday as the death toll rose to 80. Scores of people were leaving their homes in the mountainous border area of Yunnan and Guizhou provinces amid fears of further aftershocks as volunteers with supplies streamed in the opposite direction. Some 820 people were injured and 201,000 displaced after two 5.6-magnitude quakes struck the resource rich but impoverished region. Premier Wen ...


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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 $-2.378 bln
Exports $2.016 bln
Imports $4.394 bln
WeeklyJuly 23, 2015
Reserves $18.677 bln