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China may send its first woman into space BEIJING: China may send its first woman into space this year after including female astronauts in the team training for its first manned space docking, state media said Monday. Three astronauts will blast off on board Shenzhou ("Divine Vessel") IX between June and August to conduct a manual docking with the Tiangong-1 module currently orbiting the Earth, Xinhua news agency said, quoting an official with China's manned space programme. A team of astronauts, including an unspecified number of women, are training for the docking mission and the three-person crew will be selected at the last minute, said Niu Hongguang, deputy commander-in-chief. After the space rendezvous, the astronauts will move temporarily into  Tiangong-1 ("Heavenly Palace"), where they will perform scientific experiments. The mission is the latest step in a programme aimed at giving China a permanent space station by 2020. In November, the unmanned Shenzhou VIII spacecraft returned to Earth after completing two space dockings with ...

15 Afghans killed by rogue US soldier     KABUL: Fifteen Afghans were killed by a rogue US soldier who attacked them in their homes in southern Kandahar province in the early hours of Sunday morning, two village elders told AFP.   The toll could not be independently confirmed, but NATO's International Security Assistance Force said it has arrested a soldier "in connection to an incident that resulted in Afghan casualties in Kandahar province". An elder from Najeeban village in Panjwayi district, Haji Samad, told AFP: "Eleven ...
Three Afghans killed by rogue US soldier        KABUL: Three Afghans were killed by an American soldier who walked off his base in southern Kandahar province and opened fire on civilians, the provincial governor said Sunday. "A US soldier walked off his base and started shooting at the people. Our initial information indicates that three people are dead but we don't know who they are. An investigation is under way," said governor Toryalai Wesa. Copyright AFP (Agence France-Presse), 2012 ...
Young new star rises in India LUCKNOW: A fresh young star was chosen Saturday to take power in India's most populous and politically key state after dealing a stinging electoral humiliation to the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty scion Rahul Gandhi. Charismatic politician Akhilesh Yadav, 38, is credited with crushing Gandhi's hopes of reviving the national ruling Congress Party's fortunes in impoverished Uttar Pradesh ahead of national elections due in 2014. "We will work to take Uttar Pradesh on the path of prosperity and ensure that ...
Myanmar officials censored speech: Suu Kyi YANGON: Myanmar's authorities have censored one of Aung San Suu Kyi's key election campaign speeches by removing her criticism of the former junta, the opposition leader said in a media interview. Suu Kyi, who is standing in April 1 by-elections, told Radio Free Asia that officials removed a paragraph from the text of her speech to be aired on state media as part of her National League for Democracy's (NLD) party broadcast. "I had to submit my ...
TAERSI: As the anniversary of the Dalai Lama's flight into exile, March 10 has traditionally been a flashpoint for unrest in China's vast Tibetan-inhabited regions. But the monks at Taersi Buddhist Monastery in the northwestern province of Qinghai have no plans to mark the day their revered spiritual leader fled Tibet following a failed uprising against China's rule in 1959. "No, no, we have no activities planned to commemorate this day," said one monk at Taersi, home ...
US signs deal to hand Bagram prison to Afghans     KABUL: The United States on Friday signed a deal transferring control of the Bagram prison to the Afghan government, marking a breakthrough in negotiations over a strategic treaty between the two nations. The accord, which will see authority over the prison transferred gradually over six months, was signed by Afghan Defence Minister Abdul Rahim Wardak and the US commander in Afghanistan, General John Allen, at a ceremony witnessed by AFP. Copyright AFP (Agence ...


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Foreign Debt $60.9bn
Per Cap Income $1,368
GDP Growth 3.6%
Average CPI 7.5%
Trade Balance $-1.558 bln
Exports $2.117 bln
Imports $3.675 bln
WeeklyJuly 10, 2014
Reserves $14.638 bln