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NEW DELHI: A judge threatened contempt of court proceedings against striking Air India pilots on Wednesday, as they vowed to stand firm in their clash with the debt-ridden airline's management. Delhi High Court judge Reva Khetrapal ordered more than 400 pilots at the ailing state-run carrier to explain why they had not returned to work despite a judicial order two weeks ago. About 100 pilots, who have been claiming sick leave rather than calling an official strike, have been sacked by Air India since the action began on May 8. "The pilots are clearly disobeying the court order. They should have reported back to work but they decided to stay away. This is a clear case of contempt," said Lalit Bhasin, a lawyer representing the airline. In its petition, Air India management urged the court to initiate contempt charges against the pilots. The pilots went on strike over former Indian Airlines pilots, who moved to ...

KUNDUZ: Gunmen have kidnapped two foreign women aid workers and their three Afghan colleagues in the remote province of Badakhshan in northeast Afghanistan, officials said Wednesday. "Yesterday evening, five health workers, including two female foreign nationals, were kidnapped in the Yaftal area," the provincial governor's spokesman, Abdul Mahroof Rasikh, told AFP. Police were on the trail of the kidnappers, he said. The incident was confirmed by the head of the Badakhshan provincial council, Zabihullah Attiq, who said the ...
KATHMANDU: Four years after elections ended centuries of royal rule, lawmakers in Nepal are scrambling to complete a constitution amid widespread doubt that the troubled nation is on the road to lasting peace. Once a Hindu monarchy, the country has evolved into a secular democracy and the new constitution should be a key step towards healing rifts that led to the bloody 1996-2006 civil war between Maoist rebels and the state. But with just days to go ...
DEHRADUN: At least 24 Hindu pilgrims were killed when a packed bus plunged into a fast-flowing river in northern India on Tuesday after colliding with a truck, officials said. The bus, which was on its way back from the holy shrine of Badrinath, rammed into the truck near the town of Byasi, 150 kilometres (95 miles) from Uttarakhand state capital Dehradun. "The bus plunged into the Alaknanda river following the collision and 24 people died," Kunal Sharma, the ...
COLOMBO: Sri Lanka's former army chief Sarath Fonseka was due to be released from jail later on Monday, officials said, after he was detained in 2010 shortly after challenging the president in elections. Fonseka, who led government troops to victory over the separatist Tamil Tiger rebel forces in 2009 ending decades of bloodshed on the island, has served more than two years in military custody and prison. President Mahinda Rajapakse last week ordered an official pardon for ...
YANGON: More than 1,000 people in Myanmar's second-largest city have held a protest against severe power cuts, residents told AFP, the country's biggest public demonstration in five years. A large crowd was again expected to gather in Mandalay on Monday evening as residents vent their anger at three months of power cuts that have left the city with as little as four hours of electricity a day. The demonstrations come after Myanmar's nominally-civilian government approved a bill ...
KABUL: Flash floods triggered by torrential rains in northern Afghanistan killed at least 19 people and left thousands homeless, an official said on Sunday. Another 56 people were missing after the flood hit on Saturday in Sayyad and Share Naw districts of Sari Pul province, the provincial governor Abdul Jabar Haqbeen told AFP. "More than a thousand families have been affected and a thousand homes destroyed," he said, adding that rescuers were in the area, backed by ...


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ICT 2014

Foreign Debt $61.805bn
Per Cap Income $1,386
GDP Growth 4.14%
Average CPI 8.6%
Trade Balance $-2.309 bln
Exports $1.957 bln
Imports $4.266 bln
WeeklyDecember 15, 2014
Reserves $13.922 bln