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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 ...
Eight Indian women die, dozens critical after mass sterilisation RAIPUR: Eight women have died in central India and dozens more are in hospital, many in a critical condition, after a state-run mass sterilisation, a local official said Tuesday."Since Monday eight women have died and 64 are in various hospitals," said Sonmani Borah, a government official in the state of Chhattisgarh where the sterilisation camp was held.Copyright AFP (Agence France-Presse), 2014 ...


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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