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China has 99.93 percent conviction rate: top court BEIJING: Chinese courts acquitted a total of 825 people out of almost 1.16 million verdicts last year, the Supreme People's Court said Monday -- a conviction rate of 99.93 percent.In a report to the annual session of the Communist Party-controlled National People's Congress, Zhou Qiang, head of the Supreme People's Court, said that Chinese courts convicted 1.158 million people in 954,000 criminal cases heard.They exonerated only 825 people, he said in the report, in accordance with rules including "protecting human rights" and "excluding illegal evidence".Abuses are widespread in China's legal system, where police routinely coerce confessions.Rights groups say that Chinese courts are politically controlled and their rulings are often affected by government agendas, with activists who come to trial virtually certain to be found guilty.In a separate report to the NPC, Cao Jianming, head of the Supreme People's Procuratorate, said that prosecutors had intervened 72,370 times over "illegal investigation methods ...

India navy investigates deadly ship accident MUMBAI: The Indian navy launched an inquiry Saturday into the cause of a naval ship accident that killed an officer and injured two dock workers, officials said.A gas leak Friday on board the yet-to-be commissioned INS Kolkata killed Commander Kuntal Wadhwa after he inhaled carbon dioxide during trials, according to reports."An inquiry has been ordered by the navy since it is a case of unnatural death. We should expect the report in few weeks time," ...
Karzai's brother declares his withdrawal from Afghan election KABUL: Afghan President Hamid Karzai's brother withdrew from the country's election race Thursday, and endorsed former foreign minister Zalmai Rassoul to lead the country as Nato troops leave after 13 years of fighting the Taliban."I and my team, we consider ourselves as a key part of this new alliance and declare my support for Doctor Zalmai Rassoul," Qayum Karzai told a press conference in Kabul.Copyright AFP (Agence France-Presse), 2014 ...
India to go to polls from April 7: election commission NEW DELHI: India, the world's biggest democracy, on Wednesday set April 7 as the start of parliamentary elections expected to see the opposition Hindu nationalists led by hardliner Narendra Modi come to power.The Election Commission announced at a press conference that the polls would be held in nine phases until May 12, with 814 million people set to cast their votes -- 100 million more than in the last elections in 2009 -- and a ...
Modi tipped for power as India set for polls NEW DELHI: India, the world's largest democracy, was expected to announce general elections on Wednesday that opinion polls forecast will oust the ruling Congress party and bring firebrand Hindu nationalist Narendra Modi to power.The vote will pit Modi, son of a tea-stall seller, against Rahul Gandhi, the Harvard and Cambridge-educated scion of India's biggest political dynasty.India's election commission was expected to announce the schedule for the parliamentary polls at a press conference Wednesday."The probable dates ...
Senior US official heads to India to revive strained ties NEW DELHI: A senior US official headed to India on Tuesday, admitting that the two countries had "real challenges" to overcome as they try to move on from an ugly diplomatic dispute earlier this year. Nisha D. Biswal, the Indian-born US Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia, will be the most high-profile US visitor to New Delhi since the row over the arrest of an Indian diplomat in New York in December.Devyani ...
UN calls for more refugee aid at Palestinian development meet JAKARTA: Representatives of 22 nations pledged their support for Palestinian development on Saturday, but the UN urged more action for refugees "in need of aid" in an "increasingly dire" situation.The Conference on Cooperation among East Asian Countries for Palestinian Development (CEAPAD) in Jakarta ended with Japan one of the world's biggest donors to the Palestinian Territories pledging $200 million, most in financial assistance to the Palestinian Authority and for infrastructure development.But the United Nations Relief ...


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Foreign Debt $60.9bn
Per Cap Income $1,368
GDP Growth 3.6%
Average CPI 7.5%
Trade Balance $-1.433 bln
Exports $2.167 bln
Imports $3.600 bln
WeeklyApril 14, 2014
Reserves $9.713 bln