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China urges central Asian neighbours to step up extremism fight BEIJING: China's President Xi Jinping urged Central Asian states to step up the fight against religious extremism and cyber terrorism, state media said, as Beijing reaches for help across its borders in addressing security concerns in its restive Xinjiang region.Beijing says separatist groups in the far western region of Xinjiang, home to the Muslim Uighur minority, are seeking to form their own state called East Turkestan and have links with militants in Central Asia as well as Pakistan.The government says such separatists are influenced by militant groups' training videos and audio from beyond its borders, though experts dispute their influence and reach."(We) should make concerted efforts to crack down on the 'three evil forces' of terrorism, extremism and separatism," the official Xinhua news agency said late on Friday, citing Xi's speech in Tajikistan to the heads of state of other Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) members."Currently, (we) should focus on combating ...

Garment industry says 200 plants shut since Bangladesh disaster DHAKA: More than 200 garment factories have shut down in Bangladesh since the country's worst industrial disaster prompted a massive clean-up of the world's second-largest textile sector, an industry group said Thursday.The closures have cost tens of thousands of jobs and led to a fall in exports, raising worries about the $24.5 billion industry -- the key economic mainstay for the impoverished nation of 155 million people.The Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA), which ...
Iran says emerging anti-Islamic state coalition ‘shrouded in serious ambiguities’ ANKARA: Iran said on Thursday the emerging international coalition to battle Islamic State militants was "shrouded in serious ambiguities", Iranian state television reported."The so-called international coalition to fight the ISIL group... is shrouded in serious ambiguities and there are severe misgivings about its determination to sincerely fight the root causes of terrorism," Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Marzieh Afkham said on Thursday.She did not mention specifically a call by U.S. President Barack Obama for a broad coalition ...
Outgoing Afghan president downsizes retirement home KABUL: Afghan President Hamid Karzai has decided a lavish residence specially built for his imminent retirement is too big and he will move into a more modest home instead, an official said Thursday.Karzai was due to settle down in the vast new property very close to the presidential palace -- fuelling speculation that he intends to play an active role in the country's politics when he leaves office.But he has changed his mind and decreed ...
Kabul's Old City sees new lease of life KABUL: When workers began renovating Murad Khane district, a jewel of Old Kabul that breaks up the city's otherwise bland facade of concrete high-rises and blast-walls, it was hidden under piles of garbage.Now the teeming quarter is home to bustling bazaars, a revitalised calligraphy and woodwork school and a courtyard that won a UNESCO conservation award last year.In the 1700s and 1800s the area was home to the city's administrators, but fell into disrepair in ...
Indian finance minister out of hospital, to skip G20 NEW DELHI: Indian Finance Minister Arun Jaitley was released from hospital on Wednesday after a longer-than-expected stay for treatment, and will miss a meeting of finance ministers from the Group of 20 nations in Australia next week.Jaitley was admitted to a private hospital in New Delhi on Sept. 1 for planned surgery to manage a long-standing diabetic condition. He had been expected to leave after a few days.The 61-year-old minister underwent a minimally invasive gastric ...
India says no immediate plans to raise edible oil import duty NEW DELHI: India has no immediate plans to raise the import duty on edible oils, Food Minister Ram Vilas Paswan told reporters on Wednesday, as prices of oilseeds in local market fell tracking edible oil prices overseas.India meets more than half of its edible oil requirement through imports. Industry associations have been demanding a rise in the import duty following a sharp drop in local soybean and groundnut prices.Copyright Reuters, 2014 ...


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Foreign Debt $61.805bn
Per Cap Income $1,386
GDP Growth 4.14%
Average CPI 8.6%
Trade Balance $-2.807 bln
Exports $1.911 bln
Imports $4.718 bln
WeeklyOctober 20, 2014
Reserves $13.436 bln