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Afghan army mortars kill 20 civilians at wedding, officials say LASHKAR GAH: Afghan army mortar rounds killed at least 20 civilians and wounded scores attending a wedding party in Afghanistan's volatile southern Helmand, provincial officials said on Thursday.General Mahmoud, the deputy Commander of the Afghan 215 corps in the province, said artillery was fired from three directions at a village in Sangin district where the wedding was held on Wednesday."What we know so far is that our soldiers fired mortar rounds from three outposts but we do not know whether it was intentional," Mahmoud told Reuters."We have launched our investigation and will punish those who did this."Gul Pasha Bakhtiar, deputy provincial police chief, said 26 civilians, including women and children, were killed and 41 wounded by mortar shells fired from the army side.At least 3,188 Afghan civilians were killed in the intensifying war with Taliban insurgents in 2014, making it the deadliest year on record for non-combatants, the United Nations ...

Iran says new US sanctions violate spirit of nuclear talks DUBAI: Iran criticised the latest U.S. sanctions on nine targets who Washington says have helped Tehran avoid existing sanctions or commit human rights abuses, saying they contravened the spirit of international talks on Iran's nuclear programme.The new targets include five individuals and one entity suspected of assisting the Iranian government to buy or acquire U.S. currency, and two companies linked to human rights violations.Iran said the U.S. move contradicted the spirit of the nuclear talks ...
Indian cabinet eases rules on land acquisition NEW DELHI: India's cabinet on Monday approved an executive order to make it easier to acquire land for the power generation, housing and defence industries, a move aimed at kickstarting stalled infrastructure projects.The cabinet passed amendments to contentious land acquisition rules which analysts say have been holding up projects.Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said land needed for five categories of projects -- including national security, low-cost housing and rural infrastructure -- would be exempted from general ...
China's Xi calls for tighter ideological control in universities BEIJING: Chinese President Xi Jinping has called for greater "ideological guidance" in China's universities and urged the study of Marxism, state media reported on Monday, as the country tightens control on Western ideology.Xi's comments are the latest sign of his politically conservative agenda and come amid a ratcheting up of controls over the media, dissidents and the internet.China's Communist Party has signalled that it will not embark on political reform, despite hopes that Xi, the ...
Poroshenko hails Ukraine 'warriors' freed by rebels KIEV: Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko on Saturday welcomed home as heroes 145 soldiers freed by pro-Russian rebels during the largest prisoner swap of the eight-month separatist war.The Western-backed leader, beaming and wearing a black bomber jacket, walked up to the back cargo bay of a military transport plane that landed at a military airport outside Kiev in the dawn hours of Saturday to hail the men.He firmly shook hands and tightly embraced them -- some ...
North Korea blames the US for Internet outages, calls Obama a ‘monkey’ SEOUL: North Korea called US President Barack Obama a "monkey" as it blamed Washington Saturday for Internet outages that it has experienced amid a confrontation with the United States over the hacking of the film studio Sony Pictures.The National Defence Commission, the North's ruling body, chaired by state leader Kim Jong Un, said Obama was responsible for Sony's belated decision to release the action comedy "The Interview", which depicts a plot to assassinate Kim."Obama always ...
Sri Lanka floods, mudslides kill 14 COLOMBO: Floods and mudslides triggered by heavy rain have killed at least 14 people in Sri Lanka and driven 80,000 from their homes, police and officials said Friday, as the country marked the 10th anniversary of the tsunami.Police said at least 10 people were killed in mudslides in the central region where 38 people lost their lives in a similar disaster in late October.Four other people drowned in flooding triggered when authorities opened the sluice ...


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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 $-1.664 bln
Exports $1.966 bln
Imports $3.630 bln
WeeklyJanuary 22, 2015
Reserves $10.331 bln