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Iran parliament dismisses minister in setback for Rouhani DUBAI: Iran's parliament voted to dismiss the minister of science on Wednesday, removing an official viewed with distrust by conservatives and dealing a blow to moderate President Hassan Rouhani's liberalisation programme.An impeachment motion passed by the assembly accused Reza Faraji-Dana, the Minister of Science, Research and Technology, of allowing students expelled from university following anti-government unrest in 2009 to return to campus.The vote, reported by official media, marks the first major ousting from office of a government minister since Rouhani's landslide election victory in 2013.Rouhani's win had raised hopes among liberals in the Islamic Republic for an easing of curbs on political and social activity, but his administration has not made significant policy changes on political freedoms.In a speech broadcast on state TV, Rouhani said he had wanted to be in parliament "to defend my scientist", but he was in the city of Ardebil and missed the session. However, he ...

Karzai calls for end of Afghan election impasse KABUL: Afghan President Hamid Karzai appealed Tuesday for the two men vying to succeed him to end their dispute over election results and save the country from further violence and economic decline.Afghanistan has been paralysed for months after the first round of the presidential election failed to produce a clear winner and the second round of voting in June triggered allegations of massive fraud.As fears grew of a return to civil war, the United States ...
Major earthquake in western Iran leaves 60 injured: IRNA DUBAI: A major earthquake struck the western Iranian city of Abdanan on Monday, leaving 60 people injured, state news agency IRNA said. IRNA said the quake was magnitude 6.1 while the US Geological Survey (USGS) put it at 6.3. Water, electricity, and telephone lines in Abdanan, located in the province of Ilam, have been cut, said IRNA. State television footage showed destroyed houses, buildings and cars in the city. Aftershocks could be felt in three ...
China to audit govt land income in corruption fight BEIJING: China will conduct a nationwide audit of government land sales and related deals that may shed light on rent-seeking and corruption, the Economic Observer newspaper reported on Saturday.The National Audit Office will conduct "rigorous" checks on funds from land sales, as well land requisition, reserve and supply that occurred from 2008 to 2013, the newspaper said, citing unnamed government sources.The audit, to be launched this week under the cabinet's oversight, is likely to "disclose ...
Court stops Sri Lanka deporting foreign refugees COLOMBO: Sri Lanka's court of appeal has ordered a halt to the deportation of Afghan and Iranian refugees before their asylum claims are fully assessed, an official said on Saturday.The court order came after a woman challenged Sri Lanka's decision to expel foreign nationals despite warnings that doing so may violate international law.A court official said judge A. W. A. Salam, head of the Court of Appeal, had on Friday ordered the defence ministry to ...
India PM Modi set to visit Japan end of August NEW DELHI: India's new Prime Minister Narendra Modi will head to Japan at the end of the month on his first bilateral visit outside South Asia since coming to power, officials said Friday.Modi will visit from August 31 to September 3 and plans to meet with his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe and Emperor Akihito, said a statement from India's foreign ministry."The Government of Japan sincerely welcomes the visit of the Prime Minister, which will further ...
India's monsoon rains 20pc below average in past week NEW DELHI: India's rainfall was 20 percent below average in the week to Aug. 13, the weather office said on Thursday, reversing the preceding week's 19 percent surplus. Last week's poor show kept the seasonal rainfall deficit unchanged at 18 percent below average. 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 $-1.434 bln
Exports $1.930 bln
Imports $3.364 bln
WeeklySeptember 18, 2014
Reserves $13.525 bln