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For Hong Kong youngsters, protests bring taste of freedom HONG KONG: A month on the streets has given young Hong Kong democracy protesters a taste of life outside the city's cramped shoebox apartments -- and away from the prying eyes of overprotective parents.In this city of high tower blocks and even higher property prices, many Hong Kongers reach their 30s before they get married and move out of crowded family homes. Space, tranquility and privacy are all in short supply in one of the most densely populated spots on earth.But at the main protest camp outside government headquarters, where thousands of youngsters have been gathering since September 28 demanding free leadership elections, there's a little more room to breathe.They may be camped on a concrete highway, but their sprawling tent city offers free snacks, a study area, and a place for young lovers to enjoy a late-night stroll.There are suspicions that more goes on in some of these tents ...

South Korea activists launch anti-North leaflets SEOUL: South Korean activists said they launched more than one million anti-North Korean leaflets across the border Friday, a move likely to infuriate Pyongyang, which has demanded Seoul ban such exercises.The leaflets were in bundles attached to 24 gas-filled balloons that a North Korean defector group floated over the heavily militarised frontier shortly after midnight, around 60 kilometres (35 miles) north of Seoul.As well as messages condemning the North's ruling Kim dynasty, the packages contained ...
US, Australia end sanctions after Fiji elections SUVA: The United States and Australia said Friday they were lifting sanctions against Fiji after elections in the Pacific island nation last month following eight years of military rule.US Ambassador Frankie Reed said that in recognition of Fiji's return to democracy, Washington was lifting restrictions on financial assistance and visas, as well as exploring fresh engagement with the country's military."We congratulate the people of Fiji on the swearing-in of a new government and the restoration ...
Rains hamper Sri Lanka mudslide tragedy search effort KOSLANDA: Heavy rains disrupted a massive search Thursday for scores of people feared buried in a landslide on a Sri Lankan tea estate, further dimming prospects of finding anyone alive.Hundreds of troops suspended their work as rains threatened more mudslides at the plantation in central Sri Lanka, a day after scores of tin-roofed homes were buried under tonnes of mud."We are suspending the search operation because it is not safe to work in this rain," ...
China buries war dead returned by South Korea BEIJING: China held a grand funeral for more than 400 Chinese soldiers killed fighting in the Korean War more than six decades ago, state media reported, as ties between the former ideological foes steadily improve.The remains of the 437 soldiers, which were returned by Seoul earlier this year, were laid to rest in the Martyrs' Park in the northeastern city of Shenyang, the official Xinhua news agency said.A nine-gun salute sounded and more than 800 ...
Billionaires' $10mn gift to Yale stirs debate in China BEIJING: A Chinese billionaire couple's $10 million gift to Yale University sparked controversy among the country's Internet users Thursday, with some arguing that the money would be better spent on schools in China.The endowment marks the latest gift to a prestigious US university by Pan Shiyi and Zhang Xin, the husband-and-wife duo behind real estate giant SOHO China.In July, the couple gave Harvard University $15 million in the first stage of a $100 million programme ...
Heavy diggers in desperate hunt for Sri Lanka landslide victims KOSLANDA: Soldiers using heavy diggers stepped up their desperate search on Thursday for victims of a landslide in Sri Lanka, feared to have buried alive 100 people on a tea plantation.Hundreds of rescue workers clawed through tonnes of mud that washed away some 150 tin-roofed homes at the plantation on Wednesday while most of the residents were away at work or in school."We are also bringing in an additional 200 troops to add to the ...

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Foreign Debt $61.805bn
Per Cap Income $1,386
GDP Growth 4.14%
Average CPI 8.6%
Trade Balance $-19.98 bln
Exports $25.13 bln
Imports $45.11 bln
WeeklyOctober 27, 2014
Reserves $13.464 bln