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Hong Kong tycoon and former senior official face jail for graft HONG KONG: Lawyers for Hong Kong property tycoon Thomas Kwok and the government's former deputy leader Rafael Hui pressed for leniency Monday as their clients faced seven years in prison after being convicted of corruption.Kwok, 63, and Hui, 66, were found guilty Friday in a trial which has shocked the city known for clean governance.Hui is the most senior official to be convicted of graft in Hong Kong's history, while Thomas Kwok was joint chairman of its biggest property company, Sun Hung Kai. Their defence argued Monday morning against lengthy sentences, citing age and frailty -- including a susceptibility to cold weather.Both could be given seven years' jail after being found guilty of "conspiracy to commit misconduct in a public office" over a series of payments amounting to HK$8.5 million (US$1.1 million) made to Hui, dating from the months leading up to his 2005 appointment to the government's second-highest post ...

Australian PM under fire for women comments SYDNEY: Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott was accused Monday of craving "a world where men do the big jobs and women do the ironing" after saying his biggest achievement for females was reducing household bills by axing a carbon tax.The backlash came after he unveiled sweeping changes Sunday to his ministry, dumping Defence Minister David Johnston, promoting Immigration Minister Scott Morrison and appointing only his second woman to cabinet.It followed recent opinion polls showing his ...
South Korea nuclear plant operator says hacked, but no risk to reactors SEOUL: Computer systems at South Korea's nuclear plant operator have been hacked, but only non-critical data has been lost and there is no risk to the safety of nuclear installations including the country's 23 atomic reactors, the company and the government said on Monday. The attacks come amid concerns that North Korea may mount cyberattacks against industrial and social targets after accusations by the United States that Pyongyang was responsible for a devastating hacking assault ...
China foreign minister says willing to help Russia BEIJING: China is willing to help Russia if needed but believes that the country has the ability to overcome its current economic problems, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi was quoted as saying in a state newspaper on Monday. The rouble has dropped about 45 percent against the dollar this year, suffering particularly steep falls early last week.President Vladimir Putin has declined to call it a crisis and said the currency would eventually rise again. Wang, ...
Senior Chinese leader to visit Vietnam amid sea tension BEIJING: A senior Chinese leader will visit Vietnam this month, China's state media said on Monday, amid tension between the neighbours over competing claims in the South China Sea. Yu Zhengsheng, who heads a largely ceremonial advisory body to China's parliament but is ranked fourth in the Communist Party leadership, will be going at the invitation of Vietnam's Communist Party, the official Xinhua news agency said. It provided no other details. Anti-Chinese violence flared in ...
Alleged Australia child killer 'coping as best she can' SYDNEY: An Australian mother charged with killing eight children will have her case heard in January, a court said Monday, as she struggles to come to terms with what happened.Raina Mersane Ina Thaiday, 37, also known as Mersane Warria, is accused of eight counts of murder after the bodies of the children were found in a house in the northern city of Cairns on Friday morning.Seven of them were hers and she was an aunt ...
Immigration minister promoted in Australia cabinet reshuffle CANBERRA: Australia's Immigration Minister Scott Morrison was Sunday chosen to head up the social services ministry in a major cabinet reshuffle, a move widely seen as a promotion following his handling of controversial asylum-seeker policies.Defence Minister David Johnston, under fire for saying last month that a government shipbuilding firm could not be trusted to "build a canoe", was dumped from the front bench.Prime Minister Tony Abbott said the reshuffle would "reset and refocus" his government ...

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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 $-2.309 bln
Exports $1.957 bln
Imports $4.266 bln
WeeklyDecember 18, 2014
Reserves $14.04 bln