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China asks UN to blackout NGO criticism: diplomats UNITED NATIONS: China has asked the United Nations to withhold the names of countries that criticize non-governmental organizations, diplomats said Thursday, in a move that raised transparency concerns.US Ambassador Samantha Power tweeted that the request from China at the UN's NGO committee was "very concerning.""In an era of global crackdown on civil society, the UN's NGO Committee must set an example for openness and transparency," Power said.China argued that UN press officials should not name countries when reporting on the work of the committee, which considers the accreditation of NGOs to the United Nations, where they can provide recommendations, according to a UN diplomat.There was no immediate response to an AFP request for a comment from the Chinese mission at the UN.A diplomat said China wants the UN to release information solely on the committee decision as a whole."China has long been pushing to restrict NGO and press access to ...

Malaysia declares MH370 an accident, passengers dead KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia on Thursday formally declared missing flight MH370 to be an "accident" and its passengers and crew presumed dead, a step that opens the door for compensation payments but is likely to hit distraught relatives hard."It is therefore, with the heaviest heart and deepest sorrow that, on behalf of the government of Malaysia, we officially declare Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 an accident... and that all 239 of the passengers and crew on board ...
North Korea demanded $10bn for summit: ex-South Korea president`1 SEOUL: North Korea demanded an "absurd" $10 billion payoff and close to a million tonnes in food aid in 2009 in return for a hoped-for summit with Seoul, then-South Korean president Lee Myung-Bak said in a soon-to-be-published memoir.Lee also revealed that the two Koreas kept up negotiations for a possible summit even after Seoul effectively froze relations in 2010 following the sinking of a South Korean naval vessel.Lee's 800-page memoir of his 2008-12 term in ...
China media warn new Greek government over port BEIJING: New Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras is in a similar position to Phaeton, the Greek mythological figure given the reins of the sun only to lose control and nearly destroy the earth, Chinese media said Thursday.The comments came after the newly-elected authorities in Athens said they would halt the privatisation of Greece's biggest port, which China's COSCO group has bid for."This is reminiscent of a tale in Greek mythology," said an analysis in The ...
Nearly 100 trade probes against China in 2014: government BEIJING: China's trade partners launched nearly 100 investigations into its exports last year, Beijing said Thursday, blaming rising protectionism due to a lacklustre global recovery and the country's growing economic clout.The Asian powerhouse was targeted by 22 countries and regions with 97 trade probes, including 61 anti-dumping cases and 14 anti-subsidy investigations, commerce ministry spokesman Shen Danyang said."To a certain extent, the intense trade friction is a by-product of China becoming the world's biggest trading ...
Malaysia to release MH370 report one day before anniversary KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia will release an interim report on its investigation into Flight MH370 on March 7, a day before the first anniversary of the jet's mysterious disappearance, an official said Wednesday.However, deputy transport minister Abdul Aziz Kaprawi declined comment on whether the report would contain any revelations on the fate of the Malaysia Airlines jet."It is a report by the investigation team. It will be a lengthy report of a few hundred pages," he ...
Abbott takes royal knighthood storm 'on the chin' MELBOURNE: Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott said Wednesday he stood by his controversial decision to award Britain's Prince Philip a knighthood and was taking the firestorm of criticism "on the chin".Several ministers have walked away from Abbott's appointment of the nonagenarian Duke of Edinburgh to the ranks of the Order of Australia, MPs on all sides have mocked the move and the media condemned it severely.Abbott had kept quiet since Australia Day on Monday when ...

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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 25, 2015
Reserves $15.019 bln