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Season's first dolphins killed in Japan: activists TOKYO: The first dolphins of the season were slaughtered on Tuesday in the small Japanese town of Taiji, campaigners said, commencing an annual cull repeatedly condemned by animal rights groups.Activists from the environmentalist group Sea Shepherd have been monitoring a bay in Taiji, southwestern Japan, since the six-month dolphin hunting season began earlier this month."First pod of 2014-2015 being driven into cove now," the activists from Sea Shepherd, who call themselves "Cove Guardians", tweeted at 10:33 am (0133 GMT).About an hour later, @CoveGuardians said: "First dolphin murder of the drive hunt season is complete as dead bodies are dragged to Taiji butcherhouse."There were no details on the number of kills.The local fishermen's association said they could not immediately confirm the report.The campaigners are streaming live footage of a secluded bay, into which local fishermen corral hundreds of dolphins for slaughter, a practice that thrust the small town into the global ...

South Korea to keep expansionary policy until results 'tangible' SEOUL: South Korea's government will maintain its expansionary macroeconomic policy until "tangible" results are seen, Finance Minister Choi Kyung-hwan said at a press conference in Seoul on Tuesday. "The new economic team will revitalise the sluggish economy by implementing policies in an assertive manner while tackling the structural problems in order for the Korean people to feel confident of economic improvement," Choi said. He reiterated that Asia's fourth-largest economy would return to a 4 percent ...
South Korean ferry could have capsized any time: expert SEOUL: The South Korean ferry that sank in April with the loss of more than 300 lives should never have been in service and only luck prevented it capsizing earlier, a prosecution expert told a court Tuesday.Huh Yong-Bum, head of a team of experts on a joint prosecution-police team investigating the sinking of the 6,825-tonne Sewol ferry, was testifying at the ongoing murder trial of the vessel's captain and crew."It was just sheer luck that ...
Philippines orders evacuation near powerful volcano MANILA: Philippines authorities on Tuesday ordered people living close to a powerful volcano to evacuate, warning a dangerous eruption may occur within weeks.Magma has reached the crater of Mayon volcano, in a coastal and farming area 330 kilometres (200 miles) southeast of Manila, according to the director of the state volcanology agency, Renato Solidum."A hazardous eruption is possible within weeks," Solidum told AFP in a text message.Residents within the volcano's six-kilometre (3.7-mile) radius, already designated ...
Typhoon Kalmaegi sweeps out of Philippines MANILA: Typhoon Kalmaegi swept out of the Philippines on Monday after causing chest-deep floods in some rural areas but largely leaving the storm-prone country unscathed, authorities said.The storm, with winds of 160 kilometres (100 miles) an hour, struck the northeast of the main Philippine island of Luzon on Sunday evening, then moved west across land before heading into the South China Sea on Monday.Six people were killed after a passenger ferry sank in the central ...
Thai king discharged after more than month in hospital BANGKOK: Thailand's King Bhumibol Adulyadej, the world's longest-reigning monarch, was discharged on Monday in what the palace said was a healthy condition after nearly five weeks of treatment at a Bangkok hospital for stomach inflammation.Accompanied by Queen Sirikit, who was also admitted for a health checkup, the king was greeted by thousands of Thais who cheered and waved flags outside Siriraj hospital, where he stayed for nearly four years from 2009 to 2013.The king and ...
Singapore Aug private home sales 432 units, down 43pc y/y SINGAPORE: Sales of private homes by developers in Singapore in August totalled 432 units, down 43 percent from 756 units a year earlier, the Urban Redevelopment Authority said on Monday. The fall in sales follows the introduction in June 2013 of property cooling measures that restricted levels of borrowing relative to monthly income. In August 2012 developers sold 1,427 private homes. Sales last month fell 15 percent from July, when 509 units were sold. Copyright ...

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Annual2013/14
Foreign Debt $61.805bn
Per Cap Income $1,386
GDP Growth 4.14%
Average CPI 8.6%
MonthlyAugust
Trade Balance $-1.434 bln
Exports $1.930 bln
Imports $3.364 bln
WeeklySeptember 15, 2014
Reserves $13.414 bln