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William and Kate tour town ravaged by bushfires WINMALEE: Survivors of last year's devastating Australian bushfires met with Britain's Prince William and his wife Kate on Thursday as the royal couple visited the Blue Mountains.The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, who are on a three-week tour of Australia and New Zealand with their baby son George, met some who lost everything in the fires which destroyed more than 200 homes."For them to come out all this way to say hello and say, 'I'm sorry this happened to you' ... it didn't seem like duty to them, it seemed like a pleasure," said Eartha Odell.Kate, wearing a navy and white Diane von Furstenberg wrap dress and blue wedges, chatted with residents in one of the worst-hit streets in October's inferno, 80 kilometres (50 miles) west of Sydney."To not have any loss of life is incredible," she said inside the Winmalee Guides Hall, which is surrounded by blackened trees and ...

Malaysian lawmaker who defended Anwar killed in car crash KUALA LUMPUR: A leading Malaysian politician who gained fame defending opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim in his sensational sodomy trials was killed in an early morning road accident Thursday, police said.Karpal Singh, 73, was killed along with a longtime assistant when his vehicle struck a slower-moving lorry on a highway in the northern state of Perak, state police chief Acryl Sani Abdullah said.Anwar wrote on his Facebook page: "We've lost a colleague. An indefatigable fighter for ...
Grieving South Korean parents consumed by agony and anger JINDO: The pin-drop silence as the student's name was read out was broken by a piercing scream of anguished recognition as her shattered parents clutched each other in the cold, harbour gymnasium.The announcement of the sixth confirmed victim from the sinking of a South Korean ferry carrying hundreds of high school students came after a night-long vigil for relatives who had travelled to the southern island of Jindo to be near the rescue effort.The gymnasium ...
Mental health problems plague Indonesian election hopefuls JAKARTA: His body shaking violently, Sofyan screamed loudly as a traditional healer sought to calm the Indonesian election candidate, one of a growing number seeking treatment for mental health problems after polls last week."Don't take my votes away. I have spent so much money," he shouted, as the healer chanted softly and poured water mixed with flowers over his body.Many of the approximately 230,000 candidates running for seats in local and national legislatures across the ...
Japan says no decision on 2015-16 whaling TOKYO: Japan on Monday insisted it had made no decision on whether to resume whaling in the Southern Ocean next year, after a militant environmental group said Tokyo intended to evade an international court ruling. Tokyo this month said it was "deeply disappointed" that the UN's top court declared the annual Antarctic whaling hunt was a commercial activity disguised as science, but was calling the 2014-15 hunt off.The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, whose vessels have ...
North Korea vows Seoul will pay 'dear price' for insults SEOUL: North Korea on Monday warned South Korea it would pay a "dear price" for recent criticisms of Pyongyang's nuclear programme and political system, saying they violated a no-slander agreement.The warning from the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of Korea (CPRK) came days after Pyongyang blasted South Korean President Park Geun-Hye's proposals for Korean reunification as the "daydreams of a psychopath".Park was again the focus of the North's anger, with the CPRK denouncing comments she ...
China seizes more than 10,000 illegal guns in crackdown SHANGHAI: China has seized more than 10,000 illegal guns in the southwestern province of Guizhou, state television reported on Sunday, marking its largest haul of illegal firearms as it steps up efforts to crack down on violent crime.Police in the city of Guiyang seized 10,500 guns and 120,000 forbidden knives, China Central Television said.Fifteen people suspected of being part of a criminal gang involved in the manufacturing and trafficking of firearms were arrested, it said.The ...

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Annual2012/13
Foreign Debt $60.9bn
Per Cap Income $1,368
GDP Growth 3.6%
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MonthlyFebruary
Trade Balance $-1.433 bln
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