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Australia welcomes Corby parole, urges privacy SYDNEY: Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop on Saturday welcomed the decision by Indonesia to parole drug trafficker Schapelle Corby and called for her privacy to be respected.The 36-year-old, whose incarceration has fascinated the Australian public, was granted parole on Friday in Bali, where she was convicted and jailed for 20 years in 2005 for trying to smuggle marijuana into the tourist island."The decision by Indonesia's minister for law and human rights is welcomed," said Bishop. Canberra had supported the parole application since it was lodged in October 2012."I understand that now the decision to grant parole has been made, it is a matter for the authorities to determine the time of the release but I hope that she's now given some privacy as she gets her life back together," she added.This appears unlikely with her case attracting huge media attention and public scrutiny in Australia ever since she was sentenced ...

Genting Singapore, Chinese firm build $2.2bn South Korea casino SINGAPORE: Casino operator Genting Singapore and Chinese property developer Landing International Development Ltd have teamed up to build a $2.2 billion casino resort in South Korea, the two companies announced Friday.The luxury resort will be constructed on Jeju Island, which lies off the country's southern coast, they said in a joint statement."The iconic destination will be Jeju Island's largest tourism resort to date, with luxury hotels, a shopping mall, a theme park, villas and apartments, ...
Tokyo readies for governor vote in nuclear test TOKYO: Some of the 13 million people who live in Tokyo go to the polls on Sunday to elect a new governor in a vote being closely watched as a popular verdict on the use of nuclear power.A crowded field of 16 men have fought an uninspiring two-week campaign to become chief executive of one of the world's biggest cities, with commentators saying it is largely a two-horse race.Newspaper surveys suggest one-time television presenter and ...
Australian PM unmoved by fresh refugee abuse claims SYDNEY: Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott was unmoved by new reports Friday of asylum-seeker abuse and claims a group was turned back to Indonesia in a lifeboat, saying his harsh policies were "working".He rebuffed suggestions the military should release official video of their "Operation Sovereign Borders" missions after an asylum-seeker told Fairfax Media three men on his boat allegedly had their hands held against hot engine pipes by navy personnel to punish them for protesting.Abbott ...
It's no game: Xbox-sensor guards Korean border SEOUL: Microsoft's movement-recognition Kinect software has morphed from virtual shooter gaming to the real-life challenge of guarding the world's last Cold War border.The sensor allowing hands-free play on the Xbox is the basis for a security device now deployed along the demilitarised zone (DMZ) that separates North and South Korea, after being adapted by a South Korean programmer.Four kilometres (2.5 miles) wide and 248 kilometres (155 miles) long, the DMZ is a depopulated no-man's land ...
Japan PM to attend Sochi Olympics, meet Putin TOKYO: Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will attend the opening ceremony of the Sochi Winter Olympics before holding his fifth summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin, an official said Tuesday.The talks are a further sign of an improving relationship between Tokyo and Moscow since Abe took office in December 2012.Building trust between the leaders is important for progress towards a bilateral peace treaty that has been hampered by decades-old territorial disputes, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide ...
North Korean leader to add 'MP' to his many titles SEOUL: North Korea confirmed Tuesday that leader Kim Jong-Un will be a candidate in next month's parliamentary elections, which will be closely watched for clues on power shifts in Pyongyang.The national assembly is largely a rubber-stamp body with little authority, but many top North Korean officials are members, and Kim's father, late leader Kim Jong-Il, stood for election when he was in power.The results are a foregone conclusion, with only one approved candidate standing for ...

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Banking Review 2014

Foreign Debt $61.805bn
Per Cap Income $1,386
GDP Growth 4.14%
Average CPI 8.6%
Trade Balance $-1.586 bln
Exports $1.932 bln
Imports $3.518 bln
WeeklyApril 30, 2015
Reserves $17.717 bln