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6.6-magnitude quake hits off Solomon Islands SYDNEY: A shallow 6.6-magnitude quake hit off the Solomon Islands on Saturday, the United States Geological Survey said, but there was no Pacific-wide tsunami expected.The quake struck some 214 kilometres (132 miles) west of the town of Lata but 460 kilometres from the capital Honiara, USGS said."Based on all the available data a destructive Pacific-wide tsunami is not expected," the Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre said in an advisory.The Solomons are part of the Pacific "Ring of Fire", a zone of tectonic activity known for frequent quakes and volcanic eruptions.A 6.9-magnitude undersea tremor rocked the capital Honiara on Monday with no reports of serious damage.It followed a a 7.0-magnitude quake which struck last month off the coast of the island chain. No damage from that tremor was reported.However, in 2013, 10 people died and thousands were left homeless when buildings were destroyed after the Solomons were hit by a tsunami following ...

Australia PM Abbott defends emissions target SYDNEY: Prime Minister Tony Abbott on Saturday defended Australia's carbon pollution reduction target as in line with those of other countries after the nation's climate change authority criticised the goal as "disappointing".The government on Tuesday announced plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 26 to 28 percent of 2005 levels by 2030, well below the level recommended by the independent Climate Change Authority which advises the government on the issue.In Adelaide on Saturday, Abbott defended ...
China: 'strong dissatisfaction' over Japan ministers' Yasukuni visits BEIJING: China's foreign ministry on Saturday voiced "strong dissatisfaction" over a visit by a trio of Japanese cabinet ministers to Tokyo's controversial Yasukuni shrine."Some Japanese politicians chose this day to visit the shrine, which honours 'Class A' war criminals and glorifies the aggressive war," the ministry said in a statement, adding: "China lodges its resolute opposition and strong dissatisfaction."Copyright AFP (Agence France-Presse), 2015 ...
Sri Lanka ex-strongman Rajapakse in election comeback bid COLOMBO: Sri Lanka's beleaguered former leader Mahinda Rajapakse will try to pull off a shock political comeback in elections Monday that he hopes will propel him to the premiership, months after being toppled as president.His successor as president, Maithripala Sirisena, has vowed to thwart his one-time mentor's ambitions while many of Rajapakse's closest relatives are facing corruption allegations, including his wife.But the charismatic former strongman has been drawing massive crowds on the election trail across ...
Philippines says WWII foe Japan now trusted friend MANILA: The Philippines said Saturday it had rebuilt a "strong friendship" with former foe Japan, as its neighbours criticised Prime Minister Shinzo Abe for failing to properly apologise for Tokyo's aggression during World War II.Since the war, Japan had "acted with compassion" which led to a relationship "characterised by trust and unfailing support in so many fields", Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario said in a statement."This 70-year history demonstrates to the world that through ...
Japan raises eruption warning for southern volcano TOKYO: Japan's weather agency on Saturday told thousands of residents near a southern city to prepare for a possible evacuation as it upgraded a volcanic eruption warning.Officials raised their alert to its second-highest level after picking up increasing seismic activity around the volcano Sakurajima, which sits just off the coast of Kagoshima, a city of more than 600,000 people.Activity has spiked since early Saturday morning, they said.The volcano is about 50 kilometres (31 miles) from ...
China blast toll rises to 44 TIANJIN: The death toll from massive explosions at an industrial area in the Chinese port of Tianjin has risen to 44, the official Xinhua news agency reported Thursday.Twelve firefighters were among the dead, it said citing rescue officials, adding 520 people had been hospitalised, 66 of them critically injured.Copyright AFP (Agence France-Presse), 2015 ...

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Banking Review 2014

Foreign Debt $62.649bn
Per Cap Income $1,512
GDP Growth 4.24%
Average CPI 8.6%
Trade Balance $-2.378 bln
Exports $2.016 bln
Imports $4.394 bln
WeeklyAugust 27, 2015
Reserves $18.509 bln