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South Korea ferry runs aground, all 109 rescued SEOUL: South Korea's coastguard rescued all 109 passengers and crew from a ferry that ran aground Tuesday, not far from the site of April's Sewol ferry tragedy that claimed more than 300 lives.The ferry, on a sightseeing trip around the island of Hongdo off the southwestern coast, ran aground shortly after 9:00am (0000 GMT), coastguard spokesman Oh Eun-Seok told AFP."The cause of the accident is still under investigation, but all 109 passengers including five crew members were rescued without any reported injuries," Oh said.The area where the vessel ran aground was around 70 kilometres (40 miles) west of the site where the Sewol ferry capsized on April 16 near Jindo island.The 6,825 tonne Sewol was carrying 476 people when it sank, including 325 students from the same high school.The national coastguard was widely criticised for its initial response to the disaster, and the Sewol captain and members of his crew ...

Hong Kong police say tear gas used 87 times on protesters HONG KONG: Hong Kong police said Monday tear gas was deployed "87 times" in clashes with pro-democracy protesters on Sunday as they defended their controversial use of force against crowds in the usually stable city.Assistant Commissioner Cheung Tak-keung said tear gas was used at nine different locations, although he did not clarify whether multiple canisters of gas were used on each occasion."The use of force is used in a situation when we have no other ...
Japan PM Abe presses campaign for meeting with China's Xi TOKYO: Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Monday pressed on with a diplomatic offensive aimed at securing his first-ever summit with Chinese President Xi Jinping.A recent flurry of activity has thawed relations that had been in deep freeze for two years, and Abe has embarked on a concerted effort to get face time with the Chinese leader on the sidelines of a regional summit in November."I wish to realise summit talks (with Xi) at an ...
Taiwan president backs Hong Kong democracy protesters TAIPEI: Taiwan's president threw his weight behind Hong Kong's democracy protesters on Monday, saying he was "very concerned" by events in the city and urging China to proceed with "peaceful and cautious measures".Chaotic protests saw Hong Kong police fire tear gas on Sunday at demonstrators enraged by China's refusal to grant full democracy to the semi-autonomous city, with thousands remaining on the streets into Monday.Taiwan's President Ma Ying-jeou said the protesters' call for free elections ...
Protests disrupt Hong Kong travel and businesses HONG KONG: Pro-democracy protests brought widespread travel chaos to Hong Kong Monday with many schools and businesses shuttered but the city's stock exchange said it would operate as usual.As commuters tried to make their way to work, crowds of defiant demonstrators controlled a number of major thoroughfares and intersections in the heavily congested city.An AFP reporter on the scene in Mongkok -- one of the most densely populated suburbs of the city and the site ...
China sentences two to death for mosque attack: Xinhua BEIJING: A court in China's far west has sentenced to death two teenagers for the killing of the head of the country's biggest mosque, state media reported, in a case that highlighted divisions in the violence-wracked Xinjiang region.The Kashgar Intermediate People's Court on Sunday handed down the death penalty to Gheni Hasan and Nurmemet Abidilimit "on charges of forming and leading terrorist groups and murder", the official Xinhua news agency said.A third person, Atawulla Tursun, ...
UN racism envoy puts S. Korea to the test SEOUL: South Korea's efforts to rid itself of a reputation for casual racial discrimination and overbearing ethnic nationalism will come under scrutiny this week from the UN's top expert on racism.Tasked with assessing racism, xenophobia and related intolerance around the world, UN Special Rapporteur Mutuma Ruteere began a week-long mission to Asia's fourth-largest economy on Monday.One of Asia's most ethnically homogenous societies, South Korea has a small but rising foreign population which has not always ...

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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 $-2.807 bln
Exports $1.911 bln
Imports $4.718 bln
WeeklySeptember 25, 2014
Reserves $13.305 bln