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Indonesia prays Islamic tourism drive can draw more visitors SENGGIGI: Just a short hop from the Indonesian holiday hotspot of Bali, a Saudi tourist and his family listen to the call to prayer as the sun goes down on Lombok, the self-styled "island of 1,000 mosques".Lombok is at the centre of an Islamic tourism drive in Indonesia, which has the world's biggest Muslim population and is hoping to boost the number of visitors from wealthy Middle Eastern countries.While aiming to continue to attract Western tourists who flock to its pristine beaches, the island is also seeking to promote its Islamic heritage, from numerous places of worship to shrines dedicated to ancient Muslim preachers."I love it here because I can hear the azan (call to prayer) and people go to the mosque to pray," said 58-year-old Sulaiman, the Saudi tourist, who gave only one name and was accompanied by his wife who was wearing an all-encompassing burqa.Indonesia is the world's ...

Gunman kills three in rare shooting in South Korea SEOUL: A gunman in South Korea shot dead three people in a convenience store which he then torched Wednesday in an apparent revenge attack on the family of his former lover, media reports said.The suspect's body was later discovered on the bank of a nearby river in an apparent suicide, Yonhap news agency said.Gun crime is very rare in South Korea and the incident in the southern city of Sejong, 120 kilometres (75 miles) south ...
Australian police probe 'inducement' claims in rights chief row SYDNEY: The Australian government's woes deepened Wednesday after police said they were looking into claims a senior official broke the law by allegedly offering an inducement for the Human Rights Commission chief to resign.The president of the government-funded commission, Gillian Triggs, has been under heavy fire from Tony Abbott's conservative administration since releasing a report this month criticising the detention of asylum-seeker children.Australia has long come under international pressure over the detention of asylum-seekers arriving ...
Japan farm minister Nishikawa submits resignation TOKYO: Japanese farm minister Koya Nishikawa said on Monday that he was resigning from his post, amid questions over his political fundraising. Nishikawa made the comment shortly after he submitted his resignation to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, saying that Abe had accepted it.Public broadcaster NHK said former farm minister Yoshimasa Hayashi would take over from Nishikawa.Copyright Reuters, 2015 ...
Hong Kong "radicals" up ante in democracy push against China HONG KONG: Nearly three months after police cleared away the last of Hong Kong's pro-democracy street protests; lingering anger is stoking a new front of radical activism that has turned shopping malls and university campuses into a fresh battleground.While still relatively few in number, a cluster of outspoken groups have staged small but disruptive protests in recent weeks targeting mainland Chinese visitors - tapping a seam of grassroots resentment to call for greater Hong Kong ...
Australia Post flags first annual loss in 30 years SYDNEY: Australia Post Monday forecast its first annual loss in more than 30 years and warned it would lose Aus$6.6 billion (US$5.2 billion) over the next decade without urgent regulatory reform.The government-owned company said its net profit fell 56 percent to Aus$98 million in the latter half of 2014 due to a slump in demand for letters.Like many postal services in developed countries, Australia Post has been struggling to cope as email replaces physical mail. ...
North Korea bars foreigners from marathon over Ebola fears SEOUL: North Korea has banned foreigners taking part in its annual international Pyongyang marathon in April because of continuing concerns over the spread of the deadly Ebola virus, specialist tour groups said Monday.China-based agencies, Koryo Tours and Young Pioneer Tours, both said they had been informed of the decision on Monday morning.North Korea, which has not registered a single suspected case of Ebola, closed its borders to foreign tourists back in October and imposed severe ...

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ICT 2014

Foreign Debt $61.805bn
Per Cap Income $1,386
GDP Growth 4.14%
Average CPI 8.6%
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WeeklyFebruary 26, 2015
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