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Pope baptises father of Korea ferry disaster victim SEOUL: Pope Francis on Sunday baptised the father of one of hundreds of high school students killed in South Korea's Sewol ferry disaster in April, the pontiff's spokesman said.Lee Ho-Jin, 56, who lost his youngest son in the tragedy, was baptised in a simple ceremony at the Vatican embassy in Seoul, choosing Francis as his baptismal name.Lee had asked the pope to baptise him when Francis held a private audience with a group of Sewol survivors and victims' relatives before holding a mass in the central city of Daejeon on Friday."The pope was only too happy to be able to conduct an unscheduled baptism of an adult into the Korean Church," spokesman Federico Lombardi said.Last week Lee had completed a pilgrimage from the site of the ferry disaster to Daejeon, to help overcome the grief of losing his son.The Sewol ferry capsized on April 16 off the southern coast, with ...

Philippines brings home hundreds more workers from Libya MANILA: More than 400 Filipino workers who fled conflict in Libya arrived in the Philippines late on Saturday following a three-day mass evacuation by air and sea. The group, including 10 children, were picked up from the Libyan ports of Benghazi and taken to Malta by ship on Thursday, where they caught a chartered flight to Manila."Our mission is to ensure the safety of Filipinos who are caught in dangerous situations abroad," Foreign Secretary Albert ...
Two held in Malaysia for 'stealing from MH370 victims' KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian police have arrested a bank officer and her husband over allegations they stole more than $30,000 from the accounts of four passengers aboard missing flight MH370, an official said Friday.The couple have been held in police custody since Thursday on suspicion of withdrawing 110,643 ringgit ($34,850) from the accounts of two Malaysian and two Chinese MH370 victims, said Zainuddin Ahmad, a district police chief in Kuala Lumpur.Police are also looking for another ...
Pope, in improvised remarks, urges Koreans to pray for unity SOLMOE: Pope Francis on Friday urged Koreans to pray and work for the re-unification of their divided peninsula, saying they should aim to reunite as one family "with no victors or vanquished". The pope, in his most specific comments on the division of Korea since he started his five-day trip to the South on Thursday, made the impromptu comments in response to a question by a girl at a youth rally. "Let us pray for ...
South Korea slams Japan war shrine visits SEOUL: South Korea on Friday denounced Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe for offering donations to a controversial war shrine that Seoul sees as a symbol of Tokyo's militarist past."Our government deplores that the Japanese prime minister gave offerings again to the Yasukuni shrine, the symbol of Japan's colonial atrocity," a foreign ministry spokesman said in a statement.The statement also slammed two Japanese cabinet ministers who visited the shrine, which honours some 2.5 million citizens who ...
Malaysia to begin repatriating remains of MH17 victims KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia said Thursday that the remains of 16 victims aboard downed Flight MH17 will repatriated on August 22, declaring it a day of national mourning.Coffins bearing the remains will arrive on a special flight and be received by the country's king, prime minister and other dignitaries to a minute of silence at Kuala Lumpur's main international airport, Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin said in a statement.The remains will then be brought to the ...
Pope sends rare goodwill message to China SEOUL: Pope Francis sent an unprecedented goodwill message to China's leadership on Thursday, offering his blessings to a nation mired in a long-running battle with the Vatican for control of its Catholic community.The pontiff, who was flying to South Korea on his first papal visit to Asia, took advantage of protocol that sees him send messages to the leaders of any countries he flies over."Upon entering Chinese airspace, I extend best wishes to your excellency ...

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Annual2013/14
Foreign Debt $61.805bn
Per Cap Income $1,386
GDP Growth 4.14%
Average CPI 8.6%
MonthlyJune
Trade Balance $-2.311 bln
Exports $2.027 bln
Imports $4.338 bln
WeeklyAugust 15, 2014
Reserves $14.264 bln