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North Korea sentences US citizen to 15 years' hard labour SEOUL: North Korea has sentenced a US citizen to 15 years of prison labour for "hostile acts" against the communist regime, the North's official Korean Central News Agency said Thursday.Pae Jun-Ho, known in the United States as Kenneth Bae, was arrested in November as he entered the northeastern port city of Rason."The Supreme Court sentenced him to 15 years of compulsory labour for this crime," KCNA said.Pyongyang has not specified the basis of the crimes allegedly committed by Bae, who is believed to be a Korean-American tour operator.KCNA said on Saturday when announcing his trial that Bae had "admitted that he committed crimes aimed to topple the DPRK (Democratic People's Republic of Korea)".The United States has urged North Korea to free the detainee on "humanitarian grounds"."The welfare of US citizens is a critical and top priority for this department. We call on the DPRK to release Kenneth Bae immediately on ...

North Korea could start nuclear reactor soon WASHINGTON: North Korea could be ready within weeks to start operating a light-water reactor that has triggered growing concern amid the regime's vows to build more nuclear weapons, researchers said Wednesday.The US-Korea Institute at Johns Hopkins University said that satellite pictures taken in March and April appeared to show that North Korea was doing final work inside the reactor and cleaning up after completing construction.If North Korea has been truthful in its boasts that it ...
India sex crime laws not tough enough: UN rapportuer NEW DELHI: India's new sex crime laws do not go far enough to protect women or tackle gender inequality, the UN Special Rapporteur on violence against women said on Wednesday.The legislation was passed following the fatal gang rape of a student on a Delhi bus in mid-December that sparked nationwide demonstrations over the lack of safety for women.New measures passed by Indian lawmakers in March increased punishments for sex offenders to include the death penalty ...
Japan's Mt Fuji to get World Heritage stamp: officials TOKYO: Japan's Mount Fuji will likely be added to the list of UNESCO World Heritage sites next month after an influential advisory panel to the UN cultural body made a recommendation, officials said Wednesday.The International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS), a consultative body to UNESCO, told the Japanese government that the almost perfectly conical Fuji is appropriate for registering as a World Heritage site, the agency for cultural affairs said in a statement.Mt. Fuji, ...
Taiwan ex-president scraps plans for Japan visit TAIPEI: Taiwan's former president Lee Teng-hui on Tuesday decided to scrap plans to visit Japan for health reasons, his office said, after his previous trips irked Beijing.Lee had planned to fly to Japan on May 8 and deliver two speeches during a four-day stay but doctors advised the 90-year-old, who has twice been hospitalised this year, against the trip."Doctors said it is not proper for Lee to take a long-distance trip at the moment," office ...
Malaysia braces for its closest election ever KUALA LUMPUR: When Malaysian voters cast ballots in Sunday's general election it will be the first time in the country's history that they do so without knowing the eventual winner.The ruling coalition headed by the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) is among the world's longest-serving governments, unbeaten since independence in 1957 thanks to decades of economic growth and authoritarian rule.But the rising Pakatan Rakyat (People's Pact) opposition alliance has tapped into UMNO fatigue with promises ...
US, South Korea wrap up drills as tensions simmer SEOUL: The United States and South Korea on Tuesday wrapped up military drills at the centre of soaring tensions with North Korea, as Pyongyang ignored a new overture over a flagship joint industrial zone.The two-month-long "Foal Eagle" air, ground and naval field training exercise -- which involved more than 10,000 US troops along with a far higher number of South Korean personnel -- had infuriated Pyongyang."The drill is over but the South Korean and US ...

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Banking Review 2014


Annual2013/14
Foreign Debt $61.805bn
Per Cap Income $1,386
GDP Growth 4.14%
Average CPI 8.6%
MonthlyJune
Trade Balance $-2.378 bln
Exports $2.016 bln
Imports $4.394 bln
WeeklyJuly 23, 2015
Reserves $18.677 bln