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Australia to crack down on organised crime SYDNEY: Australia will set up an anti-gang taskforce based on an United States Federal Bureau of Investigation model to combat "the gangs and guns on our streets", Prime Minister Julia Gillard said Sunday.Gillard said the Aus$64 million (US$65.3 million) taskforce will be made up of 70 police from national and state forces and include officers from the Australian Crime Commission, Customs and the tax department."These are new measures to try and make sure we are combating the gangs and guns on our streets," Gillard told reporters in Sydney.The prime minister announced the plan ahead of her five-day stay in western Sydney, scene of a recent spate of shootings.Gillard denied the taskforce was a ploy to win back voters in Sydney's western suburbs, formerly a stronghold of her Australian Labor Party but now under threat of swinging to the opposition before September 14 elections."This is about a national plan and bringing ...

Six people die as blizzards hit northern Japan TOKYO: At least six people died in a spate of snow-related incidents as blizzards swept across the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido over the weekend, police and news reports said Sunday.A 40-year-old woman and her three teenaged children were found dead late Saturday in a car buried under snow in the town of Nakashibetsu, eastern Hokkaido, a local police spokesman said.They are believed to have died of carbon monoxide poisoning as the car's exhaust pipe ...
Five Malaysian police killed in Borneo clash: official LAHAD DATU: Five Malaysian policemen died in a fresh clash with gunmen as violence linked to a deadly stand-off with Filipino intruders spread to another area of Borneo island, police said Sunday.The shootout late on Saturday in the town of Semporna followed a firefight the previous day between Filipino followers of a self-proclaimed sultan and Malaysian security forces that left 12 intruders dead along with two police officers.An estimated 100-300 Filipinos have been surrounded by ...
Philippines MANILA: Optimism is soaring that the Philippines is finally becoming an Asian tiger economy, but critics caution a tiny elite that has long dominated is amassing most of the new wealth while the poor miss out.President Benigno Aquino has overseen some of the highest growth rates in the region since he took office in 2010, while the stock market has hovered in record territory, credit ratings have improved and debt ratios have dropped."The Philippines is ...
High-speed bullet train derails in Japan: media TOKYO: A Japanese bullet train carrying about 130 passengers and crew derailed in heavy snow in northern Japan Saturday, although there were no reports of injuries, media reports said.The first car of the "Komachi" No. 25 bullet train came off the rails on the high-speed Akita Shinkansen line in Akita, Japan's national broadcaster NHK and other media said.But there were no reports of injuries or casualties following the accident, NHK said, showing footage of railway ...
Motorcycle bomb kills two in Thai south BANGKOK: Suspected insurgents detonated a motorcycle bomb in southern Thailand on Saturday, killing two military rangers and wounding 11 people, the second serious attack in as many days after one of the Muslim rebel groups operating in the area agreed to hold peace talks. The blast on a road in Yala province, in which two civilians were among the wounded, followed a similar motorcycle bombing in neighbouring Narathiwat province on Friday that wounded six people. ...
China rejects complaints mainland visitors flooding Hong Kong BEIJING: A senior Chinese government official on Saturday rebuffed growing complaints from Hong Kong that a flood of visitors from mainland China was overwhelming the tiny territory, saying it was natural for people to want to visit a part of their country. Last year, more than 30 million mainland Chinese visited Hong Kong, almost four times the city's population, stoking concern about the ability of the city's infrastructure to cope. Hong Kong residents blame Chinese ...

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ICT 2014

Foreign Debt $61.805bn
Per Cap Income $1,386
GDP Growth 4.14%
Average CPI 8.6%
Trade Balance $-1.703 bln
Exports $2.156 bln
Imports $3.859 bln
WeeklyFebruary 26, 2015
Reserves $15.944 bln