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Petrol bombs thrown during Bangladesh protest  DHAKA: Hundreds of protesters in Bangladesh threw petrol bombs at police on Tuesday as opposition parties enforced a nationwide strike demanding elections under a neutral caretaker government.   Police fired rubber bullets and tear gas at demonstrators in the northwestern city of Rajshahi, while minor clashes erupted in the capital Dhaka and several major towns.   "Up to 500 protesters pelted stones and petrol bombs. We fired rubber bullets and tear gas to disperse them," deputy commissioner of Rajshahi police Shah Golam Mahmud told AFP.   Schools, businesses and private offices were closed across the country and most roads were empty, with thousands of officers on patrol to try to prevent a repeat of violence on Sunday during a similar strike.   The main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) and its allies called the latest protest as they stepped up demands for elections to be held under a neutral caretaker government.   The caretaker system, under which a non-partisan administration ...

Japan firm recalls China tea on pesticide fears  TOKYO: Japanese food company Ito En on Tuesday issued a huge recall of Chinese-grown tea after some of it was found to contain illegal levels of pesticide residue.   The firm said it was recalling about 400,000 packages of Oolong tea after spot testing revealed pesticide residue levels above Japanese food safety limits.   Ito En said it started testing the tea from China's southern Fujian province after another Japanese teamaker announced last month it had found similarly high ...
North Korea stops rocket launch preparations  SEOUL: North Korea has stopped all preparations for a rocket launch at a site in the country's northwest, a South Korean official told Yonhap News Agency on Sunday.   The report came after North Korea said earlier Sunday it may delay the much-criticised launch, that was originally scheduled for as early as this week, with analysts saying the postponement could be due to technical problems.   Scientists were "now seriously examining the issue of readjusting the launching time of ...
13 killed as bus plunges into Taiwan ravine  TAIPEI: Thirteen people were killed and ten others injured Sunday when a bus they were travelling on plunged into a ravine in a mountainous area of northern Taiwan, rescue workers said.   The bus, carrying 22 passengers, veered off the road and rolled down a steep mountainside in Hsinchu county at around 3:00 pm (0700 GMT), the Hsinchu County Fire Bureau said.   "Most of the passengers were in their 50s and 60s," an official at the bureau told ...
Storm Bopha returns to Philippines  MANILA: Heavy rain brought flooding fears in the north of the storm-battered Philippines as Typhoon Bopha returned Sunday, days after slamming into the south of the country and leaving almost 1,400 dead or missing.   While the powerful typhoon had weakened to a tropical storm, it was still causing downpours in the north even as hundreds in the south struggled to recover from its fury, said civil defence chief Benito Ramos.   "It will bring rain, not so much ...
Mo Yan Nobel lecture derided by China dissidents BEIJING: Nobel literature laureate Mo Yan was assailed on Saturday in the Chinese dissident community as a "prostitute" following his Nobel lecture, but the speech was acclaimed in the communist state's media.   In the lecture in Stockholm on Friday, Mo, the vice-chairman of the government-backed China Writers' Association, took a swipe at his critics, saying their target "had nothing to do" with him and urged them to read his books.   Mo has walked a tightrope during his ...
Philippines declares state of calamity after deadly typhoon  NEW BATAAN: Philippine President Benigno Aquino declared a state of national calamity on Saturday, four days after this year's strongest typhoon left nearly 1,000 people dead or missing mostly in the country's resource-rich south.   A price freeze on basic commodities was put into effect, and local governments were authorised to utilise their calamity funds for search, relief and rescue operations.   The national disaster agency put the death toll at 459 and  a further 532 were missing, mostly ...

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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 $-2.309 bln
Exports $1.957 bln
Imports $4.266 bln
WeeklyDecember 18, 2014
Reserves $14.04 bln