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Philippines   MANILA: Former Philippine president Gloria Arroyo registered Wednesday to run for another term in Congress, despite facing graft charges and claiming to be suffering a serious illness that needs treatment abroad.   The 65-year-old posted on her Facebook page her certificate of candidacy for Congress in her home province of Pampanga in the 2013 elections.   Her spokeswoman Elena Bautista-Horn said Arroyo's son Mikey filed his mother's registration for her.   Arroyo served as president of the Philippines from 2001 to 2010, during which she was accused of numerous corruption and vote-fraud scandals.   Her arch-critic Benigno Aquino was elected as her successor, running on an anti-graft platform and promising to hold Arroyo to account for her alleged misdeeds.   However as she stepped down, Arroyo successfully ran as congresswoman for Pampanga province north of Manila and is now serving her three-year term.   She was arrested on vote-rigging charges at an exclusive hospital in November last year shortly after immigration authorities ...

British national among Hong Kong ferry victims: consulate HONG KONG: A British national was among 38 people killed in a ferry accident in Hong Kong, diplomats said Wednesday as authorities investigated the cause of the city's worst maritime accident in decades.   Prime Minister David Cameron sent his condolences to the boat tragedy victims as the consulate in the southern Chinese territory confirmed the death of the Briton, without releasing any further details.   "We can confirm the death of a British national in the Hong Kong ...
Vietnam PM BANGKOK: The political future of Vietnam's prime minister is hanging in the balance as communist party chiefs gather for talks overshadowed by financial scandals and economic malaise, experts say.   Nguyen Tan Dung, 62, has had little reason to celebrate since the communist-controlled parliament formally approved his appointment for a second five-year term in July 2011.   Hit by a string of scandals and a growing list of economic problems, observers say his leadership may be in danger, although ...
Thai nightclub owner charged over deadly blaze  BANGKOK: Thai police have charged a nightclub owner with gross negligence over a fire that killed four people, including two foreigners, on the holiday island of Phuket, an official said Wednesday.   If convicted, Tiger Group owner Piya Isramalai faces up to 10 years in prison for the pre-dawn blaze that swept through the Tiger Discotheque on August 17 on the southern island, a magnet for international tourists.   Piya is also accused of operating a business outside legal ...
India rich grab Australian assets   SYDNEY: India's wealthy, from old money to nouveaux riches IT entrepreneurs, are quietly snapping up hotels and mines Down Under just as Australia embarks on an immigration campaign to attract long-term investment.   The Jindal family, ranked among the world's top 80 richest by Forbes, in May bought two minor stakes, worth a total of A$26 million (US$26.99 million), in Australian iron ore and coal mines through Jindal Steel & Power.   That followed a US$2 billion purchase by ...
Afghan senators want   KABUL: Afghanistan's senate voted to cut the word "friendship" from a pact with France because Islamic texts say it cannot be used to describe relations between Muslims and infidels, senators said on Tuesday.   France, which has seen 88 of its troops killed as part of the NATO coalition backing the Afghan government against Taliban insurgents, signed the 20-year "friendship and cooperation treaty" earlier this year.   "Some senators said that based on Sharia rulings we cannot use the ...
12 dead in Philippine school bus collision  MANILA: Ten school children and two adults were killed when their minibus collided with a truck in a rural area of the northern Philippines on Tuesday, police said.   The bus was carrying the high school students to classes in Sarrat town when it tried to overtake a bus only to smash into a truck coming the other way, said a police report.   The minibus driver and his assistant were killed along with ten of their passengers ranging ...

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Foreign Debt $61.805bn
Per Cap Income $1,386
GDP Growth 4.14%
Average CPI 8.6%
Trade Balance $-2.807 bln
Exports $1.911 bln
Imports $4.718 bln
WeeklyOctober 23, 2014
Reserves $13.465 bln