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China 2014 bird flu toll rises to nearly 100: govt BEIJING: Almost 100 people in China died from the H7N9 bird flu strain in the first three months of the year, but the number of both fatalities and infections declined in March, government figures showed.A total of 24 people died from the disease in March, the National Health and Family Planning Commission said in monthly figures for infectious disease, down from 41 in February and 31 in January. The total number of deaths for the period is 96.The number of new infections reported in March fell sharply to 24 from 99 in February and 127 in January, the data showed earlier this week, giving a total of 250 cases.Last year China recorded 46 deaths and 144 cases in the H7N9 outbreak, which started early in 2013 and returned in the autumn.The virus ignited fears that it could possibly mutate to become easily transmissible between people, which might threaten to trigger ...

South Korea says drones were from North Korea SEOUL: South Korea's defence ministry said on Friday it was convinced that three crashed drones recovered in recent weeks were of North Korean origin.Wreckage of the rudimentary drones was found in three different places, including Baengnyeong island near the rivals' disputed sea border."By inspecting the three aircraft and their loaded devices, we've secured various pieces of circumstantial evidence that all certainly point to North Korea", the defence ministry said in a press statement.All three unmanned ...
Third anti-corruption activist on trial in China BEIJING: A Chinese anti-corruption campaigner went on trial in Beijing on Thursday, his lawyer said, joining two others who appeared in court this week as China's government cracks down on activists.Zhao Changqing, 45, faces a possible five year prison sentence for supporting activists who unveiled banners in Beijing calling for government officials to disclose their assets -- despite not being present, his lawyer Zhang Peihong said.Zhao is associated with the New Citizens Movement, a loose-knit ...
Japan fighter jet dispatch highest since Cold War TOKYO: Japan dispatched fighter jets more often over the past 12 months than at any time since the Cold War ended, according to government figures, with the sorties mostly aimed at chasing away Chinese and Russian aircraft.Tokyo scrambled fighter jets 810 times in the fiscal year to March, with more than half aimed at Chinese planes, as the Asian powers remain locked in a tense standoff over competing territorial claims, the defence ministry data published ...
South Korea regulates marriage with foreigners SEOUL: South Korea imposed new restrictions on mixed marriages this month, but critics say the authorities would do better to focus on supporting foreign spouses who struggle to assimilate in one of Asia's most ethnically homogenous societies.An influx of foreign brides -- overwhelmingly from other Asian countries -- began in earnest in 2000 and peaked in 2005 when more than 30,000 were given resident-through-marriage visas.The trend was triggered by the large numbers of young, rural ...
Australia treasurer 'disappointed' at US impasse on IMF reform WASHINGTON: The failure of the US Congress to approve International Monetary Fund reforms diminishes the United States' global standing and is deeply disappointing, Australian Treasurer Joe Hockey said on Wednesday.Hockey said reforms agreed by the Group of 20 bloc of advanced and developing nations in 2010 would have doubled the IMF's resources but they were now stuck in limbo because of an impasse in the US Congress."I am deeply disappointed that the IMF quota and ...
Missing painting sold in HK for $3.7mn may have gone out with the trash HONG KONG: A painting that was auctioned for HK$28.8 million ($3.7 million) two days ago has gone missing, police said, with media reports on Wednesday suggesting cleaners may have inadvertently thrown the artwork out.The 2012 painting "Snowy Mountain", by Chinese artist Cui Ruzhuo, was reported missing by Chinese auctioneers Poly Auction on Tuesday afternoon after the auction on Monday, police told Reuters.Ming Pao newspaper reported that police had checked CCTV footage at the Grand Hyatt ...

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Annual2012/13
Foreign Debt $60.9bn
Per Cap Income $1,368
GDP Growth 3.6%
Average CPI 7.5%
MonthlyFebruary
Trade Balance $-1.433 bln
Exports $2.167 bln
Imports $3.600 bln
WeeklyApril 14, 2014
Reserves $9.713 bln