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Myanmar election talks close without resolution NAYPYIDAW: A second round of talks between the key players in Myanmar's looming election, including Aung San Suu Kyi, finished without resolution, a minister said Friday, though he described the discussion as "successful."Polls, slated for November, are being keenly watched as a litmus test for the veracity of reforms since 2011 when the military shed outright rule after decades of iron-fisted control. Opposition leader Suu Kyi on Thursday refused to rule out a boycott of landmark polls, which her party is expected to win.She is currently barred from the presidency by a constitutional clause she says was inserted by the army drafters specifically to block her path to the top office.Talks in Naypyidaw started on Wednesday but were trimmed down to Friday's meeting attended by Suu Kyi, President Thein Sein, the nation's powerful army chief, parliamentary speaker Shwe Mann and representatives from the nation's ethnic minorities.They agreed to hold further ...

15 killed in Afghan bombings, including attack on NATO convoy JALALABAD: A Taliban suicide car bomb targeted a NATO convoy in eastern Afghanistan Friday, killing at least three civilians as security forces brace for a full-blown insurgent offensive in the spring fighting season.Separately, 12 civilians onboard a minivan were killed when a roadside bomb struck their vehicle in the militant-infested southeastern province of Ghazni.The civilian fatalities come as Taliban insurgents step up attacks on government and foreign targets after Washington announced a delay in US ...
Australia boosts aid, air force capacity with C-17s SYDNEY: Australia said on Friday it was buying two long-distance C-17 Globemaster planes in an Aus$1 billion (US$770 million) procurement that will boost its military and disaster relief operations worldwide.The Royal Australian Air Force has conducted aerial operations in Iraq against Islamic State jihadists, and provided humanitarian aid in natural disaster zones in Vanuatu, Japan, New Zealand and at home."These aircraft make the strong arm of Australia longer than would otherwise be the case because ...
North Korea parliament vows continued push for nuclear programme SEOUL: North Korea on Thursday vowed to continue its push to develop nuclear weapons as well as ease chronic food and energy shortages during a rare parliamentary session that was closely watched by observers.The announcement made following the meeting -- one of the few opportunities to gauge the mood inside the reclusive nation -- stuck closely to a New Year's speech by leader Kim Jong-Un which stressed the need to improve people's living standards.According to ...
Myanmar's Suu Kyi refuses to rule out election boycott NAYPYIDAW: Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi Thursday refused to rule out a boycott of looming elections as she cast doubt over the likelihood of key changes to a charter that bans her from running for president.Her country is bracing for elections later this year seen as a vital test of democratic reforms in a nation that was until recently straitjacketed by decades of junta rule. Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy (NLD) party ...
Japanese Ebola test gives results in 11 minutes: researcher TOKYO: A Japanese research team said Thursday it had developed a field test for Ebola that gives results in just over 11 minutes -- down from the 90-minute test used now.The breakthrough by Nagasaki University's Institute of Tropical Medicine will allow medics to move much more quickly in treating people with the haemorrhagic fever, Professor Jiro Yasuda told AFP."The result time was unexpectedly short," said Yasuda of the trial conducted in Guinea last month on ...
Thailand, Russia aim to double bilateral trade in 2016 BANGKOK: Thailand and Russia aim to double annual bilateral trade in 2016 to $10 billion, Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha said on Wednesday after signing several agreements with Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev in Bangkok.Medvedev's visit to Thailand is the first by a Russian prime minister for 25 years, lending high profile international support to a Thai military government that has faced opprobrium from old ally the United States for ousting a democratic government in ...

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Banking Review 2014

Foreign Debt $61.805bn
Per Cap Income $1,386
GDP Growth 4.14%
Average CPI 8.6%
Trade Balance $-1.586 bln
Exports $1.932 bln
Imports $3.518 bln
WeeklyApril 16, 2015
Reserves $16.818 bln