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Magnitude 6.5 quake off Solomons, no tsunami threat SYDNEY: A shallow 6.5 magnitude earthquake struck in the Pacific off the Solomon Islands on Friday, seismologists said, but no tsunami threat was issued and no major damage was expected.The quake hit 154 kilometres (96 miles) southwest of Dadali and 170 kilometres west of the capital Honiara, according to the US Geological Survey. USGS had initially measured the earthquake at 7.0 magnitude but revised it down. It was followed by a 5.3 tremor."Based on all available data a destructive Pacific-wide tsunami is not expected," the Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre said.The Solomons are part of the Pacific "Ring of Fire", a zone of tectonic activity known for its frequent earthquakes and volcanic eruptions."Honiara would have certainly felt this. There would have been a bit of shaking, but only light shaking at this distance," Geoscience Australia seismologist Jonathan Bathgate told AFP."It is unlikely if there will be much damage, if any."A spokesman ...

North Korea rejects reports of high-level defections SEOUL: North Korea responded angrily Thursday to reports in the South Korean media about a recent spate of high-level defections and executions, calling them Nazi-style propaganda aimed at tarnishing Pyongyang's image.The reports in a number of publications have been accompanied by speculation that the defections signal a growing instability in the North Korean leadership under Kim Jong-Un.In a lengthy commentary, the North's official KCNA news agency dismissed the reports as wild rumour and "sheer lies"."The ...
Philippines confirms second MERS case MANILA: A foreigner who flew to the Philippines from the Middle East has become the second confirmed case of MERS in the country, the health department said Monday, as a deadly outbreak in South Korea spreads alarm across Asia.The 36-year-old male patient, whose nationality was not disclosed, has been put in isolation at a government facility to contain the virus, Health Secretary Janette Garin said."We can see he is getting better," Garin told a news ...
China using animals to predict earthquakes: report BEIJING: Chinese government researchers are using chickens, fish and toads to try to predict earthquakes, media reported.The seismological bureau in the eastern city of Nanjing has transformed seven animal farms into seismic stations, the China Daily newspaper reported last week.Breeders on the farms are asked to update the bureau about the behaviour of the animals twice a day, the report said.Possible abnormal behaviour which could indicate imminent earthquakes includes chickens flying atop trees, fish leaping ...
Tropical Storm Linfa brings floods to northern Philippines MANILA: Floods inundated towns in the northern Philippines as Tropical Storm Linfa struck the northern edge of the archipelago, where relief agencies were braced for disaster on Sunday.The region's civil defence chief Chito Castro said that at least 11 coastal towns had been affected by floodwaters and swelling rivers as Linfa passed over the area."The rain is strong, the wind is strong. Major roads are impassable. Some houses are half-covered (with water), some are completely ...
Eleven dead in China building collapse, three missing: state media BEIJING: Eleven people died after a shoe factory collapsed in eastern China, state media reported Sunday, with more than 40 escaping on their own or being rescued.More than 50 workers were in the building in the city of Wenling in Zhejiang province when it came down on Saturday afternoon, state-run China Central Television (CCTV) and the official Xinhua news agency reported.Thirty-three suffered injuries, four of them serious, the report said. Nine others escaped and three ...
Austria Finance Minister says Europe can easily cope economically with Grexit VIENNA: Europe would suffer little economically should Greece leave the euro zone but the consequences for Greece would be considerably worse, Austria's Finance Minister Hans Joerg Schelling said on Saturday."For Europe, this would be easy to manage economically. For Greece, it would indeed be considerably more dramatic," Schelling was quoted as saying in an interview with online newspaper Die Presse.Schelling said Greece would need humanitarian aid in case of "Grexit" but described fears of widespread ...

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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 $-2.378 bln
Exports $2.016 bln
Imports $4.394 bln
WeeklyJuly 23, 2015
Reserves $18.677 bln