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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 governance reforms that the G20 agreed to in 2010 have still not been implemented and that the path forward for ratification is now highly uncertain," he said at an event organized by Johns Hopkins University."The failure to finalize this issue diminishes America's global standing instead of enhancing it."Australia chairs the G20 this year and Hockey said there would be a joint meeting of G20 nations and the IMF's International Monetary and Financial Committee on Friday ...

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 ...
World powers, Iran return to nuclear talks VIENNA: Negotiators for Iran and world powers on Wednesday started their second day of a round of talks in Vienna aimed at hammering out a definitive deal over Tehran's contested nuclear programme by a July 20 deadline.Although little information has filtered out about the substance of the negotiations, an Iranian representative, Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi, said late Tuesday that differences on several issues had been narrowed.A source close to the talks said the Iranian ...
Indonesia vote to set governor on course for presidency JAKARTA: Indonesians went to the polls Wednesday in parliamentary elections expected to boost the main opposition and move their popular presidential candidate, Jakarta governor Joko Widodo, a step closer to becoming the country's next leader.Millions of voters streamed to polling stations across the sprawling archipelago, from eastern Papua -- where officials warned of delays due to problems transporting ballot boxes to mountainous areas -- to the main island of Java and Sumatra in the west. ...
MH370 search chief hopeful of finding wreckage within 'days' PERTH: The Australian heading the search for missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 said Wednesday he hoped wreckage from the plane would now be found within days."Hopefully with lots of transmissions we'll have a tight, small area and hopefully in a matter of days we'll be able to find something on the bottom that might confirm that this is the last resting place of MH370," Angus Houston told reporters. So far four transmissions have been detected ...
Japan opposition fears Abe 'destabilizing' region WASHINGTON: Japan's main opposition leader on Tuesday chided Prime Minister Shinzo Abe for conservative statements on war history and voiced fear he could be a "destabilizing" factor in East Asia.On a visit to Washington, Banri Kaieda, president of the opposition Democratic Party of Japan, said he remained fully committed to the country's past expressions of regret for its wartime behavior.Kaieda said that the Abe government's remarks and actions had alienated Japan's neighbors as well as ...
Jailed academic's daughter says China stifling Uighurs WASHINGTON: The daughter of a prominent Uighur academic told US lawmakers on Tuesday that his arrest sent a message China will not tolerate even peaceful expression of grievances by the minority group.Ilham Tohti, an economist in Beijing who has been one of the most visible critics of China's treatment of the mostly Muslim ethnic group, was detained in January and accused of separatism, a charge that could carry the death penalty.His 19-year-old daughter Jewher Ilham, ...

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Foreign Debt $60.9bn
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