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225 victims of MH17 identified THE HAGUE: Forensic experts have identified a total of 225 victims of downed Malaysia Airlines flight MH17, with 14 new names released to families, Dutch authorities said on Friday."Among the 14 victims, seven were Dutch and seven were of other nationalities," the justice ministry said in a statement, adding that those nationalities would not be released at the behest of their embassies.The Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 exploded over insurgent-held east Ukraine on July 17, killing all 298 on board, 193 of them Dutch.The findings of an initial report by a Dutch-led team of air crash investigators appear to back up claims that the plane was hit by an anti-aircraft missile.Kiev and the West have accused separatists of shooting it down with a surface-to-air BUK missile supplied by Russia -- a charge Moscow denies.Last month forensics experts suspended their search for bodies due to clashes between Kiev and the pro-Russian rebels ...

Japan PM say he aims to see pension-fund reform as soon as possible TOKYO: Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said on Friday he aims to reform the country's $1.2 trillion public fund as soon as possible, a prospect which has boosted shares in Tokyo and added further downward pressure on the yen. Earlier this month, Abe appointed Yasuhisa Shiozaki, a proponent of diversifying the assets of the Government Pension Investment Fund (GPIF) away from government debt, to the post of health minister, whose job includes supervising the pension ...
Election-eve polls point to New Zealand cliffhanger WELLINGTON: New Zealand political leaders made their final pitch to voters on Friday as election-eve polls pointed to Prime Minister John Key scraping a win.Key, who is seeking a third term, said his support remained solid despite dirty tricks allegations against his centre-right government, while Labour leader David Cunliffe said he saw a growing mood for change.Both leaders predicted the outcome would be close under New Zealand's complicated proportional voting system, which is notoriously hard ...
Arrests made in major Australian counter-terror raids SYDNEY: Police on Thursday made a series of arrests in pre-dawn counter-terrorism raids across Sydney and Brisbane, with those detained reportedly suspected of links to the militants group Islamic State.The large-scale operation, which spanned multiple suburbs, comes barely a week after Australia raised the terror threat level to "high" for the first time in a decade on growing concern about militants returning from fighting in Iraq and Syria. Police said 600 officers were involved and ...
PM set to win N.Z. vote despite 'dirty tricks' WELLINGTON: New Zealanders head to the polls on Saturday amid signs Prime Minister John Key has managed to ride out dirty tricks allegations and will narrowly win a third term after highlighting his economic record. While New Zealand's complicated proportional voting system is notoriously hard to predict, most opinion polls have Key's centre-right National Party returning to power with the support of a handful of minor parties to form government.The main opposition Labour Party along ...
Four jailed on terror charges in China: state media BEIJING: A Chinese court has sentenced four people to between 10 and 20 years in prison on terror-related charges, state media reported, as Beijing furthers a crackdown after a wave of violent attacks.The four individuals were found guilty on Wednesday of "participating in terrorist organizations, illegally manufacturing explosives, harbouring suspects and financing terror activities", according to a report on Yunnan Net, a Yunnan provincial government news website.The four -- whose names suggest they are members ...
China's Xi kicks off $1.4bn Sri Lanka port city development COLOMBO: Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday launched the construction of a $1.4 billion port city in Sri Lanka's capital that will give Beijing a firmer foothold in the Indian Ocean region. Xi wrapped up his two-day visit to Sri Lanka by visiting Colombo harbour to kick off building of the port city, before heading to neighbouring giant India. The new city, Sri Lanka's largest single foreign investment, is being built alongside an already existing ...

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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
WeeklySeptember 25, 2014
Reserves $13.305 bln