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North Korea to lift Ebola ban on foreign tourists SEOUL: North Korea is set to lift a four-month ban on foreign tourism imposed over concerns of the spread of the deadly Ebola virus, a Beijing-based tour group said on Monday.Koryo Tours, one of the handful of agencies running regular tours to the North, said it had been contacted by the National Tourism Administration in Pyongyang with news that there was "some movement" over the current travel ban."We were told we should expect confirmation later today with details of the country's plan for reopening the border," the agency said in a statement.North Korea, which has not registered a single suspected case of Ebola, closed its borders to foreign tourists back in October.It also strictly enforced a 21-day quarantine period on anyone entering the country, including foreign diplomats.Just last week it announced a ban on foreigners taking part in its annual international Pyongyang marathon in April.Tourism is a crucial source of ...

Hong Kong lawmakers hand themselves in to police over protests HONG KONG: Hong Kong pro-democracy lawmakers handed themselves in to police Monday over their involvement in mass protests for free elections, the latest step in a widespread investigation which has been accused of intimidation.Police have vowed to investigate the "principal instigators" of the street blockades which ended in December when rally camps were cleared.A number of protest leaders have been arrested and released without charge, in a controversial procedure which some say is harassment. Albert ...
China's leaders meet with 'rule of law' on agenda BEIJING: When Chinese President Xi Jinping pledged to "safeguard the rights of people in line with law" in his New Year address, Xu Liangju was in a cell for seeking government action over the killing of her teenage son.On a winter morning, the 45-year-old was muscled into a van, taken to a police station, driven seven hours to her home province of Henan and sentenced by police to 10 days' detention.Her crime? "Illegally petitioning outside ...
Indonesia says fate of Mahakam block in Pertamina's hands JAKARTA: Indonesia says it plans to hand control over the Mahakam gas block to Pertamina once its current operator's contract, held by Total SA, expires in 2017, but details of a proposed partnership remain unclear.Total's contract to operate the Mahakam block, Indonesia's single-largest source of natural gas, is one of numerous oil and gas contracts due to expire under uncertain terms, a stumbling block that the government of Southeast Asia's largest economy has promised to ...
Indonesia deports Australian journalist for visa violations JAKARTA: An Australian journalist has been deported from Indonesia for reporting without a proper visa as she covered two Australian drug traffickers on death row, an immigration official said Saturday.Candace Sutton, a reporter for the Daily Mail, was taken in for questioning by immigration officials on Wednesday as she interviewed a relative of one of the Australian convicts in the coastal town of Cilacap.The town is close to a prison island where the traffickers Myuran ...
China to raise retail price of gasoline and diesel BEIJING: China will raise retail prices for gasoline by 390 yuan ($62) per tonne and for diesel by 375 yuan ($60) per tonne from Saturday as oil prices moved off lows plumbed last month, the country's powerful economic planning agency said on Friday.The hike is the second consecutive price increase by the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), which can adjust fuel price ceilings on a bi-weekly basis.The pricing system, adopted in March 2013, ensures ...
Four dead in second rare shooting in South Korea SEOUL: Four people, including a policeman, were killed on Friday in the second shooting incident in two days in South Korea where gun crime is extremely rare.A 75-year-old man, armed with a hunting rifle, shot dead his brother, the brother's wife and a policeman who responded to an emergency call, Yonhap news agency said.The gunman then turned the weapon on himself.Police told Yonhap that the shooting in Hwaseong City, around 40 kilometres (25 miles) southwest ...

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ICT 2014

Foreign Debt $61.805bn
Per Cap Income $1,386
GDP Growth 4.14%
Average CPI 8.6%
Trade Balance $-999 mln
Exports $2.064 bln
Imports $3.063 bln
WeeklyMarch 20, 2015
Reserves $16.132 bln