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China abolishes tobacco price controls: govt BEIJING: China has abolished price controls on tobacco leaf, the last agricultural product to have limits, the country's top economic planner said as authorities seek to give the market a greater economic role.But tobacco leaf prices are only a small factor in the cost of cigarettes -- a state monopoly in China -- so the move is unlikely to have a significant effect on smokers.China is the world's biggest cigarette market and government efforts to curb smoking have only had limited impact.Tobacco was among 24 commodities and services whose cost controls were removed, the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) said at the weekend, with others including railway bulk cargo, parcels, passenger transport and explosives for civilian use.The move comes more than a year after Communist Party leaders pledged to give the market a "decisive" role in resource allocation at a key meeting known as the Third Plenum.China's economy stagnated ...

Bushfire burns out of control in southern Australia SYDNEY: Houses were lost as an intense bushfire raged out of control in South Australia on Saturday, as authorities warned the state faced its worst wildfire danger since deadly 1983 blazes.Officials said the scenic Adelaide Hills, northeast of Adelaide city, faced "an incredibly dangerous fire" which, with high winds and temperatures forecast, was impossible to fight head-on.Dotted with pretty villages, the area is known for its farming produce and wineries and has a population of ...
Iran hosting largest population of world refugees: UNHCR ISLAMABAD: Iran has been hosting the largest population of refugees in world during the past 3 decades, said representative of UN High Commissioner for Refugees in Iran.In the message read on behalf of United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Sivanka Dhanapala in 1st Orumiyeh International Crisis Management Conference in Favor of Refugees and Asylum Seekers, he said that Iran has been for more than 3 decades hosting the largest volume of refugees in the world, ...
South Korea welcomes talks offer from North's leader as 'meaningful' SEOUL: South Korea Thursday welcomed a call by North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un for top-level talks as "meaningful" and suggested the two sides resume dialogue soon."Our government hopes South and North Korea will hold dialogue without formality in the near future," Ryoo Kihl-Jae, the South's unification minister in charge of inter-Korean affairs, told a briefing."The government takes (Kim's message) as meaningful as it showed an advanced attitude towards inter-Korean dialogue and exchanges."Copyright AFP (Agence France-Presse), ...
Bad weather hinders search for victims in AirAsia crash PANGKALAN BUN: Rescue planes and helicopters sat grounded near the coast of the Indonesian island of Borneo on Wednesday as bad weather hampered the search for victims in the crashed AirAsia jet.Officials were forced to suspend aerial missions as heavy rain and low visibility made it difficult to recover bodies four days after the Airbus A320-200 disappeared from the radar en route from the Indonesian city of Surabaya to Singapore."I went to the search area ...
Chaos and screams at Shanghai New Year stampede SHANGHAI: Shanghai's joyful New Year celebration ended in screams, panic and chaos as a stampede enveloped a crowd of revellers so dense that emergency services were initially prevented from helping.American Andrew Shainker, who teaches English in the city, spent New Year's Eve on a restaurant terrace overlooking the pandemonium centred on a stairway leading up to the Bund, a riverfront promenade.It "looked from above as if people were getting crushed as more and more people ...
New Year revelry hurts hundreds in Philippines MANILA: Firecrackers and gunfire during New Year revelry in the Philippines left 354 people injured, with more than a dozen requiring amputations including a five-year-old boy, the top health official said Thursday.The annual tide of injuries during New Year celebrations dropped to the lowest in five years, with 351 people hurt by fireworks and three hit by stray bullets in the last few days of 2014, said Health Secretary Janette Garin.However the number of people ...

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ICT 2014


Annual2013/14
Foreign Debt $61.805bn
Per Cap Income $1,386
GDP Growth 4.14%
Average CPI 8.6%
MonthlyNovember
Trade Balance $-1.664 bln
Exports $1.966 bln
Imports $3.630 bln
WeeklyJanuary 22, 2015
Reserves $10.331 bln