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Hong Kong protest leader says block government, not roads HONG KONG: A founder of Hong Kong's pro-democracy movement branded the occupation of the city's main roads as "high-risk" Friday, urging protesters to turn to new methods of civil disobedience to push for electoral reform.Benny Tai, one of the three founders of the Occupy Central with Love and Peace movement, said the movement has now run its course and warned that protesters now risk further violent clashes with police if they stay in their camps."Occupation is now a high-risk, low-return business," he said in an editorial in the New York Times, arguing that campaigners should instead turn to "acts of noncooperation" such as refusing to pay taxes."The occupation has won over as many Hong Kongers as it ever will, and we should consider new ways to convince the public that fighting for full democracy is in their interest."Campaigners have camped out on Hong Kong's streets for more than two months ...

Australia toughens up immigration but lets in more refugees SYDNEY: Australia's conservative government on Friday further tightened immigration laws to stop arrivals by sea but pledged to increase the overall refugee intake by 7,500 and free hundreds of children detained offshore.The amendments to the Migration Act which see a return to controversial "temporary protection visas" passed through the lower house Friday morning after a late-night cliff-hanger debate in the upper house Senate."This is a win for Australia," Prime Minister Tony Abbott said.He confirmed several ...
Ailing Thai king advised not to appear for 87th birthday BANGKOK: Thailand's ailing but much adored King Bhumibol Adulyadej has been advised by doctors to cancel an annual appearance to mark his 87th birthday Friday, the palace said.The king, who is the world's longest-serving monarch, has spent most of the last few months in hospital as fears over his health mount in a nation where he is seen as unifying, father-figure throughout a turbulent six-decade rule."A team of royal physicians examined the king on Thursday ...
Ancient earthquake uncovered in China: Xinhua BEIJING: Scientists have found evidence of a powerful earthquake 3,000 years ago in central China, apparently the earliest known tremor in the country's history, state media reported.The earthquake, which hit an area now part of Henan province, was of magnitude 6.8 to 7.1, archaeologists told the state-run Xinhua news agency on Thursday.Signs of the quake were first found in 2005 in seriously damaged ash pits, residences and graves that lay buried under a village in ...
Hong Kong student leaders consider protest retreat HONG KONG: Hong Kong's student leaders said Thursday they would decide in the coming days whether to leave protest sites they have occupied for more than two months, following violent clashes.The rallies for fully free leadership elections drew tens of thousands at their height, but numbers have dwindled as public support for the movement has waned.One prominent protest leader said the students would decide "within a week" whether to leave two remaining camps in the ...
China says 100mn 'outbound trips' this year BEIJING: Chinese travellers have taken 100 million "outbound" trips this year, officials said, with the vast majority visiting Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan.Just under four percent of the 100 million trips counted up to the end of November were to Europe, China's state tourism administration said Wednesday, while 90 percent were within Asia.Although Beijing considers self-governing Taiwan as part of China along with Hong Kong and Macau, the tourism administration said that nearly 71 percent ...
Eleven bodies from South Korea trawler found in Bering Sea SEOUL: Eleven more bodies were recovered Wednesday from the area where a South Korean trawler sank in the Bering Sea as hopes dimmed of finding any survivors among 41 crew members still missing.The 11 comprise seven Indonesians, three South Koreans and a Filipino, the South Korean foreign ministry said in a press statement.A total of 12 bodies have now been recovered while seven people were rescued, leaving 41 still unaccounted for.The 1,753-tonne Oryong 501 trawler, ...

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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 $-2.309 bln
Exports $1.957 bln
Imports $4.266 bln
WeeklyDecember 18, 2014
Reserves $14.04 bln