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South Korea police name 22 over fatal rooftop collapse SEOUL: South Korean police on Thursday named 22 people who may face criminal charges over the collapse last month of a gymnasium packed with students that killed 10 people, mostly college freshmen.More than 200 were injured when the roof of the building -- in a sprawling mountain resort near the southern city of Gyeongju -- caved in under the weight of heavy snow on February 17.Welcoming events for college freshmen were being held at the resort which had experienced unusually heavy snowfall in the preceding week. Police earlier said evidence had been found of structural flaws and lax management controls.The group of 22 people include senior managers of the resort and companies that built the gymnasium, as well as municipal officials. They are accused of using cheap, inadequate materials, providing state approval to an inadequate project and failing to remove snow or issue timely heavy snow alerts, police said. "The ...

China earthquake activist freed after five years: lawyer BEIJING: A Chinese activist who investigated whether shoddy construction caused the deaths of thousands of children when their schools collapsed in a 2008 earthquake was released Thursday after finishing a five-year jail term, his lawyer said.Writer and campaigner Tan Zuoren was on his way home to Chengdu, the capital of the southwestern province of Sichuan, his lawyer Pu Zhiqiang told AFP by phone."He was released today. Now he's on the way home," Pu said.Tan, 59, ...
World's 'longest-serving' death row inmate granted retrial in Japan TOKYO: A man believed to be the world's longest-serving death row inmate was Thursday granted a retrial in Japan over multiple murders in 1966, decades after doubts emerged about his guilt.Shizuoka District Court decided to "start the retrial over the case" of Iwao Hakamada, 78, who was convicted for the grisly murder of his boss and the man's family, a court official said.Delivering his ruling, presiding judge Hiroaki Murayama cited possible planting of evidence by ...
Japan, South Korea meet a chance to see 'real Abe': Tokyo TOKYO: Tokyo Wednesday hailed the first summit between Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and South Korean President Park Geun-Hye as a chance for the leaders to build a rapport after more than a year of backbiting.The talks in The Hague were hosted by US President Barack Obama, whose administration is increasingly frustrated by incessant sniping between its two major Asian allies."It seemed that she did not have a good impression of the prime minister, so ...
MtGox says co-operating with Tokyo police TOKYO: Failed Bitcoin exchange MtGox said Wednesday it has submitted "electronic records" and other documents to the Tokyo police after it collapsed in February admitting losing half a billion dollars' worth of the digital currency.The Tokyo-based exchange filed for bankruptcy protection in Japan last month, saying it had lost 850,000 coins, worth nearly $500 million at the time.It said last week it had found 200,000 of them in a "cold wallet" -- a storage device, ...
Australian PM under fire over knights and dames SYDNEY: Monarchist Prime Minister Tony Abbott was accused Wednesday of sending Australia into a "time warp" by reintroducing knights and dames to the country's honours list.The conservative leader announced the move Tuesday with ministers revealing he went straight to Britain's Queen Elizabeth II, Australia's head of state, for approval without consulting his Liberal Party.Opposition Labor lawmakers ridiculed the move, asking why he was not focusing on important issues such as health and unemployment instead."I'm concerned ...
Japan foreign minister likely to postpone Russia visit TOKYO: Japan's Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida is likely to postpone a visit to Russia planned for April, Japanese Jiji news agency said on Tuesday citing government sources, as Tokyo's ties with Moscow grow chilly after Russia's seizure of Crimea.An official at the Russian section of Japan's Foreign Ministry declined to comment on the news.This comes a day after leaders of the Group of Seven nations, including Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, suspended Russia's participation in ...

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Foreign Debt $60.9bn
Per Cap Income $1,368
GDP Growth 3.6%
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Trade Balance $-1.433 bln
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WeeklyApril 14, 2014
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