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Hong Kong riot police 'withdrawn' from protests: govt HONG KONG: Hong Kong's authorities announced Monday they were withdrawing riot police from the streets of the protest-wracked city in a major concession to pro-democracy demonstrators.A statement posted on the government's website read: "Because citizens gathered on the street have calmed, riot police have been withdrawn." The statement also called on protesters "to give up occupied roads as soon as possible for emergency vehicles to pass through and for the partial restoration of public transport services".Thousands of protesters have taken control of at least three major thoroughfares, paralysing parts of the city after hours of overnight battles with police firing tear gas.Throughout Monday morning the police presence has been noticeably more subdued with riot police replaced by smaller numbers of officers in everyday uniforms.At one protest site in the busy Causeway Bay shopping district there was no visible police presence. But demonstrators have shown little sign of heeding the government's ...

Indonesia parliament to vote on 2015 budget with deficit at 2.21pc of GDP JAKARTA: Indonesia's parliament is set to vote on the 2015 budget on Monday with a deficit at 2.21 percent of gross domestic product, lower than the initial proposal at 2.32 percent, and also below this year's 2.4 percent.The 2015 budget, which was agreed on by the parliament's budgetary committee and Finance Minister Chatib Basri on Sunday, will only fund president-elect Joko Widodo's basic government operation.State revenue was earmarked at 1,793.6 trillion rupiah ($149.22 billion) and ...
Thai police no closer to an arrest in murder of British tourists BANGKOK: Thai police investigating the murder of two British tourists said on Sunday that they were no closer to an arrest as frustration grows over the lack of a breakthrough. The bodies of Hanna Witheridge, 23, and David Miller, 24, were discovered on Sept. 15 on Koh Tao island, popular with divers who come for its coral reefs and beach parties. Police spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Kissana Phatanacharoen told Reuters that "hundreds of DNA samples" had ...
New underwater discoveries in hunt for MH370 SYDNEY: Remnants of volcanoes, towering ridges and deep trenches have been discovered on the seabed of the southern Indian Ocean by experts mapping the underwater terrain as part of the search for missing Malaysian Airlines flight MH370.Australian authorities released the three-dimensional images on Friday, revealing for the first time details about the seafloor where efforts are being concentrated to find the jet, which is presumed to have crashed into the sea on March 8.The area ...
New Zealand opposition leader quits after poll rout WELLINGTON: New Zealand opposition leader David Cunliffe bowed to mounting pressure and quit as head of the Labour Party Saturday, saying he took responsibility for last week's general election rout.Cunliffe had faced widespread criticism within the centre-left Labour Party after it won just 24 percent of the vote, its second worst performance in New Zealand political history. The centre-right National Party of Prime Minister John Key was resoundingly re-elected for a third term with an ...
Australia defends sending refugees to Cambodia SYDNEY: Australia's Immigration Minister Scott Morrison on Saturday defended the government's plan to transfer refugees to Cambodia, saying the programme would start small but be a long-term arrangement.Under Canberra's hardline immigration policy, asylum-seekers who arrive on boats are denied resettlement in Australia and sent to Papua New Guinea and the Pacific state of Nauru, even if they are genuine refugees.On Friday, Morrison signed a deal in Phnom Penh which would allow those in Nauru who ...
Philippines 'breaks world tree-planting record' MANILA: Philippine officials said Saturday they had set a new world record for the most trees planted in an hour, with 3.2 million seedlings sown as part of a national forestation programme.Official certification from Guinness World Records will still take weeks but government officers expressed confidence they had broken the old record of 1.9 million trees planted in India on August 15, 2011.The trees were planted in six different areas on the southern Philippine island ...

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Annual2013/14
Foreign Debt $61.805bn
Per Cap Income $1,386
GDP Growth 4.14%
Average CPI 8.6%
MonthlyAugust
Trade Balance $-2.807 bln
Exports $1.911 bln
Imports $4.718 bln
WeeklyOctober 10, 2014
Reserves $13.401 bln