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Australia to match EU on Russia sanctions: PM SYDNEY: Australia will toughen its sanctions against Russia over the crisis in Ukraine so they match those of the European Union, Prime Minister Tony Abbott said Monday.Australia already has some sanctions against Russia, but Abbott said these would be tightened as a result of Moscow's persistent and deliberate violation of its neighbour's sovereignty."Australia will lift its sanctions against Russia to the level of the European Union," Abbott told parliament in Canberra."There will be no new arms exports, there will be no new access by Russian state-owned banks to the Australian capital market, there will be no new exports for use in the oil and gas industry, there will be no new trade or investment in the Crimea."And there will be further targeted financial sanctions and travel bans against specific individuals."The European Union and the United States in March slapped tough sanctions on Russia over its role in the Ukraine crisis, ...

Car bomb found at Philippines' main airport: authorities MANILA: Four people were arrested after a bomb was found in a van parked at Manila's international airport, authorities said on Monday.The utility vehicle containing an "improvised explosive device" was found at the airport's terminal three car park at about 1:45 am (1745 GMT) Monday, said a short report released by the National Bureau of Investigation."Four suspects were arrested," said the report, which was released by the airport's media affairs office.The report gave no other ...
New Zealand PM still upbeat as corruption claims swirl WELLINGTON: New Zealand Prime Minister John Key insisted his bid for re-election remained on track Monday, as the opposition demanded a corruption probe into a scandal that brought down a senior minister Campaigning for the September 20 vote has been dominated by allegations, based on emails hacked from a right-wing blogger's computer, that members of Key's conservative government engaged in a sustained dirty tricks campaign against opponents.Justice Minister Judith Collins was forced to resign on ...
Top Chinese official heckled by Hong Kong protesters HONG KONG: A senior Chinese official was angrily heckled by Hong Kong protesters Monday as he tried to defend Beijing's landmark decision to control which candidates can stand in the city's next leadership election. Li Fei, a member of the top committee of China's rubber stamp parliament, was forced to speak over the cries of pro-democracy lawmakers and protesters during a meeting with local officials in the southern Chinese city. His visit comes a day ...
Unchallenged Macau leader set for a second term HONG KONG: Macau is set to re-elect its incumbent leader in an unchallenged contest on Sunday as the gambling hub faces growing calls for democracy amid anger over deteriorating living conditions and government accountability.The booming city's sole chief executive candidate Fernando Chui will be selected by a 400-strong pro-Beijing electoral committee for a second term, in a foregone contest which pro-democracy advocates have called "ridiculous".The former Portuguese colony has grown wealthy off the proceeds of ...
Japan ex-wrestler wages 'sports diplomacy' in North Korea TOKYO: Flamboyant Japanese wrestler-turned-politician Kanji "Antonio" Inoki kicked off his brand of sports diplomacy in North Korea Saturday in an unusual two-day event featuring martial artists from around the world.Inoki, 71, an opposition member of Japan's upper house with a penchant for red scarves, has travelled to the reclusive state with a host of international fighters in an attempt to use sport to thaw relations between Tokyo and Pyongyang.He met with North Korea's ceremonial head ...
China, Hong Kong poised for showdown over democracy HONG KONG: Hong Kong is poised for a showdown with China when the Chinese parliament meets later on Sunday, with the largely rubber-stamp body likely to snuff out hopes for a democratic breakthrough in the regional financial hub at elections due in 2017. Political reform has been a constant source of friction between Hong Kong's pro-democracy movement and the mainland since the former British colony was handed back to Communist Party rulers in 1997.On the ...

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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 $-1.434 bln
Exports $1.930 bln
Imports $3.364 bln
WeeklySeptember 15, 2014
Reserves $13.414 bln