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Third Australian killed fighting with IS militants: report SYDNEY: A third Australian has died in the past two weeks while fighting with Islamic State (IS) militants in Syria, a report said Sunday.The man, who was not named, was believed to be from south-west Sydney and married with children, according to the Sun Herald.Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs said it was attempting to verify the reports, but it was "very difficult to do so"."Due to the extremely dangerous security situation consular assistance is no longer available within Syria or Iraq," a foreign ministry spokesman said in a statement.The reports came two weeks after Afghan-born Mohammad Ali Baryalei, Australia's most senior IS recruit, was reportedly killed in Syria.The Herald reported that another IS fighter from Sydney, Abu Noor al-Kurdi, was also killed with Baryalei. It followed claims that hardline IS chief Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was killed in US-led airstrikes near the Iraqi city of Mosul on Saturday, although US officials ...

Philippines remembers thousands killed a year after typhoon Haiyan TACLOBAN CITY: Candles lit up the streets of the central Philippine city worst-hit by the strongest storm to make landfall as thousands remembered more than 6,300 people who died a year ago when typhoon Haiyan smashed into the country.Before dawn on Saturday, more than 5,000 people holding white balloons and candles mournfully walked around the regional capital Tacloban City, passing through areas flattened by Haiyan's 250 kph (155 mph) winds and seven-metre high storm surge.Church ...
Unclear if China ready to sign IT agreement: WTO chief BEIJING: China is part of "intensive" talks on a global trade pact regarding information technology products, the World Trade Organization's chief said on Saturday, but it is unclear if a deal will be made at a meeting of Asia-Pacific leaders underway in Beijing.The United States and other countries have been hopeful that China would sign on to the Information Technology Agreement (ITA), which requires signatories to eliminate duties on some IT products, during the Asia-Pacific ...
Australia says pleased with progress on China free trade pact BEIJING: Australia said on Saturday it was pleased with progress on a long-planned free trade agreement with China and that it would be happy to conclude it by next week when Chinese President Xi Jinping visits. Xi will attend the G20 summit in Brisbane next week and then make a formal state visit."I understand that our negotiators are very pleased with the progress," Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop told reporters on the sidelines of the ...
Australian PM to have 'robust' talk with Putin SYDNEY: Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott said Saturday he would have a "robust" conversation about downed Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 with Russian President Vladimir Putin when they meet in Beijing.The Kremlin confirmed on Friday that Putin will meet Abbott, who last month promised to confront the Russian president over the downing of the plane, at a summit in the Chinese capital."I am going to have a very robust conversation with him," Abbott told reporters in ...
The dragon and the bear: Xi, Putin form power duo at APEC BEIJING: China's authoritarian President Xi Jinping and Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin share similar views on issues from human rights to Mikhail Gorbachev, in an increasingly close personal relationship that mirrors their countries' converging interests.Putin arrives in Beijing Sunday for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit and his 10th meeting with Xi since the Chinese president took office in March last year, according to the Communist mouthpiece People's Daily.Their growing rapport comes as their nations' trade, ...
Prayers, tears in Philippines one year after super typhoon TACLOBAN: Survivors of the strongest typhoon ever to hit land descended on mass graves Saturday to mark one year since the storm devastated the central Philippines and condemned millions to deeper poverty.Super Typhoon Haiyan claimed more than 7,350 lives as it swept in off the Pacific Ocean, with its record winds and once-in-a-generation storm surges flattening entire towns.The typhoon tore across a corridor of islands where about 14 million people lived in farming and fishing ...

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Banking Review 2013

Foreign Debt $61.805bn
Per Cap Income $1,386
GDP Growth 4.14%
Average CPI 8.6%
Trade Balance $-2.380 bln
Exports $2.181 bln
Imports $4.561 bln
WeeklyNovember 13, 2014
Reserves $13.268 bln