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Flood warnings, clean-up as Australia recovers from twin cyclones ROCKHAMPTON: Australia was Saturday assessing the damage from two severe cyclones that left a trail of destruction, wrecking hundreds of homes and cutting electricity to thousands as authorities warned of more flooding and gusty winds.Tropical Cyclone Marcia barrelled through the northeastern state of Queensland Friday at the highest-rated category five, ripping apart houses, uprooting trees and bringing down power lines.The severe system hit hours after category four Tropical Cyclone Lam slammed into the Northern Territory, causing extensive damage to remote Aboriginal communities near Elcho Island, some 500 kilometres (around 300 miles) east of the capital Darwin.Despite the destruction, authorities have so far not received reports of serious injuries, missing people, or deaths."Everyone is breathing a deep sigh of relief that there has been, to this date, no loss of life," Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk told reporters Saturday.Both cyclones have since eased to tropical lows, but the Bureau of Meteorology warned ...

Thai military officer killed in F-16 jet crash: official BANGKOK: A Thai military officer was killed Friday when his F-16 fighter jet crashed during a training exercise in a central province, an official said.The plane crashed at around 3 pm (0800 GMT) in Khok Samrong district of central Lopburi province."The pilot could not eject himself out of the plane in time," Lopburi governor Thanakom Chongchira told AFP by telephone.The cause of the crash, which took place near an airforce training centre, is under investigation.In ...
Thailand bans surrogacy for foreigners in bid to end "rent-a-womb" tourism BANGKOK: Thailand's interim parliament has passed a law that bans foreigners from seeking surrogacy services to end a "rent-a-womb" industry that made the Southeast Asian country a top destination for fertility tourism.Thailand was rocked by several surrogacy scandals last year, including allegations that an Australian couple had abandoned their down syndrome baby with his Thai birth mother taking only his healthy twin sister back to Australia with them.Another case involved a Japanese man who fathered ...
Japan to host 3rd UN World International Conference from March 14 in Sendai TOKYO: Japan would organize a five-day Third UN World Conference on disaster risk reduction here from March 14.This was stated here by a senior official of the Cabinet office of the government of Japan while briefing the visiting media representatives to Japan from sixteen different development countries including Pakistan.The Journalists from Indonesia, Thailand, Phillipne, Vietnam, Mayamar, Fiji, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Colombia, Chile, Brazil, Peru, El Salvador, Nicaragua and Iran were participating at the two-week ...
Thailand's Attorney General files charges against former PM Yingluck BANGKOK: Thailand's Attorney General filed charges to the Supreme Court against deposed Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra on Thursday, in a case that could result in a 10-year jail term if she is found guilty.Yingluck was charged with negligence for her role in a subsidy scheme that paid farmers above market prices for their rice that has cost the state billions of dollars. She denies wrongdoing.The Supreme Court would decide on March 19 whether or not ...
Thai ex-PM Yingluck to be indicted over rice subsidy BANGKOK: Former Thai premier Yingluck Shinawatra was set to be formally indicted over a bungled rice subsidy scheme Thursday in the latest legal move against her polarising family that could see her jailed for up to a decade.Thailand's junta-stacked government is also considering launching a civil suit against the nation's first female prime minister to seek $18 billion in compensation for damages caused by the scheme.Yingluck, sister of fugitive former premier Thaksin Shinawatra, was retroactively ...
Australia PM denies threatening Indonesia SYDNEY: Prime Minister Tony Abbott on Thursday denied threatening Indonesia over the fate of two Australians on death row by linking their fate to aid, insisting he was simply pointing out the depth of ties between the neighbours.As tensions mount in the bid to save Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran, Abbott on Wednesday said Jakarta should remember the significant monetary aid Canberra supplied in the aftermath of the devastating 2004 tsunami.He urged Indonesia to reciprocate ...

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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 $-999 mln
Exports $2.064 bln
Imports $3.063 bln
WeeklyMarch 13, 2015
Reserves $16.273 bln