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Thai PM to visit Myanmar in first overseas foray BANGKOK: Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-O-Cha will arrive in Myanmar on Thursday, a government spokesman said, in his first overseas foray since grabbing power in a coup as he seeks to redouble economic ties with the kingdom's emerging neighbour.The Thai junta ruler, who retired as army chief last month, is set for talks with fellow former general President Thein Sein, who swapped his uniform three years ago for civilian clothes as Myanmar edged away from full military rule.Prayut is chasing international legitimacy for an administration which has suspended Thailand's democracy and imposed sweeping curbs on dissent since toppling the elected government on May 22.The two leaders will discuss issues including kick-starting the stalled Dawei deep-sea port project, the cross border drug trade, and migration, government spokesman Yongyuth Mayalarap told AFP."Over the last year the political situation has made it difficult for Thailand to play its previous role in international relations," ...

North Korea seeks to defuse UN rights criticism UNITED NATIONS: North Korea on Tuesday sought to defuse criticism of its human rights record, as the European Union and Japan prepared a UN resolution harshly condemning Pyongyang's brutality.North Korean officials told a rare UN briefing that there were no prison camps in their country, but rather reform-through-labor "detention centers.""There are detention centers whereby people improve their mentality and look upon their wrongdoings and they reform through labor," said official Choe Myong Nam.He said economic ...
Samsung boss 'recovering steadily' from heart attack: spokesman SEOUL: Samsung chairman Lee Kun-Hee is recovering steadily after suffering in May from a heart attack that left him hospitalised for months, a group spokesman said Wednesday. Lee, 72, is credited with turning the once-obscure South Korean company into the electronics giant currently leading the world's memory chip and smartphone markets.His failing health has fanned concerns over potential disruption in Samsung's management, with company officials largely tight-lipped over details of his condition."He is recovering steadily ...
China builds military airstrip on disputed island: Xinhua BEIJING: Beijing has completed a runway for military aircraft on a South China Sea island also claimed by Vietnam, state-run media reported, as it asserts its territorial claims in the area.The newly built facility stretches across Woody Island, part of the Paracel chain, China's Xinhua news agency said late Tuesday.The Paracels are also claimed by Vietnam and Taiwan, and tensions between Beijing and Hanoi rose this year over Chinese construction and oil exploration there.The runway ...
Major new fault found in New Zealand capital WELLINGTON: A new geological fault capable of generating a 7.1-magnitude earthquake has been found in Wellington, confirming the New Zealand capital's status as one of the world's most seismically active cities, scientists revealed Wednesday.Geologists from the official NIWA research agency said the Aotea fault began on the floor of Wellington Harbour and was believed to extend through the central city and southern suburbs.NIWA marine geologist Philip Barnes said there was evidence that the most recent ...
Rare North Korea visit to South opens direct line to Kim SEOUL: A shock visit by North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un's closest aides to South Korea has opened a high-level communication between the two rivals that has been missing for years, analysts said Sunday.Whether it is a line of communication that will endure or produce lasting results remains to be seen, but Saturday's visit by a trio of top-ranking officials provided an opportunity that few saw coming."It's huge," said Andrei Lankov, a professor of Korean Studies ...
Philippines suspends work on South China Sea military airstrip MANILA: The Philippines said Saturday it has shelved planned improvements on a military airstrip in the disputed South China Sea to support its bid for a UN ruling against Beijing over the tense territorial row.The Philippines infuriated China in March by asking a United Nations tribunal to declare Beijing's territorial claims in the South China Sea a violation of international law.China claims almost all of the sea, a vital avenue for world trade that is ...

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Foreign Debt $61.805bn
Per Cap Income $1,386
GDP Growth 4.14%
Average CPI 8.6%
Trade Balance $-19.98 bln
Exports $25.13 bln
Imports $45.11 bln
WeeklyOctober 27, 2014
Reserves $13.464 bln