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Australia gives visas to 500 Afghans who helped in war SYDNEY: Australia has granted refugee visas to more than 500 Afghans for their help during its mission in the war-torn nation, saying their safety would be jeopardised by remaining in the country.The Afghan nationals, mainly interpreters, were resettled with their families in late 2013 and early 2014, the government revealed in a statement late Sunday."Many of these employees were placed at significant risk of harm by insurgents in Afghanistan, due to the highly visible and dangerous nature of their employment," Defence Minister David Johnston said.He added that it had been imperative for the government to deal with the process discreetly, given the risks involved, which is why Canberra had not commented on their fate before now.Immigration Minister Scott Morrison called their resettlement a "significant achievement"."This policy reflects Australia's fulfillment of its moral obligation to those who provided invaluable support to Australia's efforts in Afghanistan," he said.The last Australian combat troops ...

Indonesia's April tourist arrivals up 12.41pc y/y JAKARTA: Indonesia's foreign tourist arrivals in April rose 12.41 percent from a year earlier, quickening from growth of 5.55 percent in March, the statistics bureau said on Monday. The data showed there were 726,300 tourists visiting the country, versus 765,600 tourists in the previous month. The G20 economy attracts fewer tourists than many other countries in the region, and an increase in service industries could help the country's capital-account balance, as well as economic growth. ...
Thai soldiers and police out in force to deter protest BANGKOK: Around 6,000 police and soldiers were deployed across Bangkok on Sunday, according to a Thai official, as authorities tried to deter anti-coup protesters who have threatened a day of flashmob rallies in defiance of the army.Small but vociferous protests have been held every day in the capital since the army seized power from the civilian government on May 22.Army Chief Prayut Chan-O-Cha has warned protesters that they -- and even their families -- face ...
Australia reduces engagement with Thai military SYDNEY: Australia is reducing its interaction with Thailand's military, Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said on Saturday, adding three planned activities had been postponed due to the coup.Thailand's military seized power on May 22 and on Friday ruled out elections for at least a year to allow time for political "reforms", despite international alarm."The Australian government continues to have grave concerns about the actions of the military in Thailand," Bishop said in a statement with Defence ...
Indonesia-bound Thai tanker believed hijacked KUALA LUMPUR: A Thai tanker is thought to have been hijacked on its way from Singapore to Indonesia, the International Maritime Bureau said Saturday, following a number of pirate attacks in Southeast Asian waters.The diesel oil tanker MT Orapin 4, with 14 crew aboard, lost contact with its owner after departing the city-state on Tuesday, IMB's Kuala Lumpur-based Piracy Reporting Centre said.It was heading to Pontianak on Indonesia's Kalimantan."It's a possible hijacking," the centre's head ...
US accuses China of 'destabilising' acts in South China Sea SINGAPORE: US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel accused China Saturday of "destabilising actions" in the South China Sea and warned that Washington would not "look the other way" if international order is threatened.Stressing US commitments to allies in Asia, Hagel called for a peaceful resolution of international disputes and issued a blunt message to China, which was represented by a high-level military delegation at the forum in Singapore."In recent months, China has undertaken destabilising, unilateral actions ...
China court to try eight for Tiananmen bomb attack BEIJING: China will try eight people linked to a car-bomb attack in Beijing's Tiananmen Square last year, prosecutors said, as the government escalates a crackdown on violence emanating from its restive Xinjiang region.Three ethnic Uighurs from the western region drove a car loaded with petrol canisters into the gate of the Forbidden City in October, an attack that left two dead, besides the three people in the car, and 40 injured.In a statement released Friday, ...

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Banking Review 2014

Foreign Debt $61.805bn
Per Cap Income $1,386
GDP Growth 4.14%
Average CPI 8.6%
Trade Balance $-1.586 bln
Exports $1.932 bln
Imports $3.518 bln
WeeklyApril 16, 2015
Reserves $16.818 bln