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New Zealand's kiwi probably started out an Aussie: study WELLINGTON: In a finding likely to be a bitter blow for many New Zealanders, researchers have found the country's iconic kiwi bird probably descended from an ancestor that flew in from Australia.Palaeontologist Trevor Worthy of Adelaide's Flinders University said fossilised remains suggested the flightless bird did not evolve from the extinct giant moa, as has long been assumed.Instead, he said an ancestor of the kiwi dating back 20 million years discovered in the South Island was more closely related to another giant flightless bird, the emu, which is still common in Australia.Worthy, himself an expatriate New Zealander, said it appeared the fossilised South Island bird and the emu evolved from a common ancestor, which originated in Australia but also spread to New Zealand."If, as the DNA suggests, the kiwi is related to the emu, then both shared a common ancestor that could fly," he said. "It means they were little ...

Japan to boost military spending as China row simmers TOKYO: Japan said Tuesday it intends to boost military spending by five percent over the next five years, with a hardware splurge that will beef up defence of far-flung islands amid a territorial row with China.The cabinet of hawkish Prime Minister Shinzo Abe agreed 24.7 trillion yen ($240 billion) would be spent between 2014 and 2019, including on drones, submarines, fighter jets and amphibious vehicles, in a strategic shift towards the south and west.The shopping ...
Japan tells China to accept world's air zone concerns TOKYO: Japan called on China Monday to see "reality" and "accept" there are widespread international concerns over Beijing's controversial air defence zone.The comment by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's right-hand man came after China singled out Japan for criticism when 11 Asian countries stressed the importance of freedom of overflight at a summit in Tokyo, in a move seen as targeting Beijing."We think China should see the reality that many countries in the international community share ...
Death sparks calls for Philippines school boxing ban MANILA: A 16-year-old Philippine athlete died after a week in coma following a boxing match, triggering calls for the sport to be banned in schools, an official said Monday.Jonas Garcia, a high school athlete, suffered internal bleeding after a boxing match in a regional sports competition and died on Sunday.Boxing is hugely popular in the Philippines, which has produced many international champions, including Manny Pacquiao, once regarded as the world's best pound-for-pound fighter. The death ...
US warship threatened China's security BEIJING: A US warship that was forced to manoeuvre to avoid a collision with a Chinese naval vessel had "posed a threat", state-run media said Monday, after Washington accused China of being the aggressor. The Global Times newspaper, which often takes a nationalistic stance, said the USS Cowpens guided missile cruiser had "come to China's threshold and posed a threat to China's military security".Washington issued a formal protest after the incident in the South China ...
Taiwan, China in talks over spy swap: report TAIPEI: Taiwan and China have conducted rare talks on exchanging intelligence agents jailed on each side, in a further sign of warming ties between the former rivals, local media reported Monday.Representatives from China asked Taiwan to release former army general Lo Hsien-che, the highest-ranking Taiwanese official to be convicted of spying for China in Taiwan, the Taipei-based China Times said."The demand was flatly rejected" in the discussions held in Southeast Asia, the paper said, citing ...
Thai opposition torn between elections and 'revolution' BANGKOK: She is a poster child for a Thai elite campaigning to freeze democracy. But when Chitpas Bhirombhakdi is not on stage cheerleading for a self-styled "people's revolution", she is quietly preparing a bid for parliament.It is a contradiction that highlights the dilemma facing Thailand's oldest -- but by no means most popular -- political party, the Democrats, whose lawmakers recently resigned en masse from parliament to join opposition street protests.The party must soon decide ...

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Foreign Debt $61.805bn
Per Cap Income $1,386
GDP Growth 4.14%
Average CPI 8.6%
Trade Balance $-2.807 bln
Exports $1.911 bln
Imports $4.718 bln
WeeklyOctober 20, 2014
Reserves $13.436 bln