Tue, 31 Jan 2023

BANGKOK -- An explosion at a railway in Thailand's southern Songkhla province killed at least three people and injured four others early Tuesday, according to the State Railway of Thailand (SRT).

Local officials said the incident occurred at approximately 6:24 a.m. local time. The explosion hit a section of the railway where workers were doing repair, with three SRT officials killed and four others suffering minor injuries.

The section was only 200 meters away from the point where another explosion occurred on Saturday, which derailed a freight train. (Thailand-Railway-Explosion)

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MAZAR-I-SHARIF, Afghanistan -- Seven commuters have been confirmed dead and six others injured as a blast struck a bus of government employees in Mazar-i-Sharif, the capital of northern Balkh province on Tuesday, provincial police spokesman Mohammad Asif Waziri said.

"Obviously it was a roadside bomb, which struck a bus of the employees of Petroleum Directorate of Hiratan border town at 7:30 a.m. local time in Police District 3 of Mazar-i-Sharif city, leaving seven dead and six others injured," Waziri told reporters.

The employees were going to their office when the blast occurred, the official said. (Afghanistan-Bus Blast-Death Toll)

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SYDNEY -- The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) on Tuesday lifted the cash rate target by 25 basis points to 3.1 percent, delivering the eighth straight increase since May.

The cash rate is now at its highest level in over a decade since December 2012 when it was 3.0 percent.

RBA Governor Philip Lowe said in a statement that the board of the bank expects to increase interest rates further over the period ahead, but it is not on a pre-set course.

According to the statement, inflation in Australia was "too high" at 6.9 percent over the year to October, with inflation forecast to peak at around 8 percent over the year to the December quarter and then expected to decline next year. (Australia-Interest Rate-Increase)

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MANILA -- Year-on-year inflation rate in the Philippines accelerated to 8 percent in November from 7.7 percent in October, the highest since November 2008, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) said on Tuesday.

With the November inflation, the PSA said the Philippine average inflation rate from January to November 2022 stood at 5.6 percent. In November 2021, the inflation rate was 3.7 percent.

In a news conference, PSA Officer-in-Charge Deputy National Statistician Divina Gracia Del Prado said services and non-food items such as electricity, food and beverage services, and transport services were the top sources of inflation in November. (Philippines-Inflation Rate)

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MANILA -- Driven by the release of pent-up demand from consumers, the Philippines' economy is projected to surge to a 7.2-percent growth in 2022 before tapering off to an average of 5.7 percent growth in 2023, according to an updated World Bank report released on Tuesday.

This year's forecast rides on the momentum of a 7.7-percent growth in the first three quarters buoyed by the recovery of incomes and jobs, among others, said the report Philippine Economic Update.

"The Philippine economy has remained resilient despite a challenging external environment," said the report.(Philippines-World Bank-2022 GDP Forecast)

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DHAKA -- Bangladesh's trade deficit in the first four months of the current 2022-23 fiscal year (July 2022-June 2023) soared by 4.69 percent to 9.59 billion U.S. dollars year on year, showed the latest central bank data.

The Bangladesh Bank (BB) data showed that the country's import payment was 25.51 billion dollars, up 6.72 percent in the July-October period of the current fiscal year, while earnings from exports stood at 15.92 billion dollars, up 8 percent during the same period.

The BB data showed that the gap between Bangladesh's export earnings and import payments in the July-October period of the previous 2021-22 fiscal year (July 2021-June 2022) was 9.16 billion dollars. (Bangladesh-Trade Deficit)

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HONG KONG -- A forum held in China's Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) to mark the 30th anniversary of the 1992 Consensus stressed the one-China principle and opposed "Taiwan independence."

The 1992 Consensus refers to the consensus reached in 1992 by the mainland-based Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits (ARATS) and the Taiwan-based Straits Exchange Foundation.

After talks in Hong Kong in October that year and a series of subsequent correspondence and telephone exchanges, they agreed to state that "the two sides of the Taiwan Straits both stick to the one-China principle." The essence of the 1992 Consensus is that "both sides of the Taiwan Straits belong to one China and will work together toward national reunification." (Hong Kong-1992 Consensus-Forum)

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