- - Tuesday, October 19, 2010

CHINA

Interest rate raised for 1st time since crisis

BEIJING | China raised its key interest rate Tuesday for the first time since the global financial crisis as it tries to control inflation and rapid growth even as other Asian economies move to keep their recoveries on track.

The rate hike, China’s first since 2007, reflected Beijing’s focus on guiding growth to a more sustainable level rather than revving up the economy after it expanded by 10.3 percent in the second quarter.

The rate on a one-year loan was raised by 0.25 percentage points to 5.56 percent effective Wednesday, said the People’s Bank of China, the nation’s central bank. The one-year rate paid on deposits was raised, also by 0.25 percentage points, to 2.5 percent.

PERU

Peru offers dock rights to coast-hungry Bolivia

LIMA | Landlocked Bolivia is getting a tiny sliver of the Pacific — a dock, a free-trade zone and the right to run some naval vessels, although the agreement signed Tuesday with Peru falls far short of what Bolivians have wanted for 126 years — a coastline of their own.

President Alan Garcia announced the pact during a ceremony at the southern Peruvian port of Ilo. It is part of a long-standing crusade by Peru and Bolivia to prod neighboring Chile into giving back some of the territory it seized in the 19th-century War of the Pacific.

“It is unjust that Bolivia has no sovereign outlet to the ocean,” Mr. Garcia said, with Bolivian President Evo Morales at his side. “This is also a Bolivian sea.”

Mr. Morales said the agreement would give Bolivia a gateway to export its products, and he vowed that “Bolivia, sooner or later, will return to the sea.”

PAKISTAN

Rash of killings grips Pakistan’s largest city

ISLAMABAD | Gunmen killed five people in Pakistan’s largest city Tuesday, an official said, the latest victims in a surge of violence to grip Karachi and underscore the poor state of law and order in this U.S.-allied nation.

At least 37 people, including several political activists, have been killed and another 48 have been wounded since Saturday in the southern port city, said Sharmila Farooqi, a spokeswoman for the Sindh province government. The violence coincided with Sunday’s election to replace a provincial lawmaker killed in August.

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