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Briefly: Asia-Pacific region set for slower growth
BANGKOK — Asia-Pacific nations face a year of slowing growth caused by troubled export markets and rising commodity prices, an annual U.N. report warned Thursday.
Despite the gloomy outlook, the region will remain the fastest-growing in the world this year, the U.N.’s Economic and Social Commission for Asia and Pacific survey found.
Asia-Pacific growth will edge down to 6.5 percent in 2012 from 7.0 percent last year, as the eurozone debt crisis and uncertainty about the U.S. economic outlook weaken demand for exports, it said.
The region also faces a “new normal” of volatile commodity prices that the U.N. warned will hit the poor hardest unless governments make plans to soothe the pain of higher costs.
Pakistan test-fires short-range missile
ISLAMABAD — Pakistan’s military said it successfully test-fired a short-range missile capable of delivering a nuclear warhead.
A military statement said the Hatf III Ghaznavi, with a range of 180 miles, was launched Thursday at the conclusion of the annual field training exercise of Army Strategic Force Command.
It is the second such test by Pakistan in the past two weeks. On April 25, it launched what it said was an intermediate-ranged missile after archenemy India conducted its own missile test.
The country routinely test-fires what it claims are indigenously developed missiles. Pakistan has fought three wars with its nuclear-armed neighbor, India, since 1947.
Suicide attackers kill 5 in east
KABUL — Taliban militants in police uniforms blew themselves up after being caught trying to sneak through a checkpoint Thursday in eastern Afghanistan, killing five people, authorities said.
Police at the checkpoint in Paktika province’s Yayakhil district became suspicious of the men and told them to stop, provincial police Chief Dawlit Khan Zadran said.
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