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Pakistan's economic team led by Ishaq Dar and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) mission led by Jeffrey Franks concluded the fourth and fifth mandated review under the 6.64 billion dollar Extended Fund Facility (EFF) paving the way for the release of fourth and fifth tranches amounting to 1.1 billion dollars next month. The IMF Board approval, a requirement for a tranche release, is scheduled for 17th December.

The countdown has begun to what threatens to be a missed opportunity to revive Europe's stalled economy. When European Union leaders meet on December 18-19 under new management, they have a chance to launch a joint assault on the economic stagnation and high unemployment that are fuelling disenchantment and anti-EU protest among voters.
After deciding to scrap nuclear power, Germany is pondering saying goodbye to coal, its biggest energy source but also its top polluter and main threat to ambitious climate goals.
In May 2009, Sri Lankan army won the protracted civil war by decisively defeating the Tamil Tigers. And in the same year, Sri Lanka and Pakistan exported IT-BPO services worth $209 million and $202 million respectively. However, the difference didn't remain minor thereafter. Post-2009, tide turned overwhelmingly in favour of Sri Lanka. During 2009-13, IT-BPO exports of Sri Lanka grew at almost 3 times the growth rate of Pakistani IT-BPO exports. Irony of situation is this that Sri Lanka's population of 22 million is just one-eighth of the Pakistani populace. UNCTAD, a United Nations' body, has made a special mention of the Sri Lanka's success story in its Information Economy Report of 2012. The difference is rising faster, which is evident in the future export targets of the two countries. Pakistan Software Export Board - the trade promotion body - is targeting an export figure of $1 billion by 2020. On the other hand, Sri Lanka, under its vision 2022, is focusing to take its annual IT-BPO exports to $5 billion by 2022.
When President Barack Obama unveiled his immigration plan and Republican rivals howled their disapproval, the drama signalled not just a clash of political positions: it kicked off the 2016 presidential campaign. Several likely Republican White House contenders - and a very prominent Democrat, Hillary Clinton - provided some of the most visible early reactions to the president's controversial executive order. Their statements helped draw the battle lines of Washington's immigration warfare that is sure to extend all the way to the next national election, when Republicans will be seeking to end their eight-year White House drought.
An invisible, murderous enemy that puts caregivers in almost unbearable working conditions, Ebola is a gruelling test for even the most experienced humanitarian. Joachim Gardemann had spent 20 years with the Red Cross in Rwanda, Bosnia and Syria before his toughest mission in eastern Sierra Leone. "In a conflict, you avoid areas where there is risk, landmines... Here the enemy is everywhere," says the German paediatrician, who runs an Ebola treatment unit in Kenema district. "Usually medicine is your best protection because if you work well, no one will attack you. With Ebola, you yourself are a target."
What do we understand by political vocation? Very early on in my career as a civil servant I went with a delegation to India and I found that most of the politicians had been in politics for more than 30 years. They were still going strong. The average life of a civil servant is between 37 to 39 years unless the age is fudged. In our country, politics is rather naively held to be an infant existence. We always talk of a fledgling politics. Politics is about leadership situations and unless the democratic process for leadership determination is put in place there will remain this concept of a Mughal emperor in position of authority with hardly or no accountability to the people of the country. So how do we influence our leadership positions? There is no public consensus and anyone who is backed by some kind of manipulation becomes a leader. There have been serious reservations on the perverted election by selection process as it is not equitable in nature. Nor does it provide equal opportunity or of conditions to make the grade as a leader.


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Banking Review 2013

Foreign Debt $61.805bn
Per Cap Income $1,386
GDP Growth 4.14%
Average CPI 8.6%
Trade Balance $-2.380 bln
Exports $2.181 bln
Imports $4.561 bln
WeeklyNovember 13, 2014
Reserves $13.268 bln