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Afghan voters defy Taliban threat as US hails polls KABUL: The United States praised millions of Afghan voters who defied Taliban threats and attacks to vote in a presidential run-off election securing the country's first democratic transfer of power, with counting set to begin Sunday.With turnout higher than expected after a largely peaceful day of voting, Washington hailed the polls as a "significant step" for the country's democracy, commending "the voters, electoral bodies and security forces for their commitment to the democratic process"."These elections are a significant step forward on Afghanistan's democratic path, and the courage and resolve of the Afghan people to make their voices heard is a testament to the importance of these elections to securing Afghanistan's future," the White House said.Ahead of the ballot, which decides the next president of the country ahead of the withdrawal of NATO troops later this year, the Taliban had threatened to kill voters and officials, saying the election was an ...

Dozens killed in fighter jets bomb militant hideouts: officials MIRANSHAH: Fighter jets launched airstrikes early on Sunday against militant hideouts in North Waziristan Agency, killing dozens of insurgents, local security officials said.The strikes targeted the mountainous Dehgan area, some 25 kilometres (16 miles) west of Miranshah, the main town of North Waziristan tribal district and a stronghold for militants on the border with Afghanistan."The strikes were carried out based on reports about the presence of Uzbek and other militants in the area," an official ...

Obama renews climate change push WASHINGTON: President Barack Obama renewed his campaign to curb carbon emissions on Saturday, saying the debate over climate change is over.Obama, who made the battle against climate change a core promise of his 2008 election campaign, has been stymied at the federal level by opposition from lawmakers.Congress "is full of folks who stubbornly and automatically reject the scientific evidence," Obama told a crowd of more than 30,641 people, including thousands of graduates at the University ...

Ukraine protest after rebels down military plane LUGANSK: An irate mob smashed the Russian embassy's windows in Kiev and tore down its flag Saturday in the wake of the downing by pro-Kremlin rebels of a military plane that killed 49 troops.The violence in Kiev came hours ahead of top Moscow and Kiev officials huddling in the Ukrainian capital for gas negotiations aimed at averting an imminent cut in Russian supplies that would also affect large swathes of Europe.The United States accused Russia ...

Merkel, Hollande 'extremely worried' by ongoing Ukraine violence: France PARIS: The leaders of France and Germany Saturday voiced "extreme concern" over the ongoing violence in Ukraine and called for a ceasefire after 49 died when pro-Russian separatists shot down an army plane.During a telephone call with Russian President Vladimir Putin, French President Francois Hollande and German Chancellor Angela Merkel "stressed the importance of rapidly reaching a ceasefire in Ukraine," according to a statement issued by Hollande's office."It is about creating the conditions to de-escalate ...

Afghan vote 'significant step' for democracy: White House WASHINGTON: The White House Saturday welcomed Afghanistan's presidential elections as a "significant step" for the country's democracy, but emphasized the need for electoral commissions to legitimize the vote."The work of the electoral commissions in the weeks ahead will be particularly important," the White House said in a statement, commending "the voters, electoral bodies, and security forces for their commitment to the democratic process."On Saturday, millions of Afghans defied Taliban threats in a run-off vote to ...


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Banking Review 2014

Foreign Debt $61.805bn
Per Cap Income $1,386
GDP Growth 4.14%
Average CPI 8.6%
Trade Balance $-2.378 bln
Exports $2.016 bln
Imports $4.394 bln
WeeklyJuly 23, 2015
Reserves $18.677 bln