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French PM in Berlin pledges to push reforms BERLIN: French Prime Minister Manuel Valls pledged on a Berlin visit Monday to push on with an economic reform package, which Chancellor Angela Merkel praised as "impressive"."We will put the reforms in place to get France back on track," the Socialist premier told a joint press conference on his first official visit to Germany since taking office in late March.Merkel, a champion of budget discipline and economic reform in Europe, said that "the prime minister told me about his impressive, ambitious reform programme", amid criticism the measures won't go far enough to get the country back on its feet.France is struggling with zero growth and record unemployment and this month conceded it won't get its ballooning budget deficit down to the EU limit of three percent of gross domestic product until 2017.Amid the economic woes, the unpopular government of President Francois Hollande and Valls is being challenged by the far-right ...

Pilots reject Air France offer to end strike PARIS: Air France pilots on Monday rejected a last-ditch management attempt to end the longest strike at the airline since 1998 that is costing up to 20 million euros ($25.7 million) every day.The main pilots' union dismissed as a "smoke screen" the chief executive's offer to freeze the development of a subsidiary budget airline that management sees as vital to compete in the cut-throat aviation market.The management proposal "is nothing but a smoke screen that ...

EU to clear massive British nuclear deal: spokesman BRUSSELS: The EU's competition watchdog will recommend approval of Britain's plans, backed by French and Chinese energy giants, to build its first nuclear plant in a generation, an official said Monday."As our discussions with British authorities have ended with an agreement, the Competition Commission will recommend a positive decision" on the Hinkley Point project, said a spokesman for Commissioner Joaquin Almunia said."In principle, the decision should be made in October," he added.Last year, the British ...

WHO experts advise against travel or trade bans on Ebola-hit Africa GENEVA: Independent health experts have advised the World Health Organization (WHO) that there should be no general ban on travel or trade with countries reeling from an Ebola epidemic in West Africa, the United Nations agency said on Monday. In a statement issued after the Emergency Committee held its second meeting last week the WHO said the outbreak in five countries that has killed at least 2,630 people remains a "public health emergency of international ...

After China, GlaxoSmithKline faces pressure for change LONDON: GlaxoSmithKline may have closed one chapter in a saga of corruption allegations by accepting a $489 million fine in China, but the drugmaker has its work cut out to win back sceptical investors. That means continued pressure on Chief Executive Andrew Witty, seen not so long ago as one of the sector's star managers, who is under fire for allowing the erosion of GSK's all-important US business just as much as for the woes ...

Sierra Leone records 130 new Ebola cases during 3-day lockdown FREETOWN: Sierra Leone recorded 130 new cases of the Ebola virus during a three-day lockdown and it is waiting for test results on a further 39 suspected cases, Stephen Gaojia, head of the Ebola emergency operations centre, said on Monday. The country ordered its 6 million citizens to stay indoors for three days until Sunday night in the most extreme strategy employed by a nation since the start of an epidemic that has infected at ...


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Foreign Debt $61.805bn
Per Cap Income $1,386
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WeeklySeptember 18, 2014
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