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US journalist returns home after Syria kidnapping WASHINGTON: An American journalist held for nearly two years by militants linked to Al-Qaeda in Syria returned to the United States late Tuesday, two days after Qatar negotiated his release, his family said.Peter Theo Curtis, 45, was reunited with his mother Nancy Curtis at Boston Logan International Airport after flying from Tel Aviv to Newark, New Jersey."I have been so touched and moved, beyond all words, by the people who have come up to me today -- strangers on the airplane, the flight attendants and, most of all, my family -- to say welcome home," Curtis said in a statement."I am also deeply indebted to the US officials who have worked on my case. I especially want to thank the government of Qatar for intervening on my behalf."Curtis's family has said the Qatari government had repeatedly reassured them that it had not won his freedom through a cash payment, amid ...

India faces huge job in giving bank accounts to all NEW DELHI: Premier Narendra Modi has put a pledge to give bank accounts to all Indians on a war footing, but experts say taking banking to rural areas where many people have no identity papers will be a huge challenge.In developed nations, bank branches are everywhere. But banking services in India leave out nearly half the 1.2 billion population, putting poor people at the mercy of moneylenders who charge usurious interest for emergency loans for ...

Traders warn of Chinese exodus from Ebola-hit Sierra Leone FREETOWN: Li Luming carefully straightens a table cloth in his empty restaurant in Sierra Leone's capital as he laments the damage Ebola has done to business.It is a pointless gesture -- the table, like dozens in the "Beijing Restaurant", has not been used for weeks -- but it is important to keep going, to show the staff that it's "business as usual".A favourite of locals and Chinese expatriates alike for more than a decade, the ...

Hungary strives to be central Europe's start-up capital by 2020 BUDAPEST: From a sleek, modern office in the middle of Budapest's old town, Ustream provides live video streaming to clients such as Samsung and Sony. Nearby, Prezi has created a zooming presentation tool that even U2 singer Bono used last year for a talk on global poverty. These are just two of about 200 start-ups which have sprung up in Hungary in recent years, with the government pushing for the nation to become central Europe's ...

Tokyo stocks flat by break TOKYO: Tokyo stocks were flat at the end of Wednesday morning trade, paring earlier gains that came after another record close on Wall Street.The Nikkei 225 index edged up 4.73 points to 15,525.95 by the break while the Topix index of all first-section shares was unchanged at 1,285.01.The index had opened 0.23 percent higher in response to news that the S&P 500 had closed above 2,000 for the first time following upbeat indicators on the ...

Putin, Poroshenko talk as Kiev holds Moscow troops MINSK: The presidents of Russia and Ukraine on Tuesday sat down to crunch one-on-one talks over heavy fighting in east Ukraine as the Kremlin admitted for the first time its troops had entered its neighbour's territory.Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and Russian leader Vladimir Putin began a key bilateral meeting after six hours of difficult negotiations alongside top EU officials in Minsk aimed at defusing a crisis some fear could lead to all-out war between Kiev ...


Index Closing Chg%
Arrow DJIA 17,122.01 0.09
Arrow Nasdaq 4,569.62 0.02
Arrow S&P 2,000.12 0.01
Arrow FTSE 6,830.66 0.12
Arrow DAX 9,569.71 0.19
Arrow CAC-40 4,395.26 0.04
Arrow Nikkei 15,534.82 0.09
Arrow H.Seng 24,918.75 0.62
Arrow Sensex 26,560.15 0.44

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Foreign Debt $61.805bn
Per Cap Income $1,386
GDP Growth 4.14%
Average CPI 8.6%
Trade Balance $-2.311 bln
Exports $2.027 bln
Imports $4.338 bln
WeeklyAugust 25, 2014
Reserves $13.925 bln