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Snaps of Hollande and actress prompt palace job transfers PARIS: Five presidential staff are being transferred after photos appeared of French President Francois Hollande with actress Julie Gayet inside the Elysee Palace, officials confirmed Friday.Hollande's affair with the actress made headlines worldwide in January, but photos of the pair on a private terrace of the palace which appeared last week were even more worrying for the embattled leader because they appeared to have been taken from within the Elysee itself.The celebrity magazine Voici said the three pictures it published of Hollande, 60, and Gayet, 42, sitting together were taken secretly in October. Voici described the photos as a "tender moment... behind the walls of the Elysee," where Gayet spends "several nights a week".An investigation into the security breach has failed to identify the culprit, according to the Liberation daily. But police are convinced they were taken by a member of the president's personal staff on a mobile phone from ...


From shoe banging to Ukraine, archives comb Khrushchev past MOSCOW: Why did Moscow hand Crimea to Soviet Ukraine in 1954? Was the "red phone" hotline linking the Kremlin and Washington after the Cuban missile crisis an actual telephone?A new exhibition hopes to answer both questions, and more, by probing the past of Nikita Khrushchev, the Soviet leader who notoriously brandished a shoe at the United Nations -- and sowed the seeds of today's standoff with the West over Ukraine.Over 700 documents and objects are ...

Pygmies and Bantus flee a war caused by a tryst MUKONDO: It all began with a love affair a year ago between a Bantu and his Pygmy mistress, a tryst that so unnerved the enemy peoples of Congo's troubled Katanga province that war broke out.Fighting between the Bantu land-owners and the hunter-gatherers of the Twa Pygmy groups -- pitting bows-and-arrows against machete blades -- has since caused some 80,000 people to flee their homes in the mineral-rich province in southeast Democratic Republic of Congo.But in ...

Sarkozy tipped to lead party in new charge for French presidency PARIS: France's former president Nicolas Sarkozy was on Saturday tipped to win the leadership of his right-wing UMP in party elections, a position seen as a potential springboard back into high office.The 59-year-old broke the worst-kept secret in French politics when he announced his political comeback in September, presenting himself as the saviour of his bitterly divided conservative opposition party.There are no doubts about his aim, if yet unstated: to win back the keys to ...

Taiwan votes in key elections ahead of presidential polls TAIPEI: Voters go to the polls Saturday in Taiwan's largest ever local elections, with the Beijing-friendly ruling party facing a rout in a key test ahead of the 2016 presidential race.Opinion polls suggest the Kuomintang (KMT) are heading for heavy losses as they struggle with growing fears over Chinese influence, a slowing economy and a string of food scandals.Leadership elections are due in early 2016 with China policy a key issue as embattled President Ma ...

Sarkozy: 'Bling-bling' comeback king PARIS: Bruised by a humiliating election loss and ensnared in a tangle of legal woes, when Nicolas Sarkozy vowed he was moving on from politics, French voters thought they had seen the last of him.But two and a half years later, his parting shot that "you won't hear about me anymore" is a distant memory as Sarkozy, back with a vengeance, vies to win back control of his opposition UMP party.The party leadership election is ...


 



 
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Banking Review 2013


Annual2013/14
Foreign Debt $61.805bn
Per Cap Income $1,386
GDP Growth 4.14%
Average CPI 8.6%
MonthlySeptember
Trade Balance $-2.380 bln
Exports $2.181 bln
Imports $4.561 bln
WeeklyNovember 13, 2014
Reserves $13.268 bln