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The paintwork gleams, the seats are spotless and there is not a dent in sight. On the surface, a second-hand car like this might appear to be the perfect buy. Appearances can be deceptive though and a shiny exterior may conceal a host of serious technical problems which are hard for non-experts to spot. Consumers who observe five golden rules from Friedhelm Schwicker of Germany's independent testing organisation Dekra should help avoid nasty surprises.

A solution to the longstanding mystery of why rocks move erratically across an isolated patch of California's Death Valley finally emerged when researchers published a study showing the driving force was sheets of wind-driven ice. Trails from the movement of the rocks, which show them changing direction suddenly in their movement across the so-called Racetrack Playa, have long befuddled scientists and the general public. People wondered: How were the rocks moved?
It promised to be another glorious summer for one of England's most celebrated poets, the 'real' Jeeves and a cricket-playing curate. Yet 1914 saw all three plunged into the maelstrom of World War I, far removed from the comforting sounds of leather on willow, polite applause for a well-struck shot and a break in play for tea. Along with millions of other men they would never return to the pitches of home.
From the truffle-infused beef-cheek ravioli at Babbo restaurant in New York to the all-black-truffle menu at La Toque in Napa Valley, California, the pungent mushroom has conquered the summer menu and is no longer just a treasured winter treat. The black-truffle summer craze is the result of a confluence of events, some of which were decades in the making.
Researchers Wednesday urged sailors to become "citizen oceanographers" and help scientists better understand some of the world's wildest seas where ships and even planes disappear without trace. An Australian-led study said that despite technology such as GPS navigation and advanced research vessels with modern capabilities, much of the world's oceans remains under-explored, with cost a key impediment to knowing more.
San Francisco-based Coinbase is taking its Bitcoin wallet to Europe with an aim of enticing more people there to use the digital currency. Coinbase on Wednesday launched in 13 European countries, including France, Spain, Italy, Belgium and the Netherlands. "While US adoption is trending strong, Bitcoin offerings in other markets have not been as easily accessible to the average person," Coinbase said in a statement.
Thousands of parrots, monkeys, iguanas, toucans, turtles and other rainforest animals are kept as exotic pets in Costa Rica, a practice putting some species at risk, according to experts. The Central American country, famous for its rich biodiversity, won plaudits from conservationists two years ago for banning sport hunting in a pioneering move to protect wild animals.

 



 
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Annual2013/14
Foreign Debt $61.805bn
Per Cap Income $1,386
GDP Growth 4.14%
Average CPI 8.6%
MonthlyAugust
Trade Balance $-2.807 bln
Exports $1.911 bln
Imports $4.718 bln
WeeklyOctober 20, 2014
Reserves $13.436 bln