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Greek PM says EU needs urgent plan to tackle migrant crisis ATHENS: Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras urged the European Union on Sunday to urgently come up with a plan to tackle a mounting migrant humanitarian crisis in the Mediterranean."The Mediterranean must stop being a graveyard sea and southern European countries a storage of human souls," Tsipras said in a televised address.He spoke after a fishing boat packed with migrants capsized off the Libyan coast overnight, killing as many as 700 people in what officials said may be the worst disaster in the Mediterranean to date involving migrants.Tsipras said the EU plan must lend support to member countries such as Greece and Italy in the Mediterranean, which are bearing the brunt of the waves of migrants and refugees arriving from north Africa, the Middle East and beyond.Copyright Reuters, 2015

EU dreams of Iranian gas to break dependence on Moscow BRUSSELS: The EU is hoping future gas imports from Iran can break its dependence on Russia as prospects grow for a nuclear deal that would include lifting sanctions on Tehran.The European Union is betting on so-called Southern Corridor pipelines to supply gas to southern Europe via Turkey from fields in Azerbaijan and nearby countries, including Iran."It's one of our priorities," EU commissioner for Climate Action and Energy Miguel Arias Canete said Wednesday in the Latvian ...

Aussie PM downs beer in a few seconds, sparking debate SYDNEY: Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott was caught on video downing a beer in a few seconds at a Sydney pub, prompting comparisons to another drink-chugging former leader and sparking a debate on social media.The video, reportedly recorded on Saturday night, showed the leader knocking back a glass of Australia's Victoria Bitter in about six seconds as a large crowd surrounding him yelled "scull" repeatedly."Scull" is a slang term for drinking a glass of beer ...

Australia to boost child vaccination with $20mn package SYDNEY: Australia Sunday unveiled a Aus$26 million (US$20 million) package to increase child vaccination rates, as it removed a religious exemption allowing parents unwilling to immunise their children to claim some government benefits.The measures reflect the government's public health concerns amid a debate over immunisation for children, with some parents believing that vaccines against deadly diseases are themselves dangerous.Health Minister Sussan Ley said the new measures, which will be part of the May 12 federal ...

Two suspected FARC fighters killed in Colombia BOGOTA: Two suspected FARC guerrillas have been killed in central Colombia, officials said, days after President Juan Manuel Santos lifted a suspension of air strikes on the Marxist rebels.Defense Minister Juan Carlos Pinzon said the two suspected members of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) died in an operation to destroy an explosives factory on Saturday in the Vistahermosa region.The action came three days after Santos ordered the resumption of bombardments against the FARC. ...

Palestinian court drops case against ex-Fatah strongman Dahlan: lawyer RAMALLAH: A Palestinian court on Sunday dismissed a high-profile corruption case against exiled Gaza strongman Mohammed Dahlan, one of his lawyers told AFP.Speaking after the hearing, Sevag Torossian said the Ramallah-based corruption court had ruled that the charges against Dahlan -- once a leading figure in the Palestinian Fatah movement -- were "inadmissable", in a move the lawyer hailed as a "great victory". Copyright AFP (Agence France-Presse), 2015

US consumer prices edge up in March WASHINGTON: US consumer prices ticked higher in March, lifted by a rebound in energy prices, the Labor Department reported Friday.The consumer price index (CPI) rose 0.2 percent for the second month in a row in March, weaker than the 0.3 percent increase expected by analysts.Year-over-year, inflation dipped back into negative territory with a 0.1 percent fall. In January inflation had turned negative for the first time since 2009.The CPI number month-over-month was pulled higher by ...


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ICT 2014

Foreign Debt $61.805bn
Per Cap Income $1,386
GDP Growth 4.14%
Average CPI 8.6%
Trade Balance $-999 mln
Exports $2.064 bln
Imports $3.063 bln
WeeklyApril 16, 2015
Reserves $16.818 bln