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Mexico inflation seen cooling further in early April MEXICO CITY: Mexican annual inflation likely eased further in early April, backing expectations that policymakers will leave interest rates on hold this year to bolster a wobbly economic recovery.Inflation for the 12 months through the first half of April was seen easing to 3.55 percent, according to the median of 10 analysts polled by Reuters, down from a 3.89 percent rate in the first half of March and a 3.76 percent rate for the full month.Mexico's central bank targets inflation of 3 percent with a 1 percentage point tolerance band. A jump in consumer prices, due mostly to new taxes on soft drinks and junk food, pushed inflation above the 4 percent limit in January and February.Mexico's central bank is expected to hold its main interest rate steady on Friday at a record low of 3.5 percent, as easing inflation pressures give policymakers room to leave borrowing costs low to ...

South Sudan's president sacks army chief JUBA: South Sudan's President Salva Kiir dismissed General James Hotmai from his position as the head of the country's army on Wednesday, according to a decree read out on national television.No official reason was given for the decision, but sources pointed to recent setbacks for South Sudan's army in the north of the country, where troops have been struggling against rebel forces led by former vice-president Riek Machar.Copyright AFP (Agence France-Presse), 2014

Canada will send 500 election observer to Ukraine OTTAWA: Canada will send 500 observers, including 12 parliamentarians, to monitor elections in Ukraine next month, Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced on Wednesday.Harper said in a statement the mission "will help ensure that the upcoming Ukrainian elections are free and fair and that democracy and governance are the cornerstones of the new government."Ukraine will hold early polls on May 25 to elect a successor to the former president, Viktor Yanukovych, who fled to Russia after ...

France deficit plan treads fine line, betting on growth PARIS: France outlined a slower roadmap on Wednesday to reduce its chronic deficit to the European Union's treaty limit next year, based on growth assumptions described by an independent watchdog as risky.Europe's second-biggest economy, with the highest public spending quota in the EU, is a serial laggard where recovery and public finances are concerned.It has already been granted a two-year extension until 2015 on the original deadline to bring its public deficit below the ceiling ...

German-Russian forum urges quick deescalation in Ukraine LEIPZIG: Civil society representatives from Germany and Russia on Wednesday urged both sides in the Ukraine crisis to work toward de-escalation and keep the lines of communication open.The so-called Petersburg Dialogue, a forum of around 200 political, business, media and cultural leaders, said it was urgent that an accord struck last week in Geneva to defuse the turmoil in Ukraine be implemented."We are convinced that a sustainable resolution of the dangerous conflict in Ukraine can ...

China to open new areas to private investors: Xinhua BEIJING: China will launch 80 new pilot projects allowing private investment in areas previously dominated by state-run firms, official media reported on Wednesday.The report follows an earlier Communist Party pledge to let markets play a greater role in allocating capital, seen as a key step towards rebalancing the world's second-largest economy to ensure sustainable growth.The pilot projects cover areas including transport infrastructure, oil and gas pipelines, renewable energy and the coal, chemical and petrochemical sectors, ...

Bomb blast wounds UN peacekeeper in Mali: UN UNITED NATIONS: A roadside bomb struck a UN vehicle in northern Mali on Wednesday, wounding a peacekeeper from Guinea during a UN visit of foreign dignitaries, an official said.The improvised explosive device (IED) detonated at around 1130 GMT at least 400 meters from the Kidal air strip, said the head of the UN mission in Mali, Albert Koenders."Initial reports indicated that the peacekeeper, who was in a vehicle and bumped into this IED, seriously damaged ...


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