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Miriam strengthens to Category Three hurricane  MIAMI: Hurricane Miriam, churning far off Mexico's Pacific coast, strengthened Monday to a category three storm with winds of 120 miles (195 kilometers) per hour, US forecasters said. The storm, located 410 miles (655 kilometers) south-southwest of the southern tip of Baja California, posed no immediate threat to land, the US National Hurricane Center said. At 1500 GMT, Miriam was moving toward the northwest at around 12 miles (19 kilometers) per hour. The Miami-based storm watch center said it was possible that Miriam could strengthen further before gradually weakening sometime Tuesday, as it moves northward over cooler waters. Copyright AFP (Agence France-Presse), 2012

Brahimi tells UN Council Syria conflict worsening  UNITED NATIONS: UN-Arab League envoy Lakhdar Brahimi told the UN Security Council on Monday that the Syrian civil war is worsening and the country faces a growing food crisis, envoys said. Brahimi told the 15-nation council that the Syrian government estimates there are 5,000 foreign fighters in the country and is increasingly portraying the conflict as a "foreign conspiracy," envoys at the closed meeting told AFP. The former Algerian foreign minister, who reported on his recent talks ...

Greek police smite Facebook man for taunting Orthodox monk  ATHENS: Police in Greece have arrested a 27-year-old man for hosting a Facebook page taunting a late Orthodox monk with a cult following. The police on Monday said the man was arrested on the island of Evia on Friday after the state cybercrime unit received "thousands of online complaints...from various countries around the world." The Facebook page mocking Elder Paisios was dedicated to 'Elder Pastitsios', a reference to pastitsio, a popular Greek dish of pasta and ground ...

EU crop unit cuts maize yield again on hot, dry weather  PARIS: The European Union's crop monitoring unit on Monday further cut its outlook for maize yields in this year's EU harvest due to hot, dry conditions in the south and southeast of the bloc. Maize harvesting is underway across Europe and the prospect of lower yields has added tension to global supply after the worst drought in over 50 years in the United States ravaged crops in the world's top producer and exporter of the grain. The ...

Australian Boat Race activist LONDON: An Australian man "protesting about elitism" who brought chaos to this year's Boat Race between Oxford and Cambridge universities could have been killed by an oar, his trial heard on Monday. Trenton Oldfield, 36, brought the annual contest held in April to a standstill when he dived into London's River Thames and swam between the boats. It was the first time in the 158-year history of the race that it was disrupted by a bather. Oldfield however ...

Total reveals target to raise $15-20 bn with asset sales  LONDON: French oil group Total outlined huge asset sales and a production increase on Monday and said it would get gas flowing again at the North Sea's stricken Elgin field by the end of the year. Total said that it intended to raise $15-20 billion through sales by the end of 2014 and boost output after expected flat output this year. The group plans to dispose of some exploration and production activities and some refining and chemical ...

G20 needs more against global economic slowdown: Mexico MEXICO CITY: Officials from the Group of 20 nations are concerned about the global economic slowdown and hope governments can do more following efforts by the US and European central banks, Mexican Deputy Finance Minister Gerardo Rodriguez said on Monday. "There's worry about the (economic) environment and there's a conviction that monetary policy by itself is not sufficient. It's good, because the decisions of the ECB and the Fed have helped the stability of markets, but we ...


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Foreign Debt $60.9bn
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