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Gunmen kidnap seven foreigners in north Nigeria BAUCHI: Gunmen kidnapped seven foreigners and killed a security guard when they stormed the compound of Lebanese construction company Setraco in northern Nigeria's Bauchi state early on Sunday, police said.   Those abducted were a Briton, an Italian, a Greek and four Lebanese workers, including two women, police and local government officials said.   This was the worst case of foreigners being kidnapped in the mostly-Muslim north of Africa's most populous country since an insurgency by Islamist militants intensified nearly two years ago.   No one took responsibility for the raid but northern Nigeria is plagued by attacks and kidnappings by Islamist groups. Al Qaeda-aligned group Ansaru, which rose to prominence only in recent months, claimed the kidnap in December of a French national who is still missing.   Bauchi Police Chief Mohammed Ladan said the gunmen attacked a police station and a prison overnight before storming the construction firm's compound in the town of Jama'are.   "We repelled the ...

Bangladesh amends war crimes law, mulls banning Islamists DHAKA: Bangladesh's parliament, meeting demands of protesters thronging the capital, amended a law on Sunday allowing the state to appeal any verdict in war crimes trials it deems inadequate and out of step with public opinion.   Tens of thousands of demonstrators jamming central Shahbag Square for the 13th day burst into cheers amid driving rain as the assembly approved the changes.   The protesters have been demanding the death penalty for war crimes after a tribunal this month ...

Hezbollah fighter, 5 Syrian rebels killed in border fighting AMMAN: At least one Hezbollah guerrilla and five Syrian rebels have been killed in fighting in Syrian territory on the border with Lebanon, nearby Lebanese residents and Syrian opposition sources said on Sunday.   Hadi al-Abdallah of the Syrian Revolution General Commission said fighting broke out on Saturday after Lebanese Hezbollah fighters.   Who are in control of eight Syrian border villages, tried to expand their sphere by moving into three adjacent Sunni villages that were in the hands ...

Iran sends Syria 100,000 tonnes of flour: PM AMMAN: Syria said it received 100,000 tonnes of flour from its main ally Iran as a 22-month uprising causes increasingly acute food shortages across the war-torn country.   Prime Minister Wael al Halki said Iran supplied the recent shipment to ease shortages he blamed on rebels who have since last July gained territory in and around the northern city of Aleppo, the country's economic hub and largest city, capturing at least 20 state mills.   "Our friend the Islamic ...

Egypt chief of staff says army will keep away from politics ABU DHABI: Egypt's armed forces, for decades at the centre of power, will avoid involvement in politics but could have a role if things became "complicated", the chief of staff said on Sunday.   It also expects rival political groups to solve disputes by dialogue, Major General Sedki Sobhi told Reuters   The military ran Egypt for six decades from the end of the colonial era and through an interim period after the overthrow of former air force chief ...

Ecuador votes for president, Correa seen winning new term QUITO: Ecuadoreans vote for president on Sunday in a ballot expected to hand incumbent Rafael Correa a new term to advance his socialist agenda of heavy government spending and expansion of state power that critics slam as creeping authoritarianism.   Generous state outlays to expand access to healthcare, pave decrepit roads and build schools have given the combative economist a strong base among the South American nation's poor.   Victory for Correa would cheer the leftist ALBA bloc of ...

Netanyahu backs Israel spies as Australian mystery simmers JERUSALEM: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu appealed on Sunday for the public spotlight on Israel's Mossad spy agency to be turned off after news of the jailhouse suicide of a reported Australian recruit.   The affair was kept under wraps for two years until it emerged last week with an Australian television expose that identified the dead man as 34-year-old Ben Zygier, a possible Mossad operative detained on suspicion of security offences.   Using court gag orders, military censorship and ...


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ICT 2014

Foreign Debt $61.805bn
Per Cap Income $1,386
GDP Growth 4.14%
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WeeklyJanuary 22, 2015
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