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Obama, Romney brace for foreign policy debate clash  BOCA RATON: President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney were racing through last-minute preparations for Monday's final debate, looking to exploit cracks in each other's foreign policy in the home stretch of a brutal election.   With barely two weeks to go before Americans trek to the polls, the two men are diving into the nitty-gritty of international affairs as well as of the latest overseas flashpoints like Iran and Libya for their showdown here in Boca Raton.   But the candidates are all too aware of the domestic pressures they face, with both planning to charge out onto the campaign trail immediately after Monday night's debate to blitz the handful of battleground states likely to determine the November 6 election.   Romney foreign policy director Alex Wong told AFP that while foreign policy is vital and helps draw distinctions between Romney and the president, "everyone acknowledges that jobs and the economy, particularly after these four years ...


Fidel Castro alive and well: Chavez aide  HAVANA: Former Cuban leader Fidel Castro is alive and well, according to Elias Jaua, a former Venezuelan vice president who says he met with Castro over the weekend.   Squelching rumors that Castro was at death's door, Jaua, a key aide to Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, on Sunday showed reporters pictures of the Saturday meeting and said Castro, 86, was in good health and lucid.   Jaua, who is running for governor in Venezuela's contested state of Miranda, said ...

Britain set for official exit from recession  LONDON: Britain was this week set to confirm its official exit from a deep recession, although a return to growth would fail to signal a rosy future for the country's fragile economy, according to analysts.   Economists' consensus forecast is for Britain, which is not part of the eurozone, to have returned to growth in the third quarter, or July-September period, after falling into a double-dip recession in late 2011.   Positive retail sales data published last week added ...

Pesticides have knock-on effect for bees: study PARIS: Chronic exposure to pesticides has a bigger knock-on effect on bees than conventional probes suggest, according to a new study on Sunday touching on the mysterious collapse of bee colonies.   Biologists at the University of London carried out an exceptional field study into bumblebees exposed to two commonly used agricultural insecticides.   They sought to mimic what happens in a real-life setting, where different crops are sprayed with different pesticides at different dosages and times.   Because bees get ...

Children at Iraq prison BAGHDAD: Some 21 children living with their mothers in a Baghdad women's prison represent a potential "time bomb," an Iraqi rights group warned on Sunday in a report that also noted claims of rape and torture.   The Hammurabi Humanitarian Organisation, headed by former migration minister Pascal Wardeh, also detailed conditions at the women's prison in Kadhimiyah, north Baghdad, in which some prisoners suffered physical assault.   It said 21 children were living with their mothers in the detention ...

Qatari emir to visit Gaza Tuesday GAZA CITY: Qatari Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani is to travel to Gaza on Tuesday in the first such visit by an Arab leader since Hamas took over in 2007, a news agency close to the ruling Islamist movement said.   "The emir of Qatar will come to Gaza on Tuesday to open several projects in the strip," the Shihab news agency quoted a Hamas official as saying.   Copyright AFP (Agence France-Presse), 2012

Gaza boat activists accuse Israel navy of using Tasers JERUSALEM: Pro-Palestinian activists from a Gaza-bound boat intercepted by the Israeli navy have accused troops of tasering them when they took over their vessel the Estelle their lawyer told AFP on Sunday.   The Israeli army immediately denied the claim.   "They used electric shocker devices to the extent of what we call 'electro torture' on some of the activists," lawyer Gaby Lasky told AFP, adding that at least one of them is an MP.   It was not immediately clear ...


 



 
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Annual2013/14
Foreign Debt $61.805bn
Per Cap Income $1,386
GDP Growth 4.14%
Average CPI 8.6%
MonthlyJuly-June
Trade Balance $-19.98 bln
Exports $25.13 bln
Imports $45.11 bln
WeeklyOctober 27, 2014
Reserves $13.464 bln